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Bread Helmet Man, also known as “Bread Helmet Guy”, is a photoshop exploitable meme based on an image of a Yemeni protester who was spotted at a street demonstration wearing loafs of bread around his head for protection.
Following the Egyptian “Arab Spring” demonstrations against the 30-year incumbent president Mubarak that began on January 25th, 2011, the anti-government sentiment spread across the border to Yemen sparking a nationwide protest known as “Day of Rage.” During the opposition-led street demonstrations in Sanna on February 3rd, 2011, several Yemeni protesters began wearing makeshift protective armor and headgear to shield themselves from police forces and random projectiles. Reuters reporter Khaled Abdullah managed to photograph a protester yelling with his hands raised up high in the air wearing bread tied to his head.
The following day, the image of protester was reblogged throughout major news web sites as well as various online humor and viral news blogs including BoingBoing, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, EatLiver, MemeGenerator and BuzzFeed. On February 13th, a photoshop thread was posted to the flash website Newgrounds. Several pages worth of fan art can be found on the deviantArt. A Facebook fan page has 41 likes as of October 11th, 2011.
Search queries for “bread helmet” spiked in February of 2011, the same month the photograph was taken by Khaled Abdullah.