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The Guy Behind Omar Soliman (Arabic: الراجل اللى ورا عمر سليمان) is an emerging photoshop trend based on Egyptian Vice President Omar Soliman’s nationally televised address announcing that President Mubarak will be stepping down from his office after 30 years of incumbency. During this historic speech, an unidentified man (presumably a bodyguard) behind the vice president stood out as highly irritated--and thus equally entertaining for the Egyptians watching the announcement at home.
On the day before Omar Soliman’s announcement on February 11th, 2011, the Egyptian army announced that “all of the protestors’ demands will be met.” On that day, Mubarak made a speech, announcing that he would delegate his authoritative powers down to Vice President Omar Soliman, but would not step down from the office. This announcement, of course, frustrated the protesters’ in Egypt and elsewhere like Yemen and Jordan. Also see: Bread Helmet Guy.
On the 18th day of protests, Soliman announced that he was going to make an emergency statement. As Egyptians everywhere anxiously huddled around their television sets to listen to the statement they had all been waiting for, many viewers’ couldn’t help but notice the highly distressed looking man standing behind the vice president.
The photoshop meme began on the official Facebook page titled “We all love The Guy Behind Omar Suleiman بنحب الراجل اللى ورا عمرسليمان” on February 14th, 2011. The man behind Omar Soliman was later identified as Major Sherif Hussein of the Egyptian special forces’ Unit 64, according to the Egyptian Chronicles blog.
In the days following the announcement, the meme of the guy behind Omar Soliman continued to spread on the Egyptian web as Twitter users began posting links to the Facebook page via Twitter. The photoshopped images consisted of the bodyguard’s face placed into various milestones in military history:
A number of photoshopped derivatives used the original image from the press conference as the base image, plugging in various exploitable characters into the background in place of the bodyguard, such as the panda from Never Say No To Panda commercials: