A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, June 11, 2012

Egypt State TV Suspends Anti-Foreigner Ads

Egyptian State TV has suspended (apparently not "pulled" for good as some are reporting) two public service announcements that had raised controversy by warning young Egyptians against associating with foreigners who, it suggests, are probably spies. The ads struck many as an odd approach for a country depended on tourism as a major source of revenue, though they seem to play into the theme of blaming the revolution on foreign agents and plots. The public service announcements are still appearing on some private channels.

The two ads are in the tradition of "loose lips sink ships"-type propaganda; the first warns against talking with foreigners, the second against interacting with then online.  Being introduced just a week before the Presidential election runoff adds to the curious questions.  Even if you don't understand any Arabic, I think the messages comes across:

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