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Presidential hopeful Abu Ismail takes a joke and throws one back

With the Egyptian cyber-world laughing in one continuous joke over the plague of posters of presidential frontrunner, Abu Ismail proves his wit as he fires back a joke at a press conference

Ahram Online, Saturday 31 Mar 2012
Abu Ismail
A microbus was heavily adorned with photos of Abu Ismail during Friday's parades (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
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During a late Friday press conference at El-Shams Sporting Club in Heliopolis, presidential frontrunner, Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, took a joke thrown at him over his plague of posters with a laugh and witty reply.

Over the past few weeks, Abu Ismail's face has seemingly cropped up conspicuously on placards and banners on every corner, in every section of town, in every city in Egypt as the presidential elections looms.

Egyptian humour couldn't resist – and laughter is contagious.

The cyber-world is roaring with photoshopped images of the lawyer-turned-presidential contender in Hollywood blockbusters and rubbing elbows with renowned political or religious figures.

During the press conference, which took place after Abu Ismail and a massive parade of supporters marched to the Higher Presidential Election Commission (HPEC) headquarters to submit the documents required to officially pitch his bid for the presidential seat, one of the chair speakers cracked a joke over the microphone.

"A co-worker told me 'I found you a perfect three-roomed apartment in Haram [a Cairo district] and it overlooks a wall that does not have a poster of Abu Ismail on it.'"

Abu Ismail chuckled and quickly replied: "That was two hours ago, you should go see it now."

His words were met with applause.

With a relatively brief history in electoral politics, a respectable career as a lawyer, a reputable status as an influential Islamic preacher, known for his sharp political rhetoric, Abu-Ismail has emerged as one of the frontrunners in Egypt’s first post-Mubarak presidential contest.

Presidential elections will take place on 23 and 24 May, and the president will be named on 21 June after a runoff voting round on 16 and 17 June.

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