The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

A poster of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi that reads "Yes to legitimacy; no to the coup" lies amid the debris of a cleared protest camp outside the burnt Rabaa Adawiya mosque in Cairo in this August 15, 2013 file photo.
A poster of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi that reads "Yes to legitimacy; no to the coup" lies amid the debris of a cleared protest camp outside the burnt Rabaa Adawiya mosque in Cairo in this August 15, 2013 file photo.
(MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY/REUTERS)

Nervana Mahmoud

The Muslim Brotherhood’s fate: An Algerian explosion or a Turkish resurrection?

It was October 6, 1981. The distance between my home and the bakery was no more than a few hundred meters, yet it felt like an endless journey. The vibrant streets of Cairo were reduced to a deafening silence, as if everyone had disappeared. My mother and I were totally unaware that president Anwar Sadat had been assassinated by Islamists. In the eerily empty street, I met my first Army officer. He was bemused by my childish determination when I said, “I left home to get bread, I will not go back without it.” Miraculously, I got the bread and went back home with a new word added to my vocabulary, “curfew.” It was a word that I did not fully understand, as the deeper meaning and implications were lost to my childhood mind. I did know, however, that this word made Cairo a spooky place.