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Fawning over Egyptian strongman Sisi goes over the top with PJs

A cult of personality around Egypt's defense minister and de facto leader, Gen. Abdel Fattah Sisi, has gone from fad to farcical with a social media campaign promoting women's pajamas bearing the strongman's image in beribboned uniform and sunglasses.

Since the military coup that ousted President Mohamed Morsi and his Islamist government in July, Sisi has been lauded by some as a savior for restoring secular rule in Egypt after a year of Muslim Brotherhood domination. Sisi's popularity with a country desperate for a hero has been celebrated with signature chocolates, cookies, dates and flattering posters.

A 58-year-old career officer who was little known before Morsi appointed him to lead the armed forces in August 2012, Sisi is often portrayed by sycophantic media and the military propaganda machine with images of the revered late President Gamal Abdel Nasser. It was Nasser, then an army colonel, who led the 1952 coup that ousted the monarchy and crushed the Muslim Brotherhood two years later.

But the image emblazoned on yellow PJs touted on Facebook by an adoring Sisi fan evokes comparison with late Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi, who similarly strutted his national stage in dark glasses and heavily decorated military jackets.

A picture of the pajamas was posted on Facebook by a woman who said she bought them to show her love for the army chief, the independent Al Masry al Youm newspaper reported Friday.

Al Arabiya news agency also reported the latest display of affection for the general, with photos of the image on the garish nightwear.

Media in and outside Egypt have been speculating that Sisi will make a run for the presidency when elections to replace the ousted Morsi are held next year.


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Twitter: @cjwilliamslat


Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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