2016 was an insane year we definitely won't be forgetting. The evidence is in this end-of-the-year wrap up of the 16 Egyptian moments that defined 2016.
Egyptians don't agree on most things, however, we think it's safe to say we all agree that the moments of utter insanity came at no shortage this year. It was undoubtedly a vibrant year, but we must admit, very few years in any person's lifetime will ever compete with 2016 in terms of providing plenty of cheer while reaffirming a few fears. So, for the sake of future remembrance, we've compiled this list of the moments we think epitomise 2016:
The Devaluation of the Egyptian Pound
Remember, remember, the 3rd of November. We're pretty confident no one living in Egypt will ever come to forget the day we woke up to find that all our money lost half its value then when we had gone to bed the night before.
Sisi's Motorcade Driving Down the Red Carpet
The year's award for most grotesquely opulent act goes indisputably to Sisi's motorcade driving down the red carpet back in February. But, insanely enough, the ride itself wasn't the crux of the matter, but rather the fact that the red carpet was leading him to the opening of a social housing project where he made a statement claiming that the government can't keep paying water subsidies, and consequently asking Egyptians to lay down on their water consumption.
"What Apout Za First Oscar for You"
This incident will remain marked in our national memory as supposedly our first journalistic representation at the Oscars, but that won't be the reason. "Shaimaa mn el Youm el sabe3" (Shaimaa from Youm 7) was probably more remarkable than Di Caprio's Oscar win itself, and his gaffe in response to her thoroughly thought-out question, "What apout za first Oscar for you?," gave us a good fit of giggles at the time.
The Nile Turning Into Poo
Do you all remember when we woke up one day in November to see pictures of the Nile looking like it was struck with a Pharaonic curse that turned it into murky brown-yellow coloured poo?
El Wa7sh El Masry (The Egyptian Monster) Inventor Gives it a Viking Funeral in the Nile
In 2015, an aspiring Egyptian inventor put us all in the hope of flying our way into 2016 in his flying vehicle El Wa7sh El Masry (The Egyptian Monster), a hope which died after the grave failure in the public trial in Tahrir Square. But the story didn't die with the death of our hopes, because we enjoyed the bigger laugh when in February, the inventor El Wa7sh El Masry, struck with the surprising failure of his complex invention, decided to burn El Wa7sh and dump it in the river. He had a sign sticking out of the vehicle as it burned that read "The honour of trial is enough for me."
Just a few days ago, during the opening of a new project, and as he sat among his sturdy generals, El-Sisi started fake-crying after one of the attendants shouted out "we love you, Mr. President." It was definitely a prodigious moment watching him go through what looked like a mix of fake-crying and joy. We had no idea he was so sensitive and look forward to him sharing his feelings on Twitter, much like another soon to be president we know.
Saba7 3ala Masr b Geneh (Slip Egypt a Pound)
The 2030 vision took us all by surprise when we came to realise that sympathy tipping and the president selling himself were among its main pillars.
The Whole Tiran and Sanafir Farce
When the Egyptian state signed the agreement that dictated the passing over of the Tiran and Sanafir Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, protests erupted condemning giving a piece of Egyptian land to Saudi Arabia. The most insane part of it all was the rallies that were held in support of the agreement, where groups of Egyptians assembled waving their Saudi flags. The later nullification of the agreement by a court ruling was undoubtedly a moment of precedence for the year, followed by the parliament passing the agreement this weekend in a bid to reverse the court ruling. We expect this issue to go back and forth before the Supreme court makes its decision in January.
The Hijacking of the Alexandria-Cairo EgyptAir Flight by a Fake Suicide Bomber
This plane hijacker sat us all down one day, heedfully watching this hurtful act of terrorism, only to find out after the plane had landed that his "explosive belt" was made out of iPhone cases and that his intention behind the hijacking was seeing his ex-wife in Cyprus. This sounds like a plot to an Eid movie, but sadly was something that happened in 2016 we won't soon forget.
The Sugar Shortage
Before 2016, someone being arrested for "possessing too much sugar" would've sounded like an intro to a halal season of Narcos. Sadly, we must end this year in reminiscence of the days when we took sugar for granted leisurely putting in at least 5 spoons for each glass of tea.
Electricity Minister: Egyptians Who Don't Have a Fridge Will Not Suffer from Price Hikes
This statement definitely sparked a lot of sarcasm on social media as, apparently, the minister believes we live in the days of the Flinstones, while the rest of the world I guess are livin' like the Jetsons.
Sisi: "I Want You in Front, Rather than Behind Me"
We asked for the rule of law and ended up getting the rule of love. That moment was probably the best way to wrap up this stark raving mad year.
Knowing That the Long Overdue Grand Egyptian Museum Received a Loan from Japan for its Completion
After 6 years of rumors and speculations around the long-awaited Grand Egyptian Museum, it came to our knowledge in August that Japan will be lending Egypt $450 million to resume and hopefully finish construction. A few days later, it was reported that the Museum is to be run by international directorship, which is a welcome relief from relying on the government to facilitate and maintain the museum once completed.
Eshtebak (Clash) Cleaning Up All the awards
Mohamed Diab gave Egypt a reason to feel proud when he released his masterpiece, "Clash," and hogged all the awards wherever the movie screened. Also, it not every day that Tom Hanks sends an Egyptian filmmaker a letter telling him how awesome his film was. It will be Egypt's official selection for the Oscars this year, and who knows with a little luck might make next year's list as the first Egyptian film to win an Oscar.
Egypt Beating Ghana in FIFA's 2018 World Cup Qualifiers
The Egyptian national team granted us another moment of pride when it claimed vengeance over Ghana, the team responsible of crushing Egypt's 2014 FIFA World Cup dream, providing the nation its best chance to qualify for the tournament, a feat that hasn't been accomplished since 1990.
Egypt Winning 12 Medals at the Rio Paralympics
Winning us 3 gold medals, 5 silver, and 4 bronze, our champs at the Rio Paralympics definitely marked one of the most remarkable and inspiring moments of the year.
Fatman Scoop Performing at Six Degrees
The summer of 2016 had some of the year's few bright moments, and if you were plugged into the party scene this summer and happened to pop in on Fatman Scoop performing at Six Degrees in Hacienda Bay, then chances are you will agree that it was one of 2016's unforgettable parties.