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Notes from the Field, Rena Effendi

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NOTES FROM THE FIELD, Rena Effendi

Kerolus Dawood, a 22 year old survivor of the Alexandria “All Saints” Coptic Church bombing of January 1, 2011. Thirty two people died in the bombing and 97 were injured. Alexandria, Egypt. April, 2012 His testimony: 

It was like an earthquake. A big blast, I rushed out to see what happened and saw lots of bodies downstairs, torn off limbs, some people’s clothes were blown off so they covered them with newspapers. My mother was missing, so were both of my sisters and my aunt. I called out for my younger sister. If something had happened to her, I would not be able to live through it. People ran up and down in panic, everyone was looking for their family members trying to make sure they were not blown up. Blood was everywhere, but no sign of ambulance.

Firemen came instantly, something very strange, as it usually takes a long time for them to show up. They came out of nowhere and started washing everything with water, blood flowed on the streets and into the gutters. My mother, my older sister and aunt were killed by the blast. I saw my younger sister, she was gravely injured, but still alive, I rushed home with her, as she needed urgent help. That night I saw my mother’s body in the morgue, she was missing a leg. I recognized her only by the clothes that she was wearing that day.

My younger sister is now in a hospital in Germany, more than a year after, she still needs new surgeries to treat her injuries from the blast. She is a brave and amazing woman! One of the worst memories of that day was watching the firemen wash the blood of my family down the sewers.

Katerina Voegtle