Accidental Shooting

1906-01-22, page 3

On January 22nd, 1906 the Egyptian Gazette posted an article about an accidental shooting that occurred in the middle of page three.

The company by the name of Sudan Railways was the headline of Monday’s issue when it was heard that there was a shooting involving the company. A man named Mr. Sequino, a worker for Sudan Railways, was the main topic of this article. He had somehow managed to shoot himself in the mouth. Yes, in the mouth.

Owning a gun was unheard of in early twentieth century Egypt. Never the less owning a magnum, a powerful hand gun that packs a punch with a .45 caliber bullet. Working as a bridge foreman one day, Mr. Sequino ‘carelessly’ placed his gun down on a table and it managed to fall off. When reaching down to pick it up it fired a bullet straight at him, wedging the bullet through his two bottom front teeth, knocking them out, and sawing off part of his tongue. The event resulted in him having to take therapy lessons, basically learning how to speak again.

Guns typically don’t fire on their own, they need someone to pull the trigger. How Mr. Sequino’s gun fired on its own before he even contacted it is just absurd. It really leaves someone wondering about his personality, and if people in early twentieth century Egypt roamed the streets with unsafe handguns.

Speaking of which, there are many articles within the Egyptian Gazette that give evidence that people owned and perhaps roamed the streets with guns and other types of weaponry. In my weekly issue there are instances where a rifle club appears, and there is an advertisement for the club practice. This means that people owned rifles in Egypt. Also, in an earlier week there is a mentioning about being able to trade in weapons for even better weapons that were once owned by criminals or murderers. These guns were taken away from them by the police, and then taken to a shop where citizens could trade or purchase them. Mr. Sequino might have purchased his revolver at a store like this, and as you can see, his purchase did not end in a good result.

Events like these are included all throughout the Egyptian Gazette. Page three is usually where useful and exciting information about royal families or the Khedive is placed in the newspaper. However, including comical and ridiculous stories such as the one with Mr. Sequino tells us that Egyptian journalism covered an array of topics. It also tells us that the community of Alexandria enjoyed keeping up with relevant and newly developing stories.

Parker Beasley
Parker Beasley

The author, a student at Florida State University, was enrolled in the digital microhistory lab in spring 2018.