Monthly Archives: May 2007

Parlous times

The curious relationship in Egypt between private life and the outside world is embodied by the parlour, whose function in Egyptian homes reflects all manner of paradoxes. Egyptian society is obsessed with social convention, status and appearances in the public … Continue reading

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Ay Highlife

Look Basil!Afa (asafo beson)Omanhene Pozoh ft the godfather CK MannYoung pretenders in white vests and beanie hats can’t ruin it. Ghana rocks!

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Speculation on foreign commodititi(e)s

Amnesiac is walking through a deserted Midan Fini on a Friday afternoon. Man sitting on chair under tree to friend (bellowing): “Eih dah ya Adel, masry wala mustawrad??” [Adel is that Egyptian or imported?]

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9th June: Global day of action against the Israeli occupation

A British journalist calls for the boycott of Israeli produce in the Guardian’s Comment is Free section: “A boycott is neither self-indulgent gesture politics nor an indicator of powerlessness… It is an international protest against the way in which Israel … Continue reading

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Finger clickin’ good

Over the past few days I watched a Senegalese Ian Curtis perform and saw singing men being sprayed with perfume. I had heard about Senegalese singer Modou Gaye via Fartbook, failing to notice that the event was billed as ‘Sufi-jazz.’ … Continue reading

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Acting out

Rather than being an art form, in Cairo street theatre is really the status quo. The city’s inhabitants transform its streets into the venue for a never-ending epic of disgruntled drivers, inexorable customers, operatic ambulant merchants and lascivious rebuffed Romeos, … Continue reading

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We put the royal in royalties

I went to sit with Upstairs Aunt the other day and found her watching one of those programmes where wealthy producers low on ideas persuade a member of some obscure European royal family of dubious heritage to whore himself out … Continue reading

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Art by occident

My British father possesses a book entitled Understanding Arabs. As a kid I always wondered whether it was presented to him upon his marriage to my Egyptian mother as part of some all inclusive package including a user’s guide to … Continue reading

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It’s acceptable if it doesn’t actually resemble a cow

MSN conversation this afternoon: Umm Nakad: Hi ya gameel Amnesiac: Hi Umm Nakad: Teegy tekly goulash bel la7m el mafroum? Ana 3amelt seneyya to7fa ya benty [Do you want to come over and eat Goulash with minced meat? I made … Continue reading

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Germane sneer

Being a half-breed and therefore neither here not there has always had the curious effect of inducing a longing to ‘fully’ belong to some(any)thing while simultaneously preventing me from signing up 100 percent blood and soul for anything. It is … Continue reading

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