Egypt’s tourism authorities launched a new promotional ad campaign, featuring this whimsical video above that depicts the country’s rich diversity. It ends encouraging viewers to share the hashtag #ThisIsEgypt.
That appeal led to many Egyptian Twitter eagerly sharing their images of the country, at a time when terrorism and extremist violence has threatened to undercut the vital Egyptian tourism industry.
But it also led to a perhaps undesired reaction. Some Twitter users are deploying the hashtag to highlight the country’s grievous human rights recordunder President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, who came to power through a coup in summer 2013. Since Sissi’s ascension, thousands of suspected dissidents and activists have been rounded up and detained, while journalists have come under intense scrutiny in a climate of fear and repression.
— Ahmed AbdelHamid (@abdelhamid868) December 11, 2015
— Wael Eskandar (@weskandar) December 11, 2015
— Shereen (@forsoothsayer) December 11, 2015
— Michael Maurice (@MichaelMauriceA) December 11, 2015
Tourism in the country has suffered a marked blow in the face of a rise in Islamist and other militant violence. The recent crash of a Russian jetliner over the Sinai peninsula, which killed all 224 people on board, is suspected to have been a terrorist attack. Earlier this year, government helicopters mistakenly attacked a group of Mexican tourists eating lunch in sand dunes near the lawless border with Libya, killing 12.
Source: Washington Post