Obama the new King Tut?

Condé Nast Traveler’s Susan Hack spotted this t-shirt in a Cairo market ahead of Barack Obama’s speech on Thursday. As she notes, it’s at best a back-handed compliment given that Tutankhamun had a relatively short and uneveventful reign before dying (under mysterious circumstances) at the age of 19: I wondered, could the Obama/Tut souvenirs contain ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
585385_090602_kingtut2.jpg
585385_090602_kingtut2.jpg

Condé Nast Traveler's Susan Hack spotted this t-shirt in a Cairo market ahead of Barack Obama's speech on Thursday. As she notes, it's at best a back-handed compliment given that Tutankhamun had a relatively short and uneveventful reign before dying (under mysterious circumstances) at the age of 19:

I wondered, could the Obama/Tut souvenirs contain a not-so-subtle warning to the American president? A warning that says, "You may be young and powerful, but you--or at least your honeymoon with the Islamic world--will be in big trouble if you fail to live up to your promises."

When I asked 25-year-old shopkeeper Hamada Hagar, proprietor of the Welcome souvenir shop, about the meaning of the T-shirt, he merely shrugged. "NBC ordered it," he said, referring to the American television network. "My sister works for them. CNN ordered ceramic plates with Obama's picture on it and 30 cartouches with 'Obama' written in hieroglyphics.

Condé Nast Traveler’s Susan Hack spotted this t-shirt in a Cairo market ahead of Barack Obama’s speech on Thursday. As she notes, it’s at best a back-handed compliment given that Tutankhamun had a relatively short and uneveventful reign before dying (under mysterious circumstances) at the age of 19:

I wondered, could the Obama/Tut souvenirs contain a not-so-subtle warning to the American president? A warning that says, “You may be young and powerful, but you–or at least your honeymoon with the Islamic world–will be in big trouble if you fail to live up to your promises.”

When I asked 25-year-old shopkeeper Hamada Hagar, proprietor of the Welcome souvenir shop, about the meaning of the T-shirt, he merely shrugged. “NBC ordered it,” he said, referring to the American television network. “My sister works for them. CNN ordered ceramic plates with Obama’s picture on it and 30 cartouches with ‘Obama’ written in hieroglyphics.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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