Through the week 7-11 July, the ongoing political developments in Egypt continued to catch the attention of thousands of Arab social media users, pushing Politics again to the top of the list of discussion categories where a total of 206,151 posts were recorded. The top topic this week also appeared in the Politics category drawing 37,599 comments.
The that began following former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s ouster on July 3 continued to generate debate on social media networks: demonstrations in Cairo by thousands of Islamists in front of the Presidential Palace calling for Morsi’s restoration was the most discussed subject of the week generating 37,599 posts. On July 8, Egyptian security forces dispersed a sit-in by Morsi supporters; the clashes that erupted between protesters and troops killed 42 people and wounded another 3,000. Reactions on social media podiums were notably divergent. Some users believed that the “crime” was orchestrated by the once-ruling Muslim Brotherhood, accusing the group of setting plans to destroy the reputation of the Egyptian army. On Facebook, user Fox Alex, commented: “A terrorist group, you sons of whores with women, children, and old men???? God curse you!” On the other side, some attacked the Egyptian army and the police, holding them fully responsible for the “massacre” outside a military facility. Other users expressed grief at the bloody scene in Egypt, stressing that all Egyptian blood is sacred, and calling for unity to end the violence. Mo Mony commented under news published in Youm7.com: “You’re killing each other, and then claim the army killed you, and then believe each other???? When you hurl stones at the army, do you think they will remain silent???” The majority of comments on this topic appeared on social networks like Facebook with about 21,607 comments, and then on Microblogs like Twitter with about 12,312 posts.
As the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims observe their fast from dawn till dusk, started during this week, Religion emerged as the category attracting the second largest discussion volume, 51,922 comments. Arab social media users interacted with Muslim preachers on social media; many posting inquiries about religion. Some users thanked the preachers for their public outreach efforts, whether in their shows or via social media interactivity. While scores of users inquired about the timings of their shows and the channels airing them, others posted a number of Ramadan-related questions. Many also urged the preachers to pray for the Muslim world and sought their opinions with regards to the political developments occurring in Egypt. Mariam Mohamed commented on Facebook: “What is your say, Amr Bey, to what is happening in Egypt.” Other social media users criticized some views of particular preachers, and others condemned them for appearing in what they described as “corrupted media channels”. In another observation, some slammed the preachers calling them “liars, hypocrites who make money out of religion”. Another Facebook user Abdallah Mahir said: “Don’t sell illusions to the people!!! You’ve invaded territories and raped women under the name of religion.”
Arts category dropped down to third rank during the past week, after leading discussions for nearly among with social media chatter about Arab Idol. Discussions in the art category amounted to only 26,135 posts. The top topic in Arts category emerged from Saudi Arabia where the final season of the online Saudi drama Takki sparked controversy on social media platforms. As some social media users commended the episode’s manner of direction, others expressed their admiration for the actors’ developing acting skills. On Facebook user Honey and Honey commented: “This is the best episode, all the actors performed well.” However, some criticized the actors’ performances in certain scenes, like jokerrd123 who commented on YouTube: “It’s a good episode, but I didn’t buy it when they fought, they should learn how to do fighting scenes.” Many users said they were anxiously awaiting the release of a new season of the show, asking the producers and actors (Moayed al-Thakfi and Khairiyah Abu Laban) to start filming the second season immediately. Joury al-Ghamry wrote on Facebook: “Amazzzing and waiting for the second season.” The majority of comments appeared on video sharing platforms, like YouTube, with a total of 10,471 posts, followed by posts on Twitter (8, 903 tweets).
The fourth most debated category was Sports. The classification has generated a sum of 17,556 comments. The top discussed topic was the news about the death of Ibrahim Youssef, a retired Egyptian football player and board member of Cairo’s Zamalek club, following a heart attack. Youssef died at the age of 56. Many social media users asked God to rest the man in peace and allow him into heaven. Many lamented Youssef’s death for his good manners and politeness. Some others sent their condolences to Youssef’s family and friends. Ramez Ramzy commented on Christian-dogma.com: “May he dwell in mercy and may his family and friends be consoled. He was a brilliant football legend.” Some described him as a “blessed” man to die on the first day of Ramadan. Mustafa al-Jabali wrote on Facebook: “May God have mercy on you Gazelle. On the first day of Ramadan. May you rest in peace and eternal mercy and divine light.” The majority of comments appeared on Facebook, recording a total of 5,994 comments.
The least debated category last week was Society. The category generated only 16,566 comments last week, and most discussions were related to the social aspects of Ramadan (13,251 comments). Arab social media users exchanged greetings for Ramadan, and several users prayed that God would grant them strength to perform all the obligatory prayers and duties of the month. Some wrote prayers asking God to unite the Muslim nation and bestow his graces on it. Some users complained about the skyrocketing prices of Ramadan goods this year, and many said that they couldn’t afford shopping for Ramadan. Other spoke of the labors preceding Ramadan’s famous Iftar banquets –where families gather to break their fast. Many mentioned how exhausting is the task of preparing Iftar for a large number of people. On another note, many called upon women to dress “properly” during the month, condemning fathers and brothers who allow their daughters and sisters not to dress conservatively in Ramdan. Omar Alali said on Facebook: “Whether in Ramadan or not, a father or a son who allow their daughter out of the house dressed in such manner is a pig and deserves to be burned! You are ready to anger your Lord to show the world that you’re in vogue?” Many shared the timings of the TV shows of the region’s more famous preachers and the TV drama series that are being aired during the month. Some users asked preachers how best to worship God and make the best use of their time in Ramadan.
These results above are extracted from thousands of social media sources such as blogs, microblogs, forums, message boards, readers’ comment sections on news websites, etc, which are continually updated. A team of Arabic social media researchers and Arabic social media analysts use Arabic Natural Language Processing and data mining tools to analyze the data and to extract the list of top five subjects, based primarily on keyword repetition.
The Weekly Top 5 displays results of the common Sunday-Thursday work week in the Arab world, and is solely focused on Arabic language user-generated results, classified by volume of comments/discussion.
Data is captured primarily from 17 Arab countries in North Africa, the Levant, and the Arab Gulf region, and when relevant, the five other Arabic speaking countries belonging to the Arab League (Sudan, Somalia, Comoros, Djibouti and Mauritania).