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June 07, 2009

Golden Cellphones Get Psychoanalyzed by 10 Shaykhs (because Sunday's a Workday)

My Pope Shenouda III project is well underway. As in, I have spent the last five days of work (meaning Friday and Saturday are excluded; Sunday is a workday here) going through the entirety of the Report's collection of articles from 2008 cataloguing anything that deal with Pope Shenouda III. Once you look through hundreds of articles that are categorized not by topic but by date (i.e. weeks 1-43 of 2008), you start to realize just how weird newspaper articles and media scandals can be (let alone those in a foreign culture). With that frame in mind, I present a slightly more light-hearted post: the best Egyptian headlines of 2008 (weeks 1-43):

- "10 Shaykhs Psychoanalyze the Pope" (in which 10 Muslim scholars of al-Azhar are solicited for their opinions on Pope Shenouda's character, or the beginning of some bizarre, as of yet, unwritten joke).

- "cĪd Labīb denies that the Abū Fānā reconciliation agreement collapsed because of a golden mobile phone" (in which cĪd Labīb, a prominent Copt, denies that his anger over Pope Shenouda re-gifting a golden cellphone that he had given him to a member of parliament caused him to stop working on a peace treaty between the Monastery of Abu Fana and the local Muslims. I suppose all political scandals are this weird when you think about them hard enough).

- "Brothers you thought were your shield while they were your enemies" (okay, technically not about Pope Shenouda. This is actually about Sunni-Shi'a relations, but the name just made me think of the title of a movie about a fraternity gone horribly awry).

- "Equality between Jews and Muslims" (innocuous looking, true, but the contents, "A recent survey has shown that people who hate Jews also hate Muslims," is a rather odd, if sadly true, way of demonstrating equality).

- "Dr. Yūsuf Zaydān: Christians are creative" (this is one of those weird instances of positive stereotyping that, despite advocating for a positive description, still rub me the wrong way. Anyhow, this article continues to be about how the Church shouldn't censor writers).

Anyhow, this is what happens to my brain when it looks at thousands of articles in one week; it starts finding this sort of thing amusing.

Posted by Alexander Steven Wamboldt at June 7, 2009 10:21 PM

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