This stunning photo showing the beach in Marsa Matrouh, Egypt, with the city on fire in the background, was reportedly taken yesterday by an unknown photographer and first shared on Twitter by freelance photographer Yahya Diwer.
The context of this photo is still largely a mystery. The photographer behind this stunning shot remains unknown. And many were asking on Twitter: why are the Egyptian people hanging out on the beach while their city is burning?
According to Cairo-based journalist Ethar El-Katatney many Egyptians are on holiday right now and it’s safe to assume that for many Wednesday started out normally, with packing up and heading to the beach.
“We’ve all been waiting for weeks on edge on when the Army would disperse the sit ins, and I’m assuming that when people in Matruh, Alexandria, etc got the news, for many they didn’t believe it was really happening because of the insane number of conspiracies we hear every day—a kind of ‘the boy who cried wolf.’ So, as many Egyptians have become accustomed to, they went about their business (in this case, heading to the beach) until things started to become clearer.”
“When you see smoke, you assume that people immediately make a move to evacuate,” El-Katatney adds. “But the reality is, as recent studies show (especially post 9/11) that people don’t actually immediately leave when they hear a fire alarm/see smoke. People’s natural inclination is to want to define a situation before they respond.”