Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat – Internet celebrity Lieutenant Colonel Hussein Sharif, better known as “the guy behind Omar Suleiman” has appeared in public, only this time it is Egyptian youths who are standing behind him. Lieutenant Colonel Hussein Sharif became something of a cult internet sensation after appearing in the background of the speech issued by former Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman, in which he announced that former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had agreed to step down after 18 days of public demonstrations against his regime. In the days following the end of the Mubarak regime, Sharif’s appearance behind the left shoulder of Omar Suleiman during this historic speech aroused intense curiosity, with Facebook and Twitter pages dedicated to discussing his identity, and paying tribute to him.
Lieutenant Colonel Hussein Sharif, who is commander of Group 64 of Egyptian Special Forces, appeared extremely dour and stern during Omar Suleiman’s speech; however the Egyptian army officer showed a more relaxed persona during a chance encounter with Egyptian youth in the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis, smiling and joking with them. The Egyptian youth asked the Egyptian Colonel, dressed in civilian clothing and smoking a cigar, whether they could take a picture with him, and the smiling Egyptian officer readily agreed.
In the caption of the picture that was posted on a Facebook page entitled “we all love the guy behind Omar Suleiman”, the poster said that Lieutenant Colonel Hussein Sharif warmly greeted the Egyptian youths and shook their hands, and agreed to their request that he stand in front of them during this picture so that could be “the guys standing behind the guy behind Omar Suleiman.”
The Facebook poster also said that the Egyptian youths told Lieutenant Colonel Hussein Sharif that no insult was meant to him with regards to his cult internet status, and that this was all a bit of light-hearted fun.