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UN's Violence Against Women Billboard Sparks Talk

The Women United Nations in Egypt are addressing the controversial topic in a series of ads, and we had the creative director Marwan Younis tell us all about it.

You may have had a quick glance at the latest UN Women Egypt's billboard while hurrying on to your destinations on Mehwar or Da'ery without giving it much thought apart from wanting to know more, yet remaining focused on the road ahead, which was exactly the message behind the campaign.

Violence against women is being observed every day all over Egyptian streets and behind closed doors, but it seems to not hold enough acknowledgement and attention. Along with the help of the Women United Nations in Egypt and advertisement agency FP7, the creative mind behind the design Marwan Younis exclaimed that, "the idea was very simple about the violence that exists among us, yet people choose to remain silent because they feel humiliated or ashamed. This aggression has become a loop that keeps going on and on daily, when things go back to normal the next morning."

This endless loop had inspired the idea behind Kan Yama Kan, which addresses the way that women who face violence remain in denial, choosing to believe that they are living the desired fairy tale. The tale is demonstrated through a fine looking woman by morning, with bruises and marks on her face of hidden barbarity coming to life at night. The billboards were also displayed around the country in Tanta, Menia, and other rural cities, where violence against women is most accepted and unrevealed.

Younis told us that he, "can't call it a coincidence how he figured out the relation between the real life cycle and the billboard's. We first had a mock up of the design by printing out the picture of the woman, sketching bruises on the back, and holding it up against a screen," It then worked by the team applying the backlight that can only be viewed at night, to represent the emerging of the brutal secrets when it's dark outside. He added that he "really wanted people to wonder about the story behind it when it is visible at night."

It doesn't come by surprise that even Younis himself has witnessed violence. He shared with us personal stories about how women in his own family experienced being beaten up by their spouses and covered up the incidents to avoid feeling ashamed or out of fear of their husbands getting battered in the process. And so, Younis was touched by the campaign on an individual level that fired him up, along with the girls whom he worked with, who also had millions of stories of their own to share.

The mentioned concept of Amira 7abet Amir will "have the story beginning at the end, and turning ever so violent, then returning to the very start of it when everything's back to normal," to raise awareness regarding the silence and shame that conceals violence in an endless hurt cycle.