Egyptians react to news that islands were given to Saudi Arabia

Published April 10th, 2016 - 12:36 GMT
Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz (left) with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi (photo: AFP)
Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz (left) with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi (photo: AFP)

In the past, Egyptians have talked about buying islands, but on Saturday, Egyptian leaders announced that two were being given away. 

The Egyptian cabinet said in a statement on Saturday that Saudi Arabia will take control of two disputed islands in the Red Sea--Tiran and Sanafir--that had previously belonged to Egypt.

The deal still needs to be ratified by Egypt's House of Representatives, but Egyptians are already upset over the deal. "No one has the right to abandon the property and resources of the Egyptian people in exchange for a fistful of dollars," said a Muslim Brotherhood statement, according to Middle East Eye.

Social media users mocked the decision.  

"Come come close 'Ya Basha,' an island would cost you a billion, a pyramid will cost 2 billion, and you shall get 2 statues as a gift," wrote Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef:

(Note: "Pasha" is a term used by Egyptian vendors to flatter customers when they're trying to make a sale.) 

"Special offer for limited time only, buy Alexandria and you can get Monufia for free," wrote another sarcastic Twitter user, making fun of the notion that Egypt's government would be willing to sell almost anything. (Alexandria and Monufia are two big governorates in Egypt.) 

"Thank god we were done with Mursi, Hala'ib and Shalateen, the Nile, Sanafir and Tiran, Sinai, and our sea borders in the north," said another, apparently poking fun of remarks President Sisi has made in the past about how the Muslim Brotherhood were planning to sell Egypt:

(Note: the Hala'ib Triangle and the nearby town of Shalateen have been disputed between Egypt and Ethiopia. The Nile has been the basis of another Egyptian territorial dispute with Ethiopia.) 

Finally, one user remarked: 

"Mohammed Bin Salman visited Egypt last December asking for the 2 islands, he got them after 4 months, no time to waste." 

--Hunter Stuart

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