There must be something in the water - strange and unfortunate things are happening in Egypt, perhaps more so than usual.
To begin with, a $50 million Van Gogh painting was stolen from the Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil Museum on Saturday morning. Saturday evening, officials reported the painting had been retrieved from the possession of two Italians at Cairo airport. Since then, however, it has been revealed that the painting was not recovered and is still missing.
This isn't the first time the paining was stolen - it was previously stolen from the same museum in 1978.
Now, here's the kicker: none of the alarms in the building were functioning at the time of the heist, and only 7 out of 43 surveillance cameras were working. Anyone who has spent time in Cairo knows most security features are for show more than anything. Most metal detectors don't work, and even if they do security personnel very seldom question foreigners. But this is a bit much, even for Cairo.
To make matters worse, a statue of Cupid which stood in the courtyard of the same museum was shattered less than 24 hours after the painting was stolen. According to Bloomberg News, the statue was toppled by journalists, who tripped over it during a press conference.
In other news, the head of Egypt's al-Wafd opposition party has acquired prominent Egyptian newspaper Al-Dostor.
One more thing. Egypt is reportedly buying back natural gas it sold to Israel. Why? Looming gas crisis. Israel bought the gas for $2 billion. How much would Egypt have to pay to get it back? $14 billion.
The last issue I want to talk about is the most disturbing. Over the weekend, a 13-year-old girl died during a female circumcision operation. The doctor who performed the operation was apprehended and now awaits trial.
Female circumcision, also known as female genital mutilation (FGM) is illegal in Egypt. Even so, it is estimated that 70-97% of Egyptian women have undergone some form of FGM.
Yeah. Way to go, Egypt.