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19twentythree | December 9, 2017

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January 27, 2014 | Nadine El Sayed 4

I read charges against activists and often wondered to what extent they’re true.  Some seemed unbelievably made up, others seemed plausible: But I never knew any of them personally to determine how reflective their public persona is of their true selves.

Along came Nazly Hussein’s arrest last Saturday.

Nazly was arrested on the third anniversary of January 25th. The charges were as comic as they were sad; possession of weapons and Molotov cocktails, belonging to the banned Muslim Brotherhood, protesting without authorization and disrupting public peace, among others. Today, the prosecution decided to prolong her detention for 15 days under investigations.

Before I get into the charges, let me just say that anybody who knows Nazly, knows this is utterly and ridiculously  absurd. I might not agree with some of Nazly’s political stands, but arresting her on such charges was plain ridiculousness to me.

Nazly has spent hours and hours waiting in morgues, hospitals and police stations to defend total strangers. Her role in January 25th was to chase missing persons to give their families the least relief possible of knowing where their children are, to search for the identities of unidentified bodies in the morgue with their families who can at least put their dead children to eternal rest, to make sure autopsy reports were accurate and honest to ensure the rights of the martyrs and to fight for the rights of detainees. She relentlessly chased the case of the unidentified sweet potato seller, a mere child, to know how exactly he became a victim of a random shot.

If you’re thinking she has nothing better to do and finally found something to keep her busy, you couldn’t be more wrong. Nazly  was always a straight A student, she studied psychology at the American University in Cairo and then did her master’s degree in London and became a specialist in educating children with mental disabilities and autism. She put her whole career on hold to fight for people’s rights, to fight for an Egypt she dreams of and to ensure the rights of the dead and martyred. She has a whole lot to lose and I am sure not many would put a promising professional career on  three-years hold.

If you think she is receiving some sort of financial incentive for all of that, well, that’s just funny. She was a decently-paid therapist and comes from a very decent, financially stable family.

The charges are ludicrous and absurd, Nazly doesn’t believe in violence of any sort, she has a rather strong set of values and is the defender of injured, martyred and street children. She has by no means no affiliations to the Muslim Brotherhood and opposed them even before Ousted President Mohamed Morsi came to power. Her stands are documented through various interviews and her social media accounts, so it’s not really left to speculations or anything. She opposes violence and human rights violations, but that never meant she was in the least bit supportive of the Brotherhood at any point in her life.

The only legally valid charge is the protesting without authorization one, but then again, if you’re allowing the whole nation to go out to the streets and celebrate great army and now Field Marshal Abdel Fattah El Sisi, how utterly double-stadnarded is it to arrest the few dozens going out to oppose the army’s actions; along with the Brotherhood’s as well. As far as I understand the law of protesting came about to ensure national security and put an end to violence erupting in protests and incited by Brotherhood or others. Does that not stand true when it comes to thousands of people taking to the street to say yes to Sisi? We did see 50 people dead, didn’t we? Did we expect no violence or casualties, given the several explosions that took place on Friday and decided to allow ‘celebrations’  anyway but were extremely worried about the dozens going out to protest against the army and the Brotherhood and decided to detain them all? Come on, it’s either it’s safe to go out in masses or it isn’t.

She is as strong and fierce as she is compassionate and gentle. She will stand by you in your griefs even if she doesn’t know you that well. She offered me her home in London to stay with her for a week, she took an hour off her chasing detainees and martyrs to come visit me in the hospital after an appendectomy and I am sure people closer to her have many, many more stories of what a genuinely helpful person she is.

She does not deserve to be detained for rather comic charges, she does not deserve to be detained at all, for that matter.



  1. Mostafa

    Not at all compassionate … Check her facebook profile, i think attacking the national offices is an offense on its own, let alone bragging about it.
    Unfortunately most of those associated with that specific incident appeared not as clean as they portrayed …..
    Anyways to me this is only one side i would like to hear the full story, coz am sure thats not the only side …
    I think she is a big gurl, she chose her stance and she is getting a consequence of her actions … So God help her , but still no compassion!

  2. Sherif

    Of course Nazly have to be charged with every thing in there arsinal because we “the people” allow this to happen to the minority that oppose us, in Egypt now no place for a different opinion. I’m sure Nazly was an activist that loved Egypt and did what she believed is right for Egypt, but all this does not mater, here privious history, her dedication to her believe all this have no place in the new, old majority rule, we on the opposite side of the majority have to sallow our pride and say yes sir, or say nothing. As for Nazly she knew exactly what was going to happen to her and still did it, to me she is a hero looking for a better Egypt God bless her . Rabina ye7miha we ye7my masr min 7okm ala2’labiya with no place for opposition.

  3. Hi Mostafa,
    Thanks for your comment, and as much as I appreciate your opinion, I will have to disagree with you.
    I realize this is only one side of the story, but the thing is, this isn’t a reported article,it’s a blog entry which means it represents the opinion of the author only, and so isn’t required to necessarily present all views.
    I appreciate how you’re feeling about it and how it all must look like from the outside, but knowing her personally, I see her actions differently than you do.
    Thanks again for your comment,

  4. Hi Sherif,
    Thank you for your comment,
    I agree with you, we do have an issue with the ‘other’ view. We need to learn to listen to one another and simply agree to disagree while respecting our differences, if we manage that, our lives would be far more peaceful, but because we’re a collective culture, we always try and find one opinion we can all agree upon, which obviously never happens!
    Thanks again for your comment,

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