Asmaa Anwer Shehata, Studied Mass communication at Faculty of Arts,works at "Yaqazt Fekr".
My testimony on the events of the
dispersal of the rabaa sit-in:
At 6:30 am, Zahraa & I were
waiting for members from ‘Youth against the Coup’ for a demonstration that was
planned for that morning.
While we were in the car, on Anwar
Almufti street right behind Tiba mall, we heard some guys behind us screaming
“get ready, alert” and banging on whatever’s on their way as a sign of warning.
Suddenly, gas bombs were thrown at us.
I drove the car to inside the ‘safety
zone’. If we had got down from the car, we wouldn’t have been able to reach the
safety zone. Then we left the car. The brothers told us that all the women are
gathering in the mosque. What mattered to me was getting Zahraa to a safe place
so that I could go back to photographing & taping.
It was very chaotic in the mosque when
all of a sudden the first ‘martyr-to-be’ arrived inside the mosque. He had an
odd-shaped bullet wound and died within minutes of arriving.
I left Zahraa and went inside the
field hospital to document the deaths and injuries. What a horrible thing I
saw. I swear by Allah, in less than 30 minutes, the injured and dead were
arriving in large numbers like birds shot off a tree.
The doctor standing in the room
assigned for the martyrs called out onto me. “We need documentation
(photographing) over here” so I went inside and started photographing. There
were bodies all shot in the head and chest. The bullets left weird marks on the
I will upload the photos so that the
whole world can see the criminality of the police and army troops.
In the field hospital, gas masks were
distributed because we were suffocating from the gas bombs thrown at us.
Then, I went to the other room
assigned for the injured, took a lot of photos and then back to the martyr’s
room. Two hours had passed since the firing attack started, there were exactly
30 martyrs in the room.
Unfortunately my camera’s battery was
out of charge, so I went to the media centre, which was also medically equipped
for receiving the injured. They were all over the place. I took a charger from
a colleague, charged the battery for 15 minutes then went back to the field
hospital to photograph the martyrs. Meanwhile, we were the target of gas bombs;
the sound of bullets fired was horrifying and an army helicopter and a police
helicopter were rotating above us.
The square was colored grey, after the
sit-in tents were burnt.
I went again to the media centre after
my camera’s battery was out of charge again. I didn’t find the charger, so I
went outside. I found an old man breaking the pavement bricks into pieces. I
sat in front of him and helped him by gathering those pieces into anything I
can find. Some other guys would then carry the gathered pieces to the outskirts
of the sit-in. When the old man got tired I helped the guys carry the bricks.
At that time, I saw Asmaa El-Beltagy
(Allah rest her soul in peace) standing by the mosque’s door (the one
overlooking Nasr road). She was gathering stones into a white bucket, as white
as her heart. When the bucket was filled I held its handle to carry it for her.
At that moment, our eyes met, she smiled at me.
I took the bucket to the outside a
little bit, when all of a sudden bullets were fired at us. The guys with us
shouted ‘everyone get down on the ground now ‘I knelt on my knees and then the
guy next to me was martyred.
I transferred the bucket I had to the
furthest point I could reach to deliver it to the guys on the defense line and
went back to fetch more. On my way back, the firing started again, I fell on
the ground as a result of people pushing I stayed on the ground until the
firing stopped after a few minutes.
When I went back I didn’t find Asmaa Elbeltagy
so I stood in front of the hospital’s door and started taking photos again this
time with my mobile. One of the martyrs that were carried into the hospital had
three quarters of his head missing. I swear by Allah, most of his head wasn’t
there except for a part of the left side. The firing of tear gas and bullets
I took shield under a tree; bullets
were flying above me and hitting the streetlights. Some bullets had an abnormal
sound as if they went through the air faster than the speed of sound; I hope
the sound is obvious in the video.
I returned to the mosque to check on
Zahraa. Inside, I found the martyrs’ bodies lying in the middle and on their
left and right lied the injured – the injured were brought here after the field
hospital was completely filled. Then, Ethaar called me to inform me that Habiba
Ahmed and Abdurrahman Eldeeb were martyred, so I went out of the mosque and
cried. Outside, I met Heba Zakaria and went with her to find Habiba because the
news of her death was uncertain. The medical center –which was overly targeted
by snipers-, was full of the dead and injured, yet we didn’t find her there.
The center’s windows bore bullet marks
which lead the doctors to hang bed sheets on the windows in order to prevent
the targeting of the people inside. We were advised to stay away from the
windows. Heba and I went outside where we then met Sarah Alaa on the phone with
Habiba’s father who confirmed that she was martyred and that he had her body is
at Tiba mall.
Sarah ran like a crazy to get there. I
stopped her because it was impossible to get to Tiba mall due to the heavy
shooting by snipers.
While we were
standing in front of Hall No.2, where the martyrs’ bodies were, some guys were
passing holding a body, and "Sarah" screamed: "Asmaa!! Asmaa
El-Beltagy", we ran with them to the medical center, they told us that her
case is critical and she would be admitted to the operating room at once.
"Asmaa", her face was white and cold, I wiped her face with my hands,
adjusted the hijab on her head. She looked like an angel as she was her whole
They asked us
to leave, to make space for the injured, I went back to the mosque, and the
odor of the tear gas was very conspicuous. "Zahraa" was holding an
infant, about 4 months old, she said that she found him on the floor and nobody
was watching him, so she held him up to protect him.
were suffocating from the gas that filled the mosque, moreover, there was poor
ventilation and the power was cut off which means the fans couldn’t work.
got news that they stopped firing! Everyone said: "Thanks to Allah"
and "Allah is the greatest". I got out checking the news; I found the
situation even worse than before!
Outside, I met Mohamed Eldeeb
(Abdurrhaman Eldeeb’s brother), I cried, he consoled me: ‘He is in heaven now.
My father’s here, he will be pleased to see you’ so I went to greet Mr. Khaled,
he was standing strong, reposeful and smiling. I have never seen such emotional
strength like I have seen in this family and in Mr. Elbeltagy’s family.
Afterwards, I went into hall no. 2,
when I learned that Abdurrahman’s mother was inside, I kissed her forehead and
her hand. She was telling us about Abdurrahman. Ahmed El-Masry was also there
crying, when he saw me, he said: ‘Abdurrahman is dead, Asmaa’ and uncovered Abdurrahman’s
face for me to see it. I cried. He looked comfortable as if he was asleep.
I couldn’t bear this anymore so I went
and sat on the hall’s outer staircase with Zahraa Bassam when suddenly we saw
Ammar El-Beltagy heading towards us smiling. He said ‘Come, say farewell to
Asmaa’s body was in the medical
center’s ground floor, so Zahraa and I went there. There we found her
mother (my aunt) in one of the halls which had its floor covered with the
martyrs’ bodies. There was a body on a stretcher beside my aunt. I asked: ‘Is
this Asmaa?’ The answer came yes. I patted her wishing I could hug her.
her family said they are going to take the body and that the car is parked
outside the center’s door on Anwar Al-Mufti street. They carried Asmaa’s body
to the door where there was firing of live ammunition, so I told Asmaa’s
brother Ammar: ‘not now, wait’ but he insisted.
He said to the
guys next to him: ‘I will go first and you follow me quickly carrying Asmaa. We
will take shield in those two parking cars’ and so it was. Just as they reached
those cars, a huge police truck – I have only seen trucks this huge on the news
from Palestine- arrived.
heavily fired live ammunition at us – those in the medical center. Everybody
fell on the floor in attempt to avoid getting shot.
Then, I felt
something burning strongly in my side. I was on the floor. I didn’t know if I
was alive or dying. I didn’t know if the shot was a bullet or cartouche.
beside me told me: ‘You are injured’. He kept repeating ‘La Ilaha Ila Allah
(There is no god but Allah’ and I repeated after him. I surrendered to the fact
that I was dying except I didn’t feel this to be neither the pain of death nor
of a bullet.
ammunition was still being fired at us. Two of us died as a result.
found the brother beside me pulling me to the inside where a doctor can see me.
At that time, another brother was injured and fell on the floor. I screamed at
the former ‘take him inside first’, but he pulled both of us inside. At the
time, Salma was with me. Her hand was bleeding. The doctor asked me: ‘Where
does it hurt?’ I replied ‘I am not in pain, check her (pointing to Salma)
first’. Therefore, he treated her, then another injured person came in, so the
doctor rushed to him. There was another person on the floor that kept saying ‘I
am bleeding. I am bleeding’
bodies on the floor, and people were repeating: ‘Pay attention to the martyrs’
bodies. Don’t step on them’
The firing was
still going on, when all of a sudden I saw the people near the door getting
out. I didn’t know if we should go outside or not. I looked for Zahraa and
after I found her, we decided to go out anyway.
the door, I found the security forces with their rifles searching the rooms of
the building and escorting the people under gunpoint to the outside. We were
escorted in two queues like war prisoners. I looked behind me and saw a huge
fire eating everything.
felt my side hurting so much and I felt it bleeding and swollen. We kept
walking in the queue under the security forces’ gunpoint. Simultaneously, the
security forces outside were still firing.
We passed by
El-Tayaran street, it was a ruin, a lot of smoke and a fire that was eating
everything, I swear by Allah. We kept walking in side streets where I met Marwa
and her mother. She knew I was injured so she took Zahraa and me to her home.
While we were standing, Asmaa El-Khateeb came. She informed us that the troops
set the field hospital and the media center on fire along with whoever was
still inside and that those that got out tried to carry with them as many injured
and the martyrs as they could.
While we were
walking on the streets, people were waving for cars to stop so they can carry
the injured and martyrs in them. One car was carrying 3 martyrs’ bodies one in
the back seat, one on the hood and one on the trunk.
The scene was really
ugly and the situation was terrifying; most of the cell phones were out of
charge, besides, the signal was weak and we couldn’t know what was going on elsewhere.
I tried to contact Romysaa and when I was finally able to contact her, I
learned that she was trapped in the building she was and that she was shot in
Along the way
were a lot of checkpoints, most of which were manned by thugs carrying weapons
as if they are carrying toys. We had to go through more than 20. At one
checkpoint, a thug glanced the face mask Marwa was wearing. He banged on the
car in a sign for us to stop and said: ‘Why are you so nervous? You seem to be
coming from Rabaa’ square’, but Allah willing we passed this checkpoint safely.
We reached a
clinic, the doctor told me that he wouldn’t remove the cartouche right now
since this required an operation and my case wasn’t that critical anyway. So,
we went to my friend’s house (Zahraa Bassam and I) and stayed overnight.
This is my
testimony on what happened with me on the 14th of august, 2013
during the dispersal of the Rabaa’ sit-in.
The photos and
videos are in a safe place. If I came back today I will upload all of them, photos
and videos of the martyrs in Rabaa’ and in El-Eman mosque.
I write this
right before me leaving home to attend Asmaa El-Beltagy’s funeral. Today is a
We will keep
going till we earn our rights or die trying.
After few days of Rabaa massacre on Wednesday 14 of August 2013,
Hamass Gomaa said:
When I was praying fajr, I remembered the two
children who were killed beside me there!""
The day of the massacre at Rabaa:
We entered a tent, "Me, Hend, and the martyr-
if ALLAH wants- Asmaa Sakr" to pray the Duhr prayer
We found two children sleeping there who their
father was killed from earlier that day.
We prayed and left and then I came back to the
same tent to pray the Asr prayer.
And while I was praying, they started to fire
on us. I stood up to find the children both injured! One with a bullet in the
head and the other in the abdomen!
The time I was trying to carry them to Rabaa
Medical center, they fired a tear gas bomb, I couldn't open my eyes or even breathe;
I was then suffocating till I went unconscious.
When I woke up, I found out that the two
children passed away!
Anyways, they wouldn't bear to live alone after
their father’s death; they went to him.
Nobody helped them, because there was no one there..
People were dead, injured, or inside the Masjid
strangling from the gas!
I’m now trying to forget how they looked like,
but I couldn’t help. ALLAH reminds me them all the time. All I’m thinking now
is that this can be a message to not stop and bring their rights and everyone
have died else.
Hager Dawood, Pharmacist, Graduated from the
German University in Egypt(GUC)
Testimony on the massacre in Rabaa on Wednesday
14 July 2013
I was able to reach Rabaa by taking a road that
lead to the Rabaa Hospital. The police were there, but I managed to slip away
and that’s where I first witnessed a bullet fly straight through a martyr. They were firing at us anything imaginable;
from bullets to cartouche, to tear gas bombs.
I was with my mother when a youth by the name of
"Abdallah Barakat" helped us get into the hospital. We began helping
the doctors on the first floor with "Nahla El Hadad" and "Gehad
Khaled". There were too many people injured- most of the wounds were found
either on the head or the chest, but of course they were also found all over
the body. And so these victims soon became martyrs.
I asked Nahla if we could start documenting
their names, calling their families, and giving away their belongings to the
secretariat in the hospital.
We learnt that "Ahmed Diaa Farahat",
the brother of my best friend "Gehad", got killed- he is one of the
martyrs. Then we heard that "Asmaa El Beltagy" was injured in the
chest. By the time we made our way up the stairs to see her, she had already
passed away- gone to the highest level of Jannah to meet with Allah, her Creator.
We kept writing down names of individuals, as we
moved from one floor to the next. With every second that went by, a new martyr
was added to the list.
By the time I got back to the first floor, they had
set up two pharmacies, where I thankfully was able to stay for a while. Meanwhile,
there was a sniper on the rooftop of the building across the street from us.
Anyone attempting to enter or exit the hospital with a wounded person in hand
would automatically get shot.
Tear gas was evident everywhere inside the
We began using a storage room on the first floor
but it was filled in no time due to the heavy inflow of injured people. I
looked out the window and saw people falling down. I heard gunshots. I looked
up again to see the sniper hiding behind a black figure. I stupidly yelled
“Sniper!”- a reaction that resulted in us getting shot at. Glass shattered
everywhere, but elhamdoulillah, we all managed to crawl out of the room safely.
More and more injured people kept coming into
the hospital and all we could hear outside was the firing of gunshots. Soon
enough, we heard them right in the entrance area of the hospital, which we were
using to treat the wounded. The police ordered us to leave the hospital,
surrender, and place our hands behind our heads.
One of the physicians, whom I regrettably didn’t
know, refused, and said “We are the captains of this boat. We will not leave
until all victims have left.” Sadly, people didn’t pay heed to him and most had
already gotten out.
Since most people weren’t listening and were
heading out regardless, we began asking everyone to take an injured person with
them as they exit the hospital otherwise, if they were left behind, they would
surely be murdered. And indeed, those who were strong enough were able to carry
others out with them.
A distinctive policeman, who wasn’t covering his
face at the time, entered the hospital with a weapon in his hand and began
shouting. He cursed “Gehad” and yelled at her because she was telling people to
help those that were injured and carry them out of the hospital. He even
threatened to silence her by leaving her in the same state as those in the
hospital. She replied back by asking him “Do you not fear your Lord? Allah suffices me
, for He is the best disposer of affairs.”
”I do fear Allah- if I didn’t, then I would have
worn a mask” He replied back to her frustrated. In the heat of the moment, he
raised his gun at us and cursed at us with the foulest language. I couldn’t
help but tell him “What kind of a man are you, pointing your gun at women and
We managed to get out of the hospital carrying
injured bodies while others had held the policeman back. I swear to God, had we
known that they were going to burn the bodies, we would have lifted more on our
They kept burning the tents. Then suddenly, we heard a very
loud bomb, which we later learnt was thrown at the podium by the army. Police
force were to be seen everywhere (on our left and to our right) holding their
arms. They continuously cursed used with the worst possible language. Most of us
were doctors and women. I couldn't help myself but laugh and say "What
kind of men are you? Bravo! Look at all the weapons you're holding, and the
planes you fly, and the armor you hide behind and the army.. You pretend to be
men behind these arms.. “
Had my mom not been with me, and extremely tired I wouldn’t
have left. They were still swearing and threatening me by yelling so close to
my face in order to scare meme- instead it made me laugh because I could see
their cowardice in their eyes
Afterwards they surrendered us to the head of the army.
One of them that was facing us that told us to line up in 2
lines and put our hands behind our heads. Of course, my mom, Salma (a Dr. that
was with us) and I refused to do so and again, we were foully insulted for not
obeying their commands.
One officer pretended to be nice with us. After having
cursed me, he turned to my mom and asked her in the utmost politeness if she
wanted a chair to sit on- I don't know what got into me, but I replied to his
hypocrisy with without holding back my tongue. Furious and insulted, he yelled
at me, ordered me to leave and hit me twice in my back. Right away his friends
held him back and put an end to his violence solely due to the fact that they
were videotaping this entire encounter in order to deceive to the world by
portraying how "peaceful" and “kind-hearted” they (the soldiers) were
towards women and children and how “immoral” the rest of us were. By hitting
me, he ruined the footage by allowing their true colours to shine.
However his violence towards me gave me more strength than I
could have imagined and we were able to get through until we left Rab3a.
*Numbers of the
injuries were hard to document, they were too many
*Numbers of the
martyrs, we documented as much as we could!
And this is my
testimony on the events and what happened there.