Anti-refugees Calls Spark Campaign of Solidarity with Syrian Refugees in Egypt
Egyptian activists took to Twitter to respond to recent inflammatory speech against Syrian refugees in Egypt, launching an Arabic-language hashtag to express solidarity with Syrian refugees in Egypt.
The hashtag, which loosely translates to “Syrians are welcome in Egypt,’ topped the Twitter trends list in Egypt for several hours on Monday as it attracted thousands of tweets expressing the Egyptians love for and solidarity with their Syrian brethren.
The campaign came in response to calls by controversial Egyptian lawyer Samir Sabry who has recently demanded strict government oversight on Syrian-run businesses. The solidarity tweets stressed that such calls were an affront to the Egyptian people who have always shown outright friendliness and affection towards Syrians and who refuses to call them "refugees". Many Twitter users stressed that Syrians live amongst their Egyptian brothers in their second homeland.
Many Twitter users also commended the Syrian citizens in Egypt and their interactions with the Egyptians, their history and cultural heritage, and the Syrians’ contribution to the enrichment of Egyptian culture and economy.
According to a government report issued by the Egyptian Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Syrian investors contributed about 69.93 million USD to the Egyptian economy during the first nine months of 2018.
According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), about 242,000 Syrian refugees live in Egypt as of November 2018, while other estimates suggested that the real number could be three times higher making Syrians the largest foreign community in Egypt. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)