Who are these people spending a lot of ad money to announce, in English, “From Egyptian to Egyptian,” that “Work is our only solution”? Are they Islamists, concentrating on the `amal (practice) rather than the `ilm (knowledge) side of the pursuit of felicity in this world and the next? Are they secularists, retorting to the old (now very rarely heard!) MB slogan that “Islam is the Solution”? Are they regime apologists, telling the activists and unions to cut it out with the sit-ins and strikes and go back to work?
Anyway, the signs are weird and have caused some buzz in the Twittersphere in the last three weeks. They appear prominently not only in Zamalek (the ones above are by the Hurriyya garden at the approach to the Qasr El-Nil Bridge) but also in Kit-Kat and (see below) on the Cairo-Alex desert road.
One perceptive blogger broke it down:
There is one curious political group, which started to anonymously monopolize the beginning of the desert road from Cairo to Alexandria with their huge publicity posters. They read: “From Egyptian to Egyptian: Work Is Our Only Solution!” Standing in the middle of the desert, written in English, white and red on black, the whole of it awkwardly reminded me of the Nazi propaganda “Arbeit macht Frei!” (Work will set you free) placed on the top of a gate which knowingly led to death; the one of the concentration camp of Auschwitz.
Which is the audience that the slogan “Work Is Our Only Solution” triggers? Who is it coming from? From an English speaking Egyptian to an English speaking Egyptian who both have cars and use the Alexandria desert road? Yes, those might be the ones who should start to work in order to change the country! But will they remember and want to share with the 90% of their countrymen who do not talk English, the 80% who do not have cars and the 60% who do not have work?
I saw a poster of the same campaign, but in Arabic on 2011-10-04. It, like the one in English I saw in Zamalek last week, was on a bus shelter. It was along the Corniche between the Museum and the 26th of July bridge in Cairo.