Love, acid and lost shoes: notes from Cairo's dailies...oes:

A snippet from a regular column in The Egyptian Gazette by journalist Hugh Nicol, titled “Red-Handed”, which salubriously details local crimes, very often featuring rather horrific crimes of passion. See below.

“A 23-year old woman called Samar Attiya got her revenge on the lover who refused to marry her by pouring acid on a sensitive part of his body in the early hours of the morning. The young man died of his injuries in hospital.

The deceased 25-year-old Ahmed Moustafa, an accountant from Maadi, was due to get engaged [to another woman] the following day…Two of Ahmed’s friends told police that he’d been intimate with a young woman called Samar, whom he refused to marry. She then asked him to pay for a hymen reconstruction operation, in order to prevent scandal. When he didn’t cooperate, she got in touch with the woman who he was planning to marry and started threatening her. Samar, a 23-year-old nurse from Shubra el-Kheima…admitted killing Ahmed, explaining that she slept with him because he’d promised to marry her.

On the night he died, Samar rang Ahmed and told him she wanted to make love with him just one more time before he got engaged to the other woman. He met her in the early hours of the morning on the Cairo-Helwan Agricultural Road.

She got into his car and they started making out together. Samar got him to lie on the back seat. She then pulled off his trousers and poured the lethal acid…on his chopper.”

Chopper. Hmmm. Other notable stories this week include a teacher from Alexandria charged with beating a tardy student with a stick, breaking two ribs. Notable because last year, another Alex teacher was convicted of beating a student to death.

And the lead story: The Egyptian transport minister has resigned over the rail crash that killed 18 people earlier this week. The crash took place when one train stopped as there was a water buffalo on the track, and a second train rear-ended the first. Three railway workers, who were supposed to be watching the track, have been charged with manslaughter. One survivor reminisced about an injured woman “screaming for her new shoe and asking other wounded passengers to help her find it”.

The daily cartoon is particularly bleak: a man buying a train ticket from the station window is asked for his destination, to which he replies, “The hereafter”. Thanks to everyone who thoughtfully emailed to make sure I wasn’t on the train.

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