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Unraveling the Uber Incident and Recent Updates Shaking Egypt’s Ride-Hailing Sector

February 28, 2024


A recent harrowing incident involving a 24-year-old woman, named Habiba El-Shamaa, has sparked a nationwide debate about the safety of ride-hailing apps, particularly for female passengers.

El-Shamaa’s leap from a moving vehicle to evade a potential abduction has not only left her in critical condition according to her mother, Dina Omar, but has also prompted urgent calls for increased safety measures within the ride-hailing industry in the country.

According to reports, El-Shamaa recounted to a witness that she had leapt from the fast-moving car in an attempt to escape her Uber driver, who she alleged was attempting to kidnap her. The severity of her injuries, including bone fractures, internal bleeding, and a brain hemorrhage.

Amidst the outcry on social media following the incident, both Uber and Egyptian authorities have come under scrutiny for handling the matter. While Uber Egypt claimed to be cooperating with authorities, Omar disputed these claims, stating that no Uber representative had not contacted the family.

Furthermore, the response from Egyptian law enforcement has highlighted broader issues surrounding public safety and accountability. The Ministry of Interior’s announcement of the driver’s arrest and interrogation on Saturday 24 February, coupled with revelations of his prior criminal record, underscores the need for enhanced background checks and stricter regulations within the ride-hailing industry.

However, the driver’s denial of the accusations and assertion that he feared repercussions after El-Shamaa’s escape highlights the complexities surrounding accountability in such cases.


As El-Shamaa continues to fight for her life, her ordeal serves as a sobering wake-up call for stakeholders across Egypt’s transportation and law enforcement sectors. Amidst the escalating concerns surrounding the recent Uber incident involving Habiba El-Shamaa, Heba Hashem, the sister of the accused Uber driver, has come forward with additional details shedding light on the events leading up to the shocking ordeal.

Hashem revealed that her brother, who also works as a private driver for a doctor, often activates the ride-hailing application after completing his primary job to supplement his income. On the day of the incident, Hashem’s brother had received a delivery request in the city, and while en route, he reportedly took a moment to spray perfume on himself, only to be startled when El-Shamaa opened the car door and leapt out.

In a telephone conversation with journalist Amr Adeeb on the “Al-Hekaya” program aired on the MBC Misr channel, Hashem recounted her brother’s reaction to the sudden turn of events.

She explained that upon witnessing El-Shamaa’s actions and the subsequent commotion among bystanders, her brother became fearful of potential reprisals from onlookers and swiftly informed the ride-hailing application of the incident. Hashem emphasized that her brother, a 34-year-old family man with three children and no prior criminal record, had been utilizing the ride-hailing platform for seven years without incident.

Furthermore, Hashem vehemently denied any malicious intent on her brother’s part, stressing that the perfume bottle found in the car was a common brand and not a weapon as initially feared. She lamented the misunderstanding that led to her brother’s arrest, asserting his innocence in the matter. Hashem expressed frustration over the consequences her family has endured as a result of the incident, questioning El-Shamaa’s actions and the repercussions for her brother’s livelihood.

The emergence of Hashem’s account adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing investigation and underscores the need for a thorough examination of all evidence and testimonies. As authorities continue to probe the circumstances surrounding the incident, the conflicting narratives and emotional toll on both parties involved highlight the urgent need for clarity and resolution in their troubling case.


The incident has reignited conversations on social media about gender-based violence and the systemic challenges faced by women in Egypt.

In response to growing public outrage, there have been calls on social media for urgent reforms to ensure the safety and well-being of ride-hailing passengers in Egypt.

These include proposals for improved driver screening processes, enhanced safety features within ride-hailing apps, and greater accountability mechanisms to address instances of misconduct or violence.


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