Cynicism about the central government was evident outside the Ismailia hospital on Friday, where an elderly Bedouin woman in black sat on the muddy lawn, huddled under a blanket for warmth. She refused to give her name, citing fear of reprisals from either the military and Islamic State. “If either side sees our names, they will kill us. They are as bad as each other,” she said.
“The military will keep jailing and killing local young people. The terrorists who hate us and the Christians will keep using it as an excuse to kill us,” she added. “There is no point in talking about anything.”