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Tuesday
Mar262013

Egypt 1st-Hand: The Immersion in Political Violence (Hill)


Evan Hill writes for Tahrir Squared:

Amid the hours of violent street battles near the Cairo headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood on Friday, one moment stood out, captured by Shorouk newspaper photographer Sabry Khaled.

A young man dressed in blue and black track pants and a blue hooded sweatshirt with a bandana around his face points a hand gun at a bearded man he holds by the shoulder as both run through the street. Other young men who stand nearby, one of whom holds a rock, look uninterested or are not watching at all. The bearded man’s face, though half-turned toward his attacker and away from the camera, grimaces in anticipation.

Moments later, according to Khaled, a shot rang out, and the bearded man’s neck spurted blood “like fire.” The young man in the track pants ran away, and Khaled, originally trained as a maxillofacial surgeon, approached to check the fallen man’s pulse. He appeared dead. Too shocked to take more pictures, Khaled began to cry. Soon after, the man’s comrades - members or supporters of the Brotherhood - arrived and loaded his body into a car.

“With our hands, we’ll take his rights,” they told Khaled.

Many images of brutal violence committed by both sides emerged from the fighting in the capital’s Moqattam district, perched on a plateau overlooking the city from the east, but none so striking as the attack on the bearded man. Never before had someone associated with the anti-Brotherhood opposition been so clearly caught in an act of lopsided aggression.

“When the protester becomes the thug,” read a caption written by activist Ahmad Aggour, one of many who reposted Khaled’s photograph on Facebook

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