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.”
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.”
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 سياسي (@Ahmedkhatab89) October 26, 2016