Conflict & Justice

Egypt's newest superhero: the "Amazing Flagman"


An Egyptian flag flutters over the Israeli embassy in Cairo on August 21, 2011. A lone protester became a hero to an exultant crowd of Egyptians and many more online by hauling down the Star of David flag atop Israel's embassy in Cairo and replacing it with an Egyptian one after the border killing of Egyptian policemen.



He's faster than a speeding bullet and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Well, sort of.

Meet Egypt's newest post-revolutionary hero, Ahmed Shahat, also known as the "Egyptian Spiderman."

Shahat became somewhat of a national celebrity on Sunday after climbing the 150-foot high building in Cairo housing the Israeli embassy and ripping down the blue and white Star of David flag.

Once at the top, Shahat tore down the Israeli flag and replaced it with a red, white, and black Egyptian one.

Thousands of Egyptians have been protesting outside the high-rise embassy over the past three days, following the deaths of five Egyptian security officials near the Israeli border on Thursday.

Egyptian police and military in Cairo had been guarding the Israeli embassy building, but Shahat reportedly snuck past them during a changing of the guard. 

"A young 23-year-old Egyptian named Ahmed Shahat has overnight become a national sensation, especially among the youth, after scaling to the top of the 13-storey apartment building housing the Israeli embassy to bring down the Israeli flag. This feat of audacity took place around 2am Sunday morning," reports Egypt's state-run Ahram Online.

This Spiderman-lookalike comic, portraying Shahat leaping from the building wearing the Egyptian flag while holding a burning Israeli flag, accompanied Ahram's main story on Sunday.

Egyptian protesters torched the Israeli embassy's flag once Shahat descended.

"Flagman" was the talk of town, in the news and social media, on Sunday.

"FlagMan has replaced the Israeli flag, after climbing 100+ meters, with the Egyptian one. I'm in awe. Truly amazing moment," wrote one Twitter user in Egypt who was at the protest.

Several videos of Shahat's perilous climb were captured on video and posted to YouTube (see here, here, and here).