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Bahrain: The TAKBEER Guy Meme

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By Yacoub Al-Slaise

In an unexpected result of Bahrain’s ongoing Day of Wrath protests, the social media community came together and created Bahrain’s first bona fide internet meme: TAKBEEER Guy

Drawing similar parallels to Egypt’s “The Guy Behind Omar Suleiman” TAKBEEER Guy (Real name Mansour Tariq) stood behind Prominent Bahraini Islamic scholar Shaikh Abdullatif Al-Mahmood during his speech at Al-Fateh Mosque and shouted “TAKBEEER!” (A call for the audience to say ‘Allah Akbar’ [Allah is the greatest]). Calling “Takbeer” is also an Islamic alternative to clapping for more conservative audiences.

The frequency of his Takbeers added some comedy during what was an important and much anticipated speech by Shaikh Al-Mahmood. Hours after his exploits, Twitter exploded with jokes and hashtags for TAKBEEER Guy.

@HasanAlMaskati Just viewed the video of the #Takbeer Guy and can’t stop keeping LMAO and realised why ppl have created all the hassle !!

@tighten @Fayo0osh in the pro-gov maseera (rally) on monday, there was a guy that kept saying #takbeer, he’s very famous now! http://on.fb.me/h1yVE1

@YasserAlHawaj Takbeer guy on BTV definitely has a soar throat! His voice is hoarse!

His image has been uploaded onto a meme generator where people can add their own funny captions…

..and has even been given the Obama Hope Treatment…

@tsalrashoud Yes we can #TakbeerGuy fans! U knew this was coming #Bahrain http://twitpic.com/42ylvx

No overnight sensation can be without a Facebook Fan Page [ar] nor a parody Twitter account (@takbeerguy)

His image has also been used for good as #UniteBH campaigners have printed tshirts with his face on them and selling them for BD5 (USD$15) each with the proceeds going to charity and to the martyrs’ families.

@mshareeda U’ve got my #TAKBEERguy t-shirt thanks to @ahmedzainal and who was involve in doing the t-shirt TAKBEEER #UniteBH http://yfrog.com/h43fhkaj

Yacoub Al-Slaise is currently covering the Bahrain protests for Global Voices. Currently based in Nagoya, Japan. Fascinated by the field of Social Informatics. This article first appeared at Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/02/25/bahrain-the-takbeer-guy-meme/

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