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Risky Cairo forces student home

jmal Eymadi Mohd Noor (inset) and his friends at a shooting range in Cairo, where they learnt to handle rifles for self-protection, given the tense situation there.
jmal Eymadi Mohd Noor (inset) and his friends at a shooting range in Cairo, where they learnt to handle rifles for self-protection, given the tense situation there.

KUANTAN: He is only 15, but Ajmal Eymadi Mohd Noor has seen and experienced so many unexpected things in Cairo that he decided to leave Egypt last week.

The most shocking experience was when a local man pointed a shotgun at him and his three friends while they were on their way to have supper.

“Demonstrations and street protests were held almost daily since I arrived in Egypt in September last year. However, the situation has worsened since June 30,” said Ajmal, who studied at Maahad Buuth in Cairo.

In the past weeks, he said, armed men roamed the streets and most of the students there preferred to stay indoors at their rented houses or hostels to avoid any untoward incident.

“Malaysian Embassy officers also asked us to stock up on food and other essential items. Many of us also kept knives under our pillows, as there were cases of armed intruders in our areas,” said Ajmal, who stayed with three Malaysians in a flat in Haiyul Asyir, about 20km from Tahrir Square, where the main demonstrations were held.

Regarding the incident, Ajmal said he and his housemates decided to have supper at a restaurant near their flat about 11pm on June 30.

“We were walking towards the restaurant, when a car pulled up in front of us. We stopped for while before continuing on our way, but suddenly, the driver came out and aimed his shotgun at us.

“We were shocked but remained calm. Luckily, the driver left us as he realised that we were not criminals.”

He added that the man could have been on crime-prevention rounds in the neighbourhood.

Ajmal said from what he had gathered from the locals and his seniors, many Egyptians had bought guns to protect their properties and families.

“We also learnt how to shoot at a rifle range nearby. If the situation got worse, at least we would know how to protect ourselves.”

The youngest of seven children said he agreed to return home after his parents advised him to do so.

“Most of the Malaysian students could not return home as they did not have the money.

“However, they know how to take care of themselves as many had gone through a similar experience in 2011.”

Ajmal arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Wednesday and returned to his parents’ house in Kampung Sungai Soi, here, on Friday.

Second-year Islamic syariah student at Al-Azhar University, Muhammad Al-Amin Salleh, 23, said male students had formed a night watch group to patrol their living quarters and update students.

“If the patrol squad has any updates, it will relay the information to the security division called the ‘Hisbah Squad’.”

Besides keeping an eye on his sister, Nor Aishah Salleh, 24, who is in Egypt for a short course in Arabic language, Al-Amin said he also shared daily updates with his parents.


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