Roula said she left her apartment to walk to the university in the busy capital Cairo and was stopped by a guy in plain clothes demanding to see her identity card, he said he was police but how was she to know? He told her to follow him down a quiet street, she said she wasn’t going anywhere with him, he held her for as long as he could on spurious charges.
Roula is on a university course in Cairo, I am trying to make a film in Syria, she sent me a Facebook link that I cannot open (is it blocked by Syria?). She watched some Egyptian police beat a man to death – more than just kill him she said, they took pleasure in watching his head break open as they bashed it against a wall.
Roula is Syrian – leaving the “safety” of Syria she feels that she is in a dangerous lawless land – I guess it’s the kind of thing you might see in America, but she is in Egypt – Many people (usually of Arabic decent) complain about the behaviour of the secret police in Egypt and how they are the most heavy handed in the region.
I haven’t in all my time in Syria been stopped by the secret police or even seen them, they operate in a different way here. I remember being tailed endlessly in Iraq during the Saddam days, which I quite enjoyed, it was like a game of cat and mouse.