There are an estimated eight thousand people that the police, the military, and their baltagis have injured to a point where they are not able to resume their normal lives. Sami Emile is a young geographical surveyor. He had just married the woman he loved, a lawyer. They owned their apartment. His life was set. The army smashed his leg, and he now drags it behind him and has to pay for the physiotherapy that just about keeps it from withering away.
I met him at the Coptic Hospital when I went to visit the Maspero injured. His leg had been smashed—not in Maspero but in an earlier clash with the military in March. He was just visiting. He was incredibly gentle. Soft-voiced. His eyes kept filling with tears as he asked why. Why was all this happening? As I was leaving, an older man who was very ill with a bullet in the stomach called me over. I sat bent close because he was whispering to me. He said, “If you can do one thing, do it for Sami. He’s the one who needs it most.”
Another: Randa S. is a nurse. The doctors in the field clinics always got her to do the stitching because she was so good at it. On 28 January she was suturing the heads of the shabab, and a Central Security Officer beat her so badly that she was paralyzed. In fact, he would have killed her, but she stabbed him in the hand with her needle. She’s in the rehabilitation unit at Agouza Hospital—the one where we took Abu Mustafa’s testimony on 2 August—and she’s giving them hell. She’s in a wheelchair but has got back the use of her arms, and she plays revolutionary music and organizes her fellow injured.