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“Versus is not against”: Egypt’s Mursi haunted by his attempts to speak English

Published: Updated:

Videos of Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi speaking some English have put him in a hotspot especially by opposition members, who derided his incompetence in the foreign language.

On January 30, Mursi gave a speech in Berlin with the attendance of around 200 guests invited by Körber Foundation, known for promoting social development. But till this date, Egyptians are continuing circulating the “comic relief” online.

The leader while speaking in Arabic about the current situation in Egypt as well as other topics including how civilizations should interact, tossed some English vocabulary but maybe in an erroneous use.

“We want to have a civilization ‘versus’ other civilizations, and not against others,” he wrongly said.

To prove his point of how individuals should be held accountable for their freedoms, he cited the example of “drunk driving.”

Amid the Egyptian vernacular he was using, two English words were explicitly obvious: “Isn’t there a law that a “drunk” if caught “driving” he will be arrested?”

“Gas and alcohol don’t mix,” he concluded in English.

On the Facebook page of the Egyptian Popular Current, a political coalition led by the leftist opposition figure, Hamdeen Sabahi, there were around 7,943 shares of Mursi’s comical snippets.

The Facebook link was titled: “watch the biggest scandal of Mursi in Germany.”

While most of the comments were scornful and sardonic of Mursi acting “scandalous” for an Egyptian president, others decided to defend him. “You fools, he is correct. In the U.S. drunk driving is illegal.”

Another Facebook user, highlighted how because Mursi hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, he is been jeered at.

On Twitter, comments continued mocking the president’s English.

“Why are you writing one word in Arabic and the other English like Mursi,” one tweep wrote. Other Tweeps urged other users to “laugh” when clicking links of Mursi showing his dexterity in English.

Mursi’s English glitches were also seized by Egypt’s satirist Bassem Youssef in his comedy show El-Bernameg or “The Program.”