‏إظهار الرسائل ذات التسميات MB. إظهار كافة الرسائل
‏إظهار الرسائل ذات التسميات MB. إظهار كافة الرسائل


23 Vintage Photos of Egypt’s Golden Years

 A woman reading a magazine in the 1950s
A woman reading a magazine in the 1950s
By Mohamed Khairat, Founder, EgyptianStreets.com
Egypt in the 1900s was a different place. Egyptian cinema was the third largest in the world, Cairo was a city that foreigners dreamt of spending their holidays exploring, Egyptian music flourished and shook the world, Jews, Muslims and Christians lived together as neighbours, and women had freedoms that were unheard of in many other countries.
Egypt was a place of liberal spirits, unhampered by sectarian and ethnic prejudices. The rights of men, women and children were championed.
Yet, all that has changed, and often may Egyptians forget the Egypt that used to be. Here are 23 photographs of vintage advertisements and other images that will teleport you to Egypt’s ‘golden years’ and show you an Egypt you may have forgotten ever existed.
(These photographs are available thanks to ‘Vintage Egypt. Click here for more)



This magazine cover of Egyptian actress Shadia in 1961 after a trip to Tokyo has her boldly declaring that Japan does not respect women. A lot has changed: in 2013, Egypt was ranked among the ‘worst places to be a woman.’


An advertisement for children's toys at Omar Effendi, a popular department store, in 1948.
An advertisement for children’s toys at Omar Effendi, a popular department store, in 1948.
Kissing of any kind in Egypt is nowadays frowned upon. Once upon a time, ‘love’ was freely expressed on the silver screen. This is almost unheard of today.


A Vespa advertisement from 1950 showing the Cairo Citadel.
A Vespa advertisement from 1950 showing the Cairo Citadel.
Women driving cars in Cairo face numerous problems today: not only is the traffic suffocating, but the cat-calls and the harassment that many endure while in the comfort of their cars has become a daily occurrence for many. Imagine a woman driving a Vespa in the middle of Cairo.


A teacher in Aswan with her students in 1966
Recently, a young woman was harassed at Cairo University for wearing a pink sweater and black pants and not covering her long blonde hair. Yet, decades ago, skirts attracted little to no such harassment.


An advertisement for Benzion department store
Benzion department store was founded in Cairo by Moise Levy de Benzion, a Sephardic Jew who had lived in Egypt. Benzion’s legacy, however, ended while he was in Europe during World War II. Benzion was captured and killed in a camp by the Nazis. Shortly after his death, the government ran the department store until it shut down several years later. The idea of a Jewish department store in Egypt will likely surprise many: a few years ago Sainsbury’s was forced to shut down over rumours that the owner was Jewish spread like wildfire in Egypt.


A photograph taken at a public beach in Egypt in 1964.
Swimwear fashion has changed worldwide. Men and women in swimsuits enjoying the sand and the water at a public beach in 1964. You do not want to see what a public beach looks like these days.

7. BEER!

A 1961 advertisement for Stella
Basically: alcohol advertisements are no longer in existence in Egypt. Last year, alcohol was almost completely banned from the country by the now-removed Islamist government.


A propaganda piece promoting Ex-President Nasser in 1965
Gamal Abdel Nasser was hailed during his reign as the man who stood up against imperialism and the man behind the idea of ‘Pan-Arabism.’ He attempted to adopt a ‘socialist (Nasserist)’ economic policy in Egypt and attempted to unite the Arabs in a scheme similar to the European Union.



These are groups of Egyptian women at a political rally in Assiut. Not a single woman was wearing the veil or a baggy dress, yet they were considered to have been dressed appropriately and were not attacked for their fashion.


Egyptian women volunteer to bear arms in 1956
Egyptian women volunteer to bear arms in 1956
Egyptian women volunteered in 1956 to bear arms in resistance to a joint Israeli-French-British attack, after Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal in what became known as the 1956 Suez Crisis. Today, Egyptian women do not participate in the military (unless its in an administrative role).


1957 Military Propaganda
1957 Military Propaganda
If you drive around Cairo today, you’ll find plenty of similar propaganda: soldiers holding children, a child with a flower, and many more.


Propaganda from 1956
This piece of propaganda shows a man with the Egyptian Eagle on his arm turning over the page to a bright future that hails “justice,” “democracy,” “elections,” and the “military”. The previous page included feudalism, imperialism, and traditionalism. Did Egypt achieve democracy and elections? Well…


Om Kalthoum’s funeral in 1975
When Om Kalthoum died in 1975, heartbreak erupted across Egypt, the Arab World and the globe. Decades after her death, she is still regarded as the greatest female Arabic singer in history.


A newspaper article on the Cairo Swimsuit Competition in 1948
For a woman in Egypt to wear a swimsuit these days, she has to be at a private beach, a private pool, or at a private residence. Imagine what would happen if we re-introduced the Cairo Swimsuit Competition.


Egyptian Cola Advertisement: 100% Egyptian
Egyptian Cola Advertisement: 100% Egyptian
At some point in history, Egypt was not only producing cars and appliances, but also its own version of Coca-Cola.


Actress Magda in a Coca-Cola ad in 1952
‘Egypt Cola’ no longer exists: we now have Coca-Cola and Pepsi!


Ramsees – the first Egyptian and Arab car in 1954
Like the Coca-Cola, Egypt also decided to produce automobiles. While the industry did not end up surviving, it does show the potential future economic capabilities of Egypt.


A 1956 Beauty Competition
A 1956 Beauty Competition
This is an interesting article. It proclaims “Seven Queens in the Republic!” We rarely hear of Miss Egypt these days. In 1954, Miss Egypt Antigone Costanda won the coveted Miss World title.


An advertisement for soap in 1960 in the city of Tanta
Have you been to Tanta recently? If someone were to replicate this advertisement today, it would likely be torched.


A photograph of two women talking at Mukattam (Cairo) in 1948
Cairo was not always a concrete jungle.


Vogue model Tatjana Patiz at a Cafe in Cairo in 1992
Vogue model Tatjana Patitz at a Cafe in Cairo in 1992
The early 1990′s were perhaps Egypt’s last few ‘good’ years before rapid economic and social deterioration. While this does not show much, it is an enjoyable photograph of a world-wide famous model, Tatjana Patitz, enjoying herself with some locals at a cafe.


Cairo University in 1960
Cairo University in 1960
Education in Egypt in the mid 1900′s was considered to be among the best in the world, and especially in the Arab world. Queens, Kings, Princes and Princesses would all travel to Egypt for education.


A Marlboro ad from 1960s
If there is one thing that has not changed, it’s Egypt’s smoking culture. The biggest shift has been the move away from cigarettes and towards shisha. However, Egyptians are still known for their smoking habits decades after this advertisement.


A 1951 magazine pagez
A 1951 magazine pagea


#Morsi dressed in white prison uniform #egypt #MB

Newspapers in Egypt have released photographs of deposed President Mohammed Morsi dressed in white prison uniform at Burj Al-Arab prison where he is being held.
The former Islamist President appears to be smiling for the camera, despite ob
--> jections to wearing the white outfit during his trial when he stated that the court and the trial are illegitimate.

In response to the photographs, the Muslim Brotherhood has called on supporters of Morsi to 'dress in white' and to 'dress their families in white' in solidarity with the deposed President.

What are your thoughts on the Muslim Brotherhood's call? Does it simply ignore the fact that all other prisoners - including those from the Mubarak regime - must wear such outfits too?


How #Egypt Is Systematically Hunting Down The #Muslim_Brotherhood

The show had just started. It was one of those debates that the new private Egyptian channels love to produce: Viewers can call in to denounce a terrorist, live on air.
In front of his television, Yasser was listening to the host describe an “individual who seriously affects the image of the country.” The host repeated his name, again and again, so the audience wouldn’t forget. At that moment, on his couch, Yasser suddenly realized that this “terrorist” for whom the hunt was now on was him: a 40-year-old father of two who works at a conference center used by the Freedom and Justice Party, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political organization in Egypt.

His wife told him right away, “You have to leave.” 
But he refused, saying he “hasn't done anything wrong.”
Last year, Yasser and his wife gave up a comfortable situation in Dubai to return to Cairo, filled with enthusiasm after then-President Mohamed Morsi’s election and the arrival of an Islamist government. Over the summer, the Egyptian Army violently removed the elected leaders, and these last few weeks, the repression has become more judicial than military, as it was at the outset. At least 1,700 people have been arrested and placed in 15 police precincts and four prisons of the capital, according to an investigation carried out by an association of lawyers.
On his couch, Yasser can hardly believe that the police will come to arrest him. “Why me? The police only target high-ranking members.” And his wife: “Your colleagues have already left, haven’t they?” Former prominent ministers or more obscure Muslim Brotherhood members have been forced by the hundreds into hiding.
In Cairo, life seems almost normal after a summer of riots and mourning. Security checkpoints have been eased, and hotels have been openly organizing “special curfew” nights. The atmosphere, however, remains electric. The Egyptian capital is still on high alert. News flashes appear hourly on mobile phones.
We learn that Morsi, the deposed president, will be tried for “incitement to murder,” though the date of the trial is unclear. The first pro-Morsi demonstrators’ trial just took place before a military court in Suez, and the sentences are breathtaking — 10 to 15 years’ imprisonment, and a life sentence for one.
“There’s clearly a particular hostility toward Islamists,” says Amr Hassan, a lawyer. He is 29 and looks nothing like what someone might imagine an Islamist sympathizer would.
In 2011, Hassan founded a legal collective for defending demonstrators arrested on Tahrir Square in the struggle against then-President Hosni Mubarak’s regime. This time, the ones calling him are families of those who were among the truckloads of Morsi supporters raided by the police during last summer’s sit-ins.
Hassan says that, on a legal level at least, the fight is at least as hard as in 2011. “Many are being sued for weapon possession or for murder, which was not the case for Tahrir Square,” he explains. “Do you know what the most surprising part is? The official reports accuse them of having not only fired shots against the police, but also ‘inadvertently’ against their own troops.”
Abdallah Fattif, vice president of the Egyptian Judges’ Club, defends the charges. “All the procedures are legal. There have maybe been excesses concerning the intensity of the use of force, but [you] have to understand, we had no choice.”
The club’s headquarters has been located in the same elegant building for decades. It is the only official federation for judicial authorities in Egypt. “The new authorities first planned on banning the Freedom and Justice Party, maybe even the Muslim Brotherhood,” Fattif says. “It finally preferred the criminal prosecutions to the political ones. We have now entered a context of war on terrorism.”
Some 150 judges — out of 50,000 — signed a manifesto supporting Morsi when he was in power. Since his destitution, their cases have been taken away from them, and investigations will decide about their professional suspension. At least a dozen of them are also on the run.
Sending a message
It was around 5 a.m. a few days earlier, when Yasser and his wife heard the police cars driving up the street, escorted by young informants from the area pointing out their house. The whole neighborhood had gotten out of their beds and assembled to see men in dark face masks banging on Yasser’s door, as if they were issuing a general warning: “This is what can happen to you.”
Yasser had stayed. He had no backup plan, and no one to call.
In the streets of Cairo, after each Friday prayer, the Morsi supporters try reassembling their numbers to demonstrate. Between 10,000 and 40,000 people — depending on the weeks — march in a capital, otherwise on lockdown. Still, it's nothing compared with last summer’s explosion of violence.
In this security-driven context, the tone has also changed. Foreign journalists are now welcomed into the country. Women shake hands without anybody making comments. People smile at them and look them straight in the eye, even if their arms are uncovered.
It is here, in the middle of this visible crowd, that Bachir risks going out. He introduces himself with a small, almost teasing smile. He is a pharmacy technician, a longstanding activist in Islamist politics and, since July, coordinator of the Youth Against Coup Movement. Convinced he is being followed, he has not returned to his house for a number of days.
“While the Muslim Brotherhood has spent the larger part of their history in secrecy, no strategy whatsoever had been prepared in the case of any problem,” Bachir says. “It shows the Brotherhood’s incompetence and the disaster that they created by taking power. What a mistake!”
Around him, he recognizes at least “200 people, some of them living in secret like I am.” That day, in the heat and swarm of the demonstration, meetings are arranged under cover. News travels fast. The spokesmen of the new Youth Against Coup Movement have also been rounded up. Since the arrests of Morsi’s assistants, the ministerial staff, chosen during the Brotherhood’s time in power, is currently fleeing en masse. “We no longer have a leader,” another member says. “We are poorly organized. Luckily,
A military helicopter flies over the demonstration. The crowd breaks into applause, as if it were the last recognition of their strength, the proof that their history is not yet finished.
“The army has done good by wanting to do bad,” Bachir says. “A whole generation of Brotherhood members is about to retire, enabling young ones to take over.” That sly little smile is back: “Never mind the exorbitant price. I don’t think it is a problem if we have to pay it.”
A few members of the former government — such as the minister of youth — know that an arrest warrant hangs over them. Some find out by accident, while others are completely denied any due process. By now, most of them have vanished.
“In fact, nobody understands anything about the situation. This confusion maintains the state of panic,” another lawyer, also in charge of cases, explains. “Apart from the arrests at the top, such as the head of the government or the Brotherhood’s Supreme Leader, the new authorities are giving the impression that they are striking randomly anyone they can get their hands on, at the top or at the bottom, with a preference maybe for those who are closest to the media.”
The lawyer says he is deeply committed to the Islamist movement. Like all his fellow members, he refuses to consider that those on the run could turn to violence, “except of course those who are isolated.” And with so many hiding around town? He seems more and more distressed, not being able to answer. He starts asking himself questions: “What if the army had set up this operation to force us to take up arms and really turn us into terrorists?”
He gets up and comes back with a stack of paper. “Take them!” He speaks as if he had just been convicted, as if he were leaving his most precious belongings before the fatal moment. His lips tremble a bit under his trimmed moustache. The only sound left to be heard is Cairo’s deafening traffic against the office windows. “I’m expecting them too: They will come to arrest me.” 
In the Cairo streets, portraits of Army General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the nation's new military strongman, are posted on every shop. Yasser eventually fled, at the last moment. He is sitting in a café near the Nile. His eyes glance in every direction without being able to settle on anything. “Everything will get back to normal, won’t it? Do you think we will get the government back?” His phone rings. It’s his mother. He immediately starts lying. “I’m staying with friends. I’m safe. Pray for us.”
Then a message appears on mobile phones all over the city: a car bomb has just exploded outside the Ministry of the Interior.

About this article source Website: http://www.lemonde.fr/

Islamists in #Egypt

Since the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak, Islamists and liberals have quarreled over the country’s religious tenor.

 Sept. 2011

Mohammad Tolba, 32, seen here leading a prayer, founded Salafyo Costa shortly after the revolution. The movement, named after a popular, upscale coffeehouse chain, seeks to improve the image of Salafists, conservative Muslims who were demonized by the former regime.

 Nov. 18, 2011
For months, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has driven with fierce determination and the fundamentalist group is expected to dominate in the parliamentary elections.

 Nov. 18, 2011
But the Brotherhood stayed on the sidelines of last week's furious protests, hurting its image among many Egyptians, and the chaos will undermine the legitimacy of the vote no matter who the winner.

 Nov. 19, 2011 A protester gestures as Egyptian riot police stand guard in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt

 Nov. 20, 2011
An Egyptian policeman gestures under a banner supporting Ashraf Mustafa Hussien, an ultraconservative Salafi candidate for the Parliamentary elections, in Cairo, Egypt.

July 29, 2011
Tens of thousands of Egyptians packed Tahrir Square, with Islamist groups dominating a demonstration that had been intended to show unity during a fragile transition from ousted president Hosni Mubarak's regime.

July 29, 2011
An Egyptian protester waves a Saudi Arabian flag at Tahrir Square. Thousands gathered to show that Islamists and secularists were united in wanting change, though divisions remain on how hard to press the military rulers about the pace and depth of reforms. Muslim chants such as "There is no God but God" and "Islamiya, Islamiya" dominated. Some waved banners saying "Islamic Egypt."

July 29, 2011
A protester from a Salafist group shouts Koranic verses as he holds an Egyptian flag with the words, "There is no God but God and Mohammad is his prophet" in Tahrir Square.

July 29, 2011
Egyptian veiled women wave an Egyptian flag under their sun shade at Tahrir Square, the focal point of the Egyptian uprising, in Cairo. Thousands rallied seeking to unify their demands despite rifts over key issues between liberal activists and Islamist groups.

July 29, 2011
Egyptian demonstrators rally in downtown Cairo's Tahrir square.


Ansar Beit al-Maqdis claims responsibility for bomb targeting #Egypt minister

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis claims responsibility for Tuesday attempt on interior minister's life

An Al-Qaeda-inspired group based in Egypt's Sinai has said it was behind a bombing that targeted the interior minister in a failed assassination attempt, a statement on militant Islamist forums said.
"God has allowed your brothers in Ansar Beit al-Maqdis to shatter the security organisation of the murderer Mohamed Ibrahim through a martyrdom operation," the group said in the online statement, pledging further attacks.
A car bomb ripped through the interior minister's convoy as he was leaving home for work on Thursday, killing one person.

Ibrahim, who was travelling in an armoured car, was unscathed.
In the statement, the militant group which has in the past claimed attacks against neighbouring Israel, apologised "for not killing the tyrant", threatening another attack against him and army chief Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
The group blamed both men for the killings of hundreds of Islamist supporters of president Mohamed Morsi, overthrown by the military in a popularly backed coup on 3 July.
"We vow to God to avenge all those who killed Muslims and assaulted their honour, the foremost being Sisi and Mohamed Ibrahim," the statement said.
"We call on all Muslims in Egypt to stay away from all military and interior ministry installations to preserve their lives," it added.

Jamaa'at Ansaar Bait Al-Maqdis: And If You Return We Return


The Curfew Hours #Egypt

With Egypt on curfew, daily routines can quickly into dangerous encounters.

As violence continued to rise in Egypt’s streets, the interim government imposed a curfew across the nation. 
All alone, without access to food and people outside his war zone-like neighbourhood, Amin is spending his days surfing the Internet, feeling the rage growing inside him.
“Yes, it is not fun. I walked around two hours before I found a shop that sold biscuits,” he says before adding that people have warned him from taking to the streets. “I went to see the carnage, but everyone told me to get as far away from the zoo as possible, which is impossible, since I live across the street from it.”
Usually at this time of year, Amin enjoys his last days of summer holiday at Sharm El Sheikh or the North Coast. Now he does not even dare to go outside his house.
 And he is not the only one, restaurant owner Ahmed Saafan reports from the North Coast.
“Last weekend it was almost full here. Tonight it is nearly empty,” said Ahmed Saarfan, blaming the lack of customers on fear.
“After the MB were removed from their protest sites and declared war by opening fire in the streets, people became too scared to travel,” explains Ahmed. “Cairo has become a prison.”

#HRW #Egypt: Mass Attacks on Churches

Egyptian authorities should take the necessary steps to protect churches and religious institutions against mob attacks, Human Rights Watch said today. Since August 14, 2013, attackers have torched and looted scores of churches and Christian property across the country, leaving at least four people dead. Authorities should also investigate why security forces were largely absent or failed to intervene even when they had been informed of ongoing attacks.

Immediately following the violent dispersal of the Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins in Cairo on August 14, crowds of men attacked at least 42 churches, burning or damaging 37, as well as dozens of other Christian religious institutions in the governorates of Minya, Asyut, Fayum, Giza, Suez, Sohag, Bani Suef, and North Sinai. Human Rights Watch has verified with family members and a lawyer that at least three Coptic Christians and one Muslim were killed as a result of sectarian attacks in Dalga, Minya city, and Cairo.

“For weeks, everyone could see these attacks coming, with Muslim Brotherhood members accusing Coptic Christians of a role in Mohammad Morsy’s ouster, but the authorities did little or nothing to prevent them,” said Joe Stork, acting Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Now dozens of churches are smoldering ruins, and Christians throughout the country are hiding in their homes, afraid for their very lives.”

 Human Rights Watch spoke with 43 witnesses, priests, and Coptic activists, who confirmed the attacks on 42 churches, dozens of Christian institutions and schools, and Coptic-owned business and homes. Human Rights Watch visited 11 sites in Minya city and Bani Suef, where attacks took place, and spoke to the head of the security directorate for Minya governorate.

In the vast majority of the 42 cases Human Rights Watch documented, neither the police nor the military were present at the start or during the attack. In one case, in Dalga, a village in southern Minya governorate, residents said that men had attacked the local police station around the same time. In Kirdassa, Giza, west of Cairo, an activist said that mobs attacked the local police station, killing15 officers according to the Associated Press, before attacking Al-Mallak church. A priest in Malawi, a town in Minya governorate south of Minya city, told Human Rights Watch that he called emergency services and police multiple times while mobs burned his church, but no one came. Another Dalga resident said that on August 16 the governor promised to send armored personnel carriers to protect Copts from ongoing violence, but that none came.

“We [church officials] spoke to the prime minister, minister of interior, and a military official asking them to intervene,” Coptic Bishop General of Minya Anba Makarios told Human Rights Watch on August 19. He said the officials promised to send protection, but it never arrived.

In Hadeyeq Helwan, 30 kilometers south of Cairo, a resident told Human Rights Watch that one armored personnel carrier finally arrived on the afternoon of August 17, a day after the St. George Church there came under attack.

Residents in Minya city told Human Rights Watch that in the week following Morsy’s removal from the presidency on July 3, someone had spray-painted Coptic-owned store fronts in Minya’s city center with a black “X” to distinguish them from Muslim-owned buildings. Those marked subsequently came under attack.

The attacks come after weeks of sectarian discourse by Muslim Brotherhood supporters at the Nahda and Rab’a al-Adawiya sit-ins in which speakers claimed or insinuated a link between Copts and Morsy’s removal. One speaker, Assem Abdel Magid, said on July 24,“Copts and communists are supporting Sisi in the killing of Muslims.” A YouTube video of a pro-Morsy march on July 12 shows marchers chanting “Islamic Islamic despite the Christians” while passing a church.

Some Muslim Brotherhood leaders have condemned the recent sectarian attacks. On August 16, Dr. Mourad Ali, spokesman of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, released a statement that said, “Pursuant to our party’s indivisible principles, we strongly condemn any attack, even verbal, against Copts, their churches or their property.”

Others however have suggested a Coptic role in the ongoing crackdown on the group. On the afternoon of August 14, the Freedom and Justice Party Helwan Branch posted a statement on the group’s Facebook page accusing Pope Tawadros, the religious leader of the Egyptian Coptic community,of participating in Morsy’s removal and of inciting Copts to block roads, encircle mosques, and storm them. The message ended with, “For every action there is a reaction.” On August 16, the Muslim Brotherhood website published a story with the headline,“The police and the church open fire on the al-Haram march at Giza tunnel and Murad Street.” Several residents and clergy in areas where church attacks occurred said that local religious leaders incited groups to attack churches.

Sectarian attacks against Christians had increased even before the August 14 action against the camps. On July 5, following Morsy’s ouster on July 3, four Copts were killed in Luxor governorate. On July 23, Human Rights Watch called on the Egyptian authorities to take steps to protect Christians, investigate attacks, and hold those responsible to account.

“While a few Muslim Brotherhood leaders have condemned these attacks, they also need to tell the group’s followers to stop inciting violence by insinuating that the Coptic minority is responsible for the crackdown,” Stork said.

Sectarian Attacks Since August 14
Most of the attacks occurred in Upper Egypt. John Sameer, 21, a resident of Minya city, 250 kilometers south of Cairo, told Human Rights Watch that at 10 a.m. on August 14, he saw crowds of thousands of men on trucks and on foot approaching his neighborhood chanting anti-Christian slogans directly aimed at the Egyptian Coptic community. “Tawadros, you are a coward for the Americans” and “Tawadros, you coward, get your dogs out of the square,” he said they chanted, referring to the head of the church and the participation of Christians in June 30 protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square calling for Morsy’s removal from power.

Sameer said that the crowd attacked the al-Amir Tadros Coptic Church that afternoon, breaking in and taking the church safe, then setting the building ablaze. Sameer, who went to the scene to observe, said that men around the church were carrying Molotov cocktails and that at least five had assault rifles, but they did not attack him. Sameer followed the men as they attacked and burned approximately 20 shops, three other churches, the Coptic boys’ school complex, the Saint Joseph’s girls’ school, the Gunud al-Maseeh orphanage, and the Jesuit community center. Sameer said that security forces were absent throughout the incident, and emergency vehicles and firefighters did not come to extinguish the fires despite calls for help.

Philimon Sameer, John’s brother, 24, told Human Rights Watch that he approached al-Amir Tadros Coptic Church at around 3 p.m. to try to save it, but that four bearded men threw rocks at him and other Copts trying to extinguish the fire. He said no police or security services came to stop the attack, despite the fact that the church is 20 meters from the Minya governorate’s security directorate. He said he saw several Christian institutions and Christian-owned businesses in the area looted and burning, including the al-Anba Arsanious Hall church building, the Roxy supermarket, the Rozina Café, and the YMCA building. No one was injured in these attacks, he said.

Father Bernaba at the Mar Meena Coptic Church in Minya city told Human Rights Watch that a large crowd attacked his church on the afternoon of August 14, setting fire to the church clinic and services building, and damaging the front exterior of the church itself. He said that security forces and police did not come to stop the attack. At midnight, however, when attackers returned, security forces dispatched an armored personnel carrier. It deterred the attackers, who moved away from the church.

Wissam Mamduh, 19, a resident of Sohag city, 450 kilometers south of Cairo, told Human Rights Watch that at 9 a.m. on August 14, he observed a group of approximately 150 men march from a sit-in at Thaqafa square toward the St. George Coptic Church nearby, chanting “Islamic Islamic,” a common chant by proponents of an Islamic state. After storming and looting the church, the men set it on fire. He said that the men also attacked and burned dozens of Coptic-owned businesses and homes in the area. The security services did not arrive for another two hours, after everything was on fire, he said.

In Dalga, a village in southern Minya governorate, three witnesses told Human Rights Watch that mobs attacked churches and Coptic homes as soon as the news of the Cairo sit-in dispersal reached residents of the town. Gamil Nagih, 21, said that at 7:45 a.m. he heard the imam of a nearby mosque announce over the mosque loudspeakers, “Go help your brothers in Rab’a.” At 9 a.m. he said, he saw thousands of men gathering outside Saints Mary and Ibram church. The men broke the through doors while shouting “Islamic, Islamic,” he said. The attackers then looted the church and set it on fire. The attackers also torched 20 Coptic homes and looted and burned Coptic-owned shops in the area, he said.

Human Rights Watch visited the remains of the Franciscan girl’s school and church in Bani Suef, 125 kilometers south of Cairo, which a mob attacked and burned on August 14. Father Boulos Fahmy, a Catholic priest affiliated with the school, said that at around 9 a.m. the nuns, who were alone at the school, contacted him by phone telling him that a mob was threatening the school. He notified the police, who sent a car to deter the attackers but it departed less than an hour later after a nearby police station came under attack, he said. The men returned soon after, looting and setting fire to the school and church. The men forced three nuns to leave the school and walked them through nearby streets, verbally abusing them. Local Muslim residents rescued the nuns from the mob and escorted them away to safety.

Another Dalga resident, Sameer Lamie, 31, told Human Rights Watch that a crowd of men gathered outside his home before 9 a.m. A group of armed men eventually broke down his door and entered his house. He said the men shot his cousin Iskandar Doss twice, while Lamie, his mother, and Doss’s wife and daughter-in-law escaped by climbing to the roof. Lamie said the attackers fired birdshot at him, hitting him in his side with 13 pellets, and they hit his mother with a pellet under her eye. Lamie said he learned later that Doss died of his wounds. He said that no security forces or police arrived during the attack.

In Minya city, residents, family members, and the Christian owner of the Mermaid boat restaurant, along the Minya city corniche, told Human Rights Watch that two Mermaid employees – Bishoy Mikhail, a Copt, and Ihab Ali Ahmed, a Muslim – died while hiding in the bathroom of the boat after a mob set it on fire. Human Rights Watch researchers visited the boat on August 19 and viewed the charred remains of shoes, pants, and a mobile phone on the floor of the bathroom.

An employee of a neighboring boat restaurant, Al-Dahabiya, told Human Rights Watch that at 11 a.m. he heard a commotion at the Mermaid boat. He said: “I called the administration and told them, and at 11:15 a.m. I saw flames coming out of the boat, and then a group of 70 people approached and said they would burn the [Dahabiya] boat too.” When he asked them for a safe exit, they told him to jump into the Nile with his staff and swim away. When he responded that some staff could not swim, the men allowed him and the staff to leave unharmed from the front entrance. He said the men then torched the Dahabiya boat restaurant.

A Coptic shop owner in the Cairo neighborhood of Ezbet al-Nakhl died from gunshot wounds after a group of men attacked his shop, next to the Abu Siffin church, activists from the Maspero Youth Union told Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch could not confirm the man’s death with family members.

In spite of the four deaths, most residents with whom Human Rights Watch spoke in Minya city said that attackers targeted buildings instead of people.

Attacks on Police and Police Response
Church clergy throughout Upper Egypt expressed frustration and desperation that security services did not quickly intervene to stop the widespread attacks. The pastor of the al-Mashyakhiya Evangelical Church in Malawi, a village in Minya governorate, told Human Rights Watch that he watched as attackers looted and burned his church on the afternoon of August 16. He said:
At 5:30 p.m., around 200 people came and started shooting at the church, they entered and looted the halls, the church, a seven-story building, and set it all ablaze. They took everything, all the equipment, furniture, everything. I called the police and army on their hotlines ... no one came, the church is gone…
Bishop Makarios told Human Rights Watch that authorities failed to protect churches despite repeated warnings, and that on August 19, five days after the attacks, police still had not returned to the streets in adequate numbers since the morning August 14.

Ishak Ibrahim, a researcher with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, told Human Rights Watch that a group of men attacked a police station in Kirdassa, Giza, before moving on to loot and burn al-Mallak church. The Associated Press, which interviewed the sole police officer who survived the attack, reported that the mob killed 15 officers and then mutilated their bodies. A YouTube video purportedly filmed after the attack shows a group of officers lying on the ground in pools of blood.

Maj. Gen. Abdelaziz Qura, head of the Minya security directorate, told Human Rights Watch that on August 14, when news of the sit-in dispersal reach Minya, “groups simultaneously attacked police stations and some churches in Minya. They were shooting live fire at security forces, and the security forces did not leave their positions because they didn’t want anyone to free the prisoners [held in police stations], like what happened in January 2011.” He said that groups attacked 12 police stations in Minya governorate, six of which they burned to the ground, and that attackers killed 13 police officers and wounded another 30 with live fire. He said that police have arrested 41 men in Minya, some of whom he believes belong to Islamist groups, and that prosecutors have initiated investigations of all church attacks.

Qura confirmed that security forces had not moved to protect Christian-owned buildings and churches since August 14, saying that police could not deploy at full strength without assistance from military armored personnel carriers, but that he expected the security situation to improve by August 21.

According to Reuters, at least 100 members of the security forces have been killed throughout Egypt in attacks on police stations and check points or in clashes with protesters since August 14. The authorities should investigate such violence and ensure criminal accountability, with due judicial process, of those found responsible, Human Rights Watch said.

Incitement to Attack Christian-Owned Buildings and Churches
In addition to Islamist rhetoric relating to support by Copts for Morsy’s removal, residents and priests told Human Rights Watch that local groups and religious leaders also incited groups to target Christians. At least 10 residents in Minya city told Human Rights Watch that in the week following Morsy’s removal, someone spray-painted a black X on Coptic-owned store fronts in Minya’s city center to distinguish them from Muslim-owned buildings.

Human Rights Watch researchers observed these markings on August 19 on many of the damaged businesses. One Christian shop owner in Minya, Alfons Massoud, 70, said that at 3:30 p.m. on August 14 young boys with knives and between 20 and 30 bearded men with guns attacked and burned a neighboring shop bearing the X mark. He said that they torched his shop after seeing that it had a Coptic name.

Bishop Makarios told Human Rights Watch that he heard local mosque preachers inciting sectarian attacks when the sit-in was being dispersed, saying “Islam is in danger, the infidels will eradicate Islam, go defend your brothers in Rab’a.” He noted that approximately 80 churches in the area had received anonymous phone calls warning of impending attacks against them in the week leading up to August 14.

A witness told Human Rights Watch that an imam at a mosque in the Cairo neighborhood of Maasara called over the mosque loudspeakers for the eviction of Coptic residents. Mina Lamie, 29, a neighborhood resident, said that on August 15 he heard the imam say, “The Copts are behind all of this, they participated on June 30 ... we have to burn the churches.” He said that at 11:30 p.m. thousands gathered and began chanting, “The people demand the eviction of the Copts.” No churches in the area were actually attacked, Lamie said.

List of Churches Burned or Damaged Since August 14
  1. Al-Amir Tadros Coptic Church
  2. Al-Anba Mousa Church 
  3. Evangelical Church  
  4. Al-Rasuliya Apostolic Church
  5. Mar Meena Coptic Church
  6. Mar Meena Church 
  7. Evangelical Church 
  8. Baptist Church
  9. Saints Mary and Ibram Coptic Church
  10. Al-Mashyakhiya Evangelical Church
  11. Good Shepherd Catholic Church and School
  12. Mar Yohanna Church  
  13. Adventist Church   
  14. Al-Rasuliyya Church 
  15. Mar Gergas Coptic Church
  16. al-Qowsiyya Bishopric and Chruch
  17. Evangelical Church  
  18. St. Therese Church  
  19. Nahdet al-Qadasa church
  20. St. George Coptic Church and Diocesan Office
  21. St. Mary Church   
  22. St. Mary Church   
  23. Al-Amir Tadros al-Shatbi Church
  24. Al-Shaheeda Damyana Church
  25. Evangelical Church   
  26. Al-Amir Tadros Church  
  27. Al-Mallak Church   
  28. St. Mary Church   
  29. Karmet al-Rosul Church  
  30. St. Mary Church   
  31. Al-Younaniyya al-Qadeema Church
  32. Good Shepherd Catholic Church and School
  33. Saviour’s Anglican Church
  34. Franciscan Church and School
  35. Mar Gerges Church
  36. Mar Gerges Church Services Building
  37. Franciscan Catholic Church and School
Churches Attacked, Not Damaged
  1. Al-Malak Church  
  2. Abu Teeg Bishopric
  3. Franciscan Church and School 
  4. St. George Hadayeq Church
  5. Abu Sifin Church   

Minya city
Minya city
Minya city
Minya city
Minya city
Minya – Bani Mazar
Minya – Bani Mazar
Minya – Bani Mazar
Minya – Dalga
Minya – Malawi
Minya – Malawi
Asyut city
Asyut city
Asyut city
Asyut city
Asyut city
Asyut city
Asyut city
Asyut city
Sohag city
Fayum city
Fayum – al-Manzala
Fayum – al-Manzala
Fayum – al-Zurbi Village
Fayum – al-Zurbi Village
Fayum – al-Sarg, Ebshway
Giza – Kirdassa
Giza – Deir Hakim
Giza – Atfih
Giza – al-Mansouriya
Suez city
Suez city
Suez city
Suez city
North Sinai – Al-Areesh
Bani Suef – al-Wasita
Bani Suef city

Asyut city
Asyut city
Asyut city
Helwan city
Cairo – Ezbet al-Nakhl