The road to exile

The fate of these men is rarely discussed, as if their lives, families, and subsequent death are insignificant. Another life squashed under the heels of tyranny. The murder of Regeni proved to be a personal watershed, as it contained a message to critics of the regime. Namely, no one is safe, not even Europeans, who were off-limits during the Mubarak years. Thus, even the possession of a European passport will not offer protection nor reprieve.

Scene 3

July 24th 2013, the then Minister of Defence Sissi, asks for popular mobilization and mass protests to authorize him to fight “terrorism”. At this time, the supporters of the deposed President, Mohamed Morsi, are camped out in Raba’a and Nahad squares in Cairo.

This was the prelude for the worst massacre of protestors in modern Egyptian history, and a founding moment for the neo-military regime. At least 817 protestor were killed. This massacre led to the extreme polarization of the Egyptian political system, as well as a cycle of violence between an increasingly radicalized insurgency and the security forces leading to hundreds of deaths and the popularization of the war on terror rhetoric, which resulted in the imprisonment of thousands in brutal prison conditions.

These are the conditions that led to the death of Mohamed Morsi, on June 17th 2019, in a courtroom in Cairo.

On August 2013, I wrote my first article for openDemocracy, as I attempted to make sense of what was about to come, and to, in my own way, attempt to have an influence on the course of events, or at least, this is what I told myself.

Looking back, I can honestly say that it was an attempt to alleviate a sense of guilt that was threatening to overwhelm me, since I was sitting on the side lines, as the tragedy unfolded. A sense of guilt that could only be alleviated by taking action that would lead to what feels like an endless state of social and physical exile.

Opening Scene

Friday 28th of January 2011, what would later be known as the Friday of anger: The anticipation is high as the calls for protest to bring down the regime are posted over social media, in an attempt to repeat the Tunisian uprising. I sit in my office, in a small Swiss city, overlooking the mountains as I am glued to my Facebook page, attempting to follow updates from the ground.

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