Despite the traumatic experiences some passengers likely faced on the EgyptAir flight that was hijacked and forced to land in Cyprus, more than 30,000 tweets were sent out with the hashtag #IWishIWasWithThem (#ياريتني_كنت_معاهم).
Photo shared on fbook in Egypt w/caption “Egyptian passengers upon hearing they’re disembarking in Cyprus not Cairo” pic.twitter.com/QShKmGP4b1
— Timothy E Kaldas (@tekaldas) March 29, 2016
Mocking the incident on social media, Egyptians have been posting a range of memes making fun of the unconfirmed story that the hijacker simply wanted to send his ex-wife a four-page letter. Others posted memes imagining the happiness of those on board the flight discovering that they had arrived in Cyprus instead of Cairo.
— محَمد (@imooh96) March 29, 2016
“For just EGP 180 you can end up in Cyprus! And who knows, if you’re lucky, you might end up in France or Italy,” read one post on Facebook that imitated an advertisement for flying with EgyptAir.
Along with “wishing they were with them”, some social media users have been posting about how far they would go to win back an ex.
— Snober Alan Abbasi (@snobers) March 29, 2016
The social media fascination with this story comes as an Egyptian Foreign Ministry official reportedly called the hijacker “an idiot, not a terrorist”.
However, it has come at a cost for Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades’ who said “women are always involved” and laughed when he was asked whether the hijacking was related to a romantic issue. The President has been criticized across the world on social media for his comments which were deemed as sexist by many.
The hijacking incident, which captured the attention of international media outlets, remains a mystery, with no clear motive established.
Photographs taken on the plane of the hijacker, including one in which another individual is clearly smiling, provide a sense that the situation was not overly chaotic. Passengers leaving the plane were also seen calmly departing with their luggage.
According to some reports, the crew refused to leave the plane until all passengers were safe. This led to many on social media praising the EgyptAir crew for their bravery and their professionalism.
However, it remains unclear whether a serious security breach resulted in this incident, despite the lack of an actual explosive vest, or whether this could have happened anywhere.