Archive of ‘Only in Egypt’ category

On Khaled Said

A few years ago, I saw the french movie "Irréversible" , and like many movie watchers I was subjected to the-now infamous- utterly brutal and inescapable Monica Bellucci 9 minute rape and murder scene. That scene has left me disturbed beyond measure, not just for the extremely violent depiction of such a heinous act, but by knowledge that, as certain as the run rises and the oceans ebb and flow, there is someone in the world, right now, facing a similar and equally brutal death. That at every minute, someone, somewhere in the world, in areas that we don't want to think or know about, someone is about to die, painfully, brutally, and completely without Mercy on the hands of a fellow human being.

What terrifies me isn't the violence; Anyone who has two eyes can see that we are a violent species that is capable of some horrid nightmares.What terrifies me is the feeling of helplessness that those victims must feel before they meet their end. The absolute certainty that someone has the power to end your life, and is doing just that, and there is nothing you can do about it. The Horror of realizing that this one won't pass, that you won't live to see the morning, and that this person- if we can even call them that- sees you as nothing more than an insect that they can crush the life out of it by the heels of their shoes.

This is precisely why I didn't want to know the Story of Khaled Said, a 28 year old Alexandrian man, who got killed on the hands of two policemen a few days ago. And the story is equally disturbing and terrifying in its simplicity: He simply was sitting in a Cyber Cafe, when two policemen walked inside and demanded the ID's of everyone who was sitting there. When he refused to give it to them, they grabbed him, tied him up, dragged him out of the Cafe, took him to a nearby building where for 20 minutes they beat him to death, smashing his head on the handrail of the staircase, while he screamed and begged for his life, and as people around watched helplessly, knowing that if they did something, they would be accused of assaulting a police officer, which would pretty much guarantee them a similar fate. This went on for 20 minutes. Think about that. You are beaten to death, by those who swore to protect you, while the people in your neighborhood watched silently, and as your pleas for mercy fell on deaf ears. 28. Not yet married. Still having the rest of your life ahead of you. No More.

After the police discovered he died, they took the dead body to the Police station, where the Police Officer ordered them to throw it back on the street and call an ambulance, in order not to be held responsibly for him. When his brother- who had the american citizenship- found out, he went and confronted the head of the Police in his neighborhood, who told him that the story isn't true, and that his brother was a known drug offender and that he died from asphyxiation, for swallowing a bag of drugs when the police caught him with it. 

This is Khaled before the "Asphyxiation":

This is Khaled after his "Asphyxiation":

 

 Amazing what Asphyxiation does to you these days, no?

 When the story went out, and people saw the pictures, they were of course enraged. About a 1000 people gathered after the Friday prayers to protest in front of the police stations, and there are plans to do sit ins and demos this entire week, demanding that people take action, before they become the next Khaled. The Ministery of Interior swiftly responded, by stating that Khaled was a criminal and a womanizer and a drug dealer and responsible for 9/11, and that he died from Asphysxiation, and the picture is simply after his body was diagnosed by the Coroner. And that really, really, we should be glad that such a menace to society at large is not with us anymore. 

And of course no one will get punished.

Egypt likes to refer to itself as the land of Security and Safety. Please note that we always put the word Security first. We like to think we are safe, that we are better than those evil western countries, where a woman is raped every 48 seconds or whatever, but we are not. We are not Safe. None of us is. Not n this country, not in this world. Any one of us could lose that spark of life at any minute, and the lucky ones get it quickly and painlessly. The unlucky ones suffer. The really unlucky ones end up like Khaled.

You think about Humanity, and where it is today, and you can't help feeling disgusted at us as species. We are brutal, evil and vile, and very quickly for congratulating ourselves on anything good we do, while we really don;t do that much and we know it. Anxiety is soaking up most people’s days. Everyone had become
pre-occupied with horror. Madness was fluttering everywhere.There are diagrams
illustrating all these problems- circles and hexagons and squares. Most troubling
were the fleeting signs that nothing could transform any of this into
something positive. You couldn’t help being both afraid and fascinated. Hearing about such incidents made you feel that the survival of mankind
didn’t seem very important on the long run. We were doomed. We deserved
it.

When they finish those Colonies on the Moon, I will be on the first spaceship out of here. This planet is fucked!

Our Fantastic police at work

I am not even surprised anymore:

An Egyptian police officer held an 18-month-old baby hostage for five
hours in a bid to secure the surrender of the child's fugitive uncle, a
security official said on Friday.

They will open an investigation. They will probably find the baby guilty of forcing the police officer to take him into custody.

Anybody wants to be a daddy?

This is found on Egypt's craigslist, I figured I would share:

Looking for a Husband Immediately – 24 (Cairo, Egypt)

It is a long story but I’ll try to keep it short: back in February I
was raped and now I am 7 months pregnant. I was hoping to find a
Western man (European / American), to marry me immediately, before I
deliver, and take me and my coming son under his wing, in other words
to be an official father of my son.
I am financially capable of supporting my own son, all I want is a loving, warm and secure home for him to grow up in.

I am 24 years old, brunette, petite, 5 feet tall, long black
straight hair and dark brown Arabian eyes, college graduate, I also
speak 3 languages fluently.
My father was Lebanese and my mother is half Spanish half Turkish,
I was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt but with a western, very
open-minded mentality (and that is why I wish to marry a western man).

The man I am looking for has to meet the following requirements:

1) To be currently living in Cairo, Egypt.
2) To accept to start all the marriage procedures instantly (of course after we meet and make sure we like each other)
3) To accept to convert to Islam as the Egyptian law does not
approve of the marriage of a Muslim woman to a non-Muslim man (you can
still practice your initial religion though, like I said I’m very
open-minded, you don’t have to pray or fast, I personally don’t, all
you have to do is just obtain that piece of paper that says you
converted)
4) To be between the age of 30-40
5) To be understanding
6) To have no mental or physical illnesses.

If you are interested please reply as soon as possible. No weird replies please. 

Yes people, No weird replies to this very normal ad please. 

On the Susan Tamim murder

This is the story that's the talk of the town in Egypt these days. There is this Lebanese female pop singer, who got killed in a hotel room in Dubai. The Dubai police being super good at what they do, they figured out that the murderers were two egyptians, one of them working in hotel security, and the other a state-security officer. The twist, however, lies in their confession, that they were paid to do it, by no other than Egypt's premiere real estate Tycoon and MP Hesham Talaat Mustapha. Interestingly enough, the moment his name got mentioned, an official gag-order on the press was issued by egyptian state-security, and stories of apartments and villas being distributed on journalists all over egypt to keep their mouths shut and create opposite rumors were all over the place. The first one being spread was that this is all a set-up caused by Ahmed Ezz, the Steel Tycoon and Gamal Mubarak's right-hand-man. But even that proved problematic, because Ezz also has his pull, so the conspiracy is now changed to having Dubai-people being behind the set-up, specifically the EMAAR group who also work in real-estate and are entering heavily into the egyptian market. You see, those evil dubaians wanted to control the egyptian market, so they set him up for murder so that they can control it. I bet if we wait long enough we will find some jews involved in this. That train is never late.

That being said, the man is in real trouble, because the UAE people want to extradite the egyptians arrested for the murder and try them there. And if they do, well, Dubai's legal system isn't as corrupt as the egyptian one and their judges aren;t exactly for sale, so he will get fucked. And since he doesn't want to get fucked, he has been using his lackey's to promote two ideas: 1) to not allow their extradition to dubai, in the name of national pride, and offer to try them right here. And since he knows this will fail, because, well, the government never gave a fuck over national pride before, and we are not gonna start having it now for 2 murderers, he is going for option 2) Spreading the news that they are really tightening security over the two suspects out of fear they commit suicide. How do they know they might commit suicide? Was there a psychologist involved? No? You have no tangible proof or reasoning for them to commit suicide before the trial you say? Oh, you are just saying that so we can be psychologically ready when they do get killed in prison "commit suicide", right? Very clever. Very sly. Also disgusting and unethical, but then again, you are the egytian government and media. Disgusting and unethical is what you do best. No surprise there.

This should be interesting though, because Ezz really hates Mustapha, and the battle of wills and influence between those two men should be very interesting. Maybe we will find out if Ezz truly is Egypt's most powerful man or not. And it might be in Ezz's best interest to make sure that Mustapha does go tp prison, because now all of Egypt knows he did kill that girl -she did steal form him like 1.5 million dollars the story goes- and if he gets away with it, then he is the businessman who got away with murder, and not just any murder, the murder of a celebrity in another country. No one will dare cross a man like that again. Would you? I wouldn't. God knows how much more empowered he would feel if he did get away with it. 

We are gonna witness some very interesting days ahead.

The MB is against the sexual harrassmnet of women

Ehhhh…Foreign tourist women that is, and only because it might hurt our tourism revenues. As for Egyptian women or  foreign women who live here but who are not tourists, ehh, well, fuck 'em! They are fair game apparently, because, after all, they don't provide us with tourism income, and that's what really matters. So the MB MP is sending an inquiry to the ministry of tourism against their passive role in preventing tourists from getting sexually harassed, and maybe even they will pass a law that criminalizes the sexual harassment of foreign touristy women. Egyptian women don't need such a law, they have God, and they can pray to him, and that's all they need!

I LOVE THE MB! LOVE THEM!!! 

Those damn Fowegners

I have known lots of foreigners living in Egypt throughout my life. For some reason- not that I minded of course- I was always surrounded by them. But lately I started wondering about them: What makes a foreigner- and by that I mean someone of European or American/Canadian/Australian descent because we know what the arabs and the refugees are doing here- come and live in Egypt? I mean I get the ones who visit, but why live here? So, I decided to put my anthropologist hat on, and take a closer look at the foreigners that pass by me, and make sweeping generalizations about the whole population. The results astounded me. My research-which wasn't scientific at all- has shown that there are three different types of foreigners that come to live in Egypt, each with their own habits, traits and even neighborhood. So without further ado, I present you with my findings:

1) The "I am here to make money" Foreigner: This is my favorite type of foreigner, because they come to Egypt full of purpose and they know exactly what they are doing here. This group includes foreigners who work for MNC's and Oil companies, Embassy officials, journalists who are sent here by their chief bureau, People who do whatever it is that Elijah and The Arabist do, and those are studying here because it's a way to get a specific job (like learning arabic in order to join the State Department or be a more hireable regional journalist or doing their masters in Polisci/Islamic Studies/Forced migration/whatever that will get them that cushy job in an American Think Tank or NGO). They are usually very smart and have their whole life planned ahead of them, which is refreshing to encounter in a country like Egypt. They live in Zamalek/Garden City if they don't have children and in Maadi if they do. They summer in Sharm Al Sheikh and el Gouna,  their favorite drug is Life, the desire for success and Alcohol, and their favorite egyptian book is "Beer in the Snooker club" by Wagih Ghaly- that is if they read books written by Egyptians at all. They hang out at extravagant Zamalek parties and sometimes the Ace club, they work out in the CAC campus and they know what's going on in Egypt more than the majority of Egyptians do, which is funny considering that they represent a tiny minority of foreigners here, especially compared to the "I am here to find myself" foreigner.

2) The "I am here to find myself" foreigner: Kind of self-explanatory, but let's give it a shot anyway: Those are the foreigners who tell you that they come to Egypt as part of some journey "to find themselves", but in reality are just looking to put their lives on hold for a bit and not grow up and be responsible like their fellow friends back at wherever they came from. They are usually mid twenties to early thirties, and they come to Egypt as part of a regional spiritual trip or an exchange program, and kind of never leave, mainly due to how cheap living in Egypt is compared to their life back home and the fact that here they get to retain the kind of adolescent social life they have enjoyed so much in college. They either have random jobs that offer shit pay and for which they are totally under qualified with their B.A. in 18th century Southasian philosophy (Check Nile FM, the daily news, the Ibn Khaldoun Center) or they do as every other foreigner who needs a job in Egypt does and become stringers for obscure newspapers and random news agencies, who usually don't require of you more than having the ability to write in half-decent English. Since they don't make that much money, they live either in  Mohandeseen/Agouza or in a houseboat in Kitkat, and they summer in Dahab and Nouiba3. They lead a very communal social life, with nights that boast events such as one of them coming back from a trip to Lebanon (of course) with lots of Alcohol or scoring a really good kind of Hash through their Bawab, and they will call each other and have a "gathering" whenever one of those life's little victories rears its shiny little head. They are usually major drug-fiends, so their favorite drugs include whatever you got on you, and they don't have a favorite egyptian book because they usually don't read (Paulo Coleho and Dan Brown are notable exceptions), opting instead to downloading episodes of "The Office" and "Weeds" off of the internet and watching them high as a kite. They used to hang out at the Greek Club, but ever since their new minimum charge policy of 45 pounds a person got implemented they stick to Estorel and Stella Cafe, and if they show up at L'aubergine for example they will have one beer only, unless you are paying, and then you shall discover their love for whatever is the most expensive shit that bar carries. The "I am here to find myself" foreigner has no shame, mainly because they believe themselves to be children of the Universe and that the Universe owes them something. So they will at first surprise you by their habit to ask the Universe for whatever it is they need, and when that naturally fails they will further surprise you by asking you for whatever it is they need. But other than that they are very nice people, and they eventually leave after spending between 3 to 6 years of their life in Egypt (unless you happen to marry one of them, you stupid dumb sucker), which makes them a much better breed than the final type, the " I am Egyptian" foreigner.

3) The "I am Egyptian" foreigner: That would be the type that drives me up the freakin wall, the foreigner who comes to Egypt, claims to have fallen in love with the country and wants to stay here to fix it. They exhibit certain similar traits to the "I am here to find myself" foreigner, only their condition is slightly more extreme. They usually have serious identity issues ( especially if they come from the US and super especially if from the south), and need a purpose in their lives that will give their lives meaning and piss off their parents (which is really their goal to begin with). They will go on diatribes about how this other foreigner you both know doesn't get Egypt like he/she "gets Egypt", and they will have dick measuring contests over who loves Egypt more. True story: I once encountered two such creatures once, roommates, the first said that its true that if you drink from the Nile you have to come back, while the other countered that this is not true, because if you drink from the nile, you never really leave Egypt, cause you leave your heart there. I informed both of them that they are both wrong, because as an egyptian would tell you, if you drink from the nile, you will end up in the hospital, because that shit is super polluted. Anyway… Their favorite american author is naturally Noam Chomsky, their favorite topic of conversation is the different Zionist lobbies in Washington and they say Inshallah and habiby every 20 seconds. Where they live is a tricky proposition, since they do follow a certain migration pattern that is depended on how "egyptian" they've become. They start by living in Zamalek their first year here, and then they will move to Downtown the following, citing the fakneness of Zamalek and the cultural richness of Downtown as their reasons. Their third year they move to a Houseboat in Imbaba ( they will say Imbaba with the same pride reserved for being hardcore egyptians, as if Imbaba isn't the area opposite of Seqouia), followed by a Bonus phase that not everybody takes of moving to Mukattam and discovering how awesome it is to take a Microbus to work(" Sure, I get sexually harassed and grabbed, but it only costs me 50 piasters for a ride. It's awesome"), before finally setteling in Al Haram, either in a street off of Faysal, or if they are truly willing to go the distance to prove their egyptianness, Omraneya. Their favorite Egyptian Author is naturally Ahdaf Suweif, because they are retarded and they think her orientalist drivel is actual literature (Alaa, I know she is your Aunt and everything, so please please please get her an Editor. In the Eye of the Sun is needlessly 450 pages man. There are 200 pages of her talking about her make-up and removing her hair using Halawah. I am serious man, someone needed to say it!), they will claim that their favorite singer is of course Oum Kalthoum, even though they usually don't understand what the hell she is saying, and their favorite hangout is the Ahwah (Shisha cafe) in front of their house if they are males and the houses of their middle-class Hijab-wearing egyptian housewife bestfriend if they are female. They rarely hang out with other foreigners- unless they are just like them, and even then it gets tense due to the aforementioned dick-measuring contests- and they would never be caught dead being seen in Zamalek or Maadi. Their favorite summer spot are Alexandria and Ain el Soukhnah, and they end up usually working as teachers in Language schools that just started a bullshit but overpriced American Diploma program and they needed any foreigner who look like a teacher in order to seem legit to the parents of their students. You can also identify them through their facebook albums, because at some point in their lives they passed by Gaza and took pictures with smiling Palestinian children, which they will show you while naming the children and telling you anecdotes of how cute and smart they are and how they formed a connection and told him/her that they never want them to leave, in denial of the fact that they are just one of the 30,000 foreigners that passed by those kids that year alone, and that they probably forget all about him/her ever existing, let alone their names. Oh, and their favorite drug is HASH, of course, cause, really, what's more Egyptian than that?

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments section! 

For the retarded amongst you

I have tolerated the existence of the Scene and Heard blog for a while now, mainly because I think that the crowd they target don't really read or are big Paulo Coelho fans (same thing), so for them to read anything, well, that's just a positive thing. They are the same people I hated hanging out with right after I came back, whose topic of conversations range from who got photographed in what magazine, who married/left/cheated on/sleeps with who and debating the color yellow. Riveting shit, I tell ya. I kept my distance but didn't really hate them, because that's like hating a retard for making stupid decisions.I mean, they are fans of Amy Mowafi for god's sake, so they can't really be blamed for their choices in life. They simply don't know any better.

However, they did join my shit list when they actually lead to the spawning of other egyptian gossip blogs, mainly two that got sent to me today and immediately made my blood boil. The first one targets AUC students, and it's called "Gossip Girl in AUC". Yes,after the CW show targeting 12 year old girls. Seriously. They even do the whole "XOXO" shit at the end. I keep trying to think of ways to insult them, but, why bother? I would be wasting brain cells. There is an actual post about how the writer heard someone say "that's huge? how did you manage that?" and the really funny punchline is, they were talking about a bubble gum. No, for real. Can you believe it? It's Crazzzyyyyyy!!!!!!

And then for those of you who go to the second rate GUC, well, they have one for you as well, and it's called GUC Insider. Now, I am actually quite impressed by that one, because it managed to suck more than the Gossip Girl one (oh gossip girl, I said suck, imagine? That's soo funny. Giggle and blush), which I think is quite the achievement. And the sad thing is, the writer of that one quit, not because he found out that he is a lame writer, but because the GUC people got mad at him. For real. They actually got offended and thought he should discontinue. Thank you GUCians. You are not as lame as everyone says you are.

So yes, S&H, I blame YOU for this. This shit didn't happen until you people came along with your fantastic posts about nothing and people only you know and care about. I get that you attacked those other gossip blogs yourself, but that's not enough. You people have to repent or something for the shit you unleashed on the unsuspecting population. Think of the innocent bystanders. Some people who actually have a brain might stumble upon your website one day without being warned about its nature beforehand -unlike me- and end up getting a brain aneurysm from the your self-congratulating masturbatory so called writing. So please, stop, before anyone gets hurt. Think of the Children who will read this shit and actually think that being a socialite is, like, important. Because it's not. No one cares. And if you truly live in Cairo and know the intrusive nature of its people, then you would know that most people would love to go anywhere without being seen or heard by 10 people that know them. But then again I am talking about people with no insecurities and who don't give a fuck about whatever spring-fling- fuck-me-I-am-famous shit party your faggy metrosexual friends throw and invite you to next. So you might not relate. Nevermind.  

Everyone can play the crazy game

So, there is apparently a big problem in the University of Minya because of two coptic girls students: 1 drew a cartoon of the Prophet Mohamed, and the other, facing an increasingly hostile islamist roommate- drew an X over Koranic verses. When the news spread, naturally demonstrations demanding the girls' head on a stick broke out all over the University. The Coptic Church, for its part, decided to take a positive stand on the whole issue:

The Coptic church has since attempted to calm tensions, saying that
Ishaq and the student who drew the Muhammad image, Diana Samual, were
psychologically unstable and should not be held responsible for their
actions.

Yes, the church actually claimed the two girls are crazy. They didn't send them to the psychiatrist or anything. Too much of a hassle. They caused problems? They are naturally crazy.

This is all a very positive development, because the Church now is taking the same stance the Egyptian security forces does whenever they are faced with a muslim who attacks and kills Christians: He is, clearly, crazy, and it has nothing at all to do with religion. And don't you forget it!

CRAZY! 

We won't allow Egyptian Jews in

Even really old ones. They might ask for their property that we confiscated or something. We can't have that now, can we? Israel Maztav has a very interesting commentary on this:

 These people had no intention of demanding any money or property from
the Egyptians or their government. But what if they had? What if they
wanted to move back to Egypt? The Egyptians would have said no. So why
do they complain so much when we say no to the 'Palestinians' moving
back? You can bet that those 70 and 80-year olds would at least have
been willing to live in peace. Are the Egyptians afraid of Jews moving
back? Do they feel guilty about what they did to their Jews? Do they
realize that if the Jews ever took them to an international tribunal
the Egyptian government may not have a leg on which to stand?

Dude, you are over-thinking it. They are Jews, therefore any logical rules will not be applied to them in Egypt. End of story.  

1 2 3 8