Hekayat Al-Shaheed (Stories of the Martyr), Dr Waleed Burham, Lotus Free Publishing, 2020, pp. 156
In his book Stories of the Martyr, author Waleed Burham presents 14 stories of Egyptian Armed Forces martyrs. The book, which is a compilation of a radio series, is divided into two parts.
The first part is built on the heroic endeavours of eight officers before and during the 6 October War, while the second part is made up of the stories of six officers during the war on terrorism.
The setting of both parts is Sinai. Different branches of the Egyptian Armed Forces are represented, such as commandos, military pilots and navy officers.
The desire to take revenge and restore military honour undeservedly tarnished by the infamous the 1967 Defeat was behind the deeds of the heroes gathered in part one.
Burham started this part with the legendary commando Ibrahim Al-Rifai, commander of the 39 Operation Group, which performed miraculous deeds. He continued narrating the feats of officers and pilots such as Atef Al-Sadat, President Anwar Al-Sadat’s younger brother.
Then he presents an unusual and widely unknown story about a bomber, who was dispatched in a secret assignment, to bomb the headquarters of the Israeli defence ministry in Tel Aviv. Although the bomber sent a missile towards the target, he didn’t succeed in the mission and returned safely.
The stories are a mixture of dialogues between the heroes and their closest relatives and colleagues in colloquial Arabic, and sections dealing with their upbringing and missions in standard Arabic.