Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Making Fun Of Our Pharaohs

Jokes are essential part of our Egyptian life and since the time of ancient Egypt Egyptians had their secret weapon to conquer the hardships of dictators : The political joke. It is said that the oldest political joke was found in a papyrus about some womanizer pharaoh and thus it is not a strange to find Egyptians through out history up till now making fun from their rulers through strong political jokes aside for our love to joke in general.

Foreign policy published  a special slide show about jokes we made about Mubarak. Some of the jokes I have heard before in Arabic and honestly some of them are not really funny like other popular jokes about Mubarak and his family in Egypt.

Back to the history of jokes in modern Egypt  , after the six days war defeat the Egyptians launched war of jokes mocking the army and Nasser to the level that Nasser himself asked the people to stop their jokes in a speech , to the level that the army gave orders to the officers and soldiers not to wear their military uniform otherwise they would hear what they did not like.

Presidents Nasser and Sadat were said to be interested in knowing the latest political jokes in Egypt as they considered it as indicator for how things are going in the country. I do not know why I have the feeling that Mubarak does not share their insight.

My favorite joke from the Nasserite era is :

Two potheads were standing watching the funeral of Nasser from their roof and they noticed the helicopter that was transferring him to the tomb ‘his body was not in that coffin, it was transferred in a helicopter’ ; one of the pothead  said “hey look here is the helicopter transferring the dead body of Nasser” and the other one would say “I hope it goes down so he dies”

I can’t remember funny political jokes from the Sadat era , still I know that Egyptian made jokes about Sadat’s speeches and his famous quotas in certain incidents .

I have got other political joke from that era but I will not share because it is a dirty one .Of course in Arabic it is much better. I love the Nasserite era jokes because knowing how things were in the society from fear , it was amazing to see the Egyptians breaking that circle of fear then.

Now the jokes about Mubarak, considering the circumstances I can remember very few now but here is a suitable one :

A Christian citizen asks Mubarak : when will a Christian become a President in Egypt ? and Mubarak answers : When the Muslim becomes a president.

The political joke in Egypt shows that our people are not that tamed , it is their secret weapon to conquer hardships and tyrannies alike. Indeed our people are strange.

By the way people do not share jokes anymore in Egypt like before and this is not a good indicator.


  1. Hmm, Its time we stop joking, get angry and do something. De7ekna keteer we hazarna keteer, ne3mel 7aga b2a

  2. @Zeinobia

    "I have got other political joke from that era but I will not share because it is a dirty one."

    Feel free to post it on El Naschie Watch, in English or Arabic. While you're there, you can read about El Naschie's latest Rosa Al-Youssef column, where he tells Egyptians they shouldn't care about democracy.

  3. Human beings who feel helpless fight back with ironic/sarcastic humor.
    This behavior is manifested in workplace, political, social, paternal or whenever oppressive forms of control exist and is used to vent out frustration/anger.

  4. @last Anon: we all knw that, been doing that so may b the solution is not to vent by jokes but by actions.

  5. but we also must admit that shitbag is a great humour material


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