The recent kidnappings in Egypt's Sinai are not motivated by religious extremism or a desire for money, but a desperate desire to make the government listen to a marginalized group.
Jirmy Abu Masouh was desperate.
So he did what Bedouin in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula have increasingly done in the past 18 months when they have had a grievance against the government: He kidnapped two American tourists and their Egyptian guide.
Massachusetts residents Rev. Michel Louis and Lissa Alphonse were traveling to St. Catherine’s, an ancient monastery at the foot of the mountain where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments, with their guide, Haytham Ragab, when Abu Masouh took the three of them from a bus on July 13.
“My voice was dead, and when I kidnapped, my voice was heard. When [the Americans] called the American embassy and told them about my uncle, people now have heard me,” said Abu-Masouh in a phone interview from Sinai.
Abu Masouh released his hostages unharmed yesterday after three days of negotiations with Egyptian security officials, and they were reunited with their group in Israel today. His uncle has not been released.
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