This Facebook Page Is Pretty Much The Only Way To Mock The Dictator Of Egypt
A meme-happy Facebook page gives Egyptians a platform to critique society, shielded from government control. Now, the site’s popularity has eclipsed traditional media outlets.
Started amid the watershed of political activism after the revolution in 2011, Asa7be Sarcasm Society has hit over 9 million followers. By comparison, the Facebook page for Al-Ahram, a major Egyptian newspaper, has only 2.9 million followers.
The Sarcasm Society publishes irreverent comics from a variety of artists, satirizing everyday issues. Asa7be means “my friends” in Arabic, and comics are written in the Egyptian dialect rather than the standardized Arabic used by the region’s official press outlets.
Unlike the state-owned media, the page mocks political hypocrisy, often targeting President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. During Sissi’s recent trip to Germany, a comic poked fun at the president’s inability to address his regime’s human rights record– specifically its habit of issuing mass death penalty sentences.
The comic, titled Stages Of The Test, shows Sissi thinking, “O God, you know.”
Another comic showed Sisi’s head photoshopped on a dancing body, rejoicing after receiving money “like rice” from oil-rich patrons in the Persian Gulf, following an economic conference in Egypt.
The Sarcasm Society also makes fun of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi, ousted in 2013. Morsi has been convicted of fleeing prison after the Egyptian regime was toppled in 2011 and could face the death penalty.
Sitting inside a barred prison chamber, a man asks him, “Why are you sitting that way? Don’t you have a trial?”
“I’m tanning,” quips Morsi.
The site continues to grow in popularity, with humor a common thread amid Egypt’s uncertain political climate.
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