Wide condemnation of Qatari journalist who called Egyptians ‘makers of falafel’
CAIRO - A salvo of angry tweets against Egypt published by journalist Ahmed Ali of the Qatari newspaper Al-Watan caused wide uproar on social media, with journalists and intellectuals calling on him to review the history of his country, before attacking a 7000-year old nation.
Ahmed Ali took advantage of the current political and economic crisis in Egypt to distort reality about the country’s culture and civilization, in reaction to Egyptian Bassem Youssef’s criticism of Qatar's increasing role in Egyptian politics, and support of the Muslim Brotherhood.
"We might be bootlicking to the US as you claim, but we would never allow it to subdue us, as you do in return for its conditional financial aid,” Ali said on his Twitter account on Tuesday before deactivating it.
“America has been your primary backer for decades, and do not forget its annual, conditional, financial aid to you in return for implementing its policies,” he said.
He went on to say, that “what else are you (Egyptians) good at other than making falafel?”
He also criticized what he said was as an Egyptian mantra of having long history without planning for the future.
“There are countries that lean on their old civilizations such as bankrupt Greece and economically-deteriorated Egypt. What good did history bring you, history man?”
He also accused Egypt of heavy reliance on imports and failing to establish strong local industry. “You speak about industry while you import everything from abroad, even Ramadan lanterns are imported from China,” he said.
Ali believes Egyptians are stuck in their past and decline to think of their future. "You have a past complex, Nefertiti," he said sarcastically.
Egyptian poet, translator and architect Fatima Naoot strongly denounced Ahmed Ali’s affront to Egypt and the Egyptian people, noting that her country had never been exposed to such an abuse before Morsi’s rise to power.
Naoot added via her Twitter account, “Egypt and Egyptians have never been offended by any Arab or foreign journalists throughout history like they have been offended under your rule, Morsi... History will not forgive you... Leave!''
From the United Arab Emirates, an Emirati national wrote on his Twitter account, “You, journalist, if you ignore history, go back to your books. We owe Egypt a great favour that we are hoping to return even a small part of it, you ignorant!”
Another Emirati national quoted Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (late Founding Father of the UAE), "For Arabs, Egypt is the heart, and if the heart stops, Arabs will not survive.”
In his interview with Egypt Independent, Ali said, “The degree to which a country is civilized is measured by its production and success in the present time and not in the past. Qatar was unanimously selected to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup while a few years before Egypt lost the same bid to host the 2010 World Cup and got zero votes.”
He was referring to one of Egypt's most flawed international appearances, when Egypt, in the bid for the FIFA World Cup 2010 that was to be held in an African country — failed to garner a single vote from the 24 members of FIFA's Executive Committee.
The interview was conducted two days before satirist Bassem Youssef criticized Qatar's increasing role in Egypt.