Wednesday, January 11, 2012

No visitors at Abu Hasira tomb this year

Al-Masry Al-Youm

"....Sherif, Mahmoud and all of the village residents were finally able to enter the area around the mausoleum without fear. Previously, anyone who tried to enter the area would be beaten, humiliated or imprisoned for weeks because former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly’s security forces had turned the area around the shrine into a military barracks, forbidding anyone from approaching it.

The festival, scheduled for 9 to 10 January, is held on the annual anniversary of the death of Abu Hasira, whose mausoleum is located in the village of Damtu outside Damanhour. A number of political groups in Egypt announced Monday that they plan to protest at the Abu Hasira festival.

The usual security measures were absent around the tomb, which is located on top of the small village’s highest hill.....

Al-Masry Al-Youm, together with a number of village residents and activists from the Beheira Governorate, visited the tomb, which Jews failed to visit for the first time after activists declared they would form a human shield to prevent any Israelis from setting foot in the area....

In 2009, Israeli reports indicated that ousted President Hosni Mubarak agreed to a request on behalf of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to allow hundreds of Israelis to celebrate the festival.

After Egypt and Israel signed the Camp David Accords in 1979, Israel requested the cooperation of the Egyptian security authorities in the organization of annual official trips to the tomb for the festival, which last for a week.

After the revolution, a group of people tried to demolish the tomb, but village residents stopped them.

We are against the tomb, but at the same time we are against demolishing it in such a manner. The revolution didn’t erupt to demolish such tomb,” said Mohamed Fawzym, one of Damtu’s residents....."

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