Surveys and questionnaires may be misleading, but the Google annual report never lies. Below are the most searched terms and people in Egypt throughout 2014. While the Egyptian political scene has seen a lot of ups and downs, it seems that determining the future of the country has not distracted the crowds from certain online interests.
It is important to note that although all of the searched keywords were originally in Arabic, we worked some transliteration magic on them.
1. Ramadan Series
This year, the Egyptian satellite channels produced no less than 25 series to air specifically during the Holy month of Ramadan, which ironically should be spent in worship and meditation.
With a few graphically animated series that narrate the stories of prophets, and a few other comedies, the dominating theme of violence and obscene language carried on for yet another year.
2. Boshret Kheir or "Good Tidings Song"
With almost 54 million YouTube views to date, the Emirati singer Hussain Al Jasmi certainly made use of the political upheaval in Egypt. His song, released prior to the presidential elections, urged Egyptians from different cities to vote.
3. The Supreme Committee for Elections
While Al-Jasmi’s song seemed to be the unofficial theme song of the elections, Egyptians still sought their fair share of pre-election candidate research. With more elections taking place in the past three years than Egyptians have ever participated in during their lifetimes, voters are now more aware than ever of the procedure.
4. Halawet Rouh or "Sweetness of the Spirit" Film
Similar to anything Hayfaa Wahby takes part in, this film created controversy in early January over its erotic scenes played out by the quite attractive singer and actress, Wahby.
A few days after its screening, Halawet Rouh was banned from display by the Prime Minister, Ibrahim Mahlab, until movie producer, Mohamed Al-Sobki managed to get his movie back on track with a court order.
5. FIFA World Cup 2014
It goes without saying that the World Cup was one of the events of the year, not only in Egypt, but globally. Yet unlike each world cup season, watching the world cup games came at a higher price for Egyptians.
This year, it wasn’t just about subscribing to a few exclusive sports’ channels. Instagram and Facebook were flooded with celebratory posts every time someone saved up to buy the beIN channel decoder, the only way they could watch the games in the comfort of their couches.
Safinaz, belly dancer of Armenian origin, grabbed a lot of attention after her 5 minute performance in the movie El Qashash which was released in late 2013. It was deemed as highly inappropriate.
2. Khaled Saleh
Khaled Saleh passed away at the age of 50. Saleh contributed in many films which were celebrated for their cinematic art and for the controversial issues that they tackled. Among his most noted films were Chaos, This is (2007); The Yacoubian Building (2006) and Alrayes Omar Harb (2008).
After a lot of political turmoil in Egypt, Abedelfattah El-Sisi won the presidential elections which took place from the 26 th to the 28 th of May, 2014. He was sworn into office on the 8 th of June.
4. Hussein El-Imam
Remembered for his music and film scores, and of course his acting career, Hussein El-Imam parted this world in mid-May, leaving behind over 70 films to be remembered by, and of course his light sense of humor.
5. Marwa Hussein
Marwa Hussein is an Egyptian actress who participated in several movies and TV series. But with weddings generating more gossip than greetings and warm wishes, Hussein’s name made it to many headlines due to her marriage to famous 59-year-old journalist, Emad Adeeb in mid-February.
So what is it that kept Egyptians busy during 2014? Violent and obscene TV shows, figures who are famous for being controversially erotic, movies and, well, a little bit of politics.