Faisal’s Tobril

Or the way I see it

Battle of the Wafd

Posted by Faisal on April 3, 2006

Former head of the Egyptian Wafd Party (Officially the Neo-Wafd, after its reformation in the 1970s) Noman Gomaa, and 14 others) has been placed under arrest and will be imprisoned for a period of four days while the investigation into the events of Saturday the 1st of April. Gomaa, and the 14 others (including Wafd MP Ahmed Naser and his two sons), were formally charged with attempted murder, possession of firearms and munitions without license, arson, thuggery, disturbing the peace, possession of arms, disturbing the peace and the injury and wounding of 27 people.

Noman Gomaa. Former Head of the Neo-Wafd Party.

Apparently, Gomaa thought to return to his former position of party leader.

How ridiculous!

The Egyptian press had pictures of people carrying Molotov grenades, different bullet-casings of spent bullets used in the attack. There were also pictures of the party headquarters after the attack:


I’m reminded of pictures of Palestinian homes after the Israelis have been through town, or the old pictures from my history book which have french houses after the Germans have bombed them to hell.

Gomaa (71) had been removed from leadership of the Wafd party by the party’s general assembly but apparently refused to accept the decision. Rumour has it that party opposition claim that Gomaa is merely a government agent and accomplice; ensuring that the semblance of Democracy is upheld while ensuring that the party is ineffectual (I think it will be ineffectual either way, but that’s just me).

What’s interesting about the whole thing is that its not (and I really have no problem with this) of enough importance to warrant a place on the Home Page of the news websites that I visited to get the pictures you see above.

One last thing: there were rumours that Gomaa’s move was carried out with government blessings but that the carnage and destruction that resulted were just too much for the Egyptian authorities not to act. It is a fact though that there were security personnel (Central Security forces – the equivalent of riot police) present during the “attack”. Im guessing because of the extreme centralization of the Egyptian bureaucracy, especially when it comes to such situations, they didn’t life a finger until other police forces arrived on the scene and Gomaa was arrested and taken from the scene, under police protection, in (get this) an armoured car. Apparently Gomaa forces broke through the Wafd lines but were surrounded, and could not escape without police support.

And that’s the way I see it.

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