KFC and the Egyptian Revolution

KFC and the Egyptian Revolution

During the 18-day Egyptian Revolution there was talk of a foreign provocateur in Tahrir Square, an American colonel. Colonel Sanders. Rumor had it that anti-Mubarak demonstrators were being paid off in Kentucky Fried Chicken. Raja Abdulrahim of the Los Angeles Times covered the story:

“KFC restaurants can be found all over Egypt, and their menu is more familiar than the burgers at McDonald’s or Hardee’s.

Egyptians know chicken, even if it comes in a bucket.

But a meal at KFC can cost what locals make in an entire day or even a week, making it inaccessible to many Egyptians. And KFC became a proxy for anger about perceived Western interference.”

 The rumors made Rehab Salah curious, so she went to Tahrir Square to see for herself. She found the KFC store on the square closed and covered with grafitti. There were people selling cheese, chips, roasted yams, and date pastries and protesters sharing bread and tea. No fried chicken.

There was another food rumor, though, and it probably was true. One vendor promised to bring koshari, the vegetarian chili considered Egypt’s national dish.


Image (“Kentucky in Cairo, after John Frederick Lewis”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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