Egypt embassy in Pretoria working with S. African authorities to free 2 kidnapped Egyptian students

Ahram Online , Wednesday 18 May 2022

The Egyptian embassy in Pretoria is currently working with the South African authorities and ATIS Aviation Academy to free two Egyptian students - Momen Haitham Kamel and Fady Said - who were kidnapped earlier this week in the African country, Minister of Emigration and Expatriate Affairs Nabila Makram said.

Minister of Emigration and Expatriate Affairs Nabila Makram. File photo
Minister of Emigration and Expatriate Affairs Nabila Makram. File photo


On Tuesday, Haitham Kamel Gaber — Momen’s father — published a video on Facebook asking President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to save his son and his friend Fady.

Momen’s father praised the Egyptian presidency, the General Intelligence Service, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs role in intervening before to help Egyptians escape from disaster zones and aided them in multiple kidnapping situations, stressing that the family is counting on their help to return their sons since it does not have the sum of money the kidnappers demanded.

According to Gaber, he last talked to his son Momen on Friday evening, right before his son’s cell phone was turned off. He then contacted the academy, which informed him that his son Momen and his friend Fady were missing.  

On Sunday, Gaber was informed by the academy that the car that Momen and Fady were using was found on the side of the road with no trace of both students.

On the same day, Gaber said the family received a phone call from a man with a "Levantine accent" who claimed to be a mediator between them and the kidnappers and demanded seven million South African Rand (EGP eight million) for the release of the men within 48 hours.

Momen studied at the ATIS Aviation Academy’s branch in Cairo until March before moving to South Africa to continue his studies there, according to his family.

In a post on Facebook, Makram said that while respecting the feelings of the family she asks the public not to publicise the issue over social media for the sake of the safety of the kidnapped students in accordance with the authorities’ instructions. 

"In our new republic, we have seen the way the state cares about the expatriates, such as the students stranded abroad during the coronavirus pandemic or the Ukraine crisis," Makram stressed.

She also asked Egyptian students in South Africa to follow the instructions of the security forces there.

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