The Marriott Cell

The Marriott Cell

An Epic Journey From Cairo's Scorpion Prison to Freedom

Book - 2016
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Award-winning journalist Mohamed Fahmy's widely anticipated account of his wrongful incarceration in Cairo's maximum-security Scorpion Prison for terrorists and political leaders, and his subsequent battle for justice, opens a remarkable window onto the closed world of Islamic fundamentalism and the bloody geopolitical struggles that dominate our headlines. An important book that reads like a political thriller, it is also a testament to the critical importance of journalism today; an inspiring love story that made front-page news; and a profoundly personal drama of one man's fight for freedom.

On the night of December 29, 2013, Egyptian security forces, in a dramatic raid on the Marriott Hotel, seized Fahmy (Canadian-Egyptian Bureau Chief for Al Jazeera English) and two of his colleagues, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed, accusing them of fabricating news as members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. Their trials became a global cause c#65533;l#65533;bre condemned as a travesty. But Fahmy also never stopped being a journalist: inside Scorpion he found himself cheek by jowl with notorious Muslim Brotherhood leaders, Al Qaeda fighters, and ISIS sympathizers. Always intrepid, he took advantage of the situation to "interview" the Brotherhood about their aims, gaining exclusive insight into the geopolitical feuds between Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE on one hand and Qatar and its allies, including Turkey on the other--interviews that led him to sue his former employer, Al Jazeera, from prison. The complex power brokering of Middle Eastern and Western governments left three men trapped in a web he describes as "Global McCarthyism." But at the heart of the book is an inspiring story of two strong women: Fahmy's wife, Marwa Omara, who used every means possible to fight for his release, bravely risking her safety; and his courageous international human-rights lawyer, Amal Clooney, who championed his battle for freedom.
Publisher: Toronto : Random House Canada, 2016.
ISBN: 9780345816351
Branch Call Number: 962.056092 Fahmy
Characteristics: 411 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Shaben, Carol - Author

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rpavlacic
Mar 24, 2017

Al-Jazeera English (not to be confused with its Arabic sister channels) may have a reputation for impartiality like the BBC does, but I will never look at it the same way again after reading this horrifying book. Mohamed Famy, a respected journalist with CNN's International service before being tapped by AJE, gets caught up in the Arab Spring - then when one of his stories for the channel is translated into Arabic without his authorization, is accused by Egyptian authorities of conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood, leading to a lengthy incarceration, and not just one but two show trials. This book recounts his fight for freedom, as well as seeking justice from the very network that let him hang out to dry. A clarion call for freedom of the press everywhere which is endangered even in free countries like Canada and the United States, but also a warning to choose carefully who you work for - the consequences can be calamitous.

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