A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Two Anniversaries in Egypt

Besides being the first day of summer, today also marked a couple of landmark anniversaries in Egypt: It was the birthday of the late,  great Egyptian singer Abdel Halim Hafez, who died at only 47, but it is also the tenth anniversary of the mysterious death of the popular Egyptian actress Soad Hosny, who was at one time reputedly romantically linked to Hafez. Hosny died in a fall from her apartment window in London, and there have long been rumors that it was no accident; her diaries and memoirs reportedly disappeared, and there were rumored links to Egyptian intelligence. (If it sounds surprisingly similar to the tale of Ashraf Marwan, the Nasser son-in-law who fell, jumped, or was pushed from his balcony in London in 2007, others have noted the resemblance.   Both Egyptian intelligence and Mossad have been blamed for that one. (Oh, and his memoirs, which he'd been working on, were never found, either.)

Blogger Zeinobia recently noted that there is talk of investigating Soad Hosny's death in the wake of the fall of the powerful Safwat al-Sharif. If so, we might gain some insight into some of the murkier moments in the modern Middle East.

An Egyptian Ambassador to London and a secretary to Nasser's Vice President Abdel Hakim Amer also died mysteriously in London. Egyptians living there really need to exercise care around windows and balconies, at least until we see how much has changed since the revolution.

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