Egypt Presidential Election, 2014: the Campaigns - Hamdeen Sabahy
"One of Us.... We will Complete Our Dream"
It rhymes in Arabic. This slogan acts as a reminder that Sabahy is building on his 2012 campaign. In 2012 Sabahy's slogan was "One of Us!" 2014's slogan is building on it by saying that even if Sabahy didn't win last time, they will continue to try to achieve their dream. As I said back then, "One of Us!" is not the perfect choice,that is if you don't want the man living next door to be your president. Yet it does give a feeling of intimacy that would make you think that if this man is elected he will be able to know about your pains and problems, and this goes well with Sabahy being the leftist he says he is.
The new part is actually good. If this were a normal election in a real democratic atmosphere this slogan would have been slightly dreamy; some might have felt that they don't want a president of who dreams, but rather someone who has realistic plans and works hard to put these plans to action, but this is not the case in Egypt. This slogan is good because our dream of a revolution is slipping out of our hands, and its almost gone, and Sabahy promotes himself as the revolutionary candidate, who will not let this dream be lost. We will complete our dream of a better Egypt, one not ruled by the old regime that his rival is the face of. All in all, I like the slogan; it's making use of his previous candidacy, showing him as the leftist he always says he is and as the revolutionary candidate that will make the dream of the revolution ruling come true.
Sabahy has again chosen to add a Qur'anic Verse to his poster, the same one he used in 2012. This by far is the greatest problem with both this year's poster and that of 2012. Although the meaning behind it now and then might be understood, I still believe that if someone is selling themselves as a secular leftist candidate, even if bashfully as is the case in Egypt, they should not be using religion in any way in their campaigns.
The verse translates to "victory is not but from God", last time it might have been against Islamists who used religion to promote their candidates. This time it might be to say that even if the old regime plays all the possible brainwashing games, only this whom God chooses shall be victorious. As always, using religion in politics doesn't do good; when Sisi wins, according to Sabahy God would have chosen to grant him victory. Wouldn't granting someone who Sabahy says is of the old regime victory unfair? It would have been much better if religion was left out of this.
As for the rest of the poster.....
During the 2012 election Sabahy was not the only candidate who spoke in the name of the revolution, this time he is and so he decided to give this more focus. A protest in the background and him in the foreground is to show that he is a rebel who has been fighting for a better country in the streets for sometime and is now running with the same dreams on his mind. His smile might be smaller than it should have been and not as real as it was in 2012. His picture is also taking most of the poster, it would have been better if it was smaller in a way that shows that it's not about the person, but the dream. The clear blue sky is a symbol of sereinty, stability and peace which we've been missing in the past three years. The eagle, his electoral sign, signifies strength, safety and that he's a man of action. The idea of it coming out of the sun, the source of light and wisdom is also good. In general the poster is fine, expect for the aforementioned cons that could have made it perfect if they weren't there.
Sabbahy's Campaign seems to be a small on in terms of money and reach. The campaign does not have a commercial, not even on their website or YouTube.
Although Hamdeen Sabahy's 2014 Campaign's website is slow, it has all the important information that someone who is thinking of voting for him would need. This includes a detailed presidential program, the bank account number for donations, downloadable banners and posters, videos of the TV interviews and all the conferences he does in different governorates, and a space to contact the campaign.
The banner on the homepage also shows Sabahy chanting a prayer in a protest. This religious gesture is more acceptable than the Qura'nic Verse though since it's showing Sabahy in a scene which many Egyptians could be seen in, and also because this wonderful picture shows him as the center of hope with everyone sending him energy, great picture indeed. He chose to add the Qura'nic Verse again though. The words of the verse would have been good if they weren't something religious, a proverb for example.
As mentioned earlier this campaign is short on money; I haven't seen any billboards or posters in the streets. Sabahy though is very mobile which makes up to the almost inexistent advertising campaign. Sabahy does conferences and is planning to visit almost all of governorates. His conferences are open to the public and are not done behind closed doors like his rival.