Social Media Outrage Over Ukraine Memes Starts a Debate on Freedom of Speech 

Laughter is a savior, especially in challenging times, and the Egyptian people are well-known for their stubborn sense of humor. They can make jokes about the bitterest situations they live in. We saw this very clear during the last decade’s toughest times in Egypt following the revolution of January 25, and we see it again as the Ukranian War terrifies the globe.

As the world woke up to the horrifying news of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it felt like the world froze in a dark moment of time. Seeing the not-so-far history of World War II, ominous as a stray ghost found its way back to our lives. A war that is not going to affect Russia and Ukraine alone, not even Europe or the whole western world alone, but its effect can reach every household around the globe, including you, a dear Egyptian citizen.

And as traumatic as the current situation is for the whole world to see the Ukrainian War refugees flee their hometowns and the men saying goodbye to their families and leaving to the war, the meme society found its fertile land to grow so many war memes.

So many people attacked the memes society for making fun of the current war that is tearing Ukraine apart and accused the memes society of the lack of sensibility and compassion.

Actually, humour can be so beneficial in the darkest moments of history as the ones we live in right now. It helps us process the panic and ease up the fear and the pain. If we did not make fun of the situation, the situation will break us down.

Making fun of a situation does not always mean thinking so little about it. Sometimes the jokes are a measurement of the heaviness of the situation on the people’s feelings and thoughts.

In the above tweet, Amr Sukar argues that Ukraine itself is making fun of the war situation and criticize the extreme Egyptian attitudes towards the war memes.

As much as we agree with Sukar, that jokes are a cure in these tough times, it is very different when a professional news entity like “Bawabat El-Wafed” make fun of the female Ukrainian refugees.

It makes you think that maybe the jokes have a limit, a line which cannot be passed because once it’s crossed, it is not funny anymore, it is offensive and senseless.

In the above tweet, Egyptian actor Fathi Abdel Wahab shames “Bawabat El-Wafed” latest post on social media that urges Egyptian men not to get married because there are Ukrainian refugees coming in the way.

What is the line between funny and offensive? That’s a very think line and can only be visible in the very situation, but as long as the joke does not include exploitation of the war victims then maybe it will pass as funny.

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