CAIRO: The Ministry of Communications Saturday halted the printing of a new line of Suez Canal postage stamps after it was discovered and widely mocked on social media that some of the stamps bore images not of the Suez Canal, but the Panama Canal.
According to Youm7, Minister of Communications Atef Helmy ordered a new committee be formed to review the postage stamp designs released by the Postal Authority, and to open an immediate investigation to determine the persons responsible for the mistake.
According to anonymous sources, a new stamp with a design actually showing the correct canal will be issued within days, Youm7 reported.
However, prior to fessing up to the mistake, authorities were in a state of denial.
Earlier, Youm7 reported the Postal Authority refuted any claims that the images of the stamps being mocked on social media were real Egyptian issues, and said they were Photoshopped fakes designed to undermine the State.
“This stamp is fake; our official postage stamps haven’t been released yet. This must be an organized plan to attack and criticize the New Suez Canal, a huge and national project,” a “reliable” Postal Authority source told Masrawy Friday.
This is not the first time the government has faced social media mockery over what likely amounts to a Google image search blunder.
In 2013 at a press conference promoting the formation of the 50-member committee writing the Constitution, a banner above the press conference to promote the event misspelled the Arabic word for Egyptians in the phrase “A Constitution for All Egyptians” (Dostour Kul Al-Masreen). Also, Google image searches discovered that three of the five “everyday” Egyptians on the poster were stock images taken from the Internet that depicted foreigners, not Egyptians.