I am a British citizen but sometimes I don’t feel entirely British. Egypt is where I spent five rewarding years of my life. But now I’ve been exiled from the country by State Security. Ironically, although I was deported in March 2012, I still (as of 2016) have a court case against me on a trumped up charges which include
- Fighting with the police.
- Attempting with others to seize control of Egypt’s Ministry of Interior.
- Attempting to spread anarchy within Egypt.
I hope my lawyer can win that case even though I won’t be there to answer questions and then hopefully I can return to Egypt’s blue skies again, to see my friends there, including those who did so much to help me win my freedom. I would also love to talk with people about their experiences of the revolution and to improve my very rusty Arabic which when spoken by Egyptians sounds such a poetic beautiful language.
I have been fascinated by Egyptian politics for years and from 25 January I became obsessed with the uprising and the subsequent protests against the military and the remnants of the old regime. Every time there was a major protest or event in Tahrir I would travel by bus to Cairo, partly to be a “witness to history” and party to document the brutality of Egypt’s security forces.
Unfortunately on 5 February 2012 I was arrested and beaten by the police when I was caught hiding in a stairwell just after a gas attack broke up a protest near the Ministry of Interior. I have written a full account of my arrest and subsequent 54 days in prison here. Below two photographs of me taken, first, during one of my court appearances and second just after returning to England, when I had just gained my freedom. I’m holding my “under investigation” prison shirt. I owe so much to a hard fought campaign by my friends, family and the Peter Tatchell Foundation to win my freedom.
I have a Masters in Development Economics from the London School of Economics and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Essex and I’m currently researching a book on Egypt’s uprisings, the country’s current human rights crisis and the Western reaction to it and am hoping to find contributors.
If you have been in Egypt anytime since January 2011 or for any reason feel you might be able to contribute in any way please do contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or via my facebook page – Alisdare Hickson at facebook.com/alisdare If you need to contact me urgently please phone + 44 7502 427238.