A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Just When You Feared Egyptian Democracy was Becoming a Farce, Sama ElMasry is Running for Parliament

So you were basically right. Not only are they jailing journalists for "damaging Egypt's reputation" (hint:  jailing journalists damages Egypt's reputation more than journalists possibly can), but now Sama ElMasry has announced she is running for Parliament, and will "expose" the Muslim Brotherhood, which seems to have more than enough troubles already. (History repeating itself as farce yet again.)

Sama's the One on the Left (Facebook)
You may remember Sama, usually referred to in the foreign media as a "famous Egyptian belly-dancer," but who is better-known as a self-promoter, satirist and foe of Islamists than for her dance. (She is famous though, and Egyptian, and dances, but that's not why she's famous.) She first came to the world's attention in 2012 in what may be the best headline the original Egypt Independent ever ran: "'Nose Job' MP Files Complaint Against Belly Dancer Who Says She's His Wife." That link is apparently dead now, but I blogged about it here. In 2013 she rose considerably above her limited fame as a former news presenter who tried to make it as an actress and belly-dancer/singer, appearing in three films and releasing three songs, none of them hits. But then she began a series of satirical YouTube videos making fun of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood and, in her most viral video of all, skewering President Obama, Ambassador Anne Patterson, and America as pro-Morsi. I dealt at some length with the phenomenon here.

But she's ready to heed her country's call in its hour of need. She's going to run for Parliament. She's already started a new show on a new channel explicitly calling itself Fallul ("remnants," the term for the old regime supporters of Mubarak), in which she attacks the Brotherhood. She's a Sisi supporter and plans to run in Sharqiyya Governorate, Morsi's home province.

I don't know why she receives so much attention, but then I can't figure out what Kim Kardashian is famous for, either. It will draw media attention, which otherwise might be concentrating on all those jailed journalists.


Anonymous said...

People who live in glass houses shouldn't thrown stones.

Both Michelle Bachmann and Susan Myrick were repeatedly elected to the US Congress.

Michael Collins Dunn said...

Not, however, by me.

David Mack said...

How ironic. By contrast with today, Mursi period was tolerant of free speech.

Michael Collins Dunn said...

Oddly, it was even better under Mubarak.