Sweet revenge: Egypt blocks website after it slates army's Eid biscuits

#EgyptTurmoil

Alscene website no longer available in Egypt after release of video criticising 'kahk' made by military-owned company

An Egyptian baker makes 'kahk' as part of celebrations for Eid al-Fitr (Reuters)
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Last update: 
Tuesday 27 June 2017 14:25 UTC
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Egypt blocked access to an online magazine on Monday after it dared to criticise army-made Eid biscuits in what it said was a "comedy video".

The three-minute video by the Alscene website featured six food tasters sampling "kahk" sweets made at well-known Egyptian patisseries.

The army's efforts did not meet their approval.

"I can feel my skin crawl,” said one guy in the video, as he held a box of Eid sweets made by Tibarose, a company owned by the Egyptian air defence forces.

"Thank you to the Egyptian military for wasting its time making kahk,” he then added.

Another food taster asked: “Do I need to say something nice?” before he tried one of the biscuits. “I’ve never tasted better kahk in my life. Thank you to the Egyptian army.”

A third added: “Yum, bravo Sisi, long live Egypt and the Egyptian army.”

Reports in Egypt said those featured in the video had been questioned by the security services at the Madinet Nasr police station, north-east Cairo.

Those reports were not confirmed by the Egyptian government.

However, their website appeared to suffer the same fate as 21 others recently banned in Egypt, including that of Al Jazeera, which were accused of "supporting terrorism".

Public controversy

The video sparked huge controversy across Egypt with the Arabic hashtag "army's_kahk" going viral.

Many observers joined the group of food tasters in ridiculing the army for spending its resources and time making Eid sweets.

Translation: You can give away our lands, and the water of the Nile, but ridiculing the army because it’s making Eid sweets makes you a traitor to your country and military

Translation: How could they ridicule the army for making Eid sweets?! Don’t they know how much effort went into that?

Others however showed their support for the Egyptian army and what they perceived as its effort to provide the Egyptian people affordable Eid sweets.

Translation: Do these guys think they’re funny? The military has been toiling to provide us with what we need

The price of a box of Eid sweets shot up recently with some costing as much as 700 Egyptian pounds ($38.58), more than twice the average day's pay.

Alscene said on Facebook that it was surprised by the negative comments for what was a "comedy video".

"We were shocked by the attacks and insults we received, being called traitors and agents, when in fact we were only trying to have some fun," said the statement.

"Since we found that the video upset so many people, we decided to delete it, but no one has been arrested," added the statement.