Buzz

Body Shamed and Bullied Online, Egyptian Policeman’s Story Revealed

Body Shamed and Bullied Online, Egyptian Policeman’s Story Revealed

The police officer during the floods.
The police officer during the floods.

As Alexandria’s streets were flooded with water, leaving seven dead, hundreds without electricity, and more with their homes and businesses damaged, social media users shared the photograph above, mocking the policeman for his weight and for standing idly.

Comments on social media largely consisted of body shaming and even saw the policeman being photoshopped into embarrassing situations that made fun of his weight.

A day later, it was revealed that the policeman in the photo is Lieutenant Colonel Mostafa Mokhtar, a former national taekwondo champion who had suffered a spinal injury that forced him out of the sport, and career, he loves.

On live television, Mr Mokhtar revealed how he had “lived the blackest [worst] night of my life” after his photograph went viral on Facebook for all the wrong reasons.

“I was shocked. I got home after work and was really tired and so I went to sleep. I woke up and found my wife was really upset,” said Mr Mokhtar in an interview. “I asked her what is wrong, and she said a lot of people are insulting saying you were standing there and didn’t look good. I told her it’s okay, that’s my job…but I found she was still upset…but I told her what am I meant to do?”

“My girls were embarrassed to go to school and didn’t want to go to school,” added Mr Mokhtar in a statement to 90 Minutes in Al-Mehwar television station. In the end, Mr Mokhtar couldn’t convince them to go to school, saying they were too embarrassed to leave home.

During the ordeal, Mr Mokhtar’s wife took to Facebook, writing that she was proud of her husband and the work he does.

11059730_1640960852823546_6842643359778960754_n

“I love my work. I was offered to take a desk job, but I refused it because I love working on the streets. I get to see everyday people going on with their lives,” said Mr Mohktar on why he continues to work in the police traffic department.

Despite his spinal injury, which means he is unable to exercise too much effort that would strain his back, Mr Mokhtar had taken to the streets at 6:30AM to help civilians during the floods. Many Alexandrians took to social media to thank Mr Mokhtar for his efforts.

“Yesterday, I was really upset. In the morning, my dignity was restored,” said Mr Mokhtar after other social media users defended him and started sharing his life story.

After his story went viral in Arabic and was aired on Egyptian television, Mr Mokhtar said that his daughters were finally proud to go back to school.

“My girls returned to school proud…everything changed…thanks to the people of Alexandria and my colleagues.”

Yet, Mr Mokhtar had a message for those who bullied him and for social media users.

“Don’t ruin the lives of people,” said Mr Mokhtar. “What they did could have ruined the lives of a whole family. Just be careful.”

CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT THE ALEXANDRIA FLOOD FUND CAMPAIGN

Fayoum's Valley of the Potters: Where Ancient Egypt Lives On
Israeli Restaurant Gives 50% Discount to Arabs and Jews Dining Together

Subscribe to our newsletter


Buzz
@khairatmk

Mohamed Khairat is the Founder of Egyptian Streets.

More in Buzz

Watch Two Egyptians Travel Across Egypt With No Money

Egyptian StreetsJuly 22, 2019

#WeCompleteEachOther: New Campaign Promoting Social Cohesion Between Egyptians and Migrants

Egyptian StreetsJuly 21, 2019

Three Public Incubators That Help Egyptian Entrepreneurs Kick-Start Their Businesses

Egyptian StreetsJuly 21, 2019

Janet Jackson, 50 Cent Replace Minaj at Jeddah Festival

Egyptian StreetsJuly 19, 2019

A Selection of Tasty Snacks and Refreshing Drinks to Enjoy on the Beach in Egypt

Egyptian StreetsJuly 19, 2019

More Than Music: The Spirit Behind Egypt’s Coldplay Tribute Band ‘Strawberry Swing’

Egyptian StreetsJuly 19, 2019

Five Recent Egyptian Documentaries to Hide Away and Watch During the Summer

Egyptian StreetsJuly 18, 2019

“Room Art Space”: an Original Idea Branches Out to New Cairo

Egyptian StreetsJuly 16, 2019
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.

© 2017 Egyptian Streets. All Rights Reserved.