Palestinian hailed a hero for foiling terror attempt

Raya Al-Hassan. (Supplied)
Updated 09 June 2019

Palestinian hailed a hero for foiling terror attempt

  • Mabsout left Lebanon for Turkey at the beginning of 2016 and then went to Idlib to continue his Shariah courses before returning to Turkey where he was arrested and deported to Lebanon

BEIRUT: A Palestinian shot in the head while trying to foil a deadly terror attack in Lebanon has been hailed a hero.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is to grant courageous 33-year-old Saber Murad a top bravery award after he tackled a gunman who opened fire during Eid celebrations in the Lebanese city of Tripoli on Monday.
And there have been calls for Murad, who is recovering in hospital from bullet wounds to his head and back, to be given Lebanese citizenship for his heroic actions.
Selfless dad Murad attempted to stop suicide bomber Abdulrahman Mabsout by positioning his car in the terrorist’s path. The “lone wolf” shooter killed two soldiers and two security officers during his rampage.
The Palestine News and Information Agency (WAFA) said Abbas later described Murad as a “young Palestinian hero” and praised his courage in “preventing an explosion that could have killed many innocent people in the city.”
Announcing that he would be granting Murad a medal of courage, the president also instructed Palestinian Ambassador to Lebanon Ashraf Dabbour to “take care of him, oversee his treatment and provide him with all that he and his family need in return for his courage and act of heroism.”
Speaking from his hospital bed Murad, a Palestinian-Australian born to a Lebanese mother and who lives in Lebanon, said he did not remember much about the attack. He recalled seeing the terrorist firing shots and tried to stop him by moving toward him in his car. Seconds later Mabsout turned his gun on Murad.
Tripoli MP Faisal Karami has reportedly stepped forward to pay for Murad’s hospital treatment. Like many Palestinians born to Lebanese mothers, Murad is denied Lebanese citizenship and the medical coverage that goes with it.
Former Lebanese President Michel Suleiman said Murad should be granted Lebanese nationality “for stopping the lone wolf terrorist attack in Tripoli and suffering severe injuries as a result.”
The children of Lebanese women married to foreigners are deprived of Lebanese citizenship and all the rights associated with it and are treated like refugees with no right to own property or take certain jobs.


Murad’s courage in tackling the terrorist has made him a hero. He tried to stop the terrorist, who was attacking the Lebanese security forces, and received his share of the bullets fired from Mabsout’s machine gun. He was wounded in the head.

Murad’s father said his son loved the Lebanese army and had its insignia glued to the front of his car.
Lebanese Interior Minister Raya Al-Hassan reviewed the Tripoli attack during an extraordinary meeting of the Central Security Council. A captain and a soldier in the Lebanese army, as well as a sergeant and gendarme from the internal security forces, were killed in the raid.
She also briefed the meeting on the results of preliminary investigations into the attack which had revealed that “the terrorist Mabsout, 27, left his house on a motorcycle carrying six grenades and a machine gun.”
Mabsout left Lebanon for Turkey at the beginning of 2016 and then went to Idlib to continue his Shariah courses before returning to Turkey where he was arrested and deported to Lebanon. A military court sentenced him to a year in prison for criminal acts committed outside Lebanese territory.
Al-Hassan said Mabsout had shouted takfiri statements against the army and security forces during his attack.

Archaeologist Zahi Hawass: ‘There isn’t a country that doesn’t love Egyptian archaeology’

Updated 17 October 2019

Archaeologist Zahi Hawass: ‘There isn’t a country that doesn’t love Egyptian archaeology’

  • With only 30 percent of Egyptian monuments discovered, there is no rush to pursue the remaining 70 percent which remain hidden underground, says Hawass

 CAIRO: World-renowned Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass has affirmed the importance of Egyptian archaeology around the globe.

“There isn’t a country that does not love Egyptian archaeology,” Hawass, who was minister of state for antiquities affairs, told Arab News.

With only 30 percent of Egyptian monuments discovered, Hawass said there was no rush to pursue the remaining 70 percent which remain hidden underground.

“We don’t want to discover everything. We want to start by preserving and preparing the historical monuments which we have discovered, then start thinking about what is still undiscovered,” Hawass said.

So, restoration and preservation are the main goals for now.

With the new Grand Egyptian Museum still in the works, it seems likely that archaeology will be put in the spotlight once again, with more room for Egyptian artifacts to be showcased and appreciated rather than hidden, as in the old Tahrir museum.

“No one in the world doesn’t know Egypt. Egyptian archaeology is in the hearts of all people all across the world,” Hawass said.

This explains the immense popularity the new museum is expecting, located as it is, minutes away from the Pyramids of Giza.

Another reason behind its expected popularity is the attention ancient Egyptian figures have received across the years.

“Among the most famous ancient Egyptian figures, even for those who are not interested in monuments, we have King Kufu, who built the greatest pyramid, because that pyramid is something everyone talks about,” Hawass said.

He added that King Tutankhamun was popular because his coffin was restored whole, as was King Ramses II, the most famous of Egyptian kings, and Queen Cleopatra. Each of these figures gained fame due to popular tales and monuments attached to them.

Hawass plays a crucial role in drawing awareness about Egyptian archaeology around the world as well as focusing on the current situation in Egypt.

“I lecture everywhere (about archaeology)” he said. “Two to three thousand people attend each of my lectures. So I take advantage of to tell people everywhere that Egypt is safe and that Egypt is run by a president whom we have chosen. I am trying to change the perception about Egypt.”

As part of his efforts to promote Egypt and Egyptian culture, Hawass recently visited Japan.

“They (the Japanese) love archaeology. I would never have expected to be famous in Japan, but as a result of their love of Egyptian archaeology, they know me,” Hawass explained.

This is but a speck in the eventful career Hawass has led — which all started by accident.

“As a child I wanted to become a lawyer, so I enrolled in law school at 16 but realized that it wasn’t something I could do. So I left law and decided to study literature. There they told me about a new section called archaeology,” Hawass said.

After graduating Hawass went to work for the government, which he dreaded, until his first project came along. Workers came across a statue hidden inside a coffin which he had to clean. During the process he found his passion for archaeology. He went on to pursue his graduate studies on the subject.

“I went from failure to success thanks to one thing: Passion. When a person is passionate about something, he excels in it.”

Hawass did not point out his most successful or most preferred moment in his career, so full his life has been of memorable events.

“You cannot prefer one of your children over another. They’re all in my heart, all of the discoveries I have made.”