16 January, 2009

Women demonstrate outside "top secret" Israeli embassy in Cairo

Around 20 women demonstrated against the war in Gaza outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo today, demanding the expulsion of the Israeli embassador.

Click the pic for a set of photos I took before the police intervened.

Not surprisingly, there was a huge presence of plainclothes police and state security agents. One man demanded to see my camera, but when I innocently asked to see some identification he instead pulled back his coat and flashed his gun, yelling "police, police." When asked why photography was not allowed, he said the area was "top secret," but refused to acknowledge the presence of the Israeli embassy. Kind of funny, considering that the roadblocks and the discrete but clearly visible Israeli flag on a nearby building gives away the location of the embassy to anyone who wants to know, and considering that many ordinary Egyptians around the square were snapping away happily with their mobile cameras without any intervention from the police. And while I understand that photography outside foreign embassies can be a sensitive issue in any country, it's more difficult to understand the security risks involved in taking pictures in the direction of the Zoo...


  1. Per are you kidding? Any protest near Israeli embassy is very risky. They are suicidal. The fact that they are all women in jeans probably startled the security. I don't think security might tolerate anything like that and any kind of protest might get shot at live ammunition or rubber bullets at the least .. no round ups. We are in an senseless emergency state.

    But for sure I applaud their initiative and your bravery to risk your life and camera again this time.

  2. Mostafa, you are making people back in Sweden worried... :) There was never any risk to my life. I realize what you are talking about, but since this was an initiative by young women in jeans, security was less aggressive than during some other protests lately. They didn't grab me or try to take the camera, for example. And showing the gun was just a stupid way of convincing me he was a police. Also, the protestors were never closer to the embassy than the thousands of cars who pass every day - surely a bigger security threat considering the possibility of car bombs.

  3. Hej Per. Jag godde sjalv i Kairo forut men flyttade "hem" 2006. Kul att lasa din blogg. Var i Kairo ligger Israels ambassad? Det ser inte direkt ut som Zamalek pa bilden (det lilla men ser), dar de flesta landers ambassader ligger.
    /Abu Hamza

  4. Take care Per.
    Look forward to see You soon.