By Steve Dellar  |  05-03-2018   News
Photo credit: @mohammedelra3y | Twitter

Egyptians have a new pharaoh who is adored like a god in his home country. His name is Mo Salah, and yesterday evening he singlehandedly filled all the coffee houses in Cairo as they watched him and his team of Liverpool reaches the final of the soccer Champions League.

Mr Mohammed Hassen, a young guy, watching Liverpool take on Roma in a Cairo coffeehouse says: “He plays in a beautiful way, and he’s always developing.”

“He brings pride to people as he’s a Muslim who’s made it in the top leagues. He brings pride to all Arabs.”

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">‘Salah brings pride to all Arabs’ – joy in Egypt as Liverpool reach Champions League final. By <a href="https://twitter.com/msrmichaelson?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@msrmichaelson</a> <a href="https://t.co/Qk2g3B9sCi">https://t.co/Qk2g3B9sCi</a></p>&mdash; Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) <a href="https://twitter.com/guardian_sport/status/992007680393990146?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Only a few months ago, Egypt qualified for the World cup for the first time since 1990 as former AS Roma (Italy) now turned Liverpool (UK) goal-getter and proud Egyptian Mr Mo Salah scored a penalty in the 95th minute against Congo. The whole country went wild and filled Egyptians with newfound joy. Scenes of jubilance allover not seen any more since the revolution of 2011.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Cairo Salah fans celebrate Liverpool win <a href="https://t.co/ikJY6uW4iX">https://t.co/ikJY6uW4iX</a></p>&mdash; BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) <a href="https://twitter.com/BBCWorld/status/991898189459607554?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote>

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A mural of him outside a cafe in downtown Cairo has by now become a tourist attraction for any Liverpool fan visiting Egypt.

Africa’s tradition of copying brands and products means that local markets are offering his image on all possible products you can buy. If he had wanted, he could have run in the presidential election in March; such is great the support for him at home.

<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Mohamed Salah has become an iconic symbol of achievement in his native home of Egypt <a href="https://t.co/CZkg8aW4nf">pic.twitter.com/CZkg8aW4nf</a></p>&mdash; Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) <a href="https://twitter.com/BleacherReport/status/988832197808304128?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 24, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Mr Salah has the strange ability to bring all Egyptians together for a common cause. Except for Egyptian president Sisi, no one has been able to do that in the 95-million-strong-country in recent memory.

Football has a religious status in Cairo, even though the 71 deaths during a stadium tragedy in 2012 have made security measures in Egypt harsher than before, the international matches where Mr Salah plays are still watched and visited all around.

Source:

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/may/03/mo-salah-egypt-pride-arabs-champions-league-final

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