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Egypt's xenophobic spy ad remains on air, say activists
Published in Bikya Masr on 12 - 06 - 2012

CAIRO: Egyptian activists and observers on Tuesday morning reported seeing the xenophobic spy advertisement warning Egyptians from speaking with foreigners about the country's political situation remained on air, despite reports that the ad had been taken down by the government.
“I saw the ad this morning,” Amal, a university student, emailed Bikyamasr.com, dispelling earlier reports that the ad had been removed completely from airing.
“I think it is disgusting, but it doesn't shock me that it would go back up during times when media are asleep,” she added, but could not remember what channel the ad had been aired on.
She was not the only one to have reported seeing the ad. At least three others on the micro-blogging site Twitter also said they saw the advert on Tuesday.
Bikyamasr.com could not independently verify the channel, or channels, that are continuing to use the advertisement.
The advertisement, which shows a suspicious looking foreigner entering a cafe, scanning the cafegoers, looking for prey while ominous and dangerous music plays in the background.
He chooses his “victims” and joins them on the table, but the Egyptians are so welcoming and warm-hearted towards him and in no time they are spilling their hearts out, giving him information about Egypt's social, political and economic problems.
The suspicious man then enters the “valuable” information into his phone, sending it somewhere. The caption appears “be careful with your words, words can save your country.”
The state-sponsored ad has left many in the country worried that xenophobia could return to the country, as it has in recent months during clashes on the streets.
The ad, which warns Egyptians from “giving away too much to strangers,” has already sparked some worries in foreigners living in Egypt.
“I definitely feel that this sort of thing can be very dangerous to us living here,” said Arabic student David Kliner, who told Bikyamasr.com that he has in his three months in Cairo, “experienced a number of odd times when people walk away or start talking about me behind my back.
“They don't think I understand, but that only makes it worse when I interrupt or say something,” he added.
Since the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, a number of foreigners, including journalists, have been detained by the military, many as a result of citizen's arrests, which have boosted fears that the country, and the military, is continuing to use the “foreign hands” campaign that says foreigners are creating unrest in the country.
The American government, nor its Embassy in Cairo, has issued a statement on the ad.


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