A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I'm Not Making This Up: General Sisi Beats Out Miley Cyrus in Poll for Time's Person of the Year

In an online, social-media poll for Time's Person of the Year (which is NOT the way the winner is chosen: the Editors will do that), Egypt's General Sisi ran first, Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdoğan second. and Miley Cyrus placed third.  Are you surprised so many people outside their home countries even know who Sisi and Erdoğan even are, when neither man is known to have made any naked music videos with a sledgehammer? (Though that's a thought.) Best guess: they don't. This sounds like national campaigns to promote the local hero through padding the online vote. (Pope Francis ran behind, but he wasn't urging his followers to tweet their votes for him.)
1977: Not General Sisi

Remember, this was a Twitter-driven poll, not Time's actual choice. Anwar Sadat did win the honor in 1977 after his trip to Jerusalem.


Anonymous said...

The Generalissimo is more than the "Man of the Year".

He is the "Man of the Second" for all who know him. And to know him is to love him.

Such is the glory of this man.

M. L. Baradei said...

As a young man, the General's parents took him to Cairo one day for a feast. The young man walked off and each parent thought he was with the other.

When they met later, they discovered he was missing.

Searching through the city and not finding him, in despair they came to Al Azhar to pray.

There they found him teaching the Shaikh al AlAzhar and other ulema about Islam. Who it should be noted punctuated each of his sentences with "Ma sha Allah".

Such is the greatness of this man.

Hazem B. said...


How right you are!

But our General is also a man of letters.

One day as a younger lad he was passing by Cafe Riche. Taha Hussein, Tawfiq al Hakim, and Ahmed Shukairy were sitting outside enjoying the crisp Autumn air.

Taha had just finished a remark.

Startled by what he heard, our General--then an even younger lad than at Azhar--stopped and in a kindly voice corrected Taha's Arabic, pointing out that he had used the wrong case ending.

The crowd hoisted him on their shoulders and carried him to Groppi's for an ice cream treat.

Even then Egyptians of all social classes and levels of education revered our General.

What a gift God has given to Egypt!

Ibn Yunus said...

It is a little known fact but in elementary school the General solved Fermat's Last Theorem.

His letter with the solution to stolen from the Post by the Muslim Brotherhood.

But for this treachery the General and Egypt would be known again for greatness in mathematics.

Abu Bakr bin Yahya al-Suli said...

For some time Bobby Fischer had been playing and losing mail chess matches with an Egyptian. Frustrated by his losses and impressed with the brilliance of his opponent, he decided to meet him with the view of perhaps studying with him to improve his game.

To his shock, he discovered that his opponent was our General but only six years old.

After this encounter Fischer was never the same and many assert it was this episode that resulted in his subsequent bizarre behavior.

M. Bashir said...

But yet they overlook the fact it was our General who taught Khamis El Fino several techniques of playing the oud.

Khamis later remarked that it was sad for the arts in Egypt and the Arab world that our beloved General did not pursue his playing, but understood because of the need to defend Egypt from enemies foreign and domestic.

National duty placed above personal honor - such is the unselfishness of Egypt's most revered and honored man.

Nancy A. said...

But what of his singing?

It is little known but no less untrue that from 1970 through 1972, he actually sang the songs while Umm Kulthum lip synched.

It was one fateful day at the Kasr El Nil Theater when the tape recorder unexpectedly sped up producing a distorted note that almost gave away the secret.

M H2. Heikal said...

It is well known that Egypt gave great support to the Algerian struggle for independence but just how great has been a secret until now.

As is known, our General even from the youngest age was a close confidante and advisor to Nasser. It was said that Nasser never held a meeting or made a decision without the General's advice.

One day early in the stuggle, Boumidienne was meeting with Nasser to discuss strategy. Our General looked up and said to the assembled leaders of Egypt and the Algerian Revolution, "The French are dogs".
Boumidienne waived his hand and said "Thank you, son", as he wondered why Nasser had this child at the meeting.

Our General repeated himself. Boumidienne snapped "Quiet child we are planning a war of which you know nothing".

Nasser interjected "Stop, Houari, this child as you call him has profound wisdom".

The General replied, "Sayyid Houari, you must be the flea that tormets the French".

Boumidienne overcome by the wisdom in the General's words kissed him, hoisted him on his shoulders and the entire Egyptian and Algerian leadership marched from the Arab League Headquarters to the Nile Hilton to buy our General an ice cream treat.

Such was and is the wisdom of our General and his love for ice cream.

God bless Egypt!

A. Greenspan said...

The biggest mistake I made in my life was not heeding the letter that the General sent me in 2007 warning of the financial bubble in our economy.

But overcome with pride, I could not imagine how an Egyptian General would know more about our economy than our own economists and I.