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Al Sisi in Trouble: The Second Egyptian #Enough Campaign

Spring is no more, it’s fall season in Egypt; a new phenomenon that is bringing to life the spirit of the 2010 Arab is being led by an Egyptian actor and contractor, Mohammed Ali, who is not a whistleblower–he is blowing a large horn.

Egypt is once again leading a social media based campaign to unseat president Abdula Fattah Al Sisi who came to power in a 2014 military coup that unseated the late Mohammed Morsi, the first ever elected Egyptian president. Morsi died in a Cairo court where the army brought him from prison where he was jailed since he was overthrown.

This time, it’s not Wael Ghoneim, the google programmer of 2010. The social media campaign is led by Mohammed Ali, An Egyptian actor and construction contractor who uploaded his first video on September 2, 2019. Since then, Mohammed Ali has been uploading videos continuously from Spain, where he is living, and from where he is exposing the inner workings and corruption of Al Sisi’s government.

In a few hours after being uploaded, Mohammed Ali’s videos went viral recreating the 2010 spirit of the AlTahreer Square demonstrations that unseated Hosni Mobarek’s regime, that ruled Egypt with an iron fist between 1981-2011.

Mohamed Ali has called for a peaceful protest against AlSisi for Friday Sep 20. If the public responds to his calls (and it’s likely it will since many have joined him in his call), the demonstration is expected to be a serious undertaking that could overthrow or at least damagingly shake Al Sisi’s regime.

A few days ago Mohammed Ali launched a hashtag #كفايه_بقى_ياسيسى (It’s Enough Sisi) and immediately it went viral. By the second day it became the highest trending hashtag in Egypt, and the fifth in the world. However, in his latest video, Mohammed Ali accused the UAE intelligence of removing or trying to remove the hashtag from the Internet. Nevertheless, he has inspired many Egyptians to join him in his campaign and many did. They are now openly condemning Al Sisi and his regime and they are asking him to step down.

The pro-government groups have launched counter hashtags,  “we trust in the army we trust in Sisi” while a lawyer filed a lawsuit in an Egyptian court against Mohammed Ali accusing him of high treason and of spreading false news. They are also spreading personal attacks against Mohammed Ali of being a womanizer, drug addict and a member of the Muslim Brotherthood. But he has not presented himself as a pious person and if he was a member of the Muslim brotherhood, the Sisi regime would not have provided him with lavish contracts.

Meanwhile, after many years of absence, Wael Ghoneim, the google programmer who started the Facebook page that energized the 2010 Arab Spring demonstration has also reappeared from the USA. Wael is making anti Al Sisi videos though his character is no more the soft-spoken man the world knew in 2010. In his latest videos, he appears as an angry person, using foul and vulgar language that is putting off many who are surprised at the change of his character. Wael appears as an angry and hurt person who expresses his pain while blocking his tears.

Mohammed Ali accused president Al Sisi and scores of senior military generals of corruption and wasting public funds worth billions of pounds. He also accused AlSisi of spending millions of pounds on “unnecessary alterabntions” in the palaces that his wife Intisar requested.

Egypt has a huge number exotic palaces. However, Al Sisi has been building many new palaces and resorts using public funds while the number of destitute and poor Egyptians is on the rise. A recently built palace is reportedly larger than the White House.

Mohammed Ali who in casual and candid in his speech and appearance has captivated millions of Egyptian and Arab viewers who see him as a representation of the common person who suffers from cruel and corrupt regimes. In addition, he is considered an insider who worked with the regime for 15 years and benefited from the contracts that the army provided him. That has also boosted the credibility of his allegations.

In a reaction to counter Mohammed Ali’s damaging allegation, in a youth meeting last week, Al Sisi admitted to building palaces and defiantly said, “Yes, I have built, and I will build more… but they are not for me, not under my name… they are for [the Egyptian people”.

Al Sisi’s stament confirmed Mohammed Ali’s allegations.

Journalists who work for the Egyptian state media,as well as well as a few who work in the UAE and Saudi television stations have started a campaign to discredit Mohammed Ali. But judging from the public reactions, the public is not convinced by the attacks. As Mohammed Ali’s videos are getting millions of viewers, the counterattack by the sponsored media is getting a small fraction of Mohammed Ali’s viewers.

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  • bmi1

    Eritrea – where ATMs are unknown and Sim cards are like gold dust.

    • Abrehet Yosief

      Selam bmi1
      I was amused to see that comment in bbc. I see you like it.

  • Peace,
    I find myself surprised why awate.com may not have printed the nobel peace prize of Abiy Ahmed about which you can find my comment on my blog (google my name), could it be that Ethiopia is a different country and awate prints only in relation to Eritrea? Then again here it is talking about Egypt, possibly a different country to Eritrea.

  • Paulos

    I sure miss the old Awate with all the bickering, name calling and cussing. And of course often times with decency. What’s going on? Where is everybody? ያ ጀምዓ ሓባ ሓባ ክብለኩም: It’s on me! Never thought will ever say this in eons but I miss Blink too.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Yes Dr. Paulos,,

      And that is really sad..

      I am only participating in all the problems I have… half body in working condition,,but only not be absent really..All I have is only moral till now but hopefully I will become normal as you know,,

      But, what make them lost from the screen? I am asking my self just few minutes before I see the above post of yours..Only just we all don’t know..

      KS,,

      • Paulos

        Selam Kokhobay,

        Get well my brother. You are a fighter. Everything will be fine. God bless!

    • Haile S.

      ሰላም ጳውልሻ፡

      ሎሚ ኾነ ሓምለ ኾነ ኮይኑ እምበር፡ “ነገር ዘይጸገበ እንዳ ዓወተ ከይዱ ተላዘበ” ዝበሃለሉ ጊዜ እኮ ነይሩ! ወጹብ! 🙂 🙂 🙂 ።

    • Saleh Johar

      Paulos,
      The moderators have booted out several members for a month. If they need to come, they have to return with a different attitude. But if they wish to be here solely to fight, disrespect others and wreak havoc, you know….

      • Paulos

        ኣታ ኣያይ ኣብቲ ናይ booting out ceremony ዘይትዕድመና ነበርካ: ገሌና ከበሮ ምሃረምና ኔርና ገሌና’ኻኣ ጥሩምባ ምነፋሕና ኔርና::

        • Saleh Johar

          Hi Paulos
          I didn’t know. I was not even invited to the ceremony. I was informed casually–I do not condone it, but I understand the decision. The workload became just boring and very taxing.

    • bardavidi

      It is good to Bicker and argue but only with Respect and Decency……….There has to be some control because some do not have a Leash……..Selah

  • said

    Greetings,

    Ahmed Amin -Sudan revolutionary Civil, Freedom & Peace song with English substitute

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHIP-SLs-SQ
    Nancy Ajaj – Milad https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vd6hvkMbHu0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep6iEa2_Wh0

    • መዲና ሑሪያ ዋ ሰላም! ሰላም ሰላም ሱዳን!

  • said

    Greetings,

    In How to Be a Dictator book , by Frank Dikötter

    Eight of the most chillingly effective dictators and personality cults of the twentieth century .Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Kim Il-sung, Ceausescu, Duvalier of Haiti and Mengistu Haile Mariam, of Ethiopia, who had the emperor’s remains buried underneath his office and ruled Ethiopia from there, placing his desk right above the corpse, a gruesome anecdote but no worse than many in this catalogue of horrors.

    In How to Be a Dictator, Frank Dikötter From carefully choreographed parades to the deliberate cultivation of a shroud of mystery through iron censorship, these dictators ceaselessly worked on their own image and encouraged the population at large to glorify them. No dictator can rule through fear and violence alone. Naked power can be grabbed and held temporarily, but it never suffices in the long term. A tyrant who can compel his own people to acclaim him will last longer. What makes a dictator in the first place? he goes so far as to identify one psychological quality – lack of empathy, combined with ruthlessness. Every dictator punishes at random and every dictator takes major decisions on his own.
    How to Be a Dictator .The Cult of Personality in the Twentieth Century .Pls find link to long review.
    https://www.newstatesman.com/how-to-be-a-dictator-frank-dikotter-review

  • Ayneta

    Dear Awate:
    Is it time for Awate to venture into the next adventure?

    Awate was quite last week with its commentary section, presumably due to some computer glitch. I am not sure if Awate gave a formal explanation at that time. Awate without its lively commentary section feels weird and cold. I am not sure if traffic has come back to its baseline now.

    I have been lately thinking about the role of Awate at effecting change in Eritrea. It has been a stable of the change movement for years now. However, I always feel that Awate’s outreach is limited by its written format , English as a communication medium and focus on more cerebral articles which may not necessarily be eagerly read by the common people. In that sense, is it time for Awate to change so that it widens its reach and be a more active agent?

    Awate can learn from two platforms that were/are effective in instigating change in their respective countries.

    1. Assena TV. I know some people question the credibility of Assena, but its transformation to the visual media via TV that is increasingly becoming popular in Eritrea among the locals is a model that may be emulated by Awate. Assena TV has become a vital source of information inside a country where information is unbelievably tightly controlled. The fact that it is In Tigrigns also helps immensely.

    2. ESAT TV. ESAT played a critical role in bringing down the former government led by TPLF through its relentless coverage and analysis of the wrong doings and perceived
    blunders of the former Ethiopian govt. Can Awate adopt this model and be a more operative change agent?

    I am cognizant of the financial challenges that underpin such transformation. I don’t know
    how Assena or ESAT does it financially, but if Awate is going to be a major player in the creation, storage and sharing of pertinent information to the people inside Eritrea, it has to get out of its limited cocoon and venture into more effective domains such as TV because that is virtually the only way to reach the people inside Eritrea which will naturally be entrusted to spearhead the change process if conditions are ideal.

    Just my humble two cents!

    • Ismail AA

      Selam Ayneta,

      Good intention-driven views should be welcomed and even celebrated. So, please accept my appreciation. To my knowledge Awate.com has more than time stated its wish to expand the range, variety, and quality of delivery of its services as conduit of information for change and beyond. Understanding English as medium is limited to small part of the elite segment of its readers, it attempted some time back to expand its Arabic and Tigrigna coverage. This did not make forward stride because of financial constraints. Persistent appeal for financial help did not materialize. Hence, and subject to correction, Saleh Johar’s shift of Negarit articles to video talks might have been reaching out to wider public.

      The onus of making such efforts productive lies on us readers who support its mission. One of the matters that compounds the burden for Awate is breadth of its mission to deliver on three levels: English, Arabic and Tigrigna. ESAT and Assena have lesser burden because they use one language tool. Anyway, transforming to another platform as you have suggested needs solidarity and commitment of the readership that values the mission and work Awate has been doing.

    • Bahri

      Hi Ayneta,

      More TV channels, websites, and social media are nothing more than a wish list of a recipe for a sumptuous dish. Without the proper ingredients, you can’t get the desired outcome. The whole Eritrean peaceful struggle (with all its silly divisions among itself) against the dictator is a mistaken strategy, in my opinion. The dictator got where he is through sheer brutality, canny manipulation, and he has no qualms to mow anyone who challenges his power. He has already done it to disabled fighters in the 1990s. He only understands force. Force as well as peaceful struggle may pressurize the dictator to change or fall. Even in Ethiopia, the repression and immigration out of their country was not as existential as it is in Eritrea. They had the ESAT type medium plus pressure groups that forced Weyane out. The same in Egypt and Sudan. Besides, the youngsters in Eritrea that can challenge the dictatorship are systematically emptied from the country due to Isaias’s repressive rule. The only question is should Eritreans follow Idris Awate’s track ( Awate II if you will) and assess the cost and benefits. Otherwise more of the same will continue even if Isaias is gone. as in many countries the ruling revolutionary party somehow continue the misrule after the de-facto ruler’s demise. Do we wait for the natural course of change or accelerate the change by any means. However, I am pessimistic for Awate II struggle as too many Eritreans are fond of western comfort and would rather shout from far away.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Awatistas,

    19 Eritrean prisoners of war (POW) during the Eritrean-Djiboutian war are finally released by Djiboutian Government and are resettled in Canada. The Eritrean regime denied of having any Eritrean POWs in Djibouti despite the International Red Cross has brought to their attention about them. A government which denied the burials of its citizens who died in the rough Mediterranean Sea, will not blink their eyes to deny their own POWs. This is one of the rare good news we could rejoice.

    https://hrc-eritrea.org/19-eritrean-prisoners-of-war-released-by-djiboutian-government-are-resettled-in-canada/

  • Simon Kaleab

    Selam all.

    General Sisi [ISIS read in reverse] is the best dictator money can buy in the Middle East; he should put the Muslim Brotherhood loonies under check.

  • Hameed Al-Arabi

    Ahlan Awates,

    The difference between those who possess a target, strategy, and coordination of efforts and those who fail to make a strategy to defend themselves. Despite, the buffaloes are stronger than wolves and bigger in number than the wolves, but fail to coordinate their resources of power against repeated attacks. The escape from reality on the ground makes buffaloes bleed continually.

    Could this be an example between the people of Eritrea (buffaloes) and the regime (wolves)?
    Please, watch the video in the following link.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIQv3-0-InY

    Al-Arabi

  • bardavidi

    The Arab Spring did not bring Democracy, Freedom or Peace……..Libya, Syria, Yemen, and even Egypt then……….Tens of Thousands dead misplaced and Fleeing in terror ……..Who is better off today than they were before the Movement…? I remember in Asyut and Al kahira during Morsis Reign everyone was running away from Churches and Shops owned by messihin………..They were being Bombed day and night at will by the brotherhood and their Mobs openly and outright………That was the Arab Spring that brought in Terror in the name of Democracy………..Hate in the name of Freedom………. I will stick to Al-Sisi and his Autocracy……..Selah

  • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

    Selamat Awate!

    ኣል ሲሲ
    ፈረሐት
    ተቐየረት
    ኮነት ፈሲ

    ተቓለዐት ጉዳ
    ዥሩቕሩቕ ኣተዋ ከብዳ
    ቁሩብ ጸኒሓ ናብ ጉድጓዳ
    ኣዘኪርኩምኒ ክኸይድ ናብ መንጉዳ
    ተረኸብኩዎ ነዚ ሰንካም ዋጣ
    ሽከቲ ከይበጸሐ ኮታ

    ፍሬኖ ተበቲኻ ክትዕዘር
    ሸለው ክብል ክዕዘር
    ተመስገን ክትብል ዛ ብርኽቲ ሃገር
    ፍስሃ-ወሰላም ክብሰር
    ኣሜን ንበል!

  • Hameed Al-Arabi

    Ahlan Awates,

    Yes, it is fall season in Egypt. No spring in the near future. They require enough time of rest for another spring. Mohammed Ali is just a phenomenon that prepares Egypt for next spring that will come in the future.

    Al-Arabi

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Awate,,

    “For his part, Hamdok underscored close relations between both countries’ peoples and governments, as he praised “mutual efforts to upgrade joint cooperation pushed by sincere Egyptian support, with the aim to maintain stability in Sudan amid the historic transition that the North African state is currently witnessing.”

    What is going on on those two countries? What about our Ethiopian? Are you following friends? What are you expecting the result will be?

    KS,,

  • Brhan

    Hello awate,

    1. The difference between the Sudanese and Egyptian springs. In the former spring, people went out to the streets because of bread while in the later people went to their houses for the sake of bread. Personal needs versus collective needs.
    2. Geography can be a curse : people living in a country that has jungle and mountains and people living in a country of desert : the probability of the later country’s people to revolt is less than the former.
    3.Geo politics. A friend of my friend is my friend even if the former is ugly.
    4. There can be other reasons

    Thanks,