Saturday,22 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1134, 7 - 13 February 2013
Saturday,22 September, 2018
Issue 1134, 7 - 13 February 2013

Ahram Weekly


Doaa El-Bey and Gamal Nkrumah on the naked truth and Arab Spring revolutions that are far from over

Al-Ahram Weekly

The brutal attack on Hamada Saber, a civilian who was stripped bare, attacked with truncheons by helmeted officers and dragged towards an armoured van close to the presidential palace in Cairo left Egypt and the world in a state of utter shock and fury.

Newspapers ran front page articles and picture of the incident.

Al-Masry Al-Youm on Monday quoted Saber’s son saying “my father is scared of police pressure on him”, Al-Akhbar had “Surprises of the dragged person continues” and Al-Shorouk read “Hamada’s family requested moving him from the police hospital”.

Al-Wafd on Sunday described the act as “a disgrace”.

Most columnists and writers talked about the brutal attack and its significance.

Gamal Al-Ghitani wrote that Hamada was dragged twice, first when he was stripped naked and second when he was forced to testify that the protesters and not the police stripped and dragged him.

“Stripping and dragging Hamada and shooting him is an act against one person. But forcing him to deny this incident and accusing the protesters of doing it is an act of dragging in front of public opinion and to the world that saw that brutal scene on TV,” Al-Ghitani wrote in the official daily Al-Akhbar.

Mahmoud Ghallab wrote that dragging Hamada brought to mind the worst times of brutality under Mubarak.

“The systematic violence and brutal oppression against protesters contradict with human rights. Dragging and stripping Hamada is an assault on all human values and principles,” Ghallab wrote in the daily Al-Wafd, the mouthpiece of the opposition Al-Wafd Party.

Ghallab noted that the presidency is selective in its condemnation of violence. At a time when it was clearly annoyed by the attack on the presidential palace, it did not react to the siege imposed on the constitutional court, the Media Production City or Al-Wafd newspaper.

And it did not express any concern over the death of dozens of youths in front of the presidential palace last December.

To save the country from genuine danger, Ghallab called on the president to take quick decisions that respond to the will of the people in achieving the targets of the revolution and correcting its path. He also called on political powers to preserve the peaceful nature of the revolution and abandon violence.

He concluded his regular column by hoping the interior minister’s apology for the dragging scene would be a pledge on his part to respect the humanity of the protesters and punish whoever committed the brutal act.

Emadeddin Hussein who stated that he is optimistic by nature, fell in despair the moment he knew that Hamada said the police did not drag him on the ground, even though the world saw otherwise.

The writer assumed for the sake of argument that the brutal act was committed by creatures from space and not the police. He wondered then, who the helmeted officers who appeared in the video were, or why the police did not cover his naked body after these creatures stripped him naked.

Hussein also wondered, if the police did not commit this act, why did they apologise shortly after the video was shown on satellite channels.

Hussein decided not to blame Hamada for denying that police dragged and stripped him, because God knows the amount of pressure exerted on him by the police to do so. However, he blamed the Interior Ministry for its behaviour which did not change at all after the revolution.

“The story of the citizen dragged by ‘creatures from space’ is the clearest example that Mubarak’s state is still alive!” Hussein wrote in the independent daily Al-Shorouk.

Marwa Mozaid’s article titled “Die like Jika or live like Hamada” is a phrase that she quoted from Facebook. She looked at the significance of Jika’s death — a young protester killed during the demonstrations — and Hamada’s life.

Jika’s death, Mozaid wrote in the independent daily Al Masry Al-Youm, brought to mind implications like “liberty”, “defiance”, “heroism”, “youth” and “sacrifice”.

However, Mozaid added, others found in his martyrdom other meanings like “encroachment”, “violence”, and “suicide”.

But by all means, “Jika’s death is more honourable than Hamada’s life,” Mozaid emphasised.

The brutal attack against Hamada was interpreted in two ways — the first as conspicuous bodily torture, an exaggerated use of violence against the protesters and an indication that the Mubarak era had not come to an end.

However, the fact that Hamada stated on TV that he was not a protester and that the police were trying to help him brought in the other interpretation: not all Egyptians are active protesters who are willing to confront authority.

It also shed light on an important matter, as the writer added: the reason for Hamada being pushed into the armed vehicle as if he were pushed into his grave.Mozaid concluded by saying that Hamada’s experience could open the door for questioning the fate of all the youth who had been pushed into armed vehicles and disappeared after that.

Although the importance of holding the Islamic summit in Cairo was eclipsed by other pressing developments, the editorial of the official daily Al-Ahram noted that it is an important Islamic gathering that could leave an impact on relations between the member states and could support the Islamic states that are currently facing major changes.

The editorial said, the Islamic summit which was held in Cairo Wednesday and Thursday is important because it is the first summit to be held in Egypt since the establishment of the Organisation of Islamic Conference in 1969, and came after the changes that the region witnessed as a result of the Arab Spring.

There are important issues on its agenda, namely settlement building on Palestinians lands, the phenomenon of Islamophobia and the human status in the Islamic world.

The summit would also discuss ways to boost cooperation between the Islamic countries in order to confront the challenges and external pressures imposed on them, the editorial added.

On the economic level, the Islamic countries completely depend on exporting from the US, Europe and the Far East. Thus, enhancing trade among the Islamic states would reduce its dependence on these countries and strengthen their economies.

On the political level, there is a whole session devoted to the Palestinian issue and the increasing settlement building on the occupied Palestinian territories.

The recent development in Syria and increasing violence imposed itself on the summit which will discuss the impact of these developments on the region and the world, the edit concluded.

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