Universite Francaise d’Egypte removes ad video after Twitter anger over ‘historical fallacies’



Thu, 30 Jul 2020 - 02:24 GMT


Thu, 30 Jul 2020 - 02:24 GMT

Napoleon Bonaparte featured in ad by Universite Francaise d’Egypte  - Screenshot

Napoleon Bonaparte featured in ad by Universite Francaise d’Egypte - Screenshot

CAIRO – 30 July 2020: Universite Francaise d’Egypte apologized for posting a video on its Facebook page that caused a wave of anger over what many Twitter users called “historical fallacies.”


Although the university removed the video off its social media platforms, the 50 seconds footages still can be accessed as some users had extracted it and re-shared on social media.


The video is an advertisement for the university encouraging Egyptian students to enroll, featuring a narration by the French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte embodied in the ad, talking about his role in Egypt, stating information that were criticized as “lies and distortion of historical facts.”




In the narration, the man embodying Bonaparte’s character said that the French leader is the one who deciphered Rosetta Stone; however, historically, it is known that the French Scholar Jean-François Champollion is the decipherer of the Egyptian hieroglyphs.


Other information mentioned in the ad were challenged like that Bonaparte lived in Egypt for three years, or that the number of scientists he brought along to the country in the French Campaign exceeded the number of soldiers.  


Other parts were seen offending by some users, and underestimating the violence women faced under the time of colonialim. “They said I loved a woman called Zeinab, and when they remembered me, they featured me in a chocolate ad,” said Bonaparte.    



Bonaparte went on stating information about himself and his role in Egypt concluding with “It is time to learn more about French culture, to spread more art, aesthetics, taste... join Napoleon’s 2020 Campaign and study at the Universite Francaise d’Egypte.”


Many users called on the university to apologized over the ad, arguing that featuring “a colonizer” in an advertisement about a university in Egypt was not the right choice. Others said that France has many famous scientists, artists and philosophers who could have fit better for such ad.


The university posted a statement apologizing for the video, and promising that this will not happen in the future.  




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