|Taken from Handout from Pennsylvania State Police Chambersburg|
Initially, my friend discussed how she had heard two different versions (although it wasn’t posted on the blog) with one being that after picking Peggy and Soraya up from the airport, the car had problems. When everyone got out to assess the situation, the father Mahmoud jumped in and sped off.
Fast forward to American woman Kalli Panagos-Atteya arriving in Egypt with her 11-year old son, Stephano, to see her ex-husband after he claimed his mother was ill and his sister was getting married. The local paper said that the day after their arrival, Atteya picked up the family in a hired car headed to Port Said. “After claiming car trouble, the driver pulled over and all passengers but Stephano left the vehicle. Atteya allegedly got back in, shoved his ex-wife out as she attempted to get into the car and ordered the driver to go,” said The Daily News Egypt.
And now I’m having issues with both stories and their uncanny similarities. First of all in the case of German Peggy, she mentioned that Mahmoud had expressed no interest in being a father in the beginning. If that’s true, why did Peggy give her daughter an Arab name? Peggy had, after all, lived in Egypt for only a year and while I’m sure she could just genuinely like the name, I find it unlikely that she would just randomly pick that name especially since it is fairly uncommon here and it means chandelier (not to mention the father allegedly wanted nothing to do with the child).
Then fast-forward to US citizen Kalli’s story and I have a problem with the car situation. It is not normal for a woman to get out of a car to help men decipher a potential problem. In addition, why would everyone exit the car but the 11-year old? And I really don’t understanding the next part: obviously the driver gets back into the car and Kalli still remains outside? So Kalli sees her ex-husband get back into the car and she attempts to do the same, only to be shoved out of the way? Why didn’t Stephano run to his mother’s aid? Obviously, if this was true, then the driver would have been in on it from the get-go.
All in all, these stories are not cohesive. If you’ve lived here and dared to venture out into society (many expats choose to stay in a bubble), then you would find all this a bit coincidental and strange. Getting pregnant in a foreign land and having the baby’s daddy unwilling to take responsibility does not seem likely that you would be so willing to give your child any name remotely relating to that part of your life especially considering the fact she hadn’t spent that long in Egypt. Knowing the place of women in this male-dominated society also begs to question Kalli’s story about exiting the car. First of all, if you’re leaving the airport, you are likely on the Ring Road (deity) or Salah Salem/Autostrad – none of which any foreign female (particularly in Kalli’s case since she was seemingly married for a few years) would get out unless there was a replacement car alongside.
I'm not here to debate the truth, but I do feel that others should be made aware of problems within both stories. If these stories are true, there needs to be some serious clarification to tie up loose ends.