New Suez Canal stamp free of Panama Canal image to be released Tuesday
New Suez Canal - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: The Postal Authority announced Monday they are almost finished with a new postage stamp design depicting the Suez Canal that will be released Tuesday following the embarrassing issue of a previous stamp widely disseminated and mocked on social media that bore images of the Panama Canal.

The Postal Authority Saturday ordered a halt to the initial, unintentionally wrong design of the postage stamp bearing the “other” important international canal.

Communication Minister Atef Helmy ordered an investigation into who was responsible for the error.

Social media users released a number of postage stamps with designs and images from different governorates and historical places in Egypt and wrote “here is Egypt” as a way of mocking officials for not knowing what their own country looks like.

Criticism aside, prior to fessing up to the mistake, authorities were in a state of denial.

“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.

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