Designer death highlights security vacuum in Egypt

Engy Azzam, Wednesday 6 Apr 2011

Mohamed Dagher, a famous fashion designer was found stabbed to death in his apartment

Mohamed Dagher

Two friends of murdered designer Mohamed Dagher have been arrested by the Giza police.

The two are suspected of being involved in the killing of Dagher who was found stabbed to death in his apartment in El-Batl Ahmed Abdel Aziz Street on Monday.

Initial investigations by the North Cairo Prosecution have revealed that his sister Magda had tried to call him repeatedly but was unable to reach him, so she sent one of his employees to his home to check on him. The employee rang the bell a few times and when Dagher didn’t answer, he broke in and found the young designer murdered. Dagher was stabbed three times in his neck and head. Several pieces of furniture were also damaged.

Dagher, a graduate of the conservatoire, was a famous fashion designer who had made creations for a multitude of stars in Egypt and the region. He was the son of renowned violin player Abdo Dagher.  

Dagher’s sister, Magda has revealed that her brother’s mobile and car were missing and suspected that the murderer was also behind the theft.

There have been several scenarios circulating on who exactly killed the young designer. Some suspect that the murderer is a friend of Dagher’s, because his apartment door was not broken, which may suggest Dagher had opened the door to the killer himself.

Hanan Nasr, a social entrepreneur who created the Miss Arab World competition and previously worked with Dagher when he designed dresses for competitors in 2007, said that the designer's death came as a shock.

“He was known to be decent and respectable, I don’t think that had enemies,” Nasr said.

The timing and nature of Dagher’s death has added to the panic in the immediate community. Since police forces withdrew from the streets during the 25 January Revolution, a wave of crime has hit the nation.

On Sunday, the daughter of former MP Effat El-Sadat was kidnapped while on her way to school. The kidnappers demanded a ransom and released her after her father paid the requested amount.

Even though the kidnappers were arrested and the police was hailed by the army for their effort in the case, the measures taken by the Ministry of Interior to address crime do not appear to be calming popular fears.

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