Social media users shared pictures on Friday afternoon of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and runners who participated in a half marathon in Cairo’s upper middle class district of Heliopolis.
The president attended the marathon shortly after speaking to students at the military academy, who lost two comrades in a bomb attack on Wednesday, on the war against terrorism.
Twenty-three-year old Mayada El-Shabrawy, member of the NADA initiative and a volunteer for Cairo Runners, told Ahram Online that while directing runners she unexpectedly found herself surrounded by five vehicles and many bodyguards.
“I suddenly saw El-Sisi coming out from one of the cars. I couldn’t believe it to the extent I asked him ‘are you for real?'” El-Shabrawy, in a state of shock, asked the president.
She then said that he praised all the effort that the young organisers have put into the event; she added that El-Sisi kept “clapping” for each runner he saw passing in front of him.
As soon as the runners realised that the Egyptian president was attending the event they stopped the half marathon cycle to “thank him for all his efforts”, said El-Shabrawy.
“During my two minutes talk with Mr Sisi I have explained to him that our NADA initiative was created by a group of us in loving memory of one of our friends –Nada – who was killed in a road accident prompting us to try to address the growing problem of road fatalities,” El-Shabrawy said.
The 59-year-old Egyptian president is known for his love sports, especially cycling. In mid-2014, days after ditching his army fatigues to run for president, millions of Egyptians were able to watch El-Sisi on TV riding his Peugeot bike on the streets in his first public outing as a civilian.
Source: Ahram Online