Egypt tourism campaign backfires after people tweet the real #ThisIsEgypt

The publicity stunt backfired after people tweeted some harsh truths about Egypt

Ishaan Tharoor
Sunday 13 December 2015 15:29 GMT

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.

Some also offered a slightly more ironic interpretation of the meme.

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.

Copyright: Washington Post

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