Joe Show: Egypt's 'gay banknote, prison resorts' and Algeria's paranoia'

Joe Show: Egypt's 'gay banknote, prison resorts' and Algeria's paranoia'
Joe Show mocks how a watermark on Egypt's new banknotes triggered an absurd overreaction over 'pride' propaganda, Egypt's move to rename its notorious prisons to 'correctional facilities', and Algeria blaming wild fires on sinister conspiracies.
2 min read
02 September, 2021


Al-Araby TV, the home of the Joe Show, is part of the same family that includes al-Araby al-Jadeed newspaper and The New Arab. Stay tuned each week for a translated round-up of the funniest jibes on Joe Show and English-language subtitled clips from the show's most biting digs. This week's round up is chosen from episodes 12& 13.

Could a banknote be gay?

In the dystopia that is Egypt today, there are no such things as too far fetched questions. In early August, new 10 and 20 Egyptian pound banknotes caused uproar after the Central Bank posted a multi-coloured watermark that appeared to depict the colours of the LGBTQ+ Pride flag, sparking a social media frenzy and calls for boycott in Egypt's conservative society.

It also sparked hysteria on both Egyptian state television and opposition-aligned Egyptian media, with one anchor saying the watermark reflected a 'masonic-liberal-atheist' conspiracy to infiltrate Egypt and alter her identity. Joe Show's Youssef lampooned the absurd framing. "I feel like my ear is going to hell just listening to this". (Subtitled video below)




Thousands of political prisoners are incarcerated in Egypt today. Many of them suffer torture, mistreatment, and all kinds of negligence. Human rights groups issue near-daily condemnations against the Egyptian authorities. But don't accuse Egypt of not doing anything about it. In August, the Egyptian regime finally fixed the renaming prisons and changing the term prisoner to 'guest'. Problem solved!

Joe Show lampoons the Orwellian gaslighting in his usual style, interviewing a new 'guest' just arriving at the dream 5-star prison. (Subtitled clip below)


'Colonial wildfires'

Algeria's government has sometimes been compared to North Korea: Paranoid, isolationist and opaque. As a wave of wildfires across the Mediterranean spread to Algeria, due to climate change-fuelled rising temperatures, the Algerian government has found itself blaming everything and everyone for the fires except the real culprit. Joe Show's Youssef cycled through clips from Algerian television interviews with officials, who alternatively blamed 'sinister outside forces', colonialist 'French agents', 'mafia', 'pyromaniacs', and rival neighbour Morocco for the fires. The insane rhetoric, unfortunately, led at the time to the lynching of a man falsely accused through the fearmongering rumour mill of starting one of those fires. 

Joe Show's Youssef picks on the surreal paranoia. (Subtitled clip below)

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