Kevin Hart’s Canceled Concert as Model: This Is How Sisi Exploits Pharaonic Nationalism to Distract Egyptians

a year ago




Less than 36 hours before the show, it was announced that the concert of a black American comedian, Kevin Hart, will be canceled in Egypt, and the organizing company, R Productions, attributed the matter to vague “logistical reasons” amid questions about the existence of political motives behind this.

Canceling the concert came after an outpouring of anger in the country over his past comments in support of Afrocentrism.

Demands to cancel Kevin Hart’s concert were because of his previous statements about the kings of ancient Egypt in which he was accused of “racism and falsification of Egyptian history” after he adopted the Afrocentrism theory.

Similar to the racist white supremacy movement, since the 1920s, a counter-movement called Afrocentrism or Africentrism has spread as an intellectual model that gives more value to black people.

This movement, fueled by Western oppression and slavery of Africans in America, claims that black people are the originators of civilizations, including the ancient Egyptian Pharaonic.

After checking their literature, books, and websites on the Internet, the danger of the movement appears in its members’ belief that the original Egyptians have vanished and who are currently living in Egypt are “colonizers” because they are of an Arab race.

“The movement seeks to promote the role Black people played in history and the creation of western civilization. Hart’s critics, however, accused him of distorting history and robbing Arabs of their claim to the country’s ancient past, saying he claimed that Black Africans were once the kings of Egypt,” according to MEE.

“We must teach our children the true history of Black Africans when they were kings in Egypt and not just the era of slavery that is cemented by education in America. Do you remember the time when we were kings?” Hart allegedly stated.

This is the second event announced to be held in Egypt for foreign supporters of the Afrocentrism trend, and canceled later. The matter raises questions about the reason behind accepting such events at the beginning and then turning to conceal them.

The supporters of this movement, whose leaders are based in America, had previously decided to hold a conference in the city of Aswan, in southern Egypt, between February 20 and 28, 2022, where they believe that an Afrocentrism arose there on which the Pharaonic civilization was based.

However, Egyptian activists attacked the conference, and the authorities considered it a threat to national security, so the conference was canceled a few days before it was held.

The cancellation of Hart’s concert in Egypt did not prevent Abu Dhabi and Riyadh from hosting the same celebration on February 22 and 25, respectively, as they announced on Twitter, despite Egyptian criticism.


Playing on Nationalism Chord

In a reading of this controversy, Egyptian researcher Abdelrahman el-Gendy believes that “The Egyptian government tends to exploit nationalist sentiments when it feels beset by challenges.”

In an article on the New Lines Magazine, he explained that the campaign launched to cancel Hart’s concert and the campaign against the Aswan conference were intended to whitewash the authority’s image and exploit national sentiments.

He continued: “The Egyptian state transported 22 mummies to the Egyptian Museum, three miles away from their original place, in a multimillion-dollar procession dubbed the Golden Parade. The extravagant spectacle fueled a collective national sense of euphoria on Egyptian social media.”

El-Gendy added that this “rising nationalist sentiment has gained momentum at a time of crushing political oppression and economic collapse in Egypt: tens of thousands languishing behind bars for political opinions.”

Many accounts on social media that believe in modern Egyptian nationalism and support the Sisi regime refused to bring Kevin Hart to Egypt, foremost of which is the “Awareness – Egypt” account, which played an important role in canceling the ceremony.

The account raised slogans such as “You are not welcome in Egypt” and “Egypt’s history is a red line” from the first moment of the announcement of Hart’s concert at Cairo International Stadium.

Monica Hanna, an Egyptian expert in Egyptology and archeology for the New Lines Magazine, criticized the campaign against Kevin Hart by “Egyptian nationalists.”

She said: “Both the extreme Egyptian nationalists and African Americans adopt discourses based on racist ideas of color and race that are completely separate from scientific, historical, and cultural facts, and their battles are similar to those of fanatical football fans.”

Hanna added: “The idea of the African discourse, which sees Africans as the center of civilization in Egypt and the West, came as a radical reaction to the racist European discourse against black Africans, with the aim of restoring the heritage stolen by Western colonialism.

“In ancient Pharaonic Egypt, there was no discrimination on the basis of race and color.”


Under the Table

It was remarkable that some of those who led the anti-concert campaign belonged to digital government committees. This was explained by the marketing expert as he said during his interview with Al-Estiklal: “It is a competition between the advertising companies affiliated with the Intelligence company [United Media Services] and the Egyptian private company that took over the Hart concert.”

United Media Services owns 7 advertising and party-organizing companies and has a monopoly on most of these events that are held in Egypt. It also owns 14 Egyptian satellite channels, 10 digital news platforms, and 40 diversified companies.

The marketing expert pointed out that “some of those who attacked the private company took advantage of the American comedian implicitly support of the idea that the pharaohs of Egypt are ‘black Africans’ saying the current Egyptians are colonizers, to strike a national chord that ‘Egypt is a red line.’”

According to a study published in the open library JSTOR, the main goal of the Afrocentric movement is to focus on studying history from an African point of view and turn it into an intellectual and cultural current represented in American schools, universities, and academies.

However, this view deviated and adopted false ideas of history, such as the claim that blacks came to America before Christopher Columbus.

George Naim, a professor of archeology at Cairo University, told Alhurra on February 20 that “what Kevin Hart said is not an ordinary comedian’s talk, but rather a serious matter that affects Egyptian identity and national security, because it is related to the theft of history.”

“Some Africans have adopted, during the past decades, an idea based on the fact that the ancient kings of Egypt are of African origin, citing some statues painted black, and this is a wrong theory because some statues were painted black as a symbolic indication of the god Osiris, the god of the other world among the Egyptians, the ancients, not for the color of the one who wrote the statue.”

He continued: “The people of African descent also promote a wrong translation of ancient Egypt, which is that the word Kemet [the name of Egypt as its people called] means the land of blacks, and they interpreted it as being labeled on the basis of the skin color of the inhabitants.”

However, Egyptologists refuted this translation, according to Naim, and said that the right translation agreed upon between Egyptologists and the ancient Egyptian language is the “black earth,” which refers to the color of the black soil resulting from the annual floods of the Nile and not the color of the skin of the ancient inhabitants of Egypt.

He pointed out that “despite the incursion of the ancient Egyptian civilization into Africa and their bringing hundreds of them to Egypt, their role stopped at the limits of guarding temples and palaces, and the Africans had no other role, whether in governance or building the government.”