Red Carpet Experts and Social Media Outrage: Egypt President’s Convoy Drives on Red Carpet

Red Carpet Experts and Social Media Outrage: Egypt President’s Convoy Drives on Red Carpet


The driving of a Presidential convoy on a red carpet for several kilometers ahead of the inauguration of several projects in Egypt has caused outrage among Egyptian television and radio personalities.

Egyptian President Sisi’s convoy drove on the red carpet while on a visit to 6 October City to inaugurate several projects, including a housing project for the poor. During a speech, the President announced new spending cuts on water and electricity subsidies and asked Egyptians to be frugal due to economic hardships and called on them not to complain about the austerity measures.

The contrast between the luxury of the several miles long red carpet and then subsequently asking citizens to watch their spending and taking away their water and electricity subsidies provoked anger on social media.

Thousands of tweets and Facebook posts were devoted to ‘red carpet gate’ and the issue was discussed on many of the prime time talk shows that are broadcast on the Egyptian radio and television every night.

“How many blankets for the poor could have been cut out of that carpet?” radio host Youssef al-Husseiny asked. He called the president a hypocrite and wondered what his reaction was when he realised he was in a car on a very long red carpet. “No other world leaders drive on red carpets,” Al-Husseiny assured his listeners.

Walking? No problem. On a bike? That’s ok too. But by car? That’s a bit much, popular talk show host Lamees El-Hadidi concluded. She called on the president’s staff to stop wasting his money and be a bit more careful not to taint his good reputation. Ibrahim Eissa called the whole situation a ‘major political disappointment’.

Presenter Amr Adeeb spoke to a self-proclaimed ‘red carpet expert’ on his talk show, who assured him that such a particular carpet lasts ‘at least three years’ and is ‘not very expensive’. In comparison to exactly what the price of the red floor covering was reasonable remained unclear as no value was given.

The expert was also confident that the same runner was used at the opening of the expansion of the Suez Canal, the reception of the Chinese President and the official celebrations for the most recent Police Day (January 25) and Armed Forces Day (October 6).

The editors of the financial communications agency Enterprise did not quite get what all the fuss was about. “Setting aside the irony that a country that appears to have five chandeliers per capita and yellow gold on almost everything is going to presume to lecture anyone on their taste and or perceived lack of restraint“, they commented in their newsletter.

Meanwhile, a government source told Egyptian Streets that the carpet was paid for and provided by the contractors of the project and that the government was not involved in the rolling out of the red carpet.

“President Sisi and the government would not have known in advance that there was a red carpet. The President is invited to inaugurate the projects and the ceremony is not organized by the government,” said the source.

Water subsidies cost the Egyptian government almost 4.6 million euros per day. Last week it was reported that Egypt needs about 2.8 billion euros to finance the construction of water treatment plants. The government hopes to save more than 3.3 billion euros on energy subsidies in the financial year 2015/2016.

Meanwhile, last week new import taxes came into effect in Egypt on items such as nuts, cosmetics, clothing and household appliances. Tariff rates on some items increased by 100 percent, causing serious price hikes. Inflation in Egypt is about 11 percent annually. Egypt’s economy has been struggling to recover since the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak during the January 25 revolution in 2011.

UAE Announces Posts for Ministers of Happiness, Tolerance in Government Reshuffle
Egyptian Footballers Aboutrika and Bibo Among 48 Football Legends

Subscribe to our newsletter


Ester Meerman is an independent journalist who has been reporting from Egypt since January 2011.

More in Buzz

Searching for Life Quality? Cairo, Alexandria Just Made It to Africa’s Top 10 Cities

Aya NaderFebruary 23, 2017

#StopTheWait: Messi Visits Egypt to Promote Affordable Hepatitis C Treatment and Tourism

Egyptian StreetsFebruary 22, 2017

‘Egypt is the Most Fascinating Place on Earth’: How to Spend Just 48 Hours in Egypt

Egyptian StreetsFebruary 14, 2017

Drinking Liquor Without Getting Drunk Not Sinful: Islamic Scholar

Egyptian StreetsFebruary 13, 2017

World’s Heaviest Woman Transported from Egypt to India for Weight Reduction Surgery

Toqa EzzidinFebruary 13, 2017

Egypt is the Cheapest Place in the World to Buy a Big Mac – But What Does That Mean?

Mohamed KhairatJanuary 31, 2017

Meet Dina Habib Powell, the Egyptian-American Appointed by Trump to the White House

Mohamed KhairatJanuary 17, 2017

Redefine Ability: An Egyptian Campaign Changing How We View Ability

Mohamed KhairatJanuary 11, 2017
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2017 ES Media UG. All Rights Reserved.