Unsung heroes

Someone pointed out this LA Times story about the thousands of Egyptians injured in the revolution who today languish in hospitals, unaided by the government. It's one of the most depressing pieces I've read lately.

Since Jan. 28, when security forces beat him and ran him over during the protests that toppled President Hosni Mubarak, Mahmoud Mohamed has been unable to speak, walk, eat or use the bathroom on his own. His head is a tapestry of scars and bandages, tubes sprout from his neck, and his palsied hands are clasped in front of a now-bony chest.

He was trying to protect two friends. His mother says both were shot to death by security forces.

Images of Mohamed's former self stare back at him from beside his bed at Kasr El Aini Hospital: flush with youth, embracing a blushing fiancee who has since abandoned him. Behind them rests a framed certificate from fellow protesters pronouncing him a "hero of the revolution."

But like thousands of other Egyptians seriously injured during the protests, Mohamed is a forgotten hero, his family caught in a medical limbo, feeling betrayed by the government he fought to change.

Some of these people were bystanders injured accidentally. Many put themselves bravely in harm's way--and if they hadn't, the revolution wouldn't have succeeded. Meanwhile, the police responsible for maiming them for life have yet to be held accountable.

If anyone knows the contacts of organizations (like the one mentioned in this article, which I haven't been able to find online) that are helping these families please share in the comments section. We will do some information gathering of our own and hopefully have a post up soon for those interested in helping. 


Ursula Lindsey

Ursula Lindsey is the managing editor of the Arabist blog. She writes about culture, education and politics in the Arab world. She lived in Cairo from 2002 to 2013 and got her start at the ground-breaking independent magazine Cairo Times. She was the culture editor of Cairo magazine in 2005-2006 and served as special projects editor at the independent news site Mada Masr in 2013-2014. She is the Chronicle of Higher Education's Middle East correspondent. She contributes to the BBC-PRI radio program The World, and has written for Newsweek, The New York Times, The New Yorker online, Bookforum and the blog of the London Review of Books.