Expressions of support for former army chief and the presumed presidential election winner Abdel Fattah al-Sisi have reached new heights during the lead-up to the 26-28 May 2014 vote. His name and image can be found on billboards all over the buildings, posters plastered on the walls coffee shops, and photos on display at street vendors’ stands.
As I covered the elections over the course of the past week in Cairo, I encountered pro-military songs everywhere—coffee shops, driving cars, public transportation, television, outside of polling stations, and even inside of them. Most notably, one could hear the loud tunes of "tislam al-ayyadi" (blessed be the hands), a song that glorifies Sisi`s ouster of President Mohamed Morsi on 3 July 2013.
Meanwhile, there were no signs of posters or billboards of Sisi’s challenger Hamdeen Sabahi. Official election results are due on 5 June 2014, but unofficial vote counts indicate that Sisi is the clear winner.