Ahmed Harara, who became a revolution icon after losing both his eyes in two different protest crackdowns, arrives to Cairo Sunday evening upon a medical visit to France, during which he learned he will not regain sight in his left eye.
Harara lost the vision in his right eye when he sustained a rubber bullet injury during the bloody 28 January police crackdown on peaceful protests during the 18-day uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak. He subsequently lost his left eye the same way on 19 November when police and army forces violently dispersed a sit-in at Tahrir Square.
The 31 year-old dentist, travelled to Paris a week ago hoping that a transplant would restore some vision in his left eye, but received the unfortunate news that the transplant would not be effective.
To welcome him at the airport, Harara’s friends created a Facebook event, and soon the call spread around Facebook and became a public invitation. He is expected to arrive this evening between 7 and 10 pm.
Harara was chosen by Time Magazine in its special Person Of the Year edition which depicted “the protester,” showcasing 36 iconic activists who have participated in protests in 2011 around the world. In the Time interview under the title "Why I protest: Ahmed Harara of Egypt,” he discussed his hopes for the transplant as well as his opposition to military rule in Egypt.