This summer, the Egyptian authorities decided to ban the game of kites, which is one of the most popular among kids in the crowded metropolitan belts. The official motivation is the need to protect the safety of children, after some had fallen from the roofs during chases with peers. The ban, however, sounds strongly symbolic, as the kite is often associated with the idea of freedom. Hence the initiative of the Human Rights Festival which, together with Amnesty international and Articolo21, wanted to give – metaphorically – a little freedom to Patrick Zaky, who has been in prison in Tora for over seven months. «We wanted to fly Patrick on a kite – explain the promoters -. Such as? We asked Gianluca Costantini to give us one of his drawings and he immediately accepted. We then got in touch with Cervia Volante, one of the most famous associations among those who organize kite parties in the Peninsula. This was immediately made available, as did the Municipality of Cervia and the University of Bologna, a university where Zaky attended a master’s degree ». Thus was born the appointment on Saturday at 10.30 in Tagliata di Cervia for a meeting on Egypt in the time of al-Sisi. At 2.30 pm, the kite with the image of the imprisoned student will be flown in the sky. “The hope is that there are so many people to photograph it, film it, that even in Cairo they won’t be able to ignore it – the organizers conclude -. And if that weren’t enough … let’s make it fly to other cities too ».
On Monday, Amnesty International handed over 150,000 signatures to the Egyptian embassy in Rome asking for the release of Zaky, who has been in a cell for over two hundred days on charges of subversive propaganda. The spokesperson, Riccardo Noury, expressed strong concern for the young man’s health, given that Covid cases continue to grow in Tora prison. The next hearing for his release has not yet been set