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 hospital.
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 unarmed individuals?”
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 backs.
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.