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Egypt’s ‘battle of the boxes’ fed the world a distorted image of the nation

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Egypt has just spent three days playing out the constitutional amendment referendum, complete with clichéd dancing in the streets to horrendous songs that we first heard after the military coup in 2013, such as “May these hands be safe” and “Boshret Khair” (“Good omen”) by Hussain Al-Jasmi. We also saw reports of farcical sights, such as the woman who gave birth in the polling station; the bride and groom who came to the polling station in their wedding dress and tuxedo, to celebrate their wedding; a man dressed in his Umrah robes; a doctor who found no other means of transportation, so came on a donkey; and a woman who came in an ambulance to cast her vote. She was cured miraculously when she heard Al-Jasmi’s song and leapt up from the stretcher to dance with the others.

Such were some of the scenes witnessed across the Egyptian media on referendum day. They demonstrated that the government is treating the people as if they are naive and stupid, and might actually be duped by these old and tired tricks. It is living in the 1950s and the Ministry of Culture, which pushes the people towards one school of thought, is living in the deceitful time of Abdel Nasser and Ahmed Saeed’s lying media; a delusionary period in which we still appear to be stuck.

READ: Egypt voters coerced, bribed with food at referendum polling stations

The current government of Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi does not appear to have realised that we........

© Middle East Monitor