Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi (pictured) came under fire for telling a group of young Egyptians in a discussion about the country’s flagging economy that his “refrigerator was empty for 10 years.”
“I am a member of the Egyptian people and for 10 years my refrigerator had nothing in it but water,” Sisi said to citizens in the wake of a share devaluation of the Egyptian pound.
Many refused to believe the validity of such a statement coming from the former head of the army, which runs a parallel economy in the fields of housing, culture, trade and others.
Thousands of Egyptians reacted to Sisi’s statement on social media, some under the hashtag #Sisis_fridge.
“When he says that for 10 years he drank only water and didn’t complain, he is effectively telling us: Starve to death and shut up,” one Twitter user wrote. “The man who devoured all the investments that came from the Gulf tells us he never complained.”
@HalulQatar بيقولك عشر سنين اشرب ميه محدش سمع صوتي يقصد موتو جوع واخرسو الراجل يقط خيط وخيط بلع رز الخليج ويقول محدش اسمع صوتو
— ذكريات (@nicetime40) October 27, 2016
Another posted a video of former President Mohammed Morsi, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, and wrote: “May Allah give you freedom, Mr. President Dr. Mohammed Morsi, you and all the oppressed, to fill Sisi’s fridge and make sure that privileged man doesn’t starve.”
— أموي نيوز (@ALAMAWI) October 26, 2016
Dr. Khaled Ibrahim posted a video of an Egyptian farmer complaining about the damages inflicted by the ongoing drought, and wrote: “Egypt and the farmers have run out of water, but that’s all Sisi has in his fridge. The man sold everything, himself and his pledge.”
— نزهه|د خالدالابراهيم (@_nezhaa__) October 26, 2016
“Sisi swore that for 10 years he had nothing except water in his fridge,” Khaled Alammar tweeted. “If he didn’t swear I might have believed him, but once he did I know it’s a lie.”
أقسم بالله بقيت 10سنوات وليس بثلاجتي إلا الماء.
– أنا شخصيا لو ماحلف كان ممكن أصدقه،
لكن بما أنه حلف فكلامه شوربه!#ثلاجه_السيسي
— خالد العمار (@Khalid_Alammar) October 26, 2016
The anti-Sisi website 21Arabi published a cartoon entitled “Sisi’s fridge,” which was divided into two parts – “before” and “after” – under the latter there is a safe, alluding to Sisi’s alleged custom of appropriating public funds.
— عربي21 (@Arabi21News) October 26, 2016
Khaled Alalkami told the president that he suffered a slip of the tongue and “probably meant your washing machine.”
— خالد العلكمي (@AlkamiK) October 26, 2016
Salma Aljamal posted a picture of an empty fridge and wrote: “Guys, how’s Sisi’s fridge doing?”
— سلمى الجمل (@AljamalSalma) October 26, 2016
Ahmed Khatab, who said he is politically unaffiliated, repeated Sisi’s remark next to a picture of the president and his associates sitting around a plentiful dinner table.
— ناشط مش سياسى (@AhmedKhatab89) October 26, 2016