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Political animosity nearly costs magician his life after he’s bitten by an Egyptian Cobra


If you get all of your news from, well… us, you might not know that Turkey and Egypt are having somewhat of a tiff. The two countries haven’t been on speaking terms since Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, was removed from power by a military coup back in 2013.

This ongoing diplomatic breakdown was quite inconvenient for Iranian-Azeri magician, Aref Ghafouri, who found himself in need of anti-venom after being bitten by an Egyptian Cobra during a rehearsal in Turkey. In hospital, he was told two things you really don’t want to hear after being bitten by a snake. First: that the venom could cause death due to respiratory failure, and second: Turkey didn’t have the right kind of anti-venom to treat the wound.

Now, it might seem obvious that Egypt would be pretty high on the list of places you might find anti-venom for the Egyptian Cobra, but this is where that aforementioned diplomatic breakdown comes in. Unfortunately, asking someone you’re not talking to for anti-venom is, like, totally awkward, so Turkey opted to ask France for help instead. Discussion between the two countries was slow, and it eventually turned out that France’s Pasteur Institute had stopped producing the antidote back in 2015. Meanwhile, Ghafouri’s hand started to swell to cartoonish proportions, as they are wont to do after being bitten by a giant goddamn snake. 

Ghafouri, who was quite well known in Turkey following a successful appearance on Turkey’s Got Talent, realized that waiting for the wheels of diplomacy to start turning was likely going to be hazardous for his health and amazing for his snake’s self esteem, and chose to travel to Egypt himself. He promptly ran into an issue obtaining a visa, and had to wait in an ambulance plane at Antalya Airport for hours. 

The Turkish government meanwhile was still trying to get an answer from France when it learned of the delay in processing the magician’s visa. Calls were made. The visa has since been approved. Ghafouri was flown into Cairo and began his treatment earlier today.