An injured revolution veteran recalls a year full of pain

Ahram Online , Monday 9 Jan 2012

Protester shot 3 times in last year's uprising looks back on 28 January 2011, the 'Friday of anger', when Egypt's revolution passed the point of no return; recounts dealing with physical and mental trauma in the months since

protester injured
Mohamed Ali, Injured Protester recalls memories from the 28th of January.(Photo: Ahram Online)

24-year-old Mahmoud Ali remembered the events of 28 January 2011, recalling how he was shot three times on the day that Egypt’s popular uprising against the Mubarak regime reached critical mass.

Ali has just returned from a medical trip to Austria, which took almost six months and cost almost LE2 million. While in Austria, he underwent 30 surgeries to remove three bullets, one in each leg and one in his stomach.

According to Ali, the policeman who shot him, named Osama El-Dami, also killed 25 other protesters.

After being shot, a military hospital refused to receive him. Hospital officials said his injury was “infected,” claiming they couldn’t risk infecting other patients.  

Another hospital misdiagnosed his condition, with doctors saying that his leg required amputation. Fortunately, however, Ali’s father dismissed the doctors’ advice.

Three female volunteers who were helping the injured during the protests later sent Ali to Cairo’s Kasr El-Aini hospital at their own expense. Here, he was introduced to Dr. Tarek Afifi, president of the Union of Arab Doctors in Austria.

Ali then travelled to Austria, where the Austrian government covered the expense of his medical procedures in a token of appreciation for Egypt’s revolution.

Ali, who now no longer needs crutches to walk, expressed his desire for the ousted president’s execution.

“Most of those injured during the revolution are psychologically devastated,” he says. He goes on to point out that many of those injured have begun doing drugs, or have even contemplated suicide, to escape their current misery.

“Before the government offers material compensation to those injured in the revolution, it should offer to help in eliminate the psychological damage that many protesters still suffer,” he said.

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