Naguib Sawiris Image Credit: Twitter

Cairo: Egypt’s business mogul Naguib Sawiris has drawn sharp criticism after he tweeted about women’s participation in Lebanon’s anti-government protests.

“I was watching Lebanon’s demonstrations, but switched the channel to the war in Yemen after my wife entered the room,” Sawiris tweeted in Arabic, calling it the “joke of the day”.

His critics accused him of male chauvinism and making fun of the mass protests that have rocked Lebanon since Thursday.

“Remember your country when it had demonstrations. No one at the time made a joke about it. It’s strange you like this joke. It’s shameful. It’s a silly joke. You underestimate the feeling of [Lebanon’s] people,” Lebanese actress Nicole Saba commented in a post.

“Enough male chauvinism, and ignorant and insulting jokes,” said another commentator named Doja.

“It’s wrong to turn popular protests into a joke. Even worse is to crack a joke against women,” a Palestinian woman named Samya Aish said in a tweet.

In response, Sawiris defended his tweet, saying that Egyptians are famed for joking even against themselves.

“Joking doesn’t mean I don’t sympathise with the suffering of Lebanon, Yemen and Syria,” he tweeted.

“My love for Lebanon is not a matter of debate. A joke is a joke even if I made a wrong choice,” he added.