Hassan Masri-Cairo

The videos of Egyptian actor and contractor Mohamed Ali were not the first to criticize and oppose President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.He was preceded by many activists and opponents.However, the videos of the activists gained considerable momentum among Egyptians, especially on social media.

Since the beginning of this month, Mohamed Ali, who has worked as a contractor with the Egyptian army for years, broadcast a series of videos accusing Sisi and his wife and army leaders of corruption and waste of public money, but gradually turned to demanding Sisi to step down and call on the army to isolate him in case of refusal, and then moved to escalation By calling for the demonstrations last Friday, thousands of Egyptians responded to them, followed by a call for a demonstration of a million next Friday.

The videos of Ali, who worked for a while in acting and film production, confused the Egyptian regime, especially in light of talk about the wings of the regime behind Ali, and prompted Sisi to respond publicly despite the advice of the security services not to raise the issue.

Media affiliated with the regime rushed to defend al-Sisi, but failed in the face of a stream of social media interaction, followed by demonstrations in several Egyptian governorates, as well as videos of activists and dissidents who gained momentum because of Ali's videos and subsequent demonstrations.

Activists and officers

The most prominent activists whose backs coincided with Mohammed Ali's videos were Sinai activist Massad Abu Fagr, who accused Sisi and his son, intelligence officer Mahmoud, of working to displace Sinai residents and gaining huge financial gains by controlling smuggling into the Gaza Strip.

Abu Fagr, who was a member of the 50-nation constitution drafting committee following the military coup led by Sisi in the summer of 2013, spoke of what he called "Sisi's betrayal and his involvement in the extermination of entire villages, and how Sisi uses terror as a scarecrow and a means to entrench his dictatorship."

He also accused Sisi of using outlaws to crack down on the people of Sinai.He said that Sisi received a senior drug dealer at the Federal Palace to coordinate military operations in Sinai, pointing out that the use of these prompted the people of Sinai to not sympathize with the army during its operations against militants.

The videos of Abu Fagr were widely interacted among the pioneers of the communication sites, prompting the Egyptian media to launch a smear campaign against the Sinai activist and accusing him of treason.

Before the momentum of Mohamed Ali's videos intensified, the resigning officer and lawyer Ahmed Sarhan had aired a video talking about the corruption of the Sisi regime and the enforced disappearance of a lawyer, to be arrested after announcing his appeal to the Attorney General to file a complaint against Sisi.

Hisham Sabri, who identified himself as a resigned state security officer (National Security), also spoke of Sisi's relationship with the crisis of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Sisi said was caused by the January 25, 2011 revolution.

However, the former officer revealed that he prepared a few years ago for a confidential report No. 415 of 2007 on damages of the Renaissance Dam, pointing out that the then head of the State Security Service Hassan Abdel Rahman refused to raise it to former President Hosni Mubarak for fear of angering him, as well as the anger of then General Intelligence Director Omar Suleiman , Because that report constitutes an infringement on the tasks of intelligence.

The former officer accused Sisi of lying to the Egyptians by uploading the January 25 revolution of the Renaissance Dam crisis, stressing that Sisi had either seen the report and was lying or had not been informed.

Hisham Sabri also spoke in another video about the widespread corruption in the Egyptian state, stressing that Mohamed Ali did not bring anything new and that corruption is the greatest threat to the Egyptians.

In turn, Colonel Hani Sharaf's pilot came out to stress that the fall of the Sisi regime is a matter of time in light of popular anger, and under the cover of the army to "achieve malicious purposes, and that since 2015 after the Rafal aircraft deal and the abdication of the islands of Tiran and Sanafir that he sees Sisi as a client."

Sharaf advised army and police officers to abide by their oath of allegiance to the homeland and not to people or regimes, warning of the collapse of the army's image among the Egyptians, especially after the army's involvement in the economy and the descent of officers and soldiers to sell vegetables and fish in the markets.

Sisi notification failed

Despite Sissi's media army, he failed to confront social media sites, which Cairo University media professor Ayman Mansour considered a major media failure to deal with the fait accompli.

Mansour said in his interview with Al Jazeera Net that the absence of transparency and freedom of information circulation leads to a state of media vacuum that hangs over the media channels and platforms, which instead of responding to accusations came out with weak media content, does not at all recognize the exit of thousands of Egyptians to the fields.

For his part, legal and legal expert Mustafa Al-Ghareeb said that the main reasons for the emergence of the video storm and the existence of a popular resonance to it, is the current situation of security tightening and the establishment of dictatorship, and in the absence of censorship or a free media that exposes corruption and presents various views.

What is remarkable in the crisis of Mohammed Ali's videos is the recognition of prominent media figures in favor of the regime that there is a crisis in media freedom, which led to the Egyptians turning to communication sites and following the opposition satellite broadcasting from abroad. In the exercise of freedom of opinion and expression in the press and media without restrictions except by law, and without censorship except the national conscience. "