Egypt Revokes Citizenship of Former Muslim Woman for Joining Israeli Army

Abir Sultan/IDF via Getty Images
Abir Sultan/IDF via Getty Images

Egypt’s Prime Minister Sherif Ismail revoked the Egyptian citizenship of 22-year-old Dina Ovadia because she moved to Israel and joined the IDF, Ynet reported. 

Born and raised in the city of Alexandria in Egypt, Ovadia moved to Jerusalem following an anti-Semitic incident when she was 15 years old.

“I was at home with my mother and brothers, and all of a sudden bearded thugs stormed into our apartment,” she told the IDF journal. “They were Salafists, radical Muslims. They fired into the air and warned us to leave Egypt immediately.

“In all the commotion I heard them call our apartment “Bayt al-Yahud” and I didn’t understand what they were talking about. Only after they left, my grandfather sat us down, his three grandchildren, for a talk and told us we were Jewish.” Until then, Ovadia had attended a Muslim school and went by the name Rouleen Abdullah.

“It was hard for me to comprehend this, because at school we were taught to hate the Jews.”

The family hastily left Egypt and found a home in Jerusalem.

Ovadia joined the IDF and served in the IDF Spokesman’s Unit. Prior to her release, Ovadia’s unit awarded her with a prize for being an exceptional soldier.

“My biggest dream,” she said in a video made by the IDF, “is to visit Egypt wearing uniforms, tell them my truth about Israel, and declare: ‘I’m Jewish, and I’m proud of it.'”

Ovadia’s interview and video generated outrage in Egypt, and on Monday a well-known TV personality named Ahmed Moussa attacked “the country of the Zionist murderers” on air, before revealing that the Egyptian prime minister had decided to revoke Ovadia’s citizenship.

“This is the first time in history that an Egyptian woman serves in the occupation army,” said Moussa, who failed to mention Ovadia was Jewish.

Ovadia, who was discharged from the IDF a year and a half ago, is currently studying international relations at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

“It’s shocking, and a low blow, but I don’t want to stoop to their level,” she said on Monday. “As far as I’m concerned, they should know I’m first and foremost a proud Jew and Israeli, and only then an Egyptian. Every additional word I say will be twisted in Egypt and used against me.”