Habiba, an Xpress reporter, was killed by a sniper in Cairo yesterday. Her tragic last thoughts were recorded via text messages to her mother. The love and worry shared between these two woman is heartbreaking.

06:19 am

Mother: Habiba, what’s going on there? I went to sleep at 1:30, that’s 11:30 your time. What’s with the attack? Tell me.

Habiba: The army and the police are indeed moving around the gates. The media centre was turned into a field hospital and the square is on high alert.

Mother: Where are you?

Mother: Where are you?

Habiba: Only journalists were allowed to remain in the building. I’m supposed to cover the monument in case the battle starts.

Habiba: Only journalists were allowed to remain in the building. I’m supposed to cover the monument in case the battle starts.

Mother: The monument is a bit far from Rabia.

Mother: The monument is a bit far from Rabia.

Habiba: Field security is at every gate now. I am in the media centre. It isn’t far at all in fact, and the door is big and it can be broken through easily.

Habiba: Field security is at every gate now. I am in the media centre. It isn’t far at all in fact, and the door is big and it can be broken through easily.

Mother: Are there too many police and army troops?

Habiba: Yes, but their movements could also be a “nerve war” tactic.

Mother: How will you get to the monument?

Habiba: I will walk like everybody else, or run. It depends on the situation.

Mother: God help us.

07:33

Habiba: I took three kinds of medication. It’s very cold here and I’m shivering. The crowds are massive and on high alert. Pray for us, mother.

Mother: God, keep us steadfast and give us power. God, grant us power over their necks. I entrust you to God the Almighty.

Habiba: I’m heading to the platform in a little while. There are tanks there.

Mother: God grant us steadfastness. God grant us victory. This is what I wrote on my page: God, I entrust to you all my brothers and sisters, sons and daughters in Rabia and Al Nahda, and all those who are protesting across Egypt. God I entrust to you with my husband Ahmed and my daughter Habiba. May we not be bereaved over any of them. God empower them and support them and keep them steadfast at the moment of encounter today.

12:46pm

Mother: Habiba, please reassure me. I’ve called thousands of times. Please, my darling, I’m worried sick. Tell me how you are.

The last message from Habiba’s mother was never answered.

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