Comments made by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi during the National Youth Forum that kicked off in Sharm El-Sheikh on Tuesday stirred different reactions on social media networks, particularly sarcasm expressed through several hashtags.
The president did not give a full speech, but instead made interventions and sporadic comments amid forum discussions.
“I swear, I swear, for 10 years, I had nothing in my refrigerator but water, and I never complained,” Al-Sisi said twice, insisting, “nobody ever heard my voice, even though I come from a very rich family.”
A hashtag titled #Al-Sisi’s_refrigerator went viral on Twitter and continued to be among the top trending on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Cries of falsehood and exaggerations are what many social media users took to expressing, as the president’s statements seemed to contradict with his background in working for the military—an institution that pays considerably well.
Among a throng of redundant comments on social media was one that read: “You probably meant your washing machine.”
‘Don’t broadcast these statements, please’
In another awkwardly candid moment that brought more responses from netizens was when the president said: “One state with a two-million population and a 700 km space was extremely retarded, then they set and applied a programme, but through violence…violence. Nobody was allowed to speak up.”
“Could I do that? Would anyone accept it? For 20 years… I hope that not all my statement will be broadcast or else it would become obvious which country I am talking about,” the president continued, which was being broadcast live across the forum.
The social media reactions continued to pour in. One Twitter user referred to a previously scandalous on-air gaffe that took place during former president Mohamed Morsi’s regime, in a meeting where he and other officials were discussing plans to sabotage the Ethiopian dam crisis. To everybody’s surprise, the public had been informed of every word.
1+1= 3, 5, 7, 9
When speaking on education, President Al-Sisi, in attempts to describe the new attitudes and innovation that he wished to see in the education system, said that he hopes for creative, non-traditional techniques.
“I mean 1+1 = 2. I don’t want that, I want 1+1=3, 5, 7, or 9. This won’t be traditional at all,” he said.
“He needs a new multiplication table,” commented one user on Twitter.
Many visual comics were posted on Facebook about Al-Sisi’s comments.