1. While U.S.-Egyptian relations have been on shaky ground since the 2011 revolution, there is one fearless patriot who has made a lasting impact on Egypt: SpongeBob SquarePants. The animated character’s face is everywhere.
2. Hand in hand with the Egyptian flag in a taxi.
5. On T-shirts that barely make sense in English.
7. As all the things you never needed.
9. The singer Hamada Helal was so enthralled with SpongeBob that he even made this gem of a song in his honor. (It’s in Arabic, but the images transcend any language barrier.)
10. Egyptians have been debating why “sbongee bob” has become so ridiculously popular in Egypt in the tumultuous three years since Hosni Mubarak’s ouster.
11. Some say that the consumer obsession is a coping mechanism: Egyptians, facing seemingly unending political and economic unrest, can find solace in the Sponge’s happy-go-lucky look.
Dominique DeAngelo / Via spongebobegypt.tumblr.com
13. Not everyone is happy. This Salafi preacher called out SpongeBob for having a gender-bending persona. Liberal satirist Bassem Youssef cited the SpongeBob phenomenon as an example of the disturbing dearth of Egyptian children’s songs and books.
14. Others have criticized SpongeBob’s presence in Tahrir as a sign of the decline in true revolutionary fervor.
16. SpongeBob has also made his way around the Middle East. Here he is in Bahrain on a rainy day, with crossed out anti-government graffiti in the background.
17. Here the world traveler is caught by a reporter celebrating in Libya’s Martyr Square.
Maggie Fick / Via spongebobegypt.tumblr.com
Big H/T to SpongeBob on the Nile.
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