A foreigner walks into an Egyptian café, and surveys the crowd. His eyes scan the crowd, and focus in on three Egyptians sitting at a table. The unsuspecting Egyptians greet the guest warmly, and he is only too keen to butter them up: "I really like you," he says.
The conversation turns political: One of the women at the table says she overheard talk of a conspiracy against the army on the metro. "Really?" the guest intones in English, and the word echoes ominously. He then begins writing a message on his smartphone - presumably, the commercial implies, to his foreign paymasters.
This ad, which appeared on Egypt's state-owned Nile TV, has resurrected fears among journalists of a repeat of the spasm of xenophobia that accompanied last year's revolution. Mr. "Really?" is only doing what reporters everywhere do when news breaks -- asking locals their opinions of the state of their country. If that's a crime, journalism has become illegal.
(Thanks to Menna Alaa for confirming the ad's appearance on Egyptian television)
Passport, FP’s flagship blog, brings you news and hidden angles on the biggest stories of the day, as well as insights and under-the-radar gems from around the world.