I did a quick online interview with Egyptian journalist Wael Mmdouh who re-opened again the Egyptian POWs file in the Egyptian media in a way like no other. I asked him several questions about his report and he was kindly enough to answer my questions.
Egyptian POWs.net: what made you search for the mass graves of the Egyptian POWs in this way that one has ever done and that was the beginning of the interview??
At first I was not sure that I was going to find mass grave like I have done, I only wanted to prove that these mess graves do exist; through research and the cooperation of the locals I was able to be sure completely that there are mass graves and thus I started to take this lead with the help of some of the locals; I also looked for eye witnesses to tell me the circumstance of the POWs murder and its right time and date.
Egyptian POWs.net: Did you meet any difficulties while talking with the locals??
Of course I did meet several difficulties while talking with the locals in the area , especially it is a desert area that does not accept strangers easily which made even harder ; the people there do not accept to speak with strangers easily and they never trust them at all.
At the end I was able to find some locals who had strong relations with eyes witnesses and those took care to win the confidence of the people there and assuring that I only seek the truth and that no names would be mentioned if requested and that what happened.
Still despite all this we met difficulties, for instance after agreeing with one of the sources near the Halal mount to speak and after long time in the way to get him, we found him refusing to speak to us ; I had to thank him in the end despite I could not document his testimony nor did he guide us to that mass grave “which is the biggest” between the mass graves I found yet this did not stop me to search for the rest mass graves and find them in the end besides documenting the witnesses’ testimonies.
Egyptian POWs.net: Did the security or the official authorities stand against the research or there was not an interest or completely absence!!??
This did not happen because I took my precautions in order to finish my reportage without the knowledge of the authorities and this is better because I can’t be their reaction for reportage like this; the authorities did not know about my reportage except when it was published.
Egyptian POWs.net: What was your feeling when you hold the bones of our POWs in your hand??
Frankly I can’t describe my feeling then, it was so difficult that you can imagine and it is enough to say that I stop working and speaking after burying the bones that appeared in the video. I could not continue working; I did not say one single word except after leaving the middle zone.
Egyptian POWs.net: Why did not you show the complete video especially in the mass graves in Dostor Channel??
It was for technical reasons, as YouTube does not allow long news material or documentaries, still it was required to be a short news report to support the story with photos and videos. I recorded long interviews but it would take long time to upload and download which will be bad for the readers. Already there is an idea to produce a long documentary with the testimonies and footage for the mass graves.
Egyptian POWs.net: Are there more pictures for the mass graves??
Yes there are more photos that will be published later in Dostor newspaper and its official websites for the sites as a follow up.
Besides there is a file from audio testimonies and photos currently prepared to help the legal committee which is being formed by Ambassador Ibrahim Youssry currently in order to sue the Israeli war criminal in the coming days.
Egyptian POWs.net: Has there been any official reaction you knew about regarding this reportage??
Officially there has been no reaction as if this reportage were published in another country, as if these soldiers were not Egyptians but off the record I know from personal sources that there are Egyptian Israeli moves to absorb the situation and not to escalate it like the gas issue, well I hope they fail.
Egyptian POWs.net: Will there be new material added to the report??
Of course there will be more to be revealed in the coming days especially the reportage was met with huge successful as I got many phone calls from people who want to document their testimonies and the physical evidences they have concerning the occupation era, this besides the people of Rafah, Sheikh Zowaid and on the borders villages who wanted to talk about the mass graves they found and feared to talk about. I think this report will continue and I will discover through it the biggest number of Israeli crimes to be documented.
Egyptian POWs.net: Did you document any of the sites on maps like Google maps??
It has not been done yet but I have the coordination of the middle zone on paper maps in order to prepare more precise maps to include the new cemeteries in the coming days.