Sunday,23 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1144, 18 - 24 April 2013
Sunday,23 September, 2018
Issue 1144, 18 - 24 April 2013

Ahram Weekly

Social media

Al-Ahram Weekly

Mubarak’s popularity is rising


The re-trial of ousted president Hosni Mubarak pressed a hot issue button on social networks. Most Egyptians who want a retrial are now comparing Mubarak with President Mohamed Morsi because of the deaths of dozens of people, mainly in demonstrations, since he took office.

“If Mubarak is going to be charged with attacking protesters because his Ministry of Interior shot at them, then Morsi should be charged with killing the protesters of Port Said,” said Karim Mahmoud.

Mahmoud said Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood are responsible for this chaos that is spreading across the country.

Abdel-Rahman Mohamed agreed with Mahmoud saying that the revolutionaries of Egypt had, since the fall of Mubarak, been attacking the wrong target.

“They should have forced all judges to resign. More similar cases involving excessive use of force by officials suppressing the revolutionaries could be hampered in the same manner which would be perfectly legal,” Mohamed said. “Do Egyptians who held endless street demonstrations for almost two years realise this state of affairs?”

Nora Mohsen said “we are back to square one. We have only ourselves to blame. We have been under a corrupt regime for over three decades, and created an addiction to dictatorship.”

Mohsen asked why many Egyptians are now supporting Mubarak and calling for his release. “Yes I understand they do not like Morsi but that does not mean that we stand by Mubarak the dictator who created the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Mona Rateb said that comparing Mubarak with Morsi is not fair as the fulul (remnants of the former regime) are responsible for the violence and deaths since the revolution to now “as they want to show that this country cannot have democracy”.

Added Rateb: “The biggest threat is the remnants of the regime still embedded in the courts, police and media.”

Youssef breaks barriers

Ursula Lindsey wrote in her Arabist blog a great piece about the charges filed against TV satirist Bassem Youssef and how his show is breaking taboos.

“A lot of ink has been spilled already over the charges that have been filed (by individuals absolutely not formally affiliated with the Freedom and Justice Party) against Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef of insulting the president, and religion, and Pakistan.

I was (I think) the first English-language journalist to profile Bassem, back when he was filming his show in a room in his apartment. I have been following his career with interest ever since, as he has morphed into a social and media phenomenon and, now, a test case in the ways the revolution may have broken the stale old bounds of public discourse.

Sarah Carr wrote in her blog a great post about the double standards here regarding what “proper” language and behaviour is. Youssef has challenged this by speaking and joking in a way that is much closer to the way people actually express themselves — this is the basis of his appeal and of people’s discomfort with him.

After being questioned by the prosecutor-general, and being featured on the Daily Show, and causing a minor diplomatic spat on Twitter between the US Embassy in Cairo and the presidency, Youssef dedicated an entire show to Qatar, the “little brother” that is buying up Egypt now (and supposedly backing the Brotherhood).

French academic Yves Gonzalez-Quljano has a great analysis on his blog “Culture et politique Arabes”, in which he writes: “Plunging his scalpel unceremoniously into the open sore of national amour proper, with only a strong dose of humour for anesthesia, the former surgeon has seemingly dashed any hopes on the regime’s part of silencing him. More than ever, he can count on powerful supporters, not just among the defenders of freedom of expression around the world, but even more among Egyptians, who were hit in the heart — the expression isn’t too strong — by a parody of nationalist operetta that provoked exasperation and enthusiasm.”

Youssef’s influence and reach is such that the show was enough to ignite a public debate — and a lot more satire — over Qatar’s growing leverage and influence. In Qatar (which I visited just last week) the public reaction was more muted but predictably negative. But after a visit from Prime Minister Hisham Kandil probably intended to smooth things over, Qatar pledged several more billion dollars in assistance.


“I saw two or three fingers stretching inside Boston and playing. I told Obama but he said “Is your mother in the nest or has she flown away?” @Rayes Morsi

“Please stop comparing Morsi to Obama! Obama has feelings while Morsi has no feelings.” @SlipknotMody
“After seeing what Obama did in Boston, I do not even want to remember what Morsi did when 50 schoolchildren died in a train crash in Assiut.” @Wael Eskandar

“Sectarian strife is Morsi’s last card, the regime must be desperate, trying to divide and conquer. Their end is near.” @Nada Wassef

“Awaiting the moment when Ashton Kutcher will appear on our television to inform us that the last two years were an episode of punk’d.” @Sandmonkey

“Mubarak is the reason for all the decay and misery we’re now experiencing but he’s now irrelevant. The revolution in Egypt continues.” @Ghada Shahbender
“Throughout 30 years of Mubarak’s rule four journalists were accused of insulting the president and pardoned while in Morsi’s 10 months there are 161 cases.”  
@Hany Ghoraba

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