UK Ambassador to Egypt John Casson - File Photo
CAIRO – 25 September 2017: The British Ambassador to Egypt, John Casson, has found favor with many Egyptians for his ability to converse in slang, colloquial Egyptian Arabic. While many view the matter humorously, it is actually one of the reasons that makes him a successful diplomat, allowing him to reach more Egyptians.
BBC attributes the ambassador's attractiveness to his young age and charming humor. "John Casson doesn't really fit the serious, formal stereotype or a British ambassador - he's young, has a relaxed manner, and is fond of making jokes. His style has won him admirers in Egypt and more than 18,000 followers on Twitter," BBC reported.
True enough, Twitter took a great liking to Casson; his followers have reached 500,000. After launching the “Khalsana b Sharaka” (Together is Better) initiative video on his account, many Egyptians responded with funny comments. Even though the initiative tackles an important matter like gender equality in the workplace, Egyptians responded to the matter in a far less serious manner.
That was mainly so because the term “Khalsana b Sharaka” originally comes from a widespread slang term in Egypt, “Khalsana b Sheyaka,” which sarcastically translates to “All has been said and done nicely.” Casson was speaking in Arabic in the video, and he was successful in getting many Egyptians to listen to the video introducing the imitative.
One user replied back to the ambassador’s video saying, “Are you sure you’re British and not from Imbaba?” Referring to Imababa, due to it being a local, folk suburb in Egypt, where most lower classes reside.
Another user who also disregarded the topic of the video completely asked, “Let’s get down to the more important questions, how many retweets would it take for you to give me the visa?”
In another tweet, Casson wrote in Arabic, congratulating Mohamed Salah for scoring four goals in the Premier League.
The tweet says, “Abu Salah scored four goals in the Premier League, and better is coming… The Egyptians are coming.”
One respondent replied back to the tweet saying, “It feels as though he’s the Minister of Shubra.” Again, referring to Shubra, another local area in Egypt; meaning that the ambassador feels more folk Egyptian than anything else.
Nevertheless, does the ambassador’s charisma help him reach more Egyptians of all walks in life, or does his humor cause people to focus more on his persona rather than the topics he advocates?