Truth behind ‘Keif cafe murder’ in Cairo’s Heliopolis

Bayoumi was killed at ‘Cafe Keif ’ during the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) championship match between Egypt and Cameron

Shounaz Meky - Al Arabiya English
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Cairo, Egypt – A shocking death of a 24-year old football fan during a brawl over the bill at a coffee shop has sent caused waves of concerns across Egypt, raising questions about safety even in Cairo's upscale districts.

A number of unlicensed outdoor cafes were being raided by police on Tuesday morning, two days after the murder of Mahmoud Bayoumi at a popular cafe in the Heliopolis district of Cairo.

Bayoumi was reportedly killed at “Keif Cafe” during the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) championship match between Egypt and Cameron on Sunday.

Prosecutors ordered a waiter at the restaurant be detained for four days pending investigations. The cafe owner along with two other employees were also arrested.

When the match was over, a row erupted between Bayoumi and waiters at Keif Cafe, who insisted that diners should not leave the cafe until everyone had paid their bills, a close friend of Bayoumi told Al Arabiya English.

Bayoumi casually went to watch AFCON matches broadcast at several cafes in Heliopolis, said Merna Taman, a close friend of Bayoumi and formerly his colleague at university.

“It’s common that we order the check 10 minutes before the end of the match to avoid waiting too long in order to leave,” she told Al Arabiya English. “On the day, we ordered the check early and paid our bill, but they closed the doors and said no one was going to leave.”

ذهب لمشاهدة مباراة مصر فقتلوه أمام خطيبته بسبب فاتورة!
ذهب لمشاهدة مباراة مصر فقتلوه أمام خطيبته بسبب فاتورة!

“But Bayoumi – who already paid his bill – opposed the act saying it was unacceptable to lock customers inside the cafe, and stressed that he had to depart the place to drop his fiance home,” she added.

A verbal argument then arose between Bayoumi and the waiters, prompting the cafe owner to ask them to leave him alone and ‘go downstairs’,” she said.

As he went down the stairs, Bayoumi was attacked by the waiters, one of them allegedly stricking him with cup of glass, then lethally stabbing him by a heavy object.

Taman was the victim’s colleague at the British University in Egypt, where he recently graduated with an undergraduate degree in marketing.

“Mahmoud was never a trouble maker and was known to be very decent. I’ve spent four years with him in college and I've never seen him upset anyone. He's everyone’s friend.”

Taman said hundreds took part in Bayoumi’s funeral prayers.

ذهب لمشاهدة مباراة مصر فقتلوه أمام خطيبته بسبب فاتورة!
ذهب لمشاهدة مباراة مصر فقتلوه أمام خطيبته بسبب فاتورة!

The incident has left many residents of upscale Heliopolis – known to be safe, compared to areas in the country – with fears surrounding their safety.

Mariam Ghazaly, also a graduate of the same university and a casual diner at cafes in the same area, said it is shocking that a soul has been lost in a fight over a bill.

“I was shocked when I heard what happened, I don't get how can someone hangout with his friends and in an upscale community to watch a football match, I can't imagine how could this result in death,” she told Al Arabiya English.

“I don’t feel safe anymore, safety does not exist.”

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