• December 23, 2006
  • 6 minutes read

Interview with Mrs Amani, wife of Detained Gamal Shaaban

We want to know the profile of you and Mr Gamal’s family?
My name is Amani Ibrahim Ahmed
Wife of Mr. Gamal Mahmoud Shaban
The family consists of 6 members: the mother, the father and four children (Israa 13 years old and six grader; Khaled 12 year old and sixth grader; Amr 9 years old and second grader; Hamza 5 years KG1); Mr. Gamal Mahmoud Shaban is 43 years old and has a BA from the Faculty of Commerce 1989 and BA from the Faculty of Sharia and Law in 2005; he worked as an accountant in several companies in Alexandria; he then moved to Cairo to work as an accountant there. He is a very good-natured and peaceful person according to family members and neighbours; he holds good relations with all people.

Why did he move to Cairo?

When the fourth child was born, the family expenses increased on Mr. Gamal in addition to the instability of his job and his low salary in Alexandria; all this forced him to travel to work in the capital to have a better income that could meet the family expenses.

Was his work in Cairo meeting the family needs?

Actually, the salary rarely met the school fees of the four children and the living conditions with the high prices. This made him exclude moving us with him to Cairo to save the expenses.

How long has he been working in Cairo?

1 1/2 years

Have you been deprived of him due to his work in Cairo?

Of course, but he kept on coming home every weekend although this was tiring for him; he was coming home every Thursday evening and travels to Cairo on Saturday morning.
He was arrested while he was in the company office; was he staying up late it, or was he used to sleep in the office?
He used to sleep for several months in the company office.


His work in Cairo was tiring and his expenses were so many; also, he was required to work till late hours and to come early in the morning; his residence was was distant from the company; so he was forced to spend most nights in the office.

How have you been informed of his arrest?

On Thursday morning at 8.00 am after accompanying the children to school, I was surprised- when I returned home- to find the flat door broken with security members holding an accurate search in the house and taking the computer and CDs related to the children, and some personal papers.

Is this the first time in which your husband was arrested?

No, it is the second a time; the first time was in 1994; he was arrested from his house for two months without any charge.
A comment from one of the neighbours: The security arrests good people and leave drug dealers on the loose.

Why do you think your husband was arrested?

My husband works in one of the offices of Eng. Khairat Al Shater, the deputy chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood group; after Eng. Khairat Al Shater was arrested the security searched his office and my husband was by accident in the office; so, he was detained without committing any offence or crime; no other employee in the office was detained.

What is the effect of the detention on the family and the children?

The children felt that his work in Cairo was the cause of his arrest and wished that he he had remained among them in Alexandria; one of the children said that if my father had been among us, we wouldn’t have allowed the security to arrest him.
Israa refused to eat and refused to go to school due to the feeling of injustice and oppression on her father and her family which has been deprived of its sole breadwinner.

How will you lead your life in the absence of the family

Of course, the problem is the expenses of the family of four members who need school fees and living expenses under the high prices that we are facing; however, we will be supported by the family of Mr. Gamal till he returns to us; but his absence from among us- a moral support for his children in their studies- will be a crisis which is bigger than the financial support. The children always ask about their father, there is no enthusiasm for studying under the absence of father; the youngest child asks about his father just after he gets up everyday because he was the nearest to his heart.
It is very difficult for the children specially that the exams are near and we have two children in the sixth grade.

How will you enjoy the feast without the family care giver?

I do not think that we will not enjoy the feast without my husband; he was the one making us enjoy it through taking us for picnic or through visits or just with his presence among us during the days of the feast.

A last word …

What hurts me most is the question of the youngest child about when his father will reach home, and his waiting for him and counting days because he knows that on a Thursday his father would come; the elder child, Israa feels that her father is oppressed without committing any crime or offence and that she can’t lift such oppression and injustice.