Youssef Samaan Girgis, Bakhit’s 35-year-old nephew, vividly remembers that night. He remembers watching as a pick-up truck with five armed men dressed in black pulled up outside Bakhit’s small shop and stopped in front. He watched as one of the men broke in, aimed a gun at his uncle, forced Bakhit out of the store and dragged him onto the back of the waiting truck.
Youssef approached the men, thinking they were police. And that’s when one of the men asked Youssef to show his ID card—which clearly identified his religion.
Youssef couldn’t know that this was the last time he’d see the light of the moon in almost two weeks.
“When he saw my ID card and realized that I’m Christian, he asked me if I was related to Bakhit,” Youssef shares. “I said, ‘He is my uncle.’ That’s when they pointed a gun at me and put me in the back of the truck with my uncle and fled.
Inside the truck, the terrorists took Youssef’s and Bakhit’s cell phones.
Then they threatened to kill them.
“They pointed their weapons at us and said if anyone of them heard [anything] from us, they would kill us,” Youssef said.
Then the darkness came—Youssef and his uncle were blindfolded. He remained blindfolded for the next 13 days. In the darkness, the terrorists hurled insults at their captives, calling them names like “infidel” and “defiled.” For two hours, the sound of the men’s voices pounded Youssef and Bakhit’s ears as the truck bobbed violently up and down over the uneven desert ground.