Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Egyptian X-File : Searching For Mr.Halal

Some people , high profile people  from time to time disappear in Egypt , yes disappear with no trace behind except a big “X” , there are many Egyptian X-Files under the category of “disappearance” like for instance during the Nasserite era “which most if not all of them could be traced to Nasser’s prisons” or like the disappearance of former Libyan minister and dissident Mansour Kikhia.”actually this would be an Arab X-File as many regional parties are suspect in that file which insh Allah hopefully I will discuss”
Yet none of these X-files are more mysterious and controversial likReda Halale the file of Egyptian Journalist Reda Halal because simply unlike those people who disappeared in Egypt Halal was a famous pro-regime journalist in Al Ahram.
The last time Reda Halal had been seen was on the 11th of August 2002 in Cairo by his driver who drove the 45 years old bachelor journalist to his  apartment with no knowledge that it would be the last time he would see his boss. Since then Reda has not been seen publicly whether alive or dead. His apartment was as he left it , nothing was stolen and there was no sign of struggle. By the way when he arrived home he ordered Kabbab from famous Abu-Shakra, based on the quantity he ordered the police expected that he was waiting for someone. “Of course this was inconclusive , may be he ordered that quantity because he did not want to order everyday”
Halal was famous journalist working in a very powerful position in Al Ahram, he was occupying the deputy editor in chief of the famous newspaper. There was no doubt that he was among the regime men in the media because other than that he would not haven been chosen for that position in Al Ahram. It was something expected that he would head after couple of years an official newspaper as it is the custom in our official press. His views were considered liberal secular pro-Western and sometimes pro-Israeli like Ali Salam’s opinions.
There were lots of rumors and lots of theories. There was official investigation that reached to nothing . Some people believe he is dead ,other believe he is alive. To be honest I do not know what tense I should use when I speak about him !!
His disappearance was for sure a media circus after all he was a high profile journalist. There were lots of rumors or rather theories regarding his disappearance:
  • The most powerful one is that he was working as a spy for Israel and had to leave the country on yacht from Al Gouna in the Red Sea after being discovered by the GIS !!
Naguib Sawiris had to deny that rumor by himself , already I do not get why he would escape on a yacht from Al Gouna and not from Taba !!!!
  • He was taken by the State security !!
Why ?? He is a pro-regime secular so-called liberal journalist who fought with his pen radical Islamist groups.
  • He was abducted and killed by the radical Islamist group. In 2006 Al-Qaida as far as I remember claimed that they killed him , of course the interior ministry did not take this announcement seriously especially it appeared on shady internet forums
Where is his body ?? More solid proof than few words !! Nobody really bought this claim.
  • It was a crime of passion as bachelor man and you can think in both ways in this possibility. “I know it is rude but I heard that rumor, people began to think about every possibility then”
Where is his body ?? Usually when there is a murder crime , there is body. Ok he was taken somewhere else than his apartment to meet his grim fate, still again where is the body ??
In 2009 last week Osama Halal , Reda’s brother said that his brother is still alive . Osama says that an officer working in the prisons department who asked not to be named so he won’t be fired told him that he spotted Reda at Borg Al Arab prison with another name !! Osama says that his brother is currently in solitary confinement where he has no contact with other prisoners. The general prosecutor decided to open an investigation regarding this claim and it seems that there will be a new search for Reda in the Egyptian prisons !!
I understand Osama’s feeling but his story is strange , since when the officers of prisons are so humanitarians !!?? This story or theory means that the state behind his disappearance in and this leads us to another question : Why would the state hide him in this way ??
There is no logic explanation in my mind except the espionage allegation with my all respect to Halal and even in this case I do not find a reason for the Egyptian intelligence to arrest him secretly and let him stay in jail for all those years. If he were a spy and the state is embarrassed of admitting that an official press giant like Al Ahram was infiltrated why did not they get rid of him in a quieter way , he could be dead in a car accident or even get killed in a burglary or get poisoned. It does not make any sense at all.
My late grandfather met him several time and knew him and I remembered that his disappearance was an enigma for him. He would come from the journalists syndication with more questions than answers. I will not claim that my granddad had  a high opinion in him but I believe my granddad knew what the price was to reach this position in a newspaper owned by the State.
Seriously I do not have any clues or any ideas about Red Halal and I do not even have a definite opinion whether he was or he is still one thing for sure : Truth must come out in the end
Important update you must check on February 27th, 2011 about the case
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    1. Zeinobia have you heard anything about a dual infection or h5n1/h1n1 in a patient from saudi arabia?

    2. I heard about an Italian tourist whom I will write about him soon


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