As angry protesters rampaged through Cairo in early 2011 and fought with police, Hesham Samy was dispatched with fellow naval commandos to guard upscale residential compounds. In what he saw as “awful” security, Samy spotted an opportunity.
In a dimly lit Cairo workshop, Hussein spins a metal pipe on a lathe, sending sparks flying. In a few minutes, it’ll become the barrel of a gun. Sometime after that it will join the growing arsenal of illegal weapons on the streets of Egypt.
There's a United Nations feel to Silicon Valley's Plug and Play Tech Center. Amid people speaking French and Russian, a group from Hong Kong recently toured the startup accelerator, where more than a dozen foreign flags hung prominently in the lobby.
From his 33rd-floor penthouse apartment with sweeping views of the Nile River, Naguib Sawiris, Egypt’s best-known billionaire and most prominent Christian, can hear the chants of Friday prayers in the distance. As he sits down to a breakfast of taameya and ful, dishes made from fava beans, demonstrators are gathering in Cairo’s Tahrir Square for a planned protest, this time aimed at stopping military trials of thousands of civilians arrested during the revolution that brought down the regime of President Hosni Mubarak.
Clashes erupted in Cairo for a third day after fighting between security forces and demonstrators protesting military rule left at least 22 people dead, a week before Egypt’s first parliamentary elections since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.