Al Destour: interview with a State Security officer

A translated version of an interview with Walid Dessouki that appeared in the independent weekly Al Destour is over at The Skeptic:
(Journalist) El Balshi - Let us go back to state security. Is it true that you have files for everybody?

Dessouki - We have 70 million files. But it is not always the same. Even young children have files (laughs).

El Balshi - And the journalists?

Dessouki - We have files for all journalists. But we focus on certain people and there are others whom do not care about because they are in their own world. Not all journalists are alike. You in Dostour of course have a very special status.

El Balshi - Don’t you feel bad about the people you beat. Don’t you ever reconsider and think about joining the people?

Dessouki - That is good idea (Laughs). Why is there no “people for change”? We have journalists for change” and engineers for change”. Who is left?

El Balshi - State security officers for change! What do you think? Are you considering?

Dessouki - (Laughs). Anyway folks. Don’t forget. We shall see each other again next Thursday. And the one after that. The one after will be a day. But again I tell you whoever wants to demonstrate should look for somewhere else to stay the night.
Surreal.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.