The following videos are from an Egyptian TV programme which is acclaimed by Egyptians as one of the most neutral and objective programmes in Egyptian media. It is shocking how the presenter treats the people who phone in to say that the Egyptian side is most at fault because it is fanning the flames with exaggerations and unproven allegations. If this is one of the most neutral and objective programmes, you can imagine how the other less objective ones are like!
Video 1: an Egyptian political journalist calls in to say that all the Egyptian claims remain unproven and as such the Egyptian media are to blame for encouraging the anger of the masses. He states that even official Egyptian reports from the Ministry of Health do acknowledge that there have been 45 casualties within Algerian supporters following the match which took place in Cairo, one of which was suffering from stab wounds. These are casualties which necessitated hospital treatments. On the other hand, the official reports from Sudan state that there have been 22 minor injuries within Egyptian supporters. Basically, his point is that all official reports point to the fact that most of the violence which took place was from the Egyptian side. To which the guests of the programme murmur that these are ‘hypotheses’ and after the call is abruptly cut off, the presenter comments that: ‘The Egyptian officials have clearly protected Algerian supporters and representatives in Cairo’ and that [somebody said that] ‘there was one Sudanese who was stabbed in Khartoum’. Also, notice the videos which they show intermittently, as if to transmit their message subliminally to their public. None of the videos show Algerian supporters engaging in violence against Egyptian supporters. One of them shows some unidentifiable individuals beating up one supporter holding the Egyptian flag whilst all the others show anonymous empty smashed busses.
Video 2: in this clip, one of the guests puts across a more nuanced and intelligent opinion. His name is Amro Shobky and he is head of a research centre specializing in political and strategic studies. The presenter constantly tries to push him to say that what happened in Sudan was pre-planned by Algerian politicians and the government. He gives in to the pressure because he seems keen to avoid being stigmatized as ‘non patriotic’ or ‘not patriotic enough’, however, he makes a good point about the problem of Algerian identity and our meagre history compared to what he calls Egyptian history which stretches back to the times of the Pharaohs (as if Algeria did not exist at that time!). He says that when Egyptian media attacked the symbols of the Algerian revolution, they failed to realize that the entire Algerian history is built on the revolution which constitutes a big part of the Algerian psyche and sense of pride. In Egypt however, the national history is so diversified that people are unlikely to turn violent when any segment of it is attacked or vilified. It is an intelligent manoeuvre but the problem with it is that the Egyptian masses suffered a huge sense of confusion about their own identity following losing a football match! Many turned the events which followed into proofs that Egyptians and/ or Algerians are not Arabs! It seems that both Egyptians and Algerians suffer from confused identities.