Saturday June 10th, 2023
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Jika Street: An Insult?

The governor of Cairo, Galal Mostafa Saeed, has announced that renaming of streets to bare the names of some of the city's martyrs, but Conor Sheils can't help but think it's too little, too late.

Staff Writer

Egyptian martyr Mohamed 'Jika' Gaber is finally set to have a street named in his honour. The April 6th youth activist was murdered by the security forces in November 2012 on the anniversary of the Mohamed Mahmoud street battles. The movement, along with the 17-year-old's family and friends, have long campaigned for justice following the youngster's death. Jika will be remembered along with other activists killed during the January 25 revolution and subsequent battles beteen activists and the state. However, for many, the gesture will serve as a slap in the face to the memory of an activist who died opposing all forms of authoritarian rule, including the military state.

Jika was shot in the head during clashes that erupted between protesters and the police off Tahrir Square. Similar street naming accolades are set to be bestowed upon 11 other activists killed, mostly during the presidency of Mohamed Morsi. Journalist Al-Husseiny Abu Deif and activist Mohamed 'Kristy' Hussein, who were both killed in violence at the presidential palace in December 2012 and February 2013 respectively, are amongst those to be honured in street names. A street will also be renamed after Mohamed al-Guindi, who also died in February 2013, after he was allegedly tortured by the police.

Meanwhile, two streets will honour the memories of Sheikh Emad Effat and Mina Daniel, both of whom were killed before Morsi assumed power. Effat was shot dead in December 2011 in clashes with military police during protests against military rule. Other streets are set to carry the names of fallen journalists.

Here at Cairo Scene, we can't help but wonder how long it will take before the 102 people killed by the police state apparatus during this year's January 25 celebrations will receive an honour. Token measures such as renaming streets change nothing, especially while the current regime continues to clamp down on dissent with an iron fist.