My friend is dead: My friend is not dead.
Today a friend of mine died. And I found out on Twitter.
Actually, that’s not correct. In fact, not at all.
Instead, a person of the same age range, name, and location died, and I found out on Twitter. I spied a tweet announcing the death of someone who appeared to be my friend, and had to deal with a rising panic while trying to sort the situation.
It took me a good five minutes to find out that the Ahmed Naguib I know, a student living in Cairo, and activist, was not the Ahmed Naguib, of the same age range and locale, that had been killed.
It started like this:
@Gsquare86: “Another dead clinically Ahmed Naguib, 18 years old #MorsiMubarak #acab from clashes Mohamed Mahmoud st”
I followed up:
“Can anyone confirm that @ahmednaguib is alright? I’m seeing that someone by his name is dead in Egypt.”
“@Gsquare86 is that @ahmednaguib? Please respond.”
Happily, the Ahmed that I know was watching Twitter, and got back to me quickly:
@ahmednaguib: “@alex @gsquare86 no not me”
“I’m not dead, ladies and gentlemen. Sadly, another person with the same name as mine is gone. May he RIP.”
Ahmed Naguib, the one that I know, is actually 21 it turns out.
I told this short story to my close friend and coworker Brad McCarty, who responded, “way too close for comfort.”
Stay safe, everyone.