A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sorry, I Missed a Religious Holiday: General Sisi's Birthday

Although I'm usually good about greeting readers on major religious holidays, I spent yesterday discussing the Mohamed Mahmoud Street anniversary and missed the newest holy day: it was General Sisi's Birthday!
 Photo credit to the Sisifetish Tumblr.

Lina Attalah, formerly of Egypt  Independent and now of Mada Masr, has clearly retained some perspective in this "Happy Birthday, General" piece. An excerpt:
Today, when Sisi’s image is raised alongside that of the late Gamal Abdel Nasser it forces reflection about Egyptians’ lust for strong military leaders at tumultuous times, in a moment of conflated histories. But beyond their shared battle with the Brotherhood — which is naturally different for each of them — the similarity between the two figures can at best only hold on rhetorical levels: They are saviors of the state. But what state was Egypt imagined to be back in the 1960s and what contract did it have with the people then? And what is that state today and what contract can it afford to have with its people now? The answers differ deeply. Back then, a new republic was being born and it had its own promises to the people. Today the remnants of this republic stay on in the form of a series of consolidated and incumbent institutions that hold no vision beyond their own individual survival. Beyond populist rhetoric, Sisi’s Egypt needs to carve out some new promises to survive. But does it have any to offer?
While checking out SisiFetish, I noticed that in addition to Sisi chocolates and Sisi sandwiches, you can now get "Sisi oil" (photo below). It's obviously cooking oil (either made from lions or for cooking lions, I guess, as there's a lion in the ad), but can it also be used for anointing royalty?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Apparently bigger than maulid al nabi.