Egypt: Security Forces Destroy Alexandria's Historic Book Market

Egyptians woke up this morning to the news of the destruction of bookshops on pavements along Prophet Danial's street in Alexandria by the Ministry of Interior. The raid, at dawn, left netizens angry with the Muslim Brotherhood, which they claim is waging a war on culture.

Security forces destroyed the kiosks and books, causing damage to priceless collections of books and a wealth of culture.

Dr Shadia Metwally objects to the raid [ar]:

غلط الاعتداء علي مكتبات منطقة النبي دانيال وتترك أرصفة اخري عليها شاي وقهوة وكراسي بالية دي مكتبات وفيها ثروة ثقافية ‎‫#النبي_دانيال‬‏
@shadiametwally: It is wrong to attack the bookshops in the Prophet Danial area while other road sides, which have tea and coffee and old chairs are left. Those were bookshops which housed a wealth of culture

Schehrazade is concerned about students who will feel the pinch:

@_Schehrazade: I can't imagine how poor university students will now be able to afford their books. Seriously a most malicious act

What is left of Hameedo's bookshop on Prophet Danial Street in Alexandria

What is left of Hameedo's bookshop on Prophet Danial Street in Alexandria after a police raid. Photograph shared by Heba Farooq on Twitter

Heba Farouk Mahfouz explains:

كشك عم رجب حميدو رغم أنه في ممر خاص ومش ع الشارع، ورغم حصوله ع ترخيص من 34 سنه قامت الداخليه بتدميره ‎‫#النبي_دانيال‬‏ ‎
@HebaFarooq: Rajab Hameedo's kiosk was on a private lane, and not on the street, and despite holding a permit for the past 34 years, it was destroyed by the Ministry of Interior

She shares this photograph, right, of the destruction.

Waleed tweets:

#النبي_دانيال‬‏ قطعتوا عيش بائعي كتب بسطاء وحرمتم القراء البسطاء من مصدر سعادتهم، فيه أغبى من كدة؟!؟
@WilloEgy: You have destroyed the livelihood of simple vendors and prevented poor people from reading and their pursuit of happiness. Is there anything more stupid than this?

And Wael Barakat jokes:

يعني بعد كده بيع الكتب هايبقي زي بيع الخدرات و هانروح نشتري الكتب جوه شرايط الفديو
@Wael_Barakat: Does this mean that selling books will now be like selling drugs and we will go buy books inside video tapes?

While Ahmed Elsawy asks:

طب والراجل أبو كشك أزرق اللي علي اول الشارع اللي كنت بشتري من عنده ديما,وديما الاقيه بيصلي هدوله هو كمان كشكه؟طيب ‎‫#النبي_دانيال‬‏
@Ahmed_Elsawy: What about the man with the blue kiosk I used to always buy from? I used to always find him praying. Why did they also destroy his kiosk?

Many openly blamed the Muslim Brotherhood, whose member Mohamed Morsi is now the new president of Egypt, for the attack on books.

Anas Abdelazeem retorts:

تصوير ازالة اكشاك الكتب في ‎‫#النبي_دانيال‬‏ باعتباره هجمه اخوانيه ضد الثقافيه سخيف لانه وضع متكرر

@anasabdelazeem: Considering the destruction of books on Prophet Danial's [street] as a Muslim Brotherhood attack on culture is ridiculous because this is a recurring incident

For more reactions on Twitter, check out this hash tag [Ar].

Ahmed Rock shares photographs of the aftermath of the raid on his Facebook page here.


  • Culture Minister Saber Arab told Al-Masry Al-Youm that an investigation into the incident will be opened and added that he will contact the governor of Alexandria to discuss the problem.
    “What happened was a shame because books should not be dealt with in this chaotic way. The sellers should have been notified in advance and alternative places should have been made available to them.”

  • […] dün şafak vaktinde tabiri caizse talan etmiş. Fotoğraflar ve Mısırlıların tepkileri burada. […]

  • TheThinker1958

    shameful. The Egyptian Government is starting on the wrong path. I can feel another revolution coming after this display of ignorance.

  • […] the constitution. The same media didn’t care less for the unlawful-actions-Morsi-and-the-MB are responsible for. Their failing in all fields: 1. Politically: through numerous barriers and […]

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