Most ludicrous comments made by Egyptian politicians in 2015

Most ludicrous comments made by Egyptian politicians in 2015
3 min read
26 December, 2015
The New Arab complies a list of the top 10 most ludicrous comments made by Egyptians politicians in the year 2015.
'Egyptians are the happiest nation in the world!' declares the Egyptian minister. [Getty]
A number of comments ranging from the unbelievable to the outright farcical made by Egyptian politicians over 2015 left many Egyptians simultaneously laughing and weeping for their nation. 

Here are the top 10.

1. Egypt is not a nation we live in

Egypt's Former Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab failed in an attempt to quote the celebrated Pope Shenouda of Alexandria, who once said:"Egypt is not the country that we live in; but a country that lives in us."

Instead, Mahlab's version during the opening of a church in August was "Egypt is not a nation we live in, but a country we live in."

2. The roads change when it rains

The governor of Cairo, Jalal al-Saeed, was ridiculed for his comments during a televised interview on the floods that swept Cairo's streets as a result of heavy rain and decrepit infrastructure.

Saeed simplified the matter for those who did not understand why this was happening: "When there is rain, the roads change," he explained.

3. [End of text]

At a sombre press-conference in September, speaking alongside his Mexican counterpart on the shooting of 12 tourists in Egypt's western desert, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry decided to let the audience know he had reached the end of the official statement by reading out loud "End of text".

The minister's speechwriters may have been the only ones not to laugh.

4. Phosphate is good for your health

When a barge carrying 500 tonnes of phosphate capsized in Upper Egypt's Qena in April, fears were sparked over health risks that could result from the contamination of one of Egypt's primary sources of drinking water.

But Egypt's Minister of Environment, Khaled Fahmy was quick to put people's fears at ease.

"Phosphate is good for the health" Fahmy said, "Some countries put phosphate in their [drinking] waters for its benefits."

5. Heavenly ballet

"Heaven has music and ballet" announced Egypt's minister of social solidarity, Ghada al-Wali.

Just in case you were wondering.

6. There are no arrests in Egypt

In a farcical but dark comment during a televised interview Abu Bakr Abdul Karim, the interior minister's assistant for media, relations and human rights, was asked whether a number of individuals were "arrested or just missing?"

"There are no cases of arrests in Egypt," Karim answered.

Human rights organisations have documented the arrest of at least 23 journalists and thousands of detainees, at least 500 of which are juveniles in Egypt this year.

7. Hospitals in Egypt are better than in Britain 

"Hospitals in Egypt are better than those in Britain," said Egypt's minister of higher education Abdel Khalek when he met with Egyptian students studying at British universities.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation has expressed concerns over notable increase in bird flu cases in Egypt.

8. Fuel crisis? What Fuel crisis? 

Fuel consumption in Egypt currently stands at a stark 12-14 million tonnes a year, only seven million of which is produced domestically and at least five million imported to fill the shortage. 

For Egyptian minster of petroleum Tarek al-Molla however the problem is only in the mind.

"The fuel crisis in Egypt is imaginary," he said.

9. Everyone is working

At an event held by the Egyptian Forum for Youth and Employment, Egypt's Minister of Youth and Sports Khaled Abd al-Aziz assured participants that "statistics that say unemployment [in Egypt] is at 13% are untrue." 

He then declared, likely to the surprise of many, "there is no unemployment in Egypt".

Latest figures by the World Bank show that 42% of 15-24 year olds are currently unemployed in Egypt.

The statements above naturally can only lead to one final conclusion: 

10. Egyptians are the happiest people in the world!

"The Egyptians are the happiest people in the world!" declared the Egyptian minister of planning, Ashraf al-Arab.

Arab was referring to a study released in April on the happiest nations in the world, in which Egypt ranked at 135 of 158.