Egypt’s chief executioner opened up in a recent Arabic language interview, revealing that he used to strangle cats and dogs as a child before becoming the Islamic country’s slayer-in-chief.
Hajj Abd Al-Nabi, Egypt’s chief warrant officer in the prison system, said that he has taken the lives of some 800 criminals during his time as the country’s executioner.
"I have placed [the noose] around some 800 heads – tough people, big people, young people … All the despicable crimes—killing, adultery, premeditated murder, and so on," Al-Nabi told a film crew in a video recently translated and released by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
"I carry out all the death sentences," Al-Nabi proudly declares.
"In all honesty, I love my work," he tells an interviewer. "I just love it! I never say, ‘No’ when they need me at work. This is my work and my livelihood."
The Egyptian executioner said that he has been killing living creatures since he was a young boy.
"When I was young, about 13 or 14 years old, … my hobby was to watch a cat, to place a rope around its neck, place a rope around its neck, strangle it, and throw it into the water," Al-Nabi said. "I would get a hold of an animal—even dogs. I would strangle these animals and throw them into the water, even dogs."
"Strangulation was my hobby," he says with a smile.
Although Al-Nabi’s parents told him he would go to "hell" for killing animals, he continued killing.
It’s a gift," he explained. "I was a little Satan."
After being hired as Egypt’s chief executioner, Al-Nabi said, "Congratulations, now grow a mustache."
Al-Nabi said that he takes his job very seriously.
"The truth is that my heart is dead, because executing comes from the heart, not the moustache," he explained. "Only if you have a heart of stone can you be content in this line of work."
"When it comes to carrying out my job, I am tough," Al-Nubi says. "The murderer has done an abominable thing, and I cannot be soft with him. If I were soft towards this criminal, I wouldn't be able to execute him."
However, Al-Nabi can be a bit of a softy when he is home with his kids.
"I love people, and people love me, but when I am doing my job, I am carrying out the law of Allah," he said. "When I'm at home, with my kids, I am as calm as can be."