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Al Masri Al Youm Journalist Regrets Parade Photos
“I hope that those reading this message will know to what extent I am emotionally suffering after publishing those pictures [MB students’ parade]" "Since, Monday, when Al Masri Al Youm Newspaper published the news of Al-Azhar militias, I have felt sad about what will happen after; there was fear inside me but I did not know that all this would happen.” This is  part of the tes
Monday, December 18,2006 00:00
by Ikhwanweb

“I hope that those reading this message will know to what extent I am emotionally suffering after publishing those pictures [MB students’ parade]" "Since, Monday, when Al Masri Al Youm Newspaper published the news of Al-Azhar militias, I have felt sad about what will happen after; there was fear inside me but I did not know that all this would happen.”

This is  part of the testimony of Amr Abdullah, journalist who took the photos of Al-Azhar University students’ parade.
Yallatalaba web site interviewed the journalist through telephone and requested his testimony about the incidents, in which he said also:

Excerpts of Amr Abdullah’s testimony

What happened on Sunday was- though odd- just an entertainment event. . . number of students [participated in the demonstration] was no more than 2 % of the security forces which were present at the gates of the universit . . .

Although last Sunday was my day off and also the same day that the Press Syndicate committee set to stand in front of it, but when I was informed by a member of the media committee of the Free Student Union of Al-Azhar University that there will be a vigil and a special performance from the union during the open sit-in that the students planned to stage because one of the university gaurds said that " any student who participates in any demonstration, vigil or a sit-in will be beaten by the legs " according to them.

Therefore, the media committee member informed me that there will be a sit-in that will include entertainment performances by the students.

When I arrived at the university dormitory, I noticed that all the university gates were heavy gaurded by police and appeared like military barracks. Then I went to the university dormitory and noticed that its gate was fully open and fully besieged by the security.

I also noticed a group of students were standing in lines wearing masks showing only their eyes, and chanting  condemning the intervention of the security in the university affairs.

Then, the performance of karate and kung fu started; in fact, I was surprised with what I saw, given that this was not the first time to hold such performances which I heard about before and were part of sketches about the resistance and Israel. This time it was different [was not about Israel]. While I was taking photos; no one was troubled or objected since is not a secretive but a public performance and the media was expected to report it.

These sportive performances were not that strong; they were just a show-off; also, the young men did not use any kind of bladed weapons in addition to their fully avoiding any skirmishes with the security forces.

Then, the students carried out another performance after the young men were divided into two teams; then they marched inside the campus. A group of them stood motionless in front of the office of the University President, while the other group walked inside the Faculty of Medicine till it reached the office of the faculty deputy chairman to present their demands, which were met with no reaction. The two groups then were reunited in front of the University president’s office; they remained in lines in front of the administration building motionless and silent till the call of the Noon prayers; then they got ready for performing the prayers which I couldn’t photograph as I was obliged to go to the newspaper to hand over the photos and also to go to the syndicate because that day was- as I said- the date of joining the Press Syndicate.

I sent the photos to the editor-in-chiefs Ahmed Al Beheiri and reported what happened from the beginning of the day and I insisted that he makes sure to publish everything I reported so that I don’t do any thing for which I may be held accountable.

Then I reported the apology vigil and the regret that the students expressed about this performance which was overblown out of proportion.

This was everything that happened during that day; I hope that anyone i offended to forgive me; this is because I –I swear by Allah- did not mean to offende any body. I was just doing my job honestly and I didn’t support one side against the other.

Amr Abdullah
Al Masri Al Youm

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