Since the outbreak of the war in Syria in March 2011, many Syrians have fled their country. In Egypt, Syrians have entered many industries, including food, textiles and real estate.
But a recent campaign against them alleges that they are providing financing for the Muslim Brotherhood, which is classified as a terrorist group in Egypt.
The campaign began with a tweet by Nabil Naeem, a former leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad.
“The economic activity of the Syrians in Egypt is part of the funds of the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood,” he wrote.
Egyptian lawyer Samir Sabri submitted a report to the attorney general, demanding legal action to reveal the sources of Syrian funds coming to Egypt. He accused Syrians of buying shops and apartments in commercial areas of Egypt, and renting them at high prices.
But Youssef Aboud, a Syrian who works in a shawarma restaurant in Cairo, said: “If those who promote the campaign in Egypt have evidence of a suspicious source of funds, the accusation should be made against individuals, not all Syrians.”
He added: “I came to Egypt six years ago. (Among Egyptians) I feel like I live among family. Fleeing Syria to Egypt was the best decision I made. The choices were Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.” Aboud said: “My family and I preferred Egypt because I feel that the ties that bind us are historic and deep.”
Syrian businessmen “are trying to work, and to help us young people,” he added.
“I don’t think there are ulterior motives.”