Kareem Taha

* 1986

  • „One day I decided to leave Czech Republic. I can´t continue. People couldn´t accept me as a human being. And I see that there isn´t any opportunity to continue my life here. Event the Arab community they were very racist with me. They kicked me out. I went there once, there is čajovna or shisha bar, I went there to ask for work and ask for help. And they asked me: Are you muslim? I said: No I am not muslim, I am just a human being. So we can´t help you. And on the other hand the Czech people aske dme if I am muslim or not. I said not. No, you are muslim. Both of them kicked me out. Thea rab community and the Czech people, I didn´t know where to go. In this moment I felt really that I am alien coming from a space. All the people looked at me strangly.“

  • „The Mubarak´s regime has fallen and the Egyptian military council got the regime. The Egyptian army and the Egyptian military council get involved in killing the people and demonstrators in the squares and the streets which is like Maspero incident. It was unforgettable, unforgettable, because I can say that the vehicles of Egyptian army stepped over and crushed the Christians demonstrators in front of the TV building. You can see, you can go back to some movies such as The Square, you can see this. We have been able to document this moments.“

  • „And in 2011 there was big preparing, we prepared ourselves for big demonstration. We couldn´t imagine that it will be a revolution. We just thought that it will be a normal demonstration, but quite big and there will be maybe a change of government. It was our maximum dream during this time. But it was incredible. We went to Tahriri Square and we raised some attenders. We started to have a speech there. A lot of people gathered around us. And it started to be big and big and big and it´s revolution. Success. Mubarak fell. Our dream became true for just eighteen days. After that Egyptian military council, egyptian army, occupied the regime.“

  • „In the end I didn´t have a choice. The prison behind me and the freedom in front of me. I have to choose. I chose the freedom definitely. And I started a journey through the dessert from Egypt to Sudan by truckcar. I was with couple of my colleague. We spent three nights in the dessert. I can´t say… It was like a nightmare for me, it was like a dream. I couldn´t understand what is going arround. Suddenly the driver stopped the car and he told us: ‚The journey is finished here. You have to walk thirty minutes, you will be in the other side, you will be in Sudan.‘ Ok, we believed to him. We started to walk, one hour, two hour, five hour and nothing. Just the dessert, just the mountain. One of my colleague, he is quite older, he is over fifty years old, and he got tired. He can´t continue and he lost hope. I told them, I was the youngest one: ‚Get a rest and I will try to go over this hell to check if there is a mobile signal, a road ort he boarder.‘ I left them. For almost twenty minutes by walk I went up the hell looking around, trying to catch a mobile signal, but unfortunately I failed. I decided to go back to my colleagues again and I couldn´t. I lost my way. I was completely alone in the dessert without anything. I was just shouting and crying: ‚Does anybody hearing me? Does anybody around?‘ I just hearing my own. I decided to continue walk till the end. After almost thirty or forty minutes I found some tent and some sheep and goats. I understand that there is somebody around, which is like Bedouin people. I went inside the tent and I found an old men. I told him everything. Definitely he was scared from me, because they have the traditional clothes in the dessert and I had trousers and shirt. I told everything honestly to him, that I am a human right activist, I got judge life sentence and I tried to flee from Egypt to use my life, the rest of my life. He helped me. He took me to the other side. I arrived to Sudan and I informed him about my colleague who has been lost in the dessert. Unfortunately he told me to forgot them, because for hundred percent the Egyptian army shot them and they´re killed, they´re dead.“

  • „It was crazy time. They send me to territorial confinement. They hold me with ISIS members. I am atheist, but I grew up with muslim sufi family. And I will let you imagine what happened with this fanatic people. It was a kind of torture or kind of punishment from the high commissioner of the prison. It is really unacceptable, I can´t explain it. I can´t say that it was easy to stay for eight nights with this people. I couldn´t do anything. They banned me to smoke cigarette, they banned me to read book. They took all of my clothes. They just keep my boxers. Even the blanket. I was sleeping over the floor. I got released. I got depression. I lost my power, my self-confidence. I stayed at home doing a kind of therapy and just watching movies, drinking beer, contact my frineds. For almost one year.“

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Zatčení Kareema Taha na demonstraci v Káhiře v roce 2011
Zatčení Kareema Taha na demonstraci v Káhiře v roce 2011
zdroj: Archiv pamětníka

Kareem Taha se narodil 10. listopadu 1986 v Káhiře do muslimské súfijské rodiny. Vyrostl v křesťansko-židovské čtvrti el-Zaher. Po studiu na střední františkánské škole absolvoval bakalářský program obchodní administrativy. Magisterské studium již dokončit nemohl. Spolupracoval s mnoha neziskovými organizacemi a živil se jako podnikatel. Stal se terčem represe státu vůči aktivistům kritizujícím poměry ve společnosti. V roce 2008 se zapojil do aktivit opozičního Hnutí mládeže 6. dubna. V občanském aktivismu pokračoval i za všech dalších režimů, které se v Egyptě vystřídaly od pádu Husního Mubáraka v únoru 2011. Několikrát byl uvězněn, během internace zažil mučení včetně elektrošoků. Před hrozbou dalšího uvěznění se rozhodl v roce 2015 pro útěk do Súdánu. Česká republika mu udělila doživotní azyl. Tři roky strávil v Praze, kde poměrně obtížně hledal cestu do české společnosti. V roce 2017 odešel do Brna, kde založil organizaci Egyptian Front for Human Rights (EFHR). Tuto organizaci vede doposud. V Česku se oženil a má syna.