In recent days, Egyptian social media platforms, especially on the “X” website, have witnessed a division regarding unexpected calls originating mostly from anonymous accounts urging a boycott of Syrian-owned shops in Egypt. This controversy resurfaced with the recirculation of old news and videos claiming the closure of Syrian restaurants due to the presence of spoiled food.
The hashtag #Boycott_Syrian_Businesses dominated the “X” platform in Egypt on Friday and Saturday, accompanied by another hashtag #Only_Buy_Egyptian, featuring thousands of tweets, images, and videos. Some of these posts carried explicit language, sparking heated debates among users.
With over 1.5 million Syrians in Egypt, as reported by the head of the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics last year, the total number of refugees in Egypt is estimated at around 9 million, primarily consisting of Sudanese, Syrians, and Yemenis, according to official Egyptian statistics.
While those advocating for boycotting Syrian products claim that Syrian-owned businesses exclusively employ Syrians, refusing to hire Egyptians, others reject these calls and emphasize the need to avoid discrimination between Syrian and Egyptian enterprises.
While the hashtag #Boycott_Syrian_Businesses trended on “X” in the past few hours, users also shared a video titled “Emirate of Habayib,” where a Syrian suggested that the Egyptian government relocate Syrians in Egypt to an area near Hala’ib.
In response to this, TV host Amr Adib commented during his show, “I understand boycotting companies supporting Israel, but what have the Syrians done to us? Syrians invest in Egypt, employ people, and our relationship is good and respectful. There might be a problem, but it exists in all shops, whether Syrian or Egyptian.”
Amid the economic crisis in Egypt, consumers accused Syrian-owned restaurants and shops of increasing prices, adding to their hardships amid rising costs of goods.
Opinions on social media regarding the boycott calls varied, with some supporting the campaign, emphasizing the importance of buying Egyptian products, while others defended Syrian-owned establishments, highlighting the positive contributions of Syrians to the Egyptian society.
The call to boycott Syrian-owned businesses, originating from the depths of anonymity, has not only stirred tension but has also exposed underlying political motivations seeking to disrupt stability and sow discord.
As Egyptians engage in heated debates on digital platforms, it is crucial to remember the resilience of a nation known for its hospitality. While some voices advocate for division, others echo the sentiment of unity, urging citizens to rise above discriminatory tendencies and recognize the contributions of all communities.
In this digital battleground, where hashtags clash and opinions collide, the real impact lies beyond the pixels and into the lives of millions. As Egypt faces economic challenges, the focus should be on fostering understanding and collaboration rather than fueling divisive narratives.
Ultimately, the strength of Egypt lies in its diversity, and the path forward involves embracing this diversity, celebrating the richness it brings, and working collectively towards a harmonious coexistence. The true power of the nation emerges not through the discord sown on social media but in the unity that transcends differences, fostering a society where every individual, regardless of origin, can contribute to the shared prosperity of the land they call home.