Local press is having a field day with rumors and confusion
CAIRO: Stories and rumors about the Maadi stabber are making the rounds in that Cairo suburb andwell as the rest of the capital, especially after Fatma Eleiwaa, a nurse, was stabbed by an attacker as she set out on Wednesday from her domicile in the Al Arab area.
In a bid to prevent any leaks of information that could prove instrumental in trapping the criminal, police authorities prefer to remain mum.
But some argue the silence is being triggered by a surge in stabbings that continue to baffle the police who have so far come up empty.
As a result, the press has been forced to contend with interviewing the victims who have been approached by some opposition tabloids.
One of them is Al Osboa, a weekly newspaper which featured its interviews with the stabbed nurse Fatma Eleiwaa’s in a special double-page spread.
Al Musawar weekly reported that some of the victims’ parents have threatened to offer their flats for sale and flee Maadi if the stabber is not immediately arrested.
The mother of Eman, one of the stabber’s victims, fears it could be an organized crime that involvesmore than one attacker.
The mother’s statements, the press is claiming, may not be all that removed from fact, particularly since several victims and their relatives have offered police varying descriptions of the assailant(s).
Some say he is of short, stocky build. Others claim he is of average height and lanky.
But some Maadi residents are dismissing the notion of an organized crime spree and prefer not to buy into the ‘hysteria’ sweeping Maadi and dominating opposition and tabloid headlines.
After it was reported that a woman residing on Road 77 in Maadi was stabbed by the attacker, some of the road’s residents dismissed the incident as a rumor.
This is also exacerbated by the fact the police is not immediately releasing information on alleged attacks.
Eman and Fatma live on Mohandes Nabil Street, a small turning that branches from Road 77 in the Arab area.
According to Al Osboa, the assailant muzzled Fatma with both hands and suddenly loosened his grip to pick up his razor. She reacted by snatching a medical razor that she had always kept in her bag and wounded him.
He fled the scene but was stopped by police as Fatma’s screams echoed in the area. He told the guards he had to rush because his wife was delivering.
When Fatma’s husband appeared in the balcony to warn that this was the stabber, he had already escaped. But he was chased to a hospital but then the trail went cold and he apparently managed to slip out and evade capture.
And this is where the reports start to contradict and confuse – was he masked or not. And if he had been masked when he attacked Fatma, why was she able to give a description of his face?
And police who nabbed him and then mistakenly let him go, surely they would have beat him down had he approached them wearing a mask.
The Maadi stabbers story is the second such wave of crimes to capture the imagination of Cairenes and the media; in October, a gang of pedophiles was arrested.
The gang, led by one Ramadan Mansour, 26, confessed to raping, sexually abusing, and murdering several young men and boys.
Both crimes seem to be psychopathic and sexual in nature, which is likely to begin a controversial reassessment of Egyptian society, sexual repression and what has become of it in recent years.
With reports of a Maadi stabber persisting for nearly a month, residents and the media have now reported a total of 48 attacks in the neighborhoods of Al Arab, Bastateen Hadayek Al Maadi, and Saqr Qureish.