When you’re a young Cairo resident living under a military-enforced 7 p.m. curfew, how do you cope?
The answer: lots of tweeting.
With the Egyptian capital under a state of emergency lockdown, people are stuck in their homes, as opposed to enjoying the city’s renown restaurant and cafe culture. But just because they’re inside, it doesn’t mean they’re not interacting: social media usage is spiking under the curfew.
Among the selfies, food pics and movie comments making the rounds on Twitter, our analysts discovered a lot of conversation about music, much of it hashtagged #egycurfewplaylist.
Further analysis uncovered another trend: The songs being shared are melancholy, bordering on depressing.
Here’s the rundown: 30 Seconds to Mars is currently the most-discussed band in Cairo, with the songs “Do or Die” and “Hurricane” being shared heavily on the #egycurfewplaylist tag. Lana Del Rey ranks second, with “Summertime Sadness.” (Particularly apt, as it’s August.) From there, it get’s even more glum, with Coldplay’s bleak ballad “Yellow.” Egyptians also gave a few shout-outs to Queen with “I Want to Break Free” and “Don’t Try Suicide.” But even in lockdown, some Egyptians refused to lose their sense of humor. REM’s “Losing My Religion” made it on the list, as did ABBA’s “SOS.”
But not every Egyptian is at home making the 21st-century version of a bad mix tape. Some are out on the streets in protest, and others are simply out to have a good time. This guy spent his curfew at a cafe called Mug Shot. Hopefully General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi isn’t checking Foursquare.
Meanwhile, these girls are breaking curfew in the name of shallowness, but hey, cut them some slack – they’ve been cooped up for days.
This journalist provided multiple tweets about his daring trip to buy iced tea.
Team members of a digital creative agency in Cairo called The Planet decided to defy curfew and invited all Cairenes to join them “just as long as he or she is against SCAF [Supreme Council of the Armed Forces], felool [remnants of Hosni Mubarak’s regime] and MB.” They planned a series of post-curfew events called #fuckcurfewnights. Monday’s event was a screening of the film Spring Breakers, and Wednesday’s was a training session on HTML and CSS. For the final night of curfew, Tarek Shalaby, creative director at The Planet, is offering a Marketing 101 class.
But the majority of Egyptians tweeting at home are spending their curfews eating, sleeping—and complaining about only being able to sleep and eat.
“Eat eat eat eat sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep eat eat #curfew.”
Check out our Egyptian curfew playlist. Cue the tears.