WASHINGTON — A picture has been circulating online of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi appearing to sleep during the Arab League summit in Doha, Qatar, setting off a flurry of mocking tweets — though it’s just as possible Morsi was simply caught blinking.
Al-Arabiya and the Saudi Gazette have reported on the photo, which shows Morsi and other members of the Egyptian delegation with their eyes closed during the opening session of the summit, where the conflict in Syria, represented at the conference by the opposition, is expected to be a premier issue.
The photo has set off some debate on Twitter over whether Morsi was sleeping, and what it means if he was.
Dozing in #Doha: underwhelming #Morsi caught sleeping at critical Arab summit http://t.co/XoBlcgRBo3 #Saudi #KSA— Ian Black
Somebody hit snooze a few times “#Egypt delegation headed by #Morsi sleeping at Arab Summit in #Doha. http://t.co/43v8K4tXPV” v @Bazramit1h— Amro Ali
You bring the shame to us today by sleeping with ur delegation in doha in an international conference “Ha shi el morshed bymasheh” #Morsi— K.A.R.A.M
LOLLLLL how telling!! Morsi and his delegation to #Doha, Qatar are sleeping http://t.co/ZdwcEYak9C— marlyn
Some people can’t seem to tell the difference between blinking and sleeping and how a camera works apparently #Morsi— Shafik Mandhai
Is there a video of Morsi sleeping or just this photo where you can’t actually tell if he’s sleeping or not.— Ø£Ø¨Ùˆ ÙƒØ§Ø±
A YouTube video appears to show the Egyptian leader conscious:
A State Department official wouldn’t comment on the perception that Morsi was sleeping, and thus un-serious, at the important conference.
“I hadn’t seen that,” said deputy spokesperson Patrick Ventrell in a briefing with reporters. “I’m just not aware.”