"We are tired but very happy," she said. "The masses attacked him, but he was guarded by the Egyptian army."
Sahiak, 40, a Jerusalem resident, was released following talks held between the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Egyptian authorities. According to his mother, Tomer left for Sinai on January 20, and during the trip decided to visit the city of Suez, where he was arrested.
According to an initial report, Sahiak was detained during a protest against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. But his mother believes that he was arrested for entering Egypt without a visa. She said he had sounded "very optimistic" during their phone conversation.
Carmela Sahiak said the family was in regular contact with the Foreign Ministry immediately after being informed of Tomer's arrest. She explained that the Ministry instructed the family not to give any interviews to the press until his release.
Protestors in Egypt. 'Foreign Ministry was great help' (Photo: Reuters)
The family praised the Foreign Ministry for its support during the stressful hours. "I felt wonderful to have such a country," said Tomer's mother. "They were so supportive and so patient – both the Foreign Ministry and the embassy. It's great to have such a country."
She added that she had no plans to ever visit Egypt again following the ordeal her son went through.
"Tomer told us that he didn't even think about going to Suez," she recalled. "He was tourin Taba and had to reach a resort city called Hurghada, but the ship broke down and the problems began in Suez. He was attacked by the masses, and that's what he was afraid of.
"But he said that the moment the army arrived it took care of him, and his investigator treated him very well and let him eat and drink. He was even given the key to the room he was staying in so that he could lock it from the inside."
Vardi was detained for questioning after being spotted photographing the army forces deployed on Cairo's streets. He was released after managing to convince the local police that he was a journalist, and left the country.
Ronen Medzini contributed to this report
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