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Galal El-Behairy will expand his hunger strike into hunger and thirst strike

After more than 12 weeks on hunger strike, imprisoned Egyptian poet Galal El-Behairy will quit drinking water on June 1st, 2023.

March 5th, 2023, marked 5 years since the arrest of poet Galal El-Behairy. The same day, Galal started a hunger strike, to get out of prison ’alive, or not alive’. On June 1st, he will expand the hunger strike into a hunger and thirst strike.

On July 31st, 2018, Galal El-Behairy was sentenced to 3 years in prison and a 10 000 L.E. fine by the Military Court in Cairo, for his unpublished book of poetry, The Finest Women On Earth. Galal also faced charges in a Civilian Court case concerning Balaha, which he has been released from. However, after serving the 3 years sentence, Galal stays imprisoned in Egypt.​

Against the life under force and the prison grave, against the colors of the cell walls. Against the logic made of steel. Against the sensation of the sun from behind bars and steel wire.

Against the police uniform and the prison food. Against the bright light 24 hours in the cell. And against the 20 minutes a month, the time allowed for visits.

Against paper and pens being banned, lighters being banned, any color other than white being banned, white, and against the 1912 nights, only one of which I saw the moon by chance.

Against each dream dying with time and joining all my wasted dreams of love, of home, of forming a family, of fatherhood at the age of 30, of my presence next to my little sister on each hard step she takes in the ocean of life, of dancing with her on her wedding and of my presence beside my mother and father while life eating them slowly.

Against myself. Every day I step further away from the human being inside me, and turn into an object of concrete, in a place of concrete, with a law of concrete.

Against all this – and in order to preserve what still remains – on June 1st I will start a life strike in order to obtain life.

Galal El-Behairy



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