On Wednesday, University of California-Davis Professor Noha Radwan joined Democracy Now! for an interview from a studio in downtown Cairo. Just after finishing the interview, she was violently attacked in the streets.
"I got attacked by the mob and beaten half to death by the Mubarak thugs, who were happy to snatch my necklaces off my neck and to rip my shirt open," Radwan said. "The mob outside were really calling for my head, as a traitor, an American-paid Baradei supporter... I was actually saved by the military. I was going to practically die on the street, had it not been for the fact that some very low-ranking army officer--and I cannot give any more details than that--actually asked his soldiers to pick me up and put me inside the tank, and where I stayed until it got dark."
Democracy Now! followed up with her by telephone today, asking her to describe what happened. Here is the transcript from her account:
AMY GOODMAN: We're live on the ground in Cairo in Tahrir Square with our senior producer, Democracy Now!'s Sharif Abdel Kouddous. We're also joined by Noha Radwan, assistant professor of comparative literature at the University of California, Davis, who is currently taking part in the protests in Tahrir Square. She joined us yesterday with Sharif in studio. Noha, describe what happened when you left the studio.
NOHA RADWAN: Hi, Amy. What happened is I left the studio with Sharif and your cameraperson Jacquie, and they were stopped at the Ramsis Hilton and had to stay inside the hotel. I actually moved towards the square. And as I approached, I could see the thugs, the Mubarak mob, but I totally underestimated what they're capable of doing.
They asked me why I was trying to get into the square. I said I had friends and relatives who are injured, and I'm just checking on them. But then the big question came: "Are you pro-Mubarak or anti-Mubarak?" And I didn't want to answer the question. I just left the person who was asking the question and tried to get in.
Two, three meters later, somebody caught on to the fact that I was trying to get in anyway, and then they yelled to the mob, "She's with them! She's with them! Get her!" And I found two big guys who came and held onto my arms and took me out, and they kind of handed me on to a mob that started beating me and pulling my hair. They ripped my shirt off. They ripped a gold necklace. If you see the recording from yesterday, you'll see that I was wearing a very close-to-the-neck kind of big necklace. So, in ripping this, they actually injured the neck. And through all the beating, I had to get a couple of stitches to the head yesterday.
I'm fine now, and I actually really wanted to give this report as a minor, you know, firsthand testimony to what is happening. What has happened to others is a lot more. We have seen people get hit by the stones thrown in by the mobs, and they have lost their eyes. There are people with concussions. I was taken in an ambulance much, much later to a hospital, where I had to spend most of the night, because there was no way of getting out. The mob is really singling us out.
The worst part of it is that the Egyptian media has been broadcasting nonstop that we are infiltrators, that we are foreign-paid, that most of the people in Tahrir are not actually real Egyptians, they are, you know, paid by foreigners outside.
Watch yesterday's interview Rawdan before the attack.