Egyptians gear up for Ramadan with Mo Salah lanterns

By News from Elsewhere... found by BBC Monitoring

Image source, Mohamed Gamal Mohamed
Image caption,
Mo Salah lanterns are a pre-Ramadan hit

Egyptian football prodigy Mohamed Salah has reappeared in his home country, this time in the form of a Ramadan lantern rather than on the football field.

As Egyptians prepare for the upcoming Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in mid-May, the traditional lanterns used to celebrate the event have taken on a new form - that of the much-loved footballer.

Photos of the Salah-shaped lanterns have swept social media and news websites, along with images of more traditionally-shaped lanterns with the Liverpool FC player's face superimposed on them.

The Al-Watan news website reported that lantern sellers and shopkeepers are celebrating both the arrival of Ramadan and Egypt's success in qualifying for the football World Cup in June.

Vendors told Al-Watan that the lanterns are made in China, even though imported lanterns have been banned in the past.

Al-Masry al-Youm newspaper reported that printing shops are making a mint by printing Mohamed Salah lanterns and decorations ahead of the upcoming celebrations.

The Egyptian national team player has captured the hearts and imaginations of his compatriots ever since October 2017, when Egypt qualified for the 2018 World Cup - for the first time since 1990.

In March, Salah set the highest scoring record in the English Premier League, becoming the top scorer in the 2017/2018 season.

Image source, Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Image caption,
Mo Salah scores for Liverpool

Reporting by Joana Saba

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