Vote Like An Egyptian

Mohammed Avdol by Oburaato


Abdel Fatah al-Sisi was officially confirmed as Egypt’s next president on Tuesday evening, after the country’s electoral commission announced that he had won 96.1% of last week’s presidential runoff.

His supporters said the field marshal’s strong leadership would be the only means of restoring stability to a nation crippled by three years of post-revolutionary economic, political and administrative chaos.

He will bring back security and will bring the institutions of the country together,” said Ayman Iskandar, a 42-year-old silversmith from Sisi’s childhood neighbourhood in central Cairo.

Abdel Fatah al-Sisi won 96.1% of vote in Egypt presidential election, say officials, Patrick Kingsley in Cairo, The Guardian, 3 June 2014


There was no contest in Egypt’s presidential elections, and not only because only one candidate stood against Sisi. He offers the security many Egyptians now crave.

Napoleon will be crowned. And after the revolution – after its terrors and deaths and instability and its Islamist Directory – who would begrudge the Emperor his coronation? Why, even the election posters for Field Marshal (retired) Abdel Fattah al-Sisi call him “President of Egypt”, and the only thing you notice, looking into his profoundly chubby, cheerful – might one say dull? – face is that he is in a suit and tie and, in one picture, reclining in a fine old armchair. This is no Emperor without clothes.

And now here’s the shock for me. If I were an Egyptian, I’d have voted for Mr Sisi yesterday. Not that he’s inspiring. Anyone who tells his people that democracy may be 10 – or 20! – years away, is not going to go down in the history books as the Great Liberator. Daniel O’Connell he is not.

But Mr Sisi has three things on his side: he is offering to free Egyptians from the past three years of pseudo-democracy under Mohamed Morsi; he has most of the Croesus-Gulf states – minus Qatar, of course – on his side to rescue Egypt from bankruptcy. And the Americans – rabbit on though they will about Egyptian human rights – will keep their mouths shut and their treasury open to the Egyptian army providing Mr Sisi guarantees the safety of Israel.

And of course, Mr Sisi has offered what all folk want in hard times, especially Westerners and Israelis supposedly confronting the danger of Islamist terror in the Middle East: stability, stability, stability. Come to think of it – and speak not thus of our favourite Field Marshal – that’s what dictators always offer.

Egypt elections: The coronation of the emperor, Robert Fisk, 27 May 2014


The music video for The Bangles‘s “Walk Like an Egyptian” was nominated for Best Group Video in the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards. It featured people dancing in a pose similar to the pose depicted in the Ancient Egyptian reliefs that inspired songwriter Liam Sternberg; while most of them are ordinary people, some famous figures were depicted dancing in that same pose through the use of simple special effects, like Lady Diana and Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.


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