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How the Egyptian Revolution is Stoking the Cola Wars

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Egyptian pop star Tamer Hosny is a hated man.

Once the country's top-selling singer, Hosny made the mistake of publicly voicing his support for Hosni Mubarak in the early days of the nascent revolution, scolding Egyptians for rebelling against their "father."

"You have been quiet for 30 years, now you people do this?" he ranted on a phone call to Egyptian television.

A week later, in what can only be described as "misguided," Hosny went to Tahrir Square and tried to apologize to the throngs of pro-democracy demonstrators.

According to a February 9 report from the New York Daily News, "he was run out with catcalls and punches and had to be saved by the army. Then he started to cry."

"I want to die today," he sobbed in a video later posted to YouTube. "I thought I was saving the people."

What Tamer Hosny should have been saving was his money, because Egyptians can't seem to distance themselves from him -- and other stars seen as pro-Mubarak -- fast enough.

McClatchy's Hannah Allam writes:

Punishment was swift, and forgiveness remains elusive for what many Egyptians viewed as Hosny's deep betrayal. Protesters ripped down his posters, trashed his CDs and vowed to boycott his music. Four months after Mubarak's ouster, Hosny is still regarded as an outcast. Last week, Cairo tabloid newspapers reported, a group of young men attacked a film set to stop Hosny from shooting a TV series in their neighborhood. Reports say the pop star has doubled the size of his security staff.

"The public anger at the once-beloved stars is costing them lucrative projects," Allam explains, and now-blacklisted celebrities "plead for people to stop harassing them on the street and complain that they are struggling to find work because of the boycott."

Pepsi quickly dropped Hosny, whose billboards advertising the soft drink disappeared, "seemingly overnight."

Not wanting to let a good disaster go to waste, Coca-Cola rushed in and "seized the opportunity to unveil massive new pro-revolution murals that show young people breaking through boulders and high walls to reveal the shimmering Nile River in the distance."

An Egyptian blogger told Helen Kennedy of the Daily News that "One of the great victories of the revolution is that it destroyed Tamer Hosny."

However, Tamer Hosny's misfortune could work out splendidly for "The Real Thing" -- which, apparently, is a traditional Bedouin beverage:

Who knew?
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