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State information service apologises for spelling mistake in constitution banner

Head of State Information Service says group organising Saturday's press conference for constitution committee was responsible for spelling mistake, adding that criticism of using photos of non-Egyptians was 'overblown'

Ahram Online , Monday 16 Dec 2013
Egypt's constituent assembly Chairman Amr Moussa (onstage, C) attends a news conference in Cairo December 15, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
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The Egyptian State Information Service (SIS) apologised for a spelling mistake in the "All Egyptian" constitution banner at Sunday’s press conference for the constitutional committee, but said criticism of using photos of non-Egyptians was "overblown."

"We apologise for the spelling mistake in the banner; we did not revise the banner before it was hanged because we received it shortly before the start of the press conference as a gift from the Egypt Peace Lovers organisation [that organized the press conference]," Amgad Abdel Ghafer, head of SIS, told the Shorouk Newspaper on Monday.

On Sunday the banner hanging behind the speakers’ panel in the conference misspelled the word "Egyptians" in Arabic (Misreyeen). Instead, missing one letter, the banner uses the Arabic word for "determined" (Mosireen).

Also, three people out of the five featured in the huge banner reading "All Egyptians Constitution" were identified as non-Egyptians whose photos were used in foreign commercial websites from Ireland and the US.

Abdel Ghafer said that he told officials in the SIS to revise all banners for language and grammar. But he said the SIS was not responsible for the photos in the banner.

The NGO told them the photos were from stock photo websites. Two of the photos, however, were sourced to two photographers including Ahram Online reporter Rowan El-Shimi.

"I believe the matter was overblown," Abdel Ghafer said regarding media’s reaction to the banner and the photos used in it.

The spelling mistake and the use of foreign figures in the banner was heavily criticised on social media.

The Egypt Peace Lovers is a non-governmental group helping the Egyptian government to promote the newly-revised constitution.

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