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The Egyptian government has pulled two public service announcements that warned against talking to foreigners.
The Egyptian government has pulled two public service announcements from television airwaves that warned against talking to foreigners, according to the AP.
The spots were pulled after critics charged the commercials fueled xenophobia and aimed to tarnish those Egyptians who supported last year's uprising.
The AP translated the following clip:
The clip shows three young Egyptians sitting in a cafe when suddenly a nefarious looking foreigner enters the bar. He approaches the group and in broken Arabic says, "I love you so much."
At this point the narrator adds, "Our generosity has no limits," as one of the Egyptians stands up, shakes hands and invites the foreigner to sit with them.
From here, the Egyptians freely share their discontent with the economy and also share information about overhearing a plot against the ruling military council in the subway, according to the AP.
The narrator ends the commercial with, "Every word comes with a price. A word can save a nation," using similar language to the US World War II propaganda posters claiming, "Loose lips sink ships."
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Ahmed Maher, co-founder of April 6, a youth empowerment group that helped steer the uprising, described the television spots to the AP as, "deceptive to spread fear of conspiracies and tarnish the image of the revolutionaries by indicating that dealing with foreign journalists leads to leaking dangerous information about Egypt."
It remains unknown who commissioned the ads, but The New York Times said Shahira Amin, a former state-television journalist, reported on Friday that an unnamed source told her that the advertisements were provided to the channels by the electoral body running Egypt’s presidential election.
Ali Abderrahman, president of public channels Nile Drama and Nile cinema, explained to the AFP news agency that the ad was removed on Friday over concerns that the message was being misunderstood.
“We are a country that aspires to raise the number of foreign visitors. The ad will be revised so it does not appear as if it is incitement against foreigners,” Abderrahman added.