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Arab Trump asks fake Obama: Where is the cutlery?

The Arab twitterati has jumped on board the "parody account" phenomenon [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 November, 2016

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A look at Arabic parody twitter accounts impersonating politicians, including Donald Trump, Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Parody twitter accounts of major world leaders which send out biting and satirical tweets in Arabic have gathered hundreds of thousands of followers over the last year.

With full knowledge that the accounts are fake, the Arab twitterati has jumped on board the "parody account" phenomenon with users regularly engaging and retweeting the flood of statements coming from the accounts.

 "I will now begin to communicate with citizens of the Middle East," a fake Obama first declared in January 2011 after a user created what is now one of the most popular Arabic parody accounts of US President Barack Obama.

The account, which tweets on US events from an Egyptian perspective in both standard Arabic as well as the colloquial Egyptian dialect, has now gained some 323, 000 followers.

[Translation: I will leave and you will be sorry!]

[Translation: Help! #looking_for_a_job]

The trend of parodying US politicians has gathered pace in recent years and especially after the current US President-elect Donald Trump emerged on the scene as a contender for the presidential election.

[Translation: The loser President Obama refuses to give me the wifi password... I will show him!]

@DonaldTrumpAr_ started his career by copying soundbites from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and has gathered 17,000 followers, a host joining after Trump's victory in the US election in early November.

His most recent tweets included a message to outgoing president Obama asking: "Where have you put the cutlery?"

@DonaldTrumpAr_ also told his eager follows that one of his sons has been kicked out of the presidential palace for playing around with the nuclear codes.

[Translation: I kicked out my son for playing with the nuclear briefcase that could destroy the country]

Other parody accounts include those for now defeated presidential candidate Hilary Clinton.

Russia's Vladimir Putin has a number of different Arabic parody accounts and @putinarabia shows some of the more popular ones go beyond satire with an attempt to cast support for Russian intervention in the region as well as Iran and Assad.

[Translation: Only two months left of 2016, but the year has seen events enough for years!]

Arab leaders themselves have also fallen victim to parody accounts.

With the Egyptian twitterati's long established propensity to take to social-media to poke fun at their leaders, @alsiisii stands as one of the more popular parodies of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi with a regular stream of satire directed against the president.

The account has over 125,000 followers – ranging between supporters and opponents who find the account to be bad taste.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad also has his share of parodies. While there are dozens of accounts impersonating him, @bashar_asad is proven most popular with some 121,000 followers.

The account mocks the president and seeks to shed light on the Syrian regime's crimes.

A host of other accounts include those for a range of other politicians including Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri.

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