Ahmad Al-Shahhat

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Ahmad Al-Shahhat Abdol-Fattah Al-Sayyed Saqr (Arabic: أحمد الشحات عبد الفتاح السيد صقر), also known as The Flagman, is an Egyptian man who became famous after climbing the face of a 24 story building in Cairo, Egypt on August 21, 2011. He received neither professional training nor did he use any special equipment to assist his climb.

Background and details[edit]

On August 18, 2011, mass demonstrations erupted in front of the Israeli embassy in Cairo, which occupies the top floor of a high rise across from the Giza zoo in one of Cairo's prominent locations, protesting against the Israeli attack on Egyptian soldiers inside the Egyptian territories, which left 3 Egyptian security officers dead and 3 others injured.[1]

Protesters demanded dismissal of the Israeli ambassador in Cairo and recalling of the Egyptian ambassador in Tel Aviv; during the demonstrations some protesters attempted to take down the Israeli flag, despite the efforts of Egyptian police squads and military men to direct the protesters away from the building. The protesters also tried unsuccessfully to burn the flag by aiming fireworks at it.

On August 21, 2011, Al-Shahhat climbed the building to take down the Israeli flag and hoist the Egyptian flag instead. Al-Shahhat achieved widespread local and international recognition due to the videotapes and photographs taken of the incident, causing the public to call him "Flagman" and the "Egyptian Spiderman".[2]

Personal info[edit]

Al-Shahhat is a house-painter from Zagazig and works in Cairo. He has referred to himself as a simple man, with no political affiliations. In his own words he climbed the building and replaced the flag "to make the Egyptians happy".[3]


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  1. bbc.co.uk (2011-08-18). "3 Egyptian soldiers killed by israeli attacks near the borders".
  2. bbc.co.uk (2011-08-21). "Egyptian protester hoisted the Egyptian flag over the israeli embassy in Cairo".
  3. Al-Jazeera Mubashir Misr Channel on Youtube (2011-08-21). "Press conference of Ahmad Al-Shahhat, the man who took down the israeli's flag".

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