Summary: I was assaulted near Tahrir square. My money, my mobile phone, my earphones and my identification cards were stolen by 4 thieves who stabbed me by knives, making me two incised wounds along other scratches and bruises. I reported to the police and provided a medical report proving the case, after going to a hospital for surgical suture. Now I’m on medication for 21 days, waiting to see how bad the injuries would leave scars and whether I would have other complications or not.
It was Friday night. I was about to go home after I was downtown. I was alone, looking at the graffiti at the walls around Tahrir square and on the American University. There were some youth playing at the sandy space in front of Tahrir Administrative Complex. There were no signs that this place had any demonstrations or that it was isolated, it’s Tahrir!
I noticed cars coming from behind, at first I thought they were coming from the Nile Palace street, then I realized that the street was still not open. So I approached the wall which was built months ago, since the anti-American riots took place near Tahrir. I wanted to see the graffiti on the wall, as I sometimes see nice pictures on the internet about them. It was quite dark and badly lit, and I saw very faded drawings. I wanted to see the other side of the wall. I couldn’t find anywhere to go out to the other side, so I was on my way out to take the subway. At that time there were two motorcycles, with one carrying three men and another one carrying two men. The motorcycles were of some cheep Chinese model. They were without registration plates. The thieves were in their 20s. Four of them quickly came to me and told me to bring them everything I had quickly. Two of them had knives. They were clearly not kitchen knives. There was no time to even argue. They surrounded me, then hit me till I fell on the ground. One of them covered my eyes, I wore my prescriptive glasses, he almost cracked it. He also was gagging my mouth very strongly. It was even very strangely thoughtless of them as some of them were asking me and waiting for me to answer, and to bring them all I had and if I had something else, as they had already made me fell on the ground, while restricting me, while on the ground which had old debris of burned stuff. They stole my money, my mobile phone, its earphones, my national identification card and my club card. They even stole a half-full pack of chewing gum I had! During their assault, I heard one of them saying, “Injure him! Injure him!”, many times. They stabbed me, making me two incised wounds in my left arm and on my right elbow. I was wounded on my hands because I was trying to protect my abdomen, to prevent them from ripping my clothes and my pants, and I was mostly concerned with trying to move the knives away off of me. I made a report in a hospital proving the case and provided it later to the police station of the Nile Palace neighborhood. My left hand palm was hit as well my middle finger of it. I had other scratches around my neck as the thieves cut the wire of the earphone which I attached strongly around my neck, as they were forcibly stealing it. There are other scratches and bruises on my arms and other small wounds.
As the thieves finally made sure that they stole everything they could find from me and injured me, they ran away on their motorcycles. Luckily, they weren’t able to steal 2 and a half Pounds of metal money I had. They were squeezed and they didn’t notice them. I was able to go home without begging, thanks to the coins. I was searching for anyone selling paper tissues, thinking that I could stop my wounds from spilling blood all over my t-shirt and my pants, on the black dust. I couldn’t find any at that time, I was in front of Hardee’s. I asked a worker who came out to go to the bathroom. He asked me whether I was injured in a demonstration. The principal came out too and asked for some paper tissues for me. At that time I realized that many people noticed I was badly injured and all wanted to know what was happening. I was distracted and didn’t feel like repeating my words over and over. I asked to go to the bathroom, even though they said they were cleaning the floor upstairs, they allowed me. I couldn’t clean my arms. They got me an antiseptic and put it on my right arm wound and gave me a piece of cotton to hold my wound which didn’t stop bleeding. I bled very much that I was starting to feel I was about to faint. I asked the worker again to give me water with sugar. As he was getting it, he told me that even he was injured and robbed one day, as he was going out of Hardee’s, to go home. I was also told that they are familiar with such cases. I drank it and stayed for 5 minutes. Then I asked the people working in Hardee’s which police station is responsible for the area to make report in it. One of them was confused, whether it was the police station of the Nile Palace neighborhood or Abdin Palace neighborhood. I concluded now that it was because of the split street which might have confused him, that there was no direct open street to the Nile Palace police station, but there was an open street to Abdin Palace police station. I wasn’t able to go by a taxi, I had no enough money and I couldn’t call anyone I knew, because I didn’t memorize their numbers, of the trauma. I only remembered my home telephone number, which is broken, anyway, and no one would had come fast enough, as I thought at that time. I walked all the way from Hardee’s to Abdin, holding the cotton on my wound. I passed by the US embassy on my way to the Nile Palace police station, where I later knew that an American academic was stabbed nearby in neck (2013/5/9). After reaching the police station, they asked me about what happened and told me that I should report in the Nile Palace police station. So I walked and kept on asking many times on my way, till I went to the Nile Palace police station. It took me about 2 hours after the incident. I was very exhausted. I reported the incident and what mattered the most to me was reporting for my stolen cards, as they are usually thrown near crime scenes by criminals, as if it’s a proof that the one identified in the card is the criminal. I was given a stamped temporary replacement paper from the police station. In the police station, they told me to come back again next day to continue my report.
After leaving the police station, I went to the main street and asked a security guard at some hotel or building, where to go to Ramses street, to go home. He noticed I was badly injured and asked me whether I wanted any help, money or to call someone. Then he insisted to give me some water. At that time, I didn’t realize I was very thirsty, after drinking some water. He even wanted me to take the plastic bottle with me. I thanked him and actually I thought that I wouldn’t be able to hold it with my injured hands, so I left it with him. So, I made my way to where I could ride a share-taxi (micro-bus), with one pound, till Ramses, and with one and a half pounds, to my home, in Heliopolis, east of Cairo, where a man next to me sat and noticed my injury and was disgusted then changed his seat.
I went home quickly to get some money and to see if any nearby pharmacy was open could help me, then searched for open hospitals, it was about 4:30am 2013/5/4. I found a charity hospital operated by the Religious Endowment, a doctor told me that he had no anesthetic and asked me, whether the Muslim Brotherhood injured me in a demonstration or not. The question was quite surprising to me. But anyway, I went to another hospital which wanted more money than I brought, so I went back home again to bring more money to make the operation to stitch both of my incised wounds. I asked them to make a report proving my case, to provide it to the police station. They stamped it. I went home and slept till around 1pm. I went to the the Nile Palace police station and provided them with the medical report. The medical report said what I told them about the assault and that I was given two surgical sutures in both arms and it would take 21 days to heal after taking medication, if there were no other complications. The police station showed me many pictures for thieves who were caught before in similar incidents, but unfortunately I couldn’t recognize anyone.
Now I have two peaces of cotton on both arms held with plaster and a plaster on my finger, with a wound on my left hand palm. I went to take tetanus serum syringe, on my right arm, which also made my muscle swell. I take three medicines, a very high dose antibiotic and anti-inflammatory with analgesic and anti-inflammatory with anti-eczema medicines. The wounds have to be disinfected daily and to put new cotton on them. I am also supposed to take another tetanus serum a month later and after that by another 6 months. I wish that the thieves didn’t infect me with other potentially dangerous or incurable diseases.
Now I’m waiting to see how I would heal and how big the scars would be, after having to remove the stitches of my arms in a week.
In the end, I would advise all the people not to go near the built walls which block many downtown streets, so as not to be subjected to similar assaults, as I also read now about women who even had their clothes torn and raped in similar areas, especially near Tahrir.
In the Nile Palace police station, some people were saying that they don’t want to go near demonstrations, so that no one claims they injure demonstrators. They even say that it is difficult for them to catch criminals in demonstrations because it would be told that they are assaulting demonstrators. In the police station, someone of them told me that a 14-year old teenager was stabbed in his heart, as thieves were forcibly trying to steal his mobile phone and he was found in the street sinking in his blood. I even remember an organizer for demonstrations whose name is Mohamed Gamal el Masri, who was stabbed in his heart last year, on his way to a demonstration.
I’m very saddened to see our situation in Egypt like that. Since 2011, we, in Egypt didn’t benefit anything, people don’t trust each other more than before, like that man working in Hardee’s who advised me not to report about the assault and only report for losing my identification card as he said that they would make me troubles and won’t believe me, and as I mentioned that the police officers feel that people don’t trust them, especially demonstrators. People are divided, on the verge of civil war and political movements are very fragmented, while people continue to be injured, blinded and killed, for what? With all of the pain and trauma I’m going through, it is very little to what I read about other victims I mentioned.
* Facebook event: a protest made by a mother of an American girl who died in Egypt on Monday 2013/5/6, as she was running away of gunmen, then was hit by a bus (2013/5/7; screen shot; legacy.com)
* Youtube video: The Egyptian actor, Mohamed Ramadan said, thank god no thug can forcibly rob him because the thugs consider him a role model (2013/5/7)
* NBC: American academic stabbed in neck near US Embassy in Cairo (2013/5/9; I passed by the US embassy on my way to the Nile Palace police station!)