Nada Zatouna’s Testimony: An English Translation


This is my translation of Nada Zatouna’s Testimony that was making the rounds on Facebook last week.

Nada Zatouna is a Nubian Egyptian filmmaker and activist. In this testimony she writes about her experience with racism on Asr al-Aini Street’s Seif Pharmacy after a doctor refused to take money from her because she is black.

صيدليات سيف عنصرية!!!
Seif Pharmacies are racist!
اقروا شهادة صديقتي ندي وافضحوهم!
Read my friend’s testimony and condemn them!

“صيدلية سيف فرع القصر العيني
حوالي الساعة 2:30 ظ
Seif Pharmacy the Asr Al Aini Branch

كنت في الصيدلية . كنت بشتري أدوية.. انتظرت أمام الكاشير لمدة حوالي 10 دقائق.. حضرت فتاة، فالطبيب تعداني وحصل منها على النقود. مديت إيدي بالفلوس وقلت له: اتفضل.. الطبيب خاطب الكاشير: خد منها، عشان أنا مابخدش غير من البيض بس..

I was in the pharmacy. I was buying medicine. I waited in front of the cashier for about 10 minutes. Then another cutstomer came and the pharmacy’s doctor passed me and took the money from the other girl. I held out my hand with the money to the doctor and said to him “please take it.” The doctor turned and addressed the cashier “you take it from her because I will not take anything except from whites.”

رديت عليه: نعم؟!!!
I responded to him: “Excuse me!?!”

رد عليا: أيوة، أنا قلت كده!
He responded right back to me: “Yes, I just said that”

رديت: يعني إيه ده؟
I responded: “And what does that mean?”

قال لي: هو إيه اللي يعني إيه! أنا كده، ما بخدش إلا من البيض بس.
He said to me: “It means, I mean what I mean! This is how I am, I don’t take anything except from white people!”

رديت: إنت مش محترم!
“I told him: You are not respectable!”

اتعصب وقال لي: لولا إنك بنت كنت عرفتك مقامك
Intolerant and fanatically he said to me: “If you were not a girl I would teach your place!!”

رديت: أنا بقى عايزة أعرف مقامي! دورت وشي وطلبت مقابلة المدير.
I responded: Then I want to know my place! I looked him in the face and ordered a meeting with the manager.

الناس اللي في الصيدلية أخدوه جوا وأنا طلبت أشوف المدير تاني. خرج وقال لي: أنا بقى ابن المدير وهعرّفِك مقامك وعلى فكرة إسمي الدكتور محمد خالد وساكن في السيدة زينب! وإذا كان عاجبك!

By then the people in the pharamarcy took him inside and I demanded to see the manager again. But he came back out and said to me: “I am the son of the manager and I will show you your place!! And by the way, if it would l like to know, my name is Doctor Mohamed Khalid and I live in Sayida Zeinab!”

رديت: طب أنا رايحة القسم حالا أعمل لك محضر. واحد من الشغالين في الصيدلية أخدني برا الصيدلية وقال لي هاتي نمرتك وأنا هوصلها للإدارة. اديته النمرة.
I responded: Ok I am going to the station immediately and I will put a record on you. One of the workers in the pharmacy took me outside and said to me: “Give me your number and I will give it to the administration.” So I gave him my number.

بعدها بربع ساعة تقريبا اتصلت بيا النمرة دي 01067309353 وكلمتني واحدة، حتى ما عرفتش نفسها. بتقول لي: إحنا أخدنا إجراءات وخصمنا له يومين، زميلي كلمها وقال لها إننا هنعمل محضر في القسم.
After about nearly 15 minutes this number (01067309353)called me. she said to me: “We took the appropriate procedures and we took two days from his salary, my friend called her and said to her that we will do a report at the police station.”

بعدها بعشر دقائق اتصلت بيا النمرة دي 01008534706 وكلمني واحد اسمه صلاح، بيقول لي إنهم خصموا للراجل يومين وإن أنا عندي حق والموضوع مش محتاج محضر.
Then after 10 minutes this number (01008534706) called me and someone named Salah told me that they took two days from the man’s salary and that I’m right so there is no need to report the incident.

بعدها بتلت ساعة اتصلت بيا نمرة تالتة 01222444373 واديت زميلي يرد .. بيسألو لو أنا من جمعية كاريتاس!!! وبعدين ابتدوا يسألو زميلي لو مصدق الكلام اللي أنا قلته أصلا!! وقال له ما يقلش كلام هو مش قده! ”
After about 20 minutes, this number (01222444373) called me and I gave it to my friend who responded, they were asking him if I was with the refugee advocacy group Caritas!! And then they started asking my friend if he really believed what I said was true to begin with! He told my friend not to trust my words if he wasn’t sure they were true!

ندى دلوقتي في القسم فعلا بتعمل محضر.
Nada is now in the police station and is doing a report on the pharmacy.


  1. Sad to know what happened to Nada, there are real people who use to discriminate. Glad you have posted this and translated very well.

  2. winston donald said:

    Egypt is a teririble racist country like Sudan. I wonder why the US gives them so much financial; assistance. Egypt would never see my money now that I know they are disgusting in their attitude and practices towards another human being.

  3. Elisa Marvena Sanz said:

    well, with all due respect, regarding the last comment, this situations happen everyday in the US so no surprises here as to their financial assistance, not like they could care less.

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