The Big Pharaoh
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Friday, August 19, 2005

We Got Political Ads!!
(scroll down for updates)

Today as I was flipping through Al Ahram daily paper, I saw the first full page campaign ad by one of the 2 prominent candidates running against President Mubarak, Noaman Gomaa. My eyes literally popped out. I am just not used to seeing any political ads except those praising the achievements of Mubarak. I believe this is the first campaign ad in Egypt's history as a republic. I'll be looking forward to how the other candidates, especially Ayman Noor, will run their ads.

Nevertheless, it appears that Gomaa's newspaper ad had to be REALLY edited in order to get published in Al Ahram, Egypt's top paper. I visited Gomaa's party website and found the below ad which is another version of the one I saw in the paper today.

The ad reads: We Suffocated (emphasis added by BP:we use this term when we want to say that we really reached the end of our ropes)! The whole world is changing while we're not. And this is our political state.

Words describing the state of the country are written on those yellow notes underneath.

Now, I mentioned in my last post that the election laws prevent any candidate from directly attacking his opponents. It seems that Al Ahram thought that this version of the ad directly hits on Mubarak and his 24 years record in office and so asked Gomaa to remove the entire text except the heading "We Suffocated" and the "suffocating faces." The yellow notes were replaced by a picture of Noaman Gomaa and a sentence urging the voters to rise up and vote for his party. Poor Gomaa, it seems he had a very tough time getting his ad published!

Update: Today's (August 19th) Al Ahram had a double spread page carrying 2 Gomaa's ads including the one above. It seems the candidates will get more freedom in the media than what I expected. I am still waiting for Ayman Noor's ad. This is getting very interesting.

Mubarak Gets COOOOL

President Mubarak's campaign is being run by a group of young tech savvy computer and media specialists whose main job is to rejuvenate the image of the president. Mubarak's son, Gamal, is considered to be the man at the helm of the Mubarak campaign. In other words, the aim here is to make the president look cool, modern, forward looking, and hopeful for the future.

Mubarak also got his website, ops, I mean website! The site contains news about the elections, the president's campaign agenda, and a "letter to the president" email link urging readers to "talk directly to the president, ask whatever they want, offer comments, and express themselves." There is also a section about the first lady. The website is in Arabic and English.

Well, I really have to say this, I really like Mubarak's picture in the campaign logo. The logo reads: Mubarak 2005, the leadership and the crossing towards the future.

Update: Mubarak has a documentary about himself. I know that the film and video clips director Sherif Sabri is heavily involved in Mubarak's campaign, I am wondering if he was the director of this documentary. Sherif Sabri is Ruby's director and mentor. It has been rumored that he was asked to stay away from Ruby until the end of the elections! lol


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