The Hero and the Thug

[Edited by Daila Mostafa]

This story is about two Egyptians, one of whom is in jail and being trialed in a military court. The first, a low ranked police officer, is accused of killing 37 protesters during the Egyptian revolution. This infamous man has been nationally hated and known for his brutality with civilians even before the revolution. He formerly worked at a police station in Alexandria and during the interior ministry “purge” he was relocated to the office of electricity and energy – a very cozy office job with no risky business, adding to that a good salary. So, in a way he got promoted for being a “Hero” upon his soldier friends.

The other man is a very simple revolutionary civilian. Some might consider his physical strength to be above average. On the morning of June 29th ; back when the CSF (Central Security Forces) were having a brutal fight with protesters in Mohammed Mahmoud Street -AUC Street- right next to Tahrir, this man was fighting side to side with revolutionaries against the usual oppressor enemy. The fight –that stayed for over 15 hours- included many weapons, such as Tear Gas, Birdshots, knives, rock and glass bottles coming from CSF and their thugs. While the protestors threw rocks and sometimes returned back glass bottles that didn’t break. There were several back-and-forth attacks between the CSF and protesters and in one that man grabbed a gun that belonged to one of the soldiers who was using it to shoot (blanks and birdshots) at protesters.

I was there when this happened. I just had this feeling, that those oppressors are not so tough without their weapons and I felt us getting stronger, not by weapons, because he didn’t even use it against the soldiers – he fired several shots in the air – I felt that we were stronger by seeing fear on their faces. The oppressor is the frightened one now. This civilian “Sambo” was taken into custody and will be military trialed any day now. He is to be prosecuted for stealing a weapon from an officer, which is a crime indeed. But not when the officer was trying to shoot us with that weapon, that’s self-defence, isn’t it? It is dignity-defence. Sambo took the weapon that was used to oppress us and did not even use it against them in return; now THATS class. Yet he is being called a “thug”…
…and that was the story of a thug and a hero. I think by now you, dear readers, know who’s who.



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