Family members say beloved AP photo assistant, driver dies at 64


CAIRO (AP) — Moustafa Bassiouni, a fearless photo assistant and chauffeur for The Associated Press’ Cairo bureau, has passed away at the age of 64, according to family members who announced his death on Monday. They revealed that he passed away in a Cairo hospital on Saturday after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Bassiouni, who began his career as a driver for the bureau in 1991, became an essential part of the AP’s Cairo operation. Staff members relied on his street smarts and quick reflexes behind the wheel to cover assignments across the vast metropolis and wider Egypt.

He transported generations of AP photographers, writers, bureau chiefs, and regional managers through the reign of former president Hosni Mubarak, the turmoil that ensued after Egypt’s 2011 Arab Spring protests, and the 2013 removal of the popularly elected but divisive president Mohammed Morsi. He was later elevated to the position of photo assistant due to his resourcefulness in gaining access to challenging locations, including once by horseback. He retired in 2019.

“Moustafa was our driver, translator, fixer, and most importantly, a good friend,” said AP’s Deputy Director of Photography for Global Enterprise, Enric Marti, who was stationed in Cairo from 1995 to 2001. “I personally would not have survived without him. And he was also one of the wittiest people I’ve ever met.”

He was also a second pair of eyes, watchful and unwavering in precarious situations. AP photographer Amr Nabil recounted how Bassiouni rushed him back to Cairo after he suffered a severe eye injury while covering a 2005 anti-government protest in a Nile Delta town. Nabil said he would be completing this year’s hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, a duty for all Muslims, in honor of his former colleague.

Bassiouni was remembered by colleagues for his warm smile and an infectious laugh that reverberated throughout the newsroom, but also for his candid expressions of frustration with Cairo’s congested traffic.

“He was a fantastic person; generous, humorous, intelligent, and dedicated,” said Santiago Lyon, former director of photography for the AP who was stationed in Cairo between 1991-1995. “He genuinely grasped the significance of the work.”

Bassiouni is survived by his son Ahmed, daughters Reham and Sarah, and his wife, Manal.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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