Sarah Carr has written an excellent eyewitness account and brief analysis of the kidapping of Philip Rizk, a German-Egyptian AUC graduate student in the Middle East Studies program. He was abducted by state security forces (أمن الدولة) coming home from a march to Qalubiyya. I generally would have just added this link to my usual Delicious feed, but I think this article deserves special attention for its effectiveness in pointing out the sickness of the Egyptian state. At the same time, I want to be careful not to overstate the importance of the lack in the myriad Egyptian security forces of what has come to be know as “professionalism”. I remain unconvinced that a “professional” police or military force, operating under “the rule of law” is a substantial improvement over an “unprofessional” one. At least in the case of the latter, we can more easily discern the true face of power without the mask of a civilized demeanor. It is for the same reason that Arab members of Israel’s Knesset have in some sense looked optimistically at the swing to the right in the legislative body, saying “the mask will fall and the real face [of Israeli democracy] will be revealed”.
If you are one of those people with the right connections (وسطة), please feel free to bring them to bear to help secure Philip’s release.
To stay abreast of news on Philip’s case, you can follow Hossam ElHamalawy’s Delicious feed on the subject.