The Egyptian General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was not absent from the burning protests in Lebanon, where demonstrators were keen to insult the strong dictator.
Although the Lebanese protests were mainly against Lebanese government decisions and the imposition of new taxes, the Lebanese mocked al-Sisi, describing the Lebanese government’s decisions as similar to al-Sisi’s policies.
But what does Abdel Fattah al-Sisi have to do with the Lebanese protests?
Lebanese demonstrators believe that the reason for this is a previous speech made by Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, in which Hariri praised the economic policy adopted by al-Sisi, expressing his admiration for the latter’s government.
This speech suggests that Hariri’s decisions were inspired by the new tax measures implemented by al-Sisi’s, which also caused suffering for Egyptian people.
Lebanon is living under the weight of demonstrations and sit-ins that began on Thursday (17 October) in the cities of Tripoli, Byblos, Sidon, Nabatieh, Chtaura, and Baalbek, in protest against the government’s intention to impose new taxes and the spread of government corruption.
On the first day of the demonstrations, the government announced the reversal of the decision to impose taxes on the service WhatsApp, but the demands of demonstrators escalated on Friday, to demand the fall of the government.
Lebanon’s economy is going through its worst days, facing confusion in the local exchange market, fluctuating dollar abundance, and the exchange rate on the black market above 1,650 liras per dollar, compared to 1,507 in the official market.
Lebanese protesters consider that there is a close relationship between the policy of their government, which they accuse of being behind the deterioration in the economy as well as services, and the policy of the Egyptian regime.
But al-Sisi’s presence in the Lebanese protests was not the first in the demonstrations and revolutions in Arab countries. He was present in cheers in Morocco, Algeria and Sudan.
In all these countries, angry masses condemned al-Sisi with angry chants, such as, “al-Sisi is the enemy of God,” insulting the Egyptian general.
But why is Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi insulted in almost all Arab protests?
Many Arab revolutionaries and demonstrators consider that he has become the inspiration of tyrants and dictators in the region, and therefore it is natural to direct those chants towards the symbol of dictatorship in the region.
Arab protesters who reject al-Sisi consider that one of the most important reasons is that he led a coup against the rule of the late President Mohamed Morsi, who is considered the first civilian president elected in Egypt.
Al-Sisi was also behind the establishment of a repressive government and against liberty in Egypt.
The demonstrators have not forgotten that al-Sisi is also one of the most important supporters of the deal of the century. The newspaper Yedioth Aharonoth reported that al-Sisi is working to attract Arab leaders to mobilise their support for the “peace plan” formulated by the US administration, known as the deal of the century.
The deal of the century is widely rejected in the Arab world, and the demonstrators see the leaders who approve it as traitors to the Palestinian cause.
Angry demonstrators facing repression from their governments remember that al-Sisi also fought strongly against all those opposed to his rule, and Egyptian prisons are still full of prisoners of conscience.
Thousands of Egyptians are fleeing in other countries because of the pursuit of authorities. Arab demonstrators consider the repression of the al-Sisi regime as an inspiration to governments that suppress demonstrators.
Observers say that another reason behind insulting al-Sisi is the announcement of the death of Mohamed Morsi on June 17 amid accusations that the al-Sisi regime killed him.
Morsi was in prison for six years under poor conditions, without access to health care. What continues to inflame Arab hatred and anger towards al-Sisi is that he continues chasing everyone who opposes his policy and muzzles the people to maintain his authority, according to the demonstrator’s opinions.