A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, May 12, 2014

What is This Campaign Photo Trying to Say?

I really don't know what to make of some of the photos of Sisi being posted by his campaign. Is that a computer screen or a television? If a computer, where's the mouse? (Admittedly, he might be left-handed.) But in any event, he watches or surfs with his hands folded? If the message is that he's tech savvy or something it doesn't come through to me.

The sign behind him carries his campaign slogan, تحيا مصر, ("Long Live Egypt") and then repeats it over and over again. Sisi's TV interviews and speeches so far are pretty vague about how he would fix the economy or most of Egypt's other endemic problems, but this poster endlessly repeating "Long Live Egypt" may pretty well sum up the specifics of his campaign so far.

Sisi will likely stroll to victory; an online poll that recently put him only 4% ahead of Hamdeen Sabahi does not, I suspect, reflect reality so much as the fact that the sort of people who respond to online polls are likely to be young, tech savvy, and disillusioned with the increasingly eroded outcome of the "Revolution." A case in point: the latest Metro Map reinstates the name "Mubarak" for the stop near Ramses Station; after the 2011 uprising, it had been renamed "Martyrs" (shuhada').

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