By: Belal Fetyan*
Egypt has known the prank-based shows since the 1990s, where it started in a simple way and a quick pace in the Egyptian streets such as the series of the hidden camera shows.
Each Episode used to include several segments of quick pranks with simple Egyptians in a spontaneous way and without the presence of a large number of people. Then, these shows developed and started to invite stars to private studios with pre-arranged interviews about the star’s life while the prank takes place during the interview.
Recently, the pranks industry has reached the peak of development in Egypt. After they were simply produced in Egypt’s streets without a high cost, the Egyptian prank-based shows are now produced abroad to be perfect with organizing fake festivals using huge equipment, including even the use of helicopters.
Maybe what has been happening in Egypt since June 30, 2013, is a prank, not a coup as the military rule opponents all it, and of course, it is not a revolution as the supporters of the military claim. Maybe this is an advanced stage of the pranks industry, where the prank extends for many years and controls the destiny of peoples and countries.
With a quick look, we will find that everyone has been deceived in a naive way that has brought us to this dire situation on all levels, except for the level of our prank-based shows that have become a part of the lives of the Egyptians. You will hardly find a family that does not watch them and wait for them with a great passion, except for a minority who suffer from pranks of other kinds such as the “hidden imprisonment” show (referring to the enforced disappearance), and the “execution with Nagi Shehata” (referring to the judge Nagi Shehata who had issued many death sentences against President Morsi’s supporters before most of them were cancelled by the Court of Cassation), and other terrifying and sad prank-based shows.
The Muslim Brotherhood, as well as the presidency institution, were the first to be deceived by the prank. They did not notice the candid cameras which were planted in the prank location to be filmed from all angles. They looked at June 30 as a normal day, like all other days, that would normally pass.
The Muslim Brotherhood were deceived by the huge crowds of their supporters and their confidence in the military institution that it would protect the will of Egyptians. However, they were later shocked by the sequence and acceleration of events that led to overthrowing their new rule and driving them several years backward, surpassing the eras of Mubarak and Sadat back to their previous position during the era of Abdel-Nasser (during the sixties of the last century).
The National Salvation Front, including prominent figures such as al-Baradei, Sabbahy, as well as al-Wafd party, al-Tagammo’ (grouping), the Egyptian Democratic Party, and others failed to win the confidence of the Egyptians through the ballot boxes. So, they resorted to the military with their heavy guns to reach power. However, the military used them as a civilian cover, but soon they dispensed with them after they had expired, and the military were no longer in need for them.
Al-Noor Party, the second political force after the Muslim Brotherhood according to the votes of Egyptians and the parliament seats in 2011, were not satisfied with all this and declared their opposition to the regime at the time. They also claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood controlled the joints of the country. They might have thought that they would occupy the first position after getting rid of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The situation of al-Noor Party was not better than that of the National Salvation Front as they were mostly disposed of with after the military controlled the country. There is nothing left for Al-Noor Party except for a few members of parliament (12 in 2015 elections compared with 122 in 2011 elections).
The youth movements could not allegedly bear the dictatorship of the Muslim Brotherhood, and joined the National Salvation Front, hoping that the revolution would rule Egypt and that they would enjoy the lost democracy and freedom after toppling Morsi.
However, when the military ruled, they found themselves in bigger boxes that are called “cells” together with those whom they sought to overthrow them and bring about the absent freedom as they fancied.
Everyone has been deceived with extreme naivety, though with various degrees as some exceeded it to reach treason.
However, the prank, this time, may be one of the long shows, at the end of which Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi takes off his mask for the spectators to see the face of Ramez Galal (a popular prank-based show star who presents an annual show in Ramadan)
*Belal Fityan is an Egyptian blogger
(Published on Al-Jazeera, on Saturday, June 25, 2016, and translated for MEO)