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Cairo Confessions: Egypt’s Most Intriguing Facebook Group Turns into a Free Helpline

Have you ever wanted to get that unconfessable secret off your chest without having to bear the rant of judgment it inevitably drives? That’s exactly what Cairo Confessions does. Initially a social experiment, its founders never imagined it would turn into a free service for troubled souls in search of advice.

“Here’s the real deal: it actually started out as a bet to get a confession out of a friend,” says  founder Mohamed Ashmawy, as I remain startled by his surprising 21 years of age. Mohamed breathes out enthusiasm with every word, as he recounts how the morning after launching the page on Facebook he’d received 75 confessions. The concept was simple: you send a confession, it gets posted anonymously, and anyone can share their advice or opinion.

“By the second week, we had received 500 messages, which was completely unexpected; let alone the nature of these confessions,” he says. With topics ranging from secret love crushes, feelings of guilt, troubled parental relationships, and somber issues like incest, he decided to expand the team and include professionals in mental health.

Today, with a steady flow of 150 confessions per day, the team of 12 volunteers is looking to expand its activities. Last August, they inaugurated the CC Gatherings in Cairo and Alexandria, and a Psychiatry & Psychology conference was held to gather professional advice.

The next step? A website will be launched in October where people can find professional help, for free. “Mental health is a taboo in Egypt, so we want to personalize it and make the process of seeking help easier,” the young visionary says.

For more information: Visit the Cairo Confessions Facebook Page and tweet them to @Egyconfessions

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Valentina Primo

Journalist, globetrotter, and determined idealist. Since Valentina left her home country of Argentina, she has searched for ways to build bridges between cultures and foster dialogue. Her previous work in international organizations in Italy and Germany fed her passion for the world of development, while her 8-year journalistic experience in Argentina and Egypt increased her curiosity for everything that challenges the stereotype. She holds a BA in Journalism and a Masters in Peace Studies with a specialization in Human Rights.

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