Monday, February 06, 2006

Growing Egyptian Anger Over Red Sea Sunken Ferry Losses

More pain and sadness over the loss of the loveds in the sunken ferry of the Red Sea that took the lives of more that 1000, mostly Egyptians, are demonstrated all over the places in Egypt in solidarity with Egyptian families.

Bitter feelings are filling the atmosphere on why should a huge number of Egyptians die in such horrific circumstances. There are countries that do count every single citizen that die anywhere and the Egyptian government is providing mass death prescriptions to its citizens by failure to provide safety measures and proper maintenance. But the main reason is that everything in Egypt is controlled by the security apparatus which enjoys no transparency in dealing with the citizens. I would like to know who is the chair of this company or how these maritime companies are run. What will happen is the following lengthy procedures for forming a committte for investigation...etc until the issue is killed. But I would like also to see the chair and the management of this company to appear on TV and apologize for the Egyptian people for the pain they caused us. But let me tell you cannot ask security officers to appear on TV to apologize.

Here is a round from the press that I put together

Angry Protests over Lack of Information on the Loved ones

Relatives of passengers on a ferry that sank in the Red Sea attacked the offices of the ship's owners today, throwing furniture into the street and burning the company's sign. Riot police fired tear gas to restore order. Egyptian Police is not trained to deal with citizens with compassion during their crisis times, in stead they are ordered to use violence.

The relatives are desperate to know whether their loved ones were among the more than 1,000 who drowned and they say El Salam Maritime still has not released the victims' names. They also accuse Egypt's government of mishandling the rescue.

In Safaga, hundreds of relatives of the missing were still waiting for news. Chanting "down with the Interior Ministry, down with Mubarak," many were incensed over the lack of information and the government's handling of the disaster.

Witnesses Say it All

Khaled Hassan, a 27-year-old survivor from the village of al-Dhobiyah near Luxor who was traveling home after working in Kuwait, said he saw the ship's captain jump into a lifeboat as passengers were left behind.
Abdul Muhsin Rayan, a 35-year-old from Sohag who had been working in Saudi Arabia, said as smoke engulfed the ship, crew members told the passengers not to put on life jackets that were nearby, because that would panic women and children.

Relatives have been angered by survivors' accounts of the way the ferry continued its voyage for several hours after the fire broke out below deck and accounts of people spending up to 24 hours in the sea waiting for help.

The crowd in Safaga, desperate for information about survivors, swelled to more than 1,000 over the weekend, when they scuffled with riot police and threw stones at officials at the port where the ferry had been due to arrive on Friday.
By Monday relatives, who complained about rough and insensitive treatment at the hands of the police, began to disperse as some learned the fate of their loved ones and others traveled to Cairo to try to identify and collect bodies

Non-government Egyptian Media Reveals the flag of Panama Story

Egyptian media have accused the ferry's operators of making the ship unsafe by adding extra decks after buying it and using a Panamanian flag to avoid safety requirements. This a blatant evidence on the corruption of this maritime company. It is an Egyptian ferry with Panamanian flag. The flag is usually the law that governs those ships and that tells a lot.

The weekly independent paper Soutelomma said two other ferries owned by the company had sunk in the past 10 years, without the government properly investigating or putting the company's owner on trial.

The 35-year old Al Salam 98 ferry worked in Italy until it was bought by this fishy Cairo-based el Salam Maritime Transport Company and it sank early on Friday during a voyage Saudi Arabia to Safaga on the Egyptian Red Sea coast. The ship was carrying 1,414 people when it went down and around 1,000 people are still missing, feared dead.

Tens of thousands of Egyptians work in Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries — many of them from impoverished families in southern Egypt who spend years abroad to earn money. They often travel by ship to and from Saudi Arabia.

Cultural Background
Non Egyptian readers, you may notice from the images that most Egyptians are wearing a kind of national outfits that we call in Egypt "Galabyia" and so many other accessories that include those expensive wool shawls.
Knowing that many of you have seen Sunni Islamists wearing outfits like dresses that might be close to those Egyptian "Galabyia". I want to tell you that what those Egyptians are wearing have nothing to do with any religion on the entire globe. They are worn by muslim and Copt Egyptians. These are very tradtional costumes that certain non-Cairian communities especially in the country side and upper Egypt do wear. They have very special cuts and fabrics.

Previously: Another Black Day In Egypt’s History


At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Online Visitors
United States: 3
Germany: 1
Denmark: 1
Finland: 1
Norway: 1
Sweden: 1
8 visitors from 6 countries

Freedom for Egyptians, you've a great blog! Been a frequent visitor here for some time. Just loved to copy-paste the above to you although not related to the ferry posting. Any comment on the geographical concentration of your online readers?

Your reader in Finland

At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FFE, Great blog. Your coverage is concise and to the point. What a national tragedy. An investigation should be made and those responsible should be brought to justice. Eh what can I say, do you believe such a thing will happen?
Egyptian in Germany

At 8:23 PM, Blogger Doubting Thomas said...

Since the government isn't accountable at all, they'll probably get away with this like the other ferry sinkings,meaning that this ferry business must have connections that protect them.

At 6:55 PM, Anonymous Khaled Hassan said...

Wow, there must be a couple of Khaled Hassan's in the world.... Myself included.


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