El Koshary Today
El Koshary Today is an Egyptian online news website that features satire and political parody. The website is named for a common Egyptian dish consisting of a spaghetti mixture that may also contain lentils, rice, and chickpeas. According to Zohny, "Koshary is sort of a very reflective meal of the country in the sense that it's a very chaotic kind of meal".
The website began in 2008 when three friends got together to start a newspaper similar to America's The Onion, but with a specific philosophy. When a newsprint edition didn't work out, they decided to publish online. Initially they wrote anonymously under the pen names Makarona (macaroni), Ward Zeyada (extra onions) and Subar Lox (large-sized Koshary).
News items are not added on any schedule, but as inspiration strikes. Past topics have included the 2011 revolution as well as the 2012 elections.
The El Koshary Today portal has the appearance of a mainstream news site. Sections are categorized in the same manner as news websites: Features, International, Opinions, Arts, Science-Fiction and Technology, Sports, and Mind and Soul, and even Classified ads and "Horrorscopes."
Fake headlines mock the news by putting a twist on actual government messages. One such mock headline quoted the government as saying, "Complaining to strangers may lead to annihilation," a play on government ads warning Egyptians not to talk with foreigners.
The website's philosophy is to use satire and imagination to raise awareness of national issues in a way that is humorous, but also invites action. Websites such as El Koshary Today and others have been credited with part of a larger global trend towards the use of social media and humor to create political change that reached a much broader public during the 2011 Egyptian revolution in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
- Steve Inskeep (September 5, 2012). "And Now For The Lighter Side Of Egypt's Revolution". NPR. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
- Pakinam Amer (2009-11-18). "El Koshary Today: Egypt's online "fake news" paper". Egypt Independent. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
- "El Koshary Today Team". Midan Masr. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
- Mark Allen Peterson (25 August 2012). "Can laughter change Egypt?". Al Arabiya News. Retrieved September 5, 2012.