A friend of mine working in Darb al Ahmar came across a pile of old newspapers, mostly Ahram and Akhbar, dating from the late 60's and the early 70's. They had been placed in a big plastic bag and left next to a rubbish dump in the area. I looked through a number of them and found some interesting propaganda pieces - an indication of how much has changed over the last 40 years.
Sadat asserted during a conference (with history as his witness) that he was only going to serve as president for one term, and would not run again for the presidency. Of course all those attending this conference screamed out, saying that they were completely against the statement issued by Sadat and that they wanted him as president forever. Sound familiar? [on the front page of Al-Akhbar, 27 July 1971]
I thought this one was really funny. The title under the photo says something along the lines of how all members of parliament have faces full of joy as they listen to President Sadat give his speech about the constitution. I tried in earnest to find one happy face amongst the crowd but couldn't. [al ahram, 21st May, 1971]
This piece is about a meeting that took place between the Mahalla workers and the Minister. They asked him to forbid women workers from wearing mini-skirts in the factory because the sight of the women's legs and knees hinders the men's ability to produce! A discussion ensued between the men workers and the minister, without the participation of the women workers. It was decided in the end, that this was a personal matter and that only the husband's or brothers of the women workers could solve such an issue. I was just really happy to read that once, not so long ago, women working in factories wore mini-skirts. It sounds so alien to us now. [al gomhouriya, 26th April 1968].