Feature

The Egyptian Student Who Joined The Islamic State As A ‘Jihadist’

The Egyptian Student Who Joined The Islamic State As A ‘Jihadist’
Meet Islam Yaken, an Egyptian member of the Islamic State.
Meet Islam Yaken, an Egyptian member of the Islamic State.

Members of the Islamic State (of Iraq and Syria) represent a variety of backgrounds, speaking a multitude of languages and holding a variety of passports from across the globe. Yet, it was the recent circulation of a photograph of one Egyptian that has spurred a flurry of debate on social media in Egypt.

Wielding a sword, a kalashnikov rifle and riding a horse, photographs of the young Egyptian in plain clothing, yet trendy eye-glasses, spread on social media, leading some to question why the university student sought to join the Islamic State.

Islam Yaken before leaving to join the Islamic State.
Islam Yaken before leaving to join the Islamic State.

According to Sultan Al-Qassemi, the young 23-year-old man, Islam Yaken, is a gym enthusiast who studied at the French Lycée in Cairo’s up-scale district of Heliopolis. After graduating from Ain Shams University with a law degree in 2013, the multi-lingual graduate, who sports a toned body, parties at the Hard Rock Cafe in sunny Sharm El-Sheikh and is a fan of Canadian actress Jessica Lowndes, left Cairo to join the Islamic State.

While he once posted photographs of his gym success and his music interests, today Islam Yaken’s social media posts consist of severed heads and other ‘kills’ of his.

A photograph of Islam Yaken before he left Egypt to join the Islamic State.
A photograph of Islam Yaken before he left Egypt to join the Islamic State.

Al-Qassemi wrote that “on July 29th, Yaken posted a photo to celebrate Eid with a severed head on top of a corpse that he said belonged to a ‘dog’ later identified as one of Syrian war criminal leader Bashar Al-Assad’s fighters form the 17th division of the Army.”

Today, one question remains on the minds of Egyptians on social media: why did a law graduate, who potentially had a bright future, leave Egypt to join a group that has been accused of war crimes?

Egypt 'may intervene' in Libya says Amr Moussa
East African Retro Pop Finds Its Way To Cairo

Subscribe to our newsletter


Feature

More in Feature

Behind the scenes of the filming

Redefine Ability: An Egyptian Campaign Changing How We View Ability

Mohamed KhairatJanuary 11, 2017
fit

How Has the Floating of the Egyptian Pound Impacted Egypt’s Real Estate Market?

Egyptian StreetsJanuary 4, 2017
direxiona

Direxiona: Egypt’s First Driving Platform for Women

Nouran AllamDecember 27, 2016
mentalhealth

Are Psychiatric Hospitals in Egypt Hurting Mental Health Care?

Mustafa Z MirzaDecember 13, 2016
victimscairocathedral

Remembering the Victims of the Cairo Cathedral Terror Attack

Egyptian StreetsDecember 12, 2016
01ea6fda4ec705de1f0d8307df4aad284af86e9fad1a6e2ae0a0f14630297bf5

Meet the Company Redefining Egypt’s Health Insurance Market

Enas El MasryDecember 4, 2016
13920532_1736726203248967_2577116043429050990_o

Making #HerStory Matter: Promoting Gender Equality on Arabic Wikipedia

Egyptian StreetsNovember 27, 2016
ahmed saied

‘We Made Chess Out of Soap’: Exclusive Interview with Released Political Prisoner Ahmed Saied

Aya NaderNovember 23, 2016
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2016 ES Media UG. All Rights Reserved.