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Walled Off: The Truth About Madinaty’s Promise of a Desert Utopia

May 16, 2020

Since it has stopped airing, the outcry against the ad for Talaat Moustafa Group’s (TMG) Madinaty has died down a little. Rants, jokes, and memes that filled the feeds of various social media platforms for a few days have now been replaced by the more recent of Ramadan’s rapidly changing trends. But now that the impulsive fury of critics and defenders alike has abated, we can rationally dissect this controversial three-minute spot, the discussion around it, and the underlying social problems it points us to. The Spot and the Controversy For those hearing about this for the first time, here is the situation: A commercial advertising the gated city of Madinaty was released in the first week of Ramadan, showcasing the various benefits of living there. These benefits were presented through a compilation of short clips of presumptive residents telling viewers about their own personal experiences and their favourite aspects of living in Madinaty, edited together with shots and artists’ renderings of the mini-city. The themes within the commercial are not unfamiliar: World-class. Secluded. Secure. Private. Superior. Those are the same themes used by the truly endless billboards and TV…

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