Egypt's island handover prompts rare criticism of Sisi

Although generations of Egyptians have grown up believing the islands belonged to Egypt, Cairo insists they have always been Saudi territory, which was leased to it in 1950 following a request by RiyadhEgypt’s surprise move to give two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia has prompted rare criticism of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi by Egyptians who see the transfer as an affront to national pride. Reaction ranged from social media mockery to allegations of poor governance after Egypt announced the deal, which came during a visit by Saudi King Salman and as Cairo struggles to steady its vital tourism sector. “Come, come my pasha, the island is for one billion, pyramids for two with two statues free,” wrote popular Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef in a tweet that summed up the mood online.

Share this article