A leaked recording of the head of Egypt’s Armed Forces Abdel Fattah al-Sisi talking about his ability to foresee future events in dreams, in which he predicted that he would become president, stimulated a wave of sarcastic comments, caricatures and even poems on social media.
The recording was supposedly leaked from off-the-record comments Sisi gave to privately-owned daily Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper in October following an official interview. However, the authenticity of the recording has not been verified.
In the recording, Sisi tells Al-Masry Al-Youm’s Chief Editor Yasser Rizk, who conducted the interview, that he has always had an ability to foresee events through dreams, which often come true.
He elaborated about three dreams that he said indicated he would be president.
Sisi supposedly says that 35 years ago he dreamt he was holding a sword with the Islamic slogan, “There is no God but Allah” written on it in red, and wearing an Omega watch with a big green star on it.
He also dreamt of meeting late President Anwar al-Sadat, who told him that he knew he would be president. Sisi responded, “I know that I will be president too.”
In the third dream, a voice told him, “We will grant you what no one has had before.”
Amid growing speculation about whether Sisi intends to run for president or not, social media users had a field day with the superstitious and self-glorifying statements attributed to a man who is looked up to by many Egyptians as a savior and leading figure.
Jokes about the specificity of Sisi’s brand of watch prompted many jokes, and Photoshopped images of Sisi holding swords and proudly showing off his Omega watch circulated widely.
Others speculated that power may affect the minds of those who attain it, or that Egypt is destined to have crazy leaders.
Similar mockery surrounded presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq and former President Mohamed Morsi, who both gave numerous incoherent speeches and interviews.
Some, however, took the audio recording more seriously, speculating that it was leaked on purpose to test the waters for a potential presidential bid, and is an attempt to increase Sisi’s chances by suggesting he is supported by a divine power.
Having prophetic dreams is linked to possessing a divine power in the minds of many Egyptians because of the story of the Prophet Joseph, who was able to foresee events in his dreams.
Head of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Gamal Eid, commented on Twitter, saying, “This is inappropriate, Egypt is a big country and it will not be ruled according to the Omega dream, that’s enough Sisi.”
Following an interview published in Al-Masry Al-Youm in October, recordings of unpublished segments of the Sisi interview started surfacing. The newspaper started an internal investigation with three of its journalists to determine the source of the leak.
In the first leak, Sisi allegedly asked the journalists, off the record, to campaign for immunity for the Minister of Defense, his current position.