The young Egyptian publicly lauded for pulling down Israel’s flag from its embassy in Cairo is not the real hero behind the adventure, two activists have said.
Osama Ezz al-Arab and Mohamed al-Desouky, two Egyptian revolutionaries, said that Ahmed al-Shehat, who reportedly climbed to the 22nd floor of the Israeli Embassy's building on 20 August, was not the hero.
Mostafa Kamel Gad Allah, a honey seller, replaced the Israeli flag with an Egyptian one, the pair told Al-Masry Al-Youm.
The stunt took place during a demonstration in front of the embassy protesting the death of five Egyptian border officers in an Israeli raid on 18 August
Egyptian bloggers and internet users praised Shehat, nicknaming him Flagman.
But according to Ezz al-Arab, climbing the building was Gad Allah’s idea. He said that Gad Allah planned the daring move with Shehat and a third protester, Ahmed Yousry. Gad Allah tore down the flag and threw it to Shehat, who ran with it towards the jubilant protesters.
"I spoke with Shehat one day later, he told me that he did not steal the credit for Gad Allah’s effort intentionally,” Ezz al-Arab said. “Shehat said that Sheikh Safwat Hegazy, an Islamic preacher, took him to a satellite channel to recount his adventure. He could not deny the news before the media."
Desouky said that Hegazy is aware that Gad Allah was real man behind the incident. “Hegazy called Gad Allah and told him they will work the issue out so that revolutionaries would not appear to be liars," he said.
Desouky said a woman had phoned Shahat to say she possessed photos of the real climber, and threatened to submit them to the prosecution services.
The governor of Sharqiya, Shehat’s birthplace, has awarded him with an apartment and a job for his bravery.
Translated from the Arabic Edition