Mubarak Framed! Humor and Political Activism before and during the Egyptian Revolution

Anagondahalli, Deepa; Khamis, Sahar
September 2014
Arab Media & Society;Fall2014, Issue 19, p1
Academic Journal
The Egyptian revolution of 2011 that lasted 18 days brought to an end President Hosni Mubarak's 30 year reign in Egypt. It brought to fore a variety of protest materials ranging in content from strict condemnation to comedic creativity, and ranging in form from hand-held banners during protests to Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and digital jokes online. However, criticism of Mubarak's character and regime predates the protests of the Arab Spring. The people of Egypt have developed a tradition of expressing their dissent against all political regimes, including Mubarak's, through the use of humor. This study analyzed the use of humor both during the Mubarak regime (including before the protests) and during the protests of the Arab Spring. Although the Egyptian people used humor-based strategies liberally both before and during the protests, it appears that the type of humor used and the functions it served were different. This study analyzed the political climate's influence on using humor as an overt and covert dissent strategy. The functions of different types of humor, both online and offline, and the specific advantages they offer in expressing political dissent are also discussed.


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