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Nawara Negm’s Testimony

شهادة نوارة نجم باللغة العربية

corpses of martyrs - photographed by: Moataz Zaki

Yes, what has happened at Maspero is a massacre by all means. I’m writing this while having just returned from the Coptic hospital after going into the morgue, and seeing the corpses of heaven’s grooms, Christians and Muslims, lying on the floor and I swear to God that there was a smile upon their faces, as if they were asleep. Up till now, what I know is that the martyrs have exceeded 35, susceptible to increasing.

I arrived at Maspero at exactly 6:30 pm, I saw blood all over the street, women screaming, men being carried away – dead and alive on the verge of dying – in ambulances, empty bullet casings on the ground and in the hands of some protesters yelling: “Is this the army who protects us?” I kept going until I reached the front lines in Sahel Al-Ghilal street, and I felt strange movement in the direction of the Corniche, so I went back to find some of the injured being moved into “Ramses Hilton” hotel, and some corpses being moved into the ambulance, then I went to the Corniche street to find a massive torrent of tear gas.

We kept going back and forth to escape the security forces and the army, until the sudden appearance of a group of “honourable citizens” who chased us to Ramses street. We walked until we reached Abdul Men’am Riyad square and found some of the “honourable citizens” throwing stones at the demonstrators who scattered, while other demonstrators tried to convince them that they did not attack the army.

Then suddenly, the honourable citizens started shouting “Muslims and Christians; one hand” as they joined the demonstration, and we all walked back to Maspero. There, demonstrators were divided into two; those who yelled “Muslims and Christians; one hand” and those who yelled “Islamic, Islamic”. As for the security forces and the army, they disappeared behind the lines of “honourable citizens” whose moodiness and emotional inconsistencies everyone noticed: “We aren’t here to attack you, do you think we’d attack our brothers? We are here to protect the army… Because three of the army men are dead, the TV said so!”

God is my witness that I have seen the most corpses I have ever seen throughout my life on that day, corpses that outnumber the ones I saw on January the 28th, provided I haven’t seen a single corpse of a soldier, and there were no armed civilians, neither the demonstrators nor the “honourable citizens” of whom one approached me asking “So, where are the armed Christians? I came out to protect the army because they said that Christians were shooting them, and I arrived to find the army shooting everyone, Muslims attacking one another, and Christians attacking one another, and no one knows anything, so, what’s the deal?”

And God bears witness to what I say: No one was armed but the army and the police, and there is no way that anyone could be murdered but with their bullets. I also haven’t seen any snipers, and if the army claims to have arrested snipers who opened fire on them, I have no reply but the marshal’s historical answer “this is a possibility”, but I haven’t seen them although I was present right in the heart of all action. I asked the honourable citizen who had come to protect the army “Protect them from what? The tanks ran over the people, they even opened fire and the empty bullet casings are still there. Moreover, do you pay them salaries to protect them yourself or are they supposed to protect you?” He remained silent and seemed messed up.

A march of “honourable citizens” coming from October bridge near Hilton Ramses burst in on us and they were yelling “Islamic, Islamic” and “Hold your head up high, you’re a Muslim”, following them a formation of central security forces, and another of army soldiers.

Some of the demonstrators approached them, so a central security soldier caught one of the men’s hands and looked at it to find a cross, so he pushed him towards the honourable citizens shouting “Christian!”. The honourable citizens dragged him to the start of Sahel Al-Ghilal s

Street and beat him brutally.

A friend of mine and I went to rescue him, and my friend yelled “Is this the prophet’s commandment upon your brothers?” so an honourable citizen punched her in the eye.

Some of the honourable citizens who were shocked not to find the armed Christians who the TV had told them about volunteered to rescue the Christian from the hands of those who almost killed him. Things got mixed up, and we didn’t know who the honourable citizens were any more, nor how to spot outsiders like ourselves. We walked towards Tahrir to find scattered army formations, each one accompanied by a Sheikh dressed in a short robe, until we reached the square and found another combination of honourable citizens and outsiders like ourselves. I even went around asking people “Are you honourable or an outsider like me?” And all at once, the army formations started shooting in the air to evacuate the central island in the square, then a friend called to inform me that the Coptic hospital is short on blood supply, so I stopped a cab heading to where I had my car parked to go to the hospital.

When the cab was on the way, it was confronted by a march of honourable citizens armed with sticks and Molotov cocktails, so my friend had to stick her head out of the window so the honourables can see that she’s wearing the veil…and isn’t Christian!

On my way to the Coptic hospital I met a bearded man wearing a short robe directing people to change their route. I asked him about the reason and he said, “Christians are shooting Muslims!” I took a different route and asked another citizen, he answered “People are besieging Christians inside the hospital.” “What’s this about Christians shooting Muslims then?” “Liar.” The self-righteous pious bearded Sheikh, who only follows the Sunnah of the prophet in appearance is a liar, and a false witness, for when I got to the Coptic hospital I didn’t find any “Christians” opening fire, they were actually sheltering inside the hospital as the honourable citizens trapped them and threw stones at them.

I went into the hospital and found no facilities for blood donation, so I called my acquaintances and asked them to send us blood bags. I went into the morgue, and saw the martyr’s corpses. I contemplated their bright smiling faces (I swear to God they were smiling) and among them found one whose brains have come out of his head as a result of being run over by a tank. Then I went out to find Christian and veiled Muslim women mourning their sons. And finally, army tanks came by announcing “We have come to protect you”, and on the head of each tank was a bearded civilian carrying the Quran!

No one was armed among the demonstrators, I haven’t seen the corpse of a soldier, no one opened fire on the army, but the army and security forces shot bullets and tear gas at the demonstrators. Of course, some were throwing stones at the army and security forces when the shot the people.

Are we to be strangled and supposedly remain silent? Among the “honourable citizens” were people who work for the Ministry of Interior and their faces are recognisable from the incident at Abassiya, while others were innocent and believed the media, and when faced by the truth they joined the demonstrators. And God is my witness to everything I said. God knows I am being honest, for I do not take a false oath, and I am not used to making false claims in courts.

“And those who do wrong will eventually realise what turn they’re taking.”(quoting Quran)

Published on 11th October at 04:23 AM in El-Tahrir newspaper under the title “Nawara Negm writes her testimony from the heart of the events (as God is my witness)”

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