How Egyptian media covered the anti-Sisi protests | Middle East Eye27 Settembre 2019
Celebrity videos supporting Sisi. TV hosts airing confessions. Newspapers avoiding coverage. MEE looks at how Egypt reported the demonstrationsInside Egypt, media coverage showed a different perspective (Screengrab)By Nadda OsmanPublished date: 25 September 2019 17:32 UTC | Last update: 13 hours 48 min ago207SharesWhen Egyptians took to the streets in protest on Friday, the news made headlines around the world.But inside Egypt, media outlets which are tightly controlled by the state were largely quiet. Some even showed traffic flowing normally around Tahrir Square despite reports of ongoing protests and arrests.From a rap going after whistleblower Mohamed Ali, to newspapers that avoided coverage altogether, here’s a brief look at how Egyptian media covered the demonstrations:Clips and confessionsEgyptian TV presenter Amr Adib broadcast pro-Sisi videos and gatherings during his talk show “Al-Hikya” (The Story) this week. He showed clips of large gatherings of people in Suez aired on 22 September, with the caption “mass demonstrations supporting the state and its institutions”. “Why is Al Jazeera not showing this? Isn’t there one opinion and then the other? Why are they not showing the valiant Suez?” he asked. “There are large numbers there for a long time waving the Egyptian flag.”In another episode on 23 September, the show again broadcast videos of people going around in cars, waving the Egyptian flag in Suez. “There you go, Egyptians in cars showing their love for their country. In their cars and waving flags,” said Adib.”Were there other people with troubles who went out? Yes, there were, but there are also those who know what has been done in Suez. The factories built in Suez, investments made in Suez, the routes created, the health insurance that is coming to Suez.”The following day, Adib featured a handful of foreigners that had been arrested during the protests, who allegedly confessed to filming in the areas where protests occurred.The confessions appear to be read from scripts. In one clip, a Dutchman named Pieter Bas “confesses” to filming using a drone.In another, a Turk named Berat Bertan Aydogan acknowledges that he was photographing protests but says he didn’t realise what he was doing was wrong.“I took pictures of people and of security forces until I was arrested. I would like to add that I didn’t know about the security measures in this area and that I was prohibited from taking photos,” he said.Leaks and more leaksEarly in the week, vlogger Abdallah al-Sherif leaked a recording of Sisi’s palaces, which he says he got from an officer in the army, in a YouTube video which circulated widely on social media.“The best thing about this is that this footage comes from one of your own. The person who took this footage is an officer from within you, who dresses like you, and is inside the palace.”Soon after, Egyptian TV network DMC Live broadcast an alleged recording of al-Sherif talking to the director of Ayman Nour’s office, one of Egypt’s leading opposition figures.In the conversation, the director tells al-Sherif that he will send him some footage of palaces in the northern Egyptian town of al-Alamein that he should share publicly, claiming they are Sisi’s palaces.“We need to take advantage of the success that has happened recently and work harder on social media before Friday… and get people heated so they can go out and protest on Friday,” the director is heard saying on the recording.