JUNE 2012 Dedicated to Nadine. Weâ€™ll always miss you!
BACK TO THE BASICS.
It ain’t over till it’s over...
IN THIS ISSUE
Feature 10 The Great Depression 14 How To Smile When Sh*t Hits the Fan Underscore 20 Sue Us: The Extremists’ Guide into “Our” Sinful Culture 22 Helplessness Is How They Win 24 The (Literal) Death of Free Speech: The Murder of Farag Foda 26 The Mofti Behind Enemy Lines Opinionated 30 The Quarter-Life Crisis 32 Sticks and Stones 34 Eye Candy Patterns 40 Trends 42 Fashion Bulletin 44 Hussein Chalayan: The Face Of Contemporary Forefront Fashion 46 It’s Wedding Season... Let’s Celebrate in Style 47 Made in Egypt Screens, Shelves and Speakers 50 Depp-Burton Collaborations... Overrated? 52 Book Review: Cairo - My City, Our Revolution
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54 Mashrou’ Leila at UMF Rock Stop... One Hell of a Night Balls 60 2012 Champions League Final: Bayern Vs. Chelsea... What Does That Mean for Football? From The Readers 62 On Leaving
Chairman Shady Sherif
Editor-in-Chief Louis Greiss
Creative Director Leila Tapozada
Wessam Sherif Yasmine Zohdi
Youssef Saad Eldin
Business Development Ismaeel Khoudeir
Senior Media Executive Zeina El Alfy
Media Executive Ghada Zayed
Financial Manager Ehab A. Aziz
Sherif El Haggar
Accountant Ahmed Serag
Office Manager Sylvia Peter
Office Assistants Ibrahim Mansour Mohamed Eid
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Abdelhamed Fathy Ashraf Ramadan Gamal Moustafa Ramy Afifi Ragab Fathy Aly Afifi Waleed Gilani Abdel Aziz Abdel Rahman Mahmoud Samir
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Writers & Contributors Amy Quotb Eman Omar Hana El Hattab Hend Ghorab May Kamel Michel Antoun Mos'ab El Shamy Menna Tarek Sherif Elmashad
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69, Adidas (El-Marghany), Africana Café, C&CO (Horreyya St- El Korba), Belino Café, Blueberry (Ard El Golf ), Beano's Café (British Council – El Korba – Airport – British University), Charleston Café, Cortigiano, Café Mo, Cairo International Airport, Coffee Roastery, Colors, Cat, Diwan Bookstore, Diadora, Desire, Every Man’s Bookstore, Farah Café , Flower Market, G Live, Genga Café, Gelateria Roma Café, Harris Café, Gallery Bel3araby (El Nozha St.), House Café , Hope Flowers, Hot Pink, In Flower, Hyper Original, Khodier, Rosso Cafe, IIPennello Ceramic Café, Kan Zaman Restaurant, Le Rince, Linea, La Cassetta Retaurants, Makani, McDonalds, Mobil Mart, Mori Sushi (Salah Salem), Milk, Musicana (El Korba), Munchies Café, No Name, Nuts @ Nuts, Occo, One 4 all, Polka Dolka, Pottery Café, Schatz Café, Smart Gym (Sheraton & Ard El Golf), Roma Café, Shell Mart, Salah Beauty Salon, STR8, Spicy, Style Gym, Tres Bon, Up 2 Date, Viking Cafe, World Gym, Waffle Point, Zein, L’Aubergine
Adidas(Genina mall), Aroma Lounge (City Stars), Beano's Café (City stars – Makram Ebeid – Abbas El Akkad), Beka, Calvin Klein Jeans (City Stars), Casper & Gambini's, C&Co (City Stars – Geneina Mall), Esprit (City Stars), Farah Café (Geneina Mall), Le Gourment Marche, Kenouz Restaurant, ISI (City Stars), Martino, McDonalds (Abbas el Akkad), Musica (Abbas el Akkad), My Day Cafe, Pascucci Café, Ravin, Spicy (City Center - Geneina Mall) ,Virgin Megastore
Adidas/Timberland (Lebanon Street, Gezeeret Al Arab Street), Beano's Café (Gameat El Dowal Street), Beau Jardin Café, Bershka (Gezeeret Al Arab Street), Café Mo, Cedars café , C& Co, Café Bean (Aswan Sq.), Cocolina (Syria Street), Ciccio Café, Cilantro, Mohamed El Sagheer, Cocolina, Dar Al Balsam Bookstore, Diwan, Eventya Flowers, Laguna Café, L`Aroma Café, Makani, Marsh Café, McDonalds, Mori Sushi, Multi Stores, Non Bookstore, Pasqua Café, Quick24, Renaissance Library, Safari Café, Samia Alouba, Silviana Heach, Solitaire Café, Shoe Room, Scoop Café, Second Cup, Spectra, Spicy, Sports Café, Tommy Hilfiger, Toy Story, Trianon Café, Tornado Café, Volume One, Zarina, Zee Lounge, P 75, Al Dar, Café De Fiori
Downtown & Mokattam
AUC Bookstore, Beano's Café, Beymen, Cilantro, Maktabet El Balad, McDonalds (Tahrir), Balady
Ahl Cairo, Adidas, Beano's Café (British Council), Coffee Roastery, Dar Al Balsam Bookstore, Mr. Joe, Makani, Korista Café, Momento, La Boutique, Orange, Quick24, Retro, Spicy, Tabasco, Zein, Zarina
Al Akhbar Bookstore, Arabica, Beano's Café, Coffee Bean, Cilantro, Cocolina, Crave, Diwan Bookstore, Euro Deli, FDA, 69, Gardenia Flowers, Goal, Googan Bookstore, Kodak Express, L'Aubergine, Makani, Mezza Luna, Mobil Mart, Mohamed El Sagheer, Mori Sushi, Munchies, Orangette, Tabasco, Quick 24, Ravin’, Romancia Bookshop, Sequoia, WIF, Zamalek Bookshop, Van Gogh Bookshop, Zafir
Adidas, Adam Bookstore, Arthur Murray, Bakier Stationary, Bander Café, Beanos, Beau Jardin, Books & Books, Beta Bookshop, Bookspot, Caj, Euro Deli, Cat, Condetti, Chilis, Coffee Roastery, Gengra Café, Greco, Costa Coffee, El Shader, Dunes Lounge, Ghazala Stationary, Green Mill, Gudy, Kotob Khan, Kiwi, Honest Bookshop , I Spot , La Gourmandise, Makani, McDonalds, Mediterraneo Restaurants, Reebok, Renaissance Library, Rigoletto, Samia Alouba, Second Cup, Shell Shop, Shoe Room, Spectra,The Bakery, Timberland, Volume One
Beano's, Byblos Café (Dandy Mall), Café Mo, McDonalds, Mexicana Café, Mori Sushi (Dandy Mall), Second Cup, Shell Shop, Solitaire, Sans Soucis Café, Trianon
El Rehab & Fifth Settlment
Food Court (Le Reve Grand Café, Jounich Café, Gauchos Café, Mercato Italiano), AUC Bookstore
Giza & Haram
Beano's, Dar El Shorouk, Mexicana Café, Polo Shop
24Seven Café, Adidas & Timberland (Syria st, - City Center), Banna Stationary, 24/7 Café, Adidas/Timberland, Banna Stationary, Beano's, Cillomo Café, C&CO, Cilantro, Coffee Roastery, Deekom, Mazaya, McDonalds, Quiksilver, The Sixties Café, Tamarin Center, Rapo
Axon, Pizza Station, La Plato Café
Dear Democratic Countries, You might have fair elections, freedom of expression and rights. Your days are not endless cycles of struggle, death and misery. On the contrary, you lead stable lives, a concept that has become either offensive or impossible to achieve in these here parts. You’re not forced to make moral decisions on a daily basis and your very own beliefs don’t strangle the life out of you. You’re lucky enough not to have a grand cause in which you believe and consequently end up compromising the younger years of your life for. Your youth is not collectively and eternally depressed, you have not seen your dreams sprout wings and fly out of reach, and rarely have your hopes been murdered before your eyes. And you probably think you’re better than us. You probably behold us with an eye of sympathy and pity. Spare us your self-righteous compassion. Because remember this, we have the shattafa. Our butts will always be cleaner than yours. They can take our freedom, but they can’t take our shattafas.
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When you know both sides mean you get screwed, you don’t flip the coin. You find another way to determine your fate. Stay true to your ideals; stay true to your beliefs… stay true to The Dream. Break free. BOYCOTT.
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© Mos’ab El Shamy
10 JUNE 2012 CAMPUS
THE GREAT DEPRESSION Between the anvil of one evil and the hammer of another.
] FEATURE ]
By Wessam Sherif IT IS WITH GREAT PLEASURE THAT I ANNOUNCE TO YOU THAT I AM OFFICIALLY MIND-F*CKED AND THAT I HAVE – THUS FAR – FAILED MISERABLY TO COME TO A CONCLUSION REGARDING NOT ONLY THE ELECTIONS, BUT MY LIFE IN THIS COUNTRY, SHOULD MORE SH*T HIT THE FAN. IT ALSO EQUALLY PLEASES ME TO PUNCH YOU – INCREDIBLY HARD – IN THE GUT, SHOULD YOU ATTEMPT TO PATRONIZE ME.
The elections have come to tear the remaining psychological seams that tied this country to any sanity, and it shall only get more insane from here onwards. And the sad part is, this is HARDLY about politics. I repeat, what we’re going through is not about politics anymore; it’s about us, the people, and our deranged brains. The elections are just the tip of the iceberg. Did you really think that the mental stress that we’ve all been subjected to – regardless of each person’s stance regarding the revolution – was going to end without SOME sort of breakdown? Given the festering social rifts, this melting point is way overdue. The following is how the entire process went inside my head. There’s a big chance you’ll relate to at least one of the thoughts that crossed my mind.
Disclaimer Since many have been acting like prophets lately, I’ll be the first to admit it; despite my better judgment, at times, I have succumbed to emotional decision-making. I resorted to my gut instinct instead of using proper
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analysis more than I probably should, but hey, unlike the rest of the douchebags out there, I have not been given an unimpaired judgment by the almighty. I’ve gone through faith-coated denial, dreamt of simpler times when this crap was considered a fantasy and I have come to conclusions based on a mélange of fear and selfish reasons.
Choosing a candidate How many people do you know who actually voted for a candidate based on their electoral program? If you actually know ONE person who did that, please introduce me to him/her; that person would have a lot to teach me. Not one electoral program was properly elaborated to suit the less-educated masses, and more importantly, the candidates were classified under either the revolutionary, felool or Islamic camp.
You know how I chose my candidate? I honestly tried to make sense of each candidate’s discourse, and none stood out. True, some were better than others and I did have my prejudices, in addition to the famous debate in which the childish bickering between both candidates was a major turn off. But still, none of the above sealed the deal for me. One of the candidates, however, for a split second, reminded me of my late father. And that was that, my mind (more of heart, I guess?) was made up. Come up to me and tell me that my decision was based on no substantial reason, and I’ll agree. But judge me or my reasoning, I’ll shrug you off. You see, emotions have a nasty habit of shutting down one’s critical thinking.
person –a revolutionary– who got peer pressured by his family into voting for Shafiq! He admitted that he acted upon fear and panic, and we’re talking about a smart educated person here. Can you imagine how it is for the impoverished and illiterate who have their entire livelihoods at stake? Those are the ones who become extremely susceptible to influence of fear mongers and campaigning bullies. And you still think politics were involved?
The simpler times How many times have you caught yourself off guard with a thought? Especially nowadays? I occasionally dream about the simpler times, the times where all I had to worry about was loved ones, my career and having fun. The times before I decided to set foot in Tahrir on 25/1/2011, which is also the time when Mubarak was still in power. The sheer hideousness of the idea of Mubarak coming back to power makes me push the thought away, violently heaving that thought into the dark corner of my mind alongside all the other ugly thoughts. I would gladly take today’s disarray over the Mubarakites returning to power, but then again, I completely empathize with those who’d love to take back the simple pleasures of their life. You can’t expect everybody to have the same priorities you do, so belittling someone’s “simple” desires just because they had the balls to actually express them is not only impossible, but very dictatorial. Your grand cause could be Jan 25, while someone else’s could be a cold drink in a downtown bar.
This brings me to another, very important point.
Now apply this to the poor who’ve lost jobs during the revolution and the rich who’ve lost a considerable portion of their freedoms. In the latter case, electoral bribes start making more sense and in the former case, extreme Islamophobia also starts making sense.
Who is without sin?
Being so inexperienced when it comes to discussing public topics, the so-called elite/educated sector of this society has developed the most repulsive judgmental attitude ever. Make no mistake; I as well have had my share of repressed and expressed judgmental thoughts. In fact, I have lost friends and vehemently fought with best friends over the elections, simply because disagreement turned into a nasty judgment exchange battle. It also kind of explains why those we refer to as “felool” hate the word so much; it’s a word initially used by media to describe the actual remnants of the ousted government, but we so casually use it to describe he/she who makes a decision we deem as “non-revolutionary”. So regardless of whether or not the elections were rigged, the numbers that voted for Shafiq out of pure disdain for the revolution wasn’t a surprise to me.
My mother baffles me. Even though I have kept my cool throughout the majority of the electoral nightmare, my mother never doubted that things would turn up in the revolution’s favor. She was proven wrong time and again, yet still constantly retained a confident reassuring tone. In fact, she’s still as hopeful and sure as she was 10 days ago! If there’s anything that actually kept me from leaping off Moqattam, it’s her.
A person I know works for Amn Watany (the ex Amn Dawla) and, needless to mention, his choice when the initial indicators started popping up was Shafiq. Ever since the revolution, this dude and I never stopped bitterly bickering, so 50% of the reason why I was so upset about this whole Morsy/Shafiq fiasco was because he’ll get to gloat in my face like never before. He’ll have his long-awaited revenge. I actually spent an entire day thinking of my rebuttals to his expected victory dance.
Peer pressure This one might be exclusive to those who dwell on Twitter on Facebook more than they should. Aside from being a breeding ground for suicidal thoughts, social media has become a place where the undecided come to get bullied. The endless hordes of self-righteous, pseudo-intelligent preachers out there have nothing to do but show others what a dumbass choice they’re making. And trust me, there’s a freaking preacher for every camp. If you’re boycotting, you’re a dumbass, if you’re voting for that person, you’re a dumbass, if you’re voting for this person, you’re a dumbass. So it’s only natural for someone with minimal political background to get swayed according to peer pressure and bullying. And these bullies shall find no shame in scaring the hell out of you so you can vote for their candidate of choice. Like I said, this takes place mainly on social media where people interact more candidly and heavily, but that doesn’t meant that it doesn’t happen offline. As a matter of fact, I’ve witnessed an intelligent self-righteous
But here’s, the thing: there were numerous times where I questioned my judgment entirely because I was unsure whether I was holding on to realistic hope or simply delusional and in denial. I never got an answer to that question, because I made my up my mind on that matter: I’d gladly be in denial if that meant I can keep fighting for what I believe in, because losing hope eventually ends up killing whatever passion you hold for the fight.
Leaving the country I’m honestly sick and tired of Canada; it has become the most recurring online topic/joke. Before this mess started I always said that I’d pack my sh*t up and get the hell out of the country if the runoffs were between the two dimwits, Shafiq and Morsi. But now that it’s a reality, I really have no intention of leaving until I actually get rewarded for what I’ve been working for throughout the past 16 months. That’s when I actually discovered how someone’s belief for a cause gets tested; when would you abandon your cause, if ever? In short, Shafiq and Morsi, come at me.
Mental rape That’s exactly what the now feels like; mental rape. Being put between the anvil of one evil and the hammer of the other has brought out the worst in most of us (on different scales of course), and that’s why this depression is a mass phenomenon, because it never was political; it was always about our year-and-a-half old hopes, fears and expectations that were always simmering under the surface, desperately waiting for some form of release. So regardless of where you stand regarding the revolution, we’re all in the mental state together and we’re definitely all heading in one direction, and one direction only. I have only one piece of advice: have faith and let others be.
How to Smile When Sh*t Hits the Fan By Leila Tapozada “Eih el akhbar?” “3ayez amoot.” A dark gloom has settled over Egypt. (Uh, besides our usual gray cloud of pollution, that is). Ever since the elections, people have been depressed, angry, disbelieving, disappointed, agitated and combative. And I can understand why – hopes are slashed, dreams trampled on; people see the revolution as being raped and ravaged, and everything accomplished in the past year and a half rendered null and void, now that we’re being handed over to another Mubarakite or to the ‘tender mercies’ of the Ikhwan. I myself contemplated drowning myself in the shower when I thought about the ramifications of living in a country run by an Islamist president and parliament. But then I decided to snap out of it. I mean, a melodramatic suicide in the shower wasn’t helping anyone, especially myself. And plus I wasn’t even that type of person, the kind of person who gets all depressed and emo about things totally out of their control. For example: the weekend right after the voting and when the polls started showing what direction the results were heading, my friends and I headed to Ain el Sokhna. Ya lahwey 3ala kemayet booz el ekhs that I encountered there. Each of my friends was sitting on the beach, staring moodily into the distance or scrolling through their Twitter timeline while using language that I can’t repeat here. I was the idiot bobbing in the water with my drink, getting happily buzzed (and unhappily burned). When they accused me of not caring about the results, I countered that I did care – I just didn’t have to wallow in despair and hope for a shark to come and take me out of my misery.
Depressed dogs CAN learn new tricks I know that being able to compartmentalize something that’s bothering you, whether of insignificant or epic proportions isn’t something easy to do. But it is possible. And it’s not just so you’re less obnoxious to others (although that’s always a plus), it’s so you don’t taint so many of your days with unhappiness. I’m not going to offer the lame cliché of “happiness is a choice”, but rather a trick that you can train your brain to do.
• Sum it up in your head. Lots of times we’re upset by a chain of events, and we either don’t try to make sense of it and end up feeling like crap, or we analyze and over-think it to death and… still end up feeling like crap. The key is breaking it down to yourself first: Question 1: OK. What just happened? Answer: The country is f*cked. Question 2: Is there anything that I myself, at this moment, can do about it? Answer: No. And it’s really as simple as that. When you realize there is nothing at this particular moment you can do about something, you just have to admit it to yourself and try not to dwell about it, whether it be the country going to hell,
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or a breakup or a nightmare boss. Try not to over-think it; over-thinking is the devil. You clearly know what you’re upset about, and you clearly know there isn’t anything you can do about it. You just need to try not to think about. And how so? Next step:
• Distract yourself. Tried and true, people. It doesn’t matter what crisis you’re going through; one of the few ways to not sit and cry your little heart out is by turning your attention to other stuff. Bury yourself in work during the day, do things you actually enjoy at nights and on weekends, exercise so you don’t add a kersh to your list of woes. When you’re depressed your first inclination is to take wad3 el gossa on your couch or bed, but you have to trick yourself by going out and acting like a happy person. Pushing yourself to do it will feel like cruel and unusual torture at first, but then you’ll get into it.
• Indulge like a mofo. Everyone has those guilty pleasures that make them happy, whether it be eating a family-sized pizza from Papa John’s by yourself, playing SkyRim for 14 hours straight or watching The Notebook for the millionth time and crying like you just got a terminal illness. Obviously you wouldn’t want to do these things daily for the rest of your life, but there’s nothing wrong in a little pickme-up now and then (oh go ahead and order five scoops of ice cream, if the Islamists take over you’ll have an abaya to cover that ass!). The whole point in guilty pleasures is that you don’t indulge in them often, so do whatever it takes to make you feel better for those first few suicidal days.
• Avoid Twitter and Facebook like the plague. What I find hilarious is that Twitter and Facebook is just one huge group of idiots (myself included), who get off on spewing their opinions and calling other people idiots. But unfortunately, very few people see the humor in that, they’re all too busy defriending and unfollowing and attacking and defending and posting and sharing and writing hysterical statuses and tweets to see ANY humor in ANYTHING. In real life, you can avoid people whose opinions make you want to punch them repeatedly in the face. On Twitter and FB, they’re shoved under your nose all the live-long day. And if 7ar2 el dam wasn’t enough, both social media platforms act like that messenger of bad news that you want to shoot but can’t. It’s really quite disturbing to see grown people break down in despair in the face of a Twitter timeline. So just check out for a bit until your own mental health is under control.
• Misery may love company, bas meen mostafeed? It might seem at first like you would want to sit with like-minded people and have a communal bitch-fest about your issues. This may be somewhat cathartic and therapeutic at first, but by the third or fourth time you’re basically just beating a dead horse. It’s hard to move past something when there’s someone around who’s going to keep bringing it up time and time again. Avoid your monhareen friends until they’re stable again and chill with people who won’t talk about whatever is troubling you.
• Brush the dust off your sense of humor. You may feel that certain situations have nary a thing funny about them and that it’s actually crass and offensive to make jokes or find anything to laugh about. Uh, no. If it wasn’t for humor or laughing in general, we would all find the nearest microbus to throw ourselves in front of. Just because a situation is serious doesn’t mean you have to be 100% serious about it; that’s how you cross over to the Dark Side. The point of all this is simple – just because things suck monkey balls, there’s no reason to derail your life and cry for days. If you train yourself and your emo brain to do the above tricks, you’ll find yourself feeling sinking down into depression a bit but then shaking it off and bobbing back to the surface. Because let’s face it, things in the country are probably going to get worse before they get better… but that doesn’t mean your life has to get worse as well.
Nokia to Begin Rolling out the Award-Winning Nokia 808 PureView in Egypt Nokia announced the launch of the new award winning Nokia 808 PureView in Egypt as of June, 2012. Since its global launch in February, the Nokia 808 PureView has received multiple awards, including Best Mobile Device at Mobile World Congress 2012, as well as an award for Best Imaging Innovation for 2012 from the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA).
In addition to advanced still imaging technology, the Nokia 808 PureView also includes full HD 1080p video recording and playback with 4X lossless zoom and the world’s first use of Nokia Rich Recording. Rich recording enables audio recording at CD-like levels of quality, previously only possible with external microphones. The Nokia 808 PureView also features exclusive Dolby Headphone technology, transforming stereo content into a personal surround sound experience over any headphones and Dolby Digital Plus for 5.1 channel surround sound playback. As part of the Egypt consumer sneak peak event that took place in Cairo, amazing pictures taken by the Nokia 808 Pureview were displayed in a photo gallery around the venue. Bosaina El Kahal, Egyptian photographer and Director of Fashion Studio, also showcased wonderful pictures taken around Cairo with the device. One of the most special attributes of the device is the Carl Zeiss optics, which are incorporated within the device. These optics were a result of an exclusive partnership between Nokia and Carl Zeiss, which has now been extended. The ongoing exclusive partnership between them means that Nokia is the only phone manufacturer who can use Zeiss approved optics in its devices. All Nokia camera phones that carry the Carl Zeiss brand, including the Nokia 808 PureView, have fulfilled Zeiss’s industry-leading standards in optics and imaging quality.
TEATRO ESKENDRIA: A new art and culture space in Alexandria
NEW AIRFRYER: THE BEST TASTING FRIES - WITHOUT THE FATS! The new Philips AirFryer is a revolution in home cooking that allows you to create simple, healthy, tasty meals fast, using no oil. AirFryer’s secret is its patented Rapid Air Technology which combines fast-circulating hot air with a grill, which heats up the ingredients in the basket from all sides at once, making it a healthy, fast and easy method to prepare tasty food. It creates fries with up to 80% less fat - which still have superior taste. AirFryer cooks and crisps a variety of foods and snacks from best tasting fries to chicken nuggets, meat, samosas, kebbeh, falafel and many more. The AirFryer requires no heat up time, so busy parents can quickly and easily prepare a batch of best tasting fries in just 12 minutes. In addition, the revolutionary AirFryer overcomes the odor that traditional frying creates. Because it uses hot air rather than oil to fry food, it emits fewer vapors, with the Integrated Air Filter diffusing any smells. Clearing up after cooking with AirFryer is also simple thanks to removable, dishwasher-safe parts and non-stick surfaces that can be easily cleaned. Key features include: Patented Rapid Air technology – combines hot air with grill component to fry food In-built Timer – lets you pre-set cooking times of up to 30 mins Adjustable Temperature Control – cooks food at steady rate up to 200°C Food Separator Accessory – lets you fry multiple foods at once Integrated Air Filter – diffuses odors
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“TEATRO ESKENDRIA”, Alexandria’s latest art and culture space has held its primary opening on May, 11th. The space is financed by Dr. Mahmoud Aboudoma, the renowned writer and theater director, in addition to a contribution made by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Egypt and the Culture Resource (Al Mawred Al Thaqafy). The 320-square meter, Italian architecture style building dates way back to 1923 in the historic Down Town area. The center offers an extensive variety of cultural activities and services to the Egyptian and the International community such as artistic performances, training courses for the creative sectors, dialogue and debate programs, Children programs as well as a cultural café that will surely become a dynamic social meeting point. The opening ceremony was attended by cultural and developmental foundations in Egypt, among which are the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Egypt, the French Consulate in Alexandria, the Goethe Institute, the Anna Lindh Foundation in Alexandria, the Swedish Institute in Alexandria and the French Institute in Alexandria, in addition to celebrities and fans and supporters of art and culture in Egypt. “TEATRO ESKENDRIA” aims to promote the values of freedom of expression, liberalism, critical thinking and the active contribution to modern culture. It also seeks to optimize the potentials and capabilities of middle-class talents as well as encourage positive change that would influence the community and create space for new and non-traditional cultural events. “TEATRO ESKENDRIA” will officially launch its services on the 15th of June 2012.
السادة الصيادلة، تعلـن شركـة جالكسـو سميثكـالين كونسيومر هيـلث كـير المحـدودة عن تـوافـر مستحضـري بـانـادول وبـانـادول اكسـترا لدى شركـات التوزيع الكبرى.
تصنيع شركـة اإلسكندريـة لألدويــة والصنـاعــات الكيماويــة بتصريح من شركـة جالكسـو سميثكـالين كونسيـومـر هيلث كـير المحـدودة ،ايـرلنـدا. PANADOL is a registered trade mark of the GlaxoSmithKline Group of Companies. For full prescribing information please write to GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, PO Box 23816, Dubai, UAE.
7/20/11 3:19 PM
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] UNDERSCORE ]
The Extremists’ Guide into “Our” Sinful Culture
20 JUNE 2012 CAMPUS
By May Kamel
DEAR EXTREMISTS, IT IS WITH A SMIRK THAT I EXPRESS MY UTTER DISSATISFACTION WITH YOUR PERFORMANCE. I MEAN, THIS WHOLE BLUE MOVIES BAN, FOLLOWED BY THE ADEL IMAM FIASCO STIRRED THE INTENDED BUZZ AND PASSED, BUT RIGHT NOW, I THINK THAT YOU MIGHT NEED TO REASSESS WHERE YOU STAND. ADEL IMAM IS STILL ONE PERSON, YOU KNOW. AND WE ARE BUT SINNERS; WE STRIVE ON MOVIES, MUSIC AND BOOKS. The foundation of my disappointment is not you banning art, absolutely. It is, rather, you doing it with your common mediocrity. Once again, this is a field where you do not do your task as it should be. But given your history of failures, and building on your patchy performance we experience at the present time, I decided to reach out to you and help you sue the living 7agat out of us, el 3almaneyeen.
وليمه ألعشاب البحر – This book, written by Syrian novelist Haidar Haidar in 1983, was banned by Al Azhar for “offending Islam” after being republished in 2000. Don’t breathe out just yet; many friends have copies of it. Warahom! اوالد حارتنا – That one is the quintessential example ba2a. We all know the details. Let’s just dig out Nagib Mahfouz (may his soul RIP) and settle this once and for all. شيكاجو – With the excessively unnecessary sex detailed talk, demeaning comments about hijab and excuses for consuming alcohol by a Muslim, this one should be a feast to your senses. بيضة النعامة – When Raouf Mosaad wrote this thought-to-be autobiography, I’m quite sure he had no idea Islamists will rule one day… Maybe he would’ve wanted to tone down all the fetishism and sadomasochism walla 7aga. Eh, now you know.
It is out of condemnation of mediocrity that I help you guys round up the offenses in artistic material that, according to your “capacity”, stands as a threat to Islam. Before proceeding, let me assure you that this gesture is loaded with nothing but the willingness to help; mosharka, la moghalba.
ألف ليلة و ليلة – In 2010, some Islamist lawyers requested the ban of the seven-centuries-old book, claiming it carries a sexual undertone that promotes debauchery and offends religions. While we’re at it, why don’t you guys attack the TV remake of the book?
And now, (ladies) and gents - not sure if ladies can take part in this or not – I present to you…
Under the Category of MUSIC …
Under the Category of MOVIES
مدد يا رسول اهلل – How come you guys let such things slide? I mean, take Mohamed Mounir to court immediately!
عمارة يعقوبيان – Not only does this film star Adel Imam as a main character, discusses gay relationships, sex outside marriage and booze, it also shows a conservative young Muslim with a beard and a galabeya and belonging to “El Gama3a”, a role played by Mohamed Adel Imam! *hint hint* And it doesn’t stop here. It also discusses how members of the former “ma7zoora” are finding their way to the parliament using all possible means… ALL, ha. Harassment, poverty, demolished morals and forced abortion are other topics discussed by the movie, but who cares! Eih el wadahom henak aslan! بحب السيما – When this movie was first released, hell broke loose, especially at the Egyptian Church. How come you guys don’t have a say here? I mean, it’s a movie about Christians… did they pay their “gezya” aslan to begin with? (am I doing this whole super extremist mental capacity thing right?) المهاجر – You guys previously deemed this movie a complete sin, claiming that it tells the story of Prophet Youssuf (PBUH). It was long ago, but you can always play this card if you run out of things to ban. It’s a classic. المصير – Youssuf Chahin again! Dig the guy out of his grave already! According to Dr. Hossam Abou El Bokhary, whose job title I cannot translate nor understand, Ibn Roshd would have never allowed his wife to show that much cleavage in front of his students. And who knows Ibn Roshd better than Dr. Bokhary, right? دكان شحاتة – Haifa Wehbe and niqab don’t go together, let alone what she was wearing it for. Also many people saw direct and indirect implications that were offensive to Islam in her dialogue. ويجا – Again, Menna Shalaby using niqab to sneak into her boyfriend’s place without people recognizing her. (Also look into the fact that Khaled Youssuf might have a niqab fetish) كراكون في الشارع – You missed that one in your latest case against Adel Imam. Why did he specifically choose a supposedly devout Muslim to be the fraudulent guy who stole their money? السقا مات – I came across this movie a couple of days ago and I heard Farid Shawky telling Ezzat El Alayly “”املوت جبان عشان بييجي من غير ميعاد. What are you waiting for? Red-handed aho. Under the Category of LITERATURE…
لست قلبي – Abdel Halim Hafez might have passed away, but radio stations are dedicated to his songs… قدر احمق اخلطي he said. Show him who is a7maq. السالم عليكو- I remember some Sheikhs declaring the “es…e e esss” haram. Whatever happened to that? Perseverance, or people will take you lightly. Mashrou’ Leila –They sing about a girl who looks like a guy… Sue them and sue the girl ba2a! Not Egyptian? Well, wait till they are in Egypt and attack… العبد و الشيطان – Leeko fel sha3by? This one is a great back up as well for when you have run out of excuses. It’s mostly a summary of the basic sins.
To save time and paper, and to be more conclusive, immediate bans need to be issued against anything that directly or indirectly, closely or remotely relates to or implies the following: Love, hate, relationships, Islam, other Abrahamic religions (because they are not Islam), female singers (3awra), models, actresses… Should anyone wonder about the status of movies like Share3 El Haram, Ana Badee3 Ya Wadee3, Kabareih, 7een Maysara or even 2eshr El Bondo2, rest assured. They discuss other problems that are of no interests to these guys so far. Poverty, drug use, child labor, sexual harassment, money laundry, misleading the masses and abusing power, all of these do not jeopardize the image of extremists. As long as it steers clear from beards, galaleeb, zebeebet sala and niqab, it’s safe. Inshalla ye2la3o malt.
Phew, that was one arduous walk in your shoes, you extremists, you. I’m getting my mind out of the gutter; I give up. I’m not quite sure how you do it, but now that you’ve been warned, kindly proceed with your own list. Because who needs to think on his/her own when others can dictate their every thought? Who needs to be creative and put forward his point of view? Who needs to put his/her set of beliefs to test? Why bother to refute in the form of an equally creative movie or book or song that showcases your point of view and leave the final judgment to the people? I have this one last favor to ask, though. What exactly are we going to be held accountable for in the afterlife? I’m not buying into this.
Mind our minds… ?افال تتفكرون
How They Win By Hana El Hattab
CE AS ERIEN ND P X E YDAY HERSELF A IFE. I EVER Y YL BY M T OU HING R EVERYDA T, THE B T A Y R G E N E V EE WRITI D DOES E HINDER H , THE STR ESS, AND Y L E R N S R E T PL A IBIT O E PROTES TELY HEL AM M YWHERE I H . N T I N R U N E L E E TH ASSM WOM ES EV OAD, LING ABSO L HAR T, WHO GO TOWARDS ING THE R E A E U F X N SE RAV GYP ELF’S VIOR ICLE O N CAIRO, E ALE BEHA PAY, FOR B EMINIST S T R A I F RM CE I OUT MY NG T AN Y PRI N LIVI ENT O IS NO THIS LE WOMA HARASSM THE HEAV RITING AB A VICTIM. G T A SIN ES TO LET ING ABOU MERELY W, AND I AM S T I U A ANA .I M WR REF RELY Y MYSELF NAME IS H E M Y ,B AM ES: M , ETC. SIT-IN . HERE GO ID AFRA
22 JUNE 2012 CAMPUS
When I lived in the US, between 2006 and June of 2011, I used to dream about the day I would move back to Egypt so that I can yell and shame every man that sexually harasses me on the street. I thought it would feel empowering. I was wrong. Not only is it extremely draining and tedious, quite often it takes a very scary turn. I am sure this is not news to anyone, but lots of sexual harassers thrive on getting a rise out of their prey. And with that, here are some of my experiences, giving men the satisfaction of getting a rise out of me, and how they react to my rise, and end up scaring the sh*t out of me:
and then the car drove away. The car had 4 or 5 guys in it, I could hear their laughter from where I was, as the car drove away. I continued walking, feeling disgusted and appalled, (I mean how much can a person take?) when the car appeared again, and one of the guys in the car said that it was obvious that I wanted to get groped again. Yeah, that felt awful too…
Sure, there were many situations when I was followed around, hit-on aggressively, etc. when I was participating in a sit-in. The one I will talk about however happened That Road when I was on my way, going to a sit-in. As a result of the ridiculous walls that ridiculous SCAF has decided Every day and every night, my mother looks at me with to erect all around downtown, one had to walk about terror and anxiety in her eyes, telling me ‘khali balak 10-15 minutes all around downtown in order to reach the men nafsik winabi ya benti,’ before I leave the house, Ultras sit-in. I was walking there at around 8 pm, crossing and my response is always ‘Mami haye7sali eh ya3ni? a ton of soldiers/amn markazy when a large group of Mate2la2eesh.’ But reality is, I’m wrong and she’s right, men started being really obscene and one of them said she should be worried. I am told to not dress like ‘that’ ‘I love this revolution, it brings us such ‘hareem’ that we when I am driving alone (which is always), and I argue that can enjoy,’ to which I responded with ‘balash elit adab, I am not going to let people/men being idiots affect my who do you think you are, what gives you the right to choices. Needless to say, the driver-to-driver harassment is talk to me or any other girl this way?’ He said ‘I have this rampant. One time while in stagnant 6th of October bridge right because I am a revolutionary!’ and then he came traffic, I was texting on my phone (traffic was at a complete very close and started dancing around me, saying ‘and standstill.) The driver in the car next to me, a 4x4 Jeep, said what gives me this right is what you are wearing, you are “I hope this phone falls fil dawasa, so that you bend down wearing that and you’re talking to me about elit el adab?” to get it, and I drive into you, both with the car and under (Not that it makes a difference, but I was wearing jeans, your skirt.’ I yelled at him saying ‘balash elit adab w 2araf,’ a t-shirt and sneakers). He was dancing close, I tried not which he responded to with ‘ba2a keda?’ and then he to show it, but I was terrified. I was appalled that this was followed me to my house, which took over an hour (thanks all happening in front of at least 25 soldiers, who did not to our great Cairo traffic), making obscene comments the lift a finger, or utter a word. I could only yell at them, for whole time. There was nothing I could do, and it felt awful. not being of any assistance, and for not capturing those monstrous predators there and then, and they said “well, That Protest when we shoot, you people get angry.” (Wow, our soldiers obviously do not have a clear understanding of things). I moved back to Egypt on July 5th. July 8th was a big I walked on, for about another 8 minutes, by myself in million man march, and the beginning of the July 8th sit-in. the deserted streets, terrified. These guys could jump at That Friday was my first ever protest in Egypt, so I dressed me out of nowhere, and I knew I could be raped at any appropriately and took to the streets with immeasurable second, and there would be absolutely nothing I could do excitement. Given that I moved back to Egypt for the about it, again. The fear and helplessness, felt awful. revolution, I thought nothing could taint my first experience in a protest, until a guy came up to me with his three The worst thing that I face, as a woman who refuses to friends, and asked me if ‘what I was wearing under my top’ let such actions hinder or inhibit her in anyway, is feeling is black or white, since he much preferred white bras, as helpless. I am a feminist, and I am a victim; they are not opposed to black ones. I first yelled at him and said that I mutually exclusive. I know for a fact, yelling back or even would scream if he utters another word, which made him screaming at harassers is effective, some do actually and his friends laugh very loudly, declaring that I am crazy, apologize when shamed, but I also know that nothing will but a ‘mozza’, and that a crazy-mozza combination would stop these men, except actual punishment, which gunbe great in the bedroom. I pulled out my pepper spray and less (our law enforcement isn’t great either), I am unable sprayed it, but I was too far for it to reach their monstrous to provide. I am a woman who never uses the metro, faces. The day continued along the same lines, I got microbuses, buses and I rarely use taxis, and I face this groped, several times, one of which was actually from the much harassment, and I can imagine very vividly what the front of my jeans (I did not know that was even possible), women who do use the above face on a daily basis, and and another of which was by a 12-year-old that I actually would assume I would have to multiply my experiences caught and yelled at, but could do nothing else in my by a hundred. I am not sure what I am advocating, given anxious state. I was scared and felt very vulnerable to any that using guns to kill harassers right there and then would attack; once again, even with my knife and pepper spray, not really work. I do know however that punishment is the there was nothing I could do, and it felt awful. only way to stop this monstrosity. That Street I do not pray often, but I pray that the day comes when I feel safe walking the streets of Egypt. I walk them now There is no ‘that street’ story, just because there are anyway, but I feel weak, vulnerable and helpless doing it, countless street stories. They all revolve around the same and it feels awful; a heavy price to pay for just walking in thing; being verbally and quite often physically assaulted by the street. men, so quickly, that I never have the time to do anything. Forget the catcalls, and the comments (some of which are so absurd; I was once told that I am very attractive, but would be much more attractive if I lost some weight, and then he would do me, great.) My ‘street story’, which is by no means special or one of a kind went as follows. I was walking home, and turning at a corner when a man’s hand came out of a car window, groped me (it was very painful),
The (Literal) Death of Free Speech:
The Murder of Farag Foda By Youssef Saad Eldin THIS MONTH MARKS THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF FARAG FODA; A PROMINENT EGYPTIAN INTELLECTUAL, POLITICIAN AND WRITER THROUGHOUT THE 80S AND EARLY 90S. 24 JUNE 2012 CAMPUS
Foda was best known for his sharp and harsh criticism towards the wave of Islamism that struck Egypt in the past few decades. His debate with the late Sheikh Mohamed El Ghazaly, a well-known Islamist scholar, where Foda defended the establishment of a secular Egypt, is believed to be one of the reasons that got Foda eventually assassinated! Before his assassination, Foda was in the process of establishing the “Future Party” to counter the influence of religious extremism in the 1990s. Foda’s death wasn’t only tragic due to the circumstances that surrounded his assassination. But also because his presence with us today could’ve had an impact on the direction in which things are going, especially when it comes to the very distinctive approach he had during such a “radical” time. A better understanding of Foda’s approach and the surroundings of the time he lived in should make this a bit clearer.
Good old times? Think again During the 90s, things were a bit different. That decade witnessed a series of terrorist attacks by armed Islamic militants and dozens of journalists and intellectuals constantly received death threats. Not to mention the attacks on tourists and governmental institutions (movies like El Erhab Wel Kabab weren’t purely fiction). It is also noteworthy that Naguib Mahfouz survived an assassination attempt carried out by an Islamist extremist in 1994. In the early 90s, Farag Foda was declared an apostate by Al Azhar Scholars Front, a group of scholars whom were expelled from Al Azhar. And on the 8th of June 1992, Foda was shot dead outside his office by two Islamists who were given the order by a leading member of Al Jama’a Al Islameya. On a side note and for the record, Sheikh Ghazaly - who’s being quoted on social media as an example of moderate Islam - is the same Sheikh Ghazaly who debated Foda. Ghazaly also testified on behalf of one of Foda’s assassins during his trial claiming that Foda was an apostate and that the assassins had the right to kill him, seeing that the state failed to do so. Obviously, Foda is not the only victim of Islamic extremism nor is he the first or last person to die for this cause. So, what makes him so special?
“Courage doesn’t always roar”… but Foda did!
Following the Mubaraks’ ousting in February 2011, the influence of Islamists became very clearly demonstrated and while Egypt becoming an Islamic state became a mere possibility to some, it seemed like an inevitable fate to others. Since then, several intellectuals, such as Amr Hamzawy, embarked on the mission of advocating the establishment of a secular post-Mubarak Egypt. I’ve noticed that whenever it comes to arguing against the transformation of Egypt into an Islamic state, most liberal intellectuals rely on logic based on the liberal values they embrace. One of the key values they use as a stronghold against the establishment of an Islamic Egypt is equality; gender-related, religious or racial. The problem is that this proved to be of utmost futility; it’s like trying to convince an atheist to embrace Islam by simply reciting a verse of the Quran. Atheists do not believe in the holiness and divinity of Quran, therefore nothing in it is of any credibility to them. The same would apply when you talk to an Islamist about indiscrimination; while liberals, such as Hamzawy, consider the UNDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights) as an established framework to how things should be, it remains utterly worthless to an Islamist. An Islamist believes in Sharia’ and Sharia’ only, so if any article in the UNDHR contradicts with Sharia’ (and some actually do), the UNDHR goes out the window.
The ugly truth Every day we step more into this “Islamist’s mess”, the need of a figure like Foda becomes more persistent. As time goes by, Islamists gain more legitimacy and power, while liberals run out of arguments and whatever power they possess. And if things aren’t bad enough for liberal intellectuals, get this: since we live in a state of law (relatively speaking of course), the death of Foda was considered a murder. But if we live in an Islamic state, liberal intellectuals may very well share Foda’s fate. The only difference is that it will be performed by the state and within a legal framework under the umbrella of Sharia’. That’s of course their interpretation of Sharia’! Bottom line is: as long as liberals use logic that is derived from fundamental values that the Islamists (as well as the masses) do not necessarily acknowledge, the debate will just go on. And make no mistake, time is not on the liberals’ side; if things keep going the way they are, the battle will eventually be lost.
As explained, at the time, intellectuals had a very rational fear for their lives; being gunned down wasn’t that unlikely. Foda, on the other hand, courageously and bluntly accused Islamist fundamentalists of manipulating religion and facts to achieve personal gains. As a matter of fact, the man never held back when it came to Islamist extremists. Keep in mind that this is something that you may very well say among your friends, but most politicians lacked the guts to say publicly back then. In addition to that, in his books Foda didn’t simply build his arguments on a theoretical basis, but also used examples. His expansion on the “authoritarian” rule of the Caliphates centuries ago in The Absent Virtue, and his depiction of what he called “the disastrous consequences” of implementing Sharia’ in Sudan in Before the Fall are prime examples. Furthermore, Foda didn’t simply argue that some interpretations of Sharia’ violated human rights. Instead, he cited sources that provided different interpretations, making the credibility of the first interpretation questionable. That way, Foda fought fire with fire, instead of relying on abstract principles. Some claim that Foda’s demise was not simply a consequence of his opinions, but because of the extremists’ inability to counter his reasoning, making his elimination their only choice. In a nutshell, Farag Foda to the Islamists was like Alaa El Aswany to Ahmed Shafiq!
Liberals these days… Foda, like most liberal intellectuals, argued that only a civil state would truly guarantee freedom of religion, but one can’t help but notice that the methodology he adopted was quite different from the one being adopted now.
the mofti behind enemy lines By Sherif Elmashad THIS IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE HARDEST TOPICS TO WRITE ABOUT IN ENGLISH. IF YOU’RE INTERESTED TO KNOW WHY, KEEP READING. IF NOT, PLEASE SKIP TO THE PARAGRAPH AFTER NEXT.
26 JUNE 2012 CAMPUS
I was raised in an Islamic school. One of those schools where you’re taught all about Sunnah since you’re a kid. Each class was divided into different teams, each named after one of the Sahabah (Prophet Muhammad’s companions). And all through this Islamic upbringing, one of the main causes every teacher insisted on implanting in us, was Palestine. To us, as kids, Palestine was all about history. We read Palestine in an Islamic/Jewish alphabet. A history of “who lived here first and for how long?” and a futuristic Armageddon in which all the knots are tied. We were fed the idea of growing up to be the generation that will free Palestine. And thus, as a kid, I could only see Palestine as a prophecy, the greatest accomplishment my generation can do. Then came a turning point on the 30th of September, 2010. An almost minute long video, of a father shielding his son from bullets shot by Israeli soldiers, and then the kid dies in the arms of his own father. Mohammed Eldurra was killed. Someone who could easily by my brother or neighbor, who did absolutely nothing, was shot just because the Israeli soldiers can do it and escape any kind of punishment. It was one of the first times I ever recognize that Palestine doesn’t belong to old history or future prophecies, Palestine is a living cause. An ongoing tragedy of a nation. I then started meeting the living Palestine. The one found in the writings of Mourid Elbarghouthy, and his son Tamim Elbarghouthy. The one in the novels of Elias Khoury. The everlasting beauty in Mahmoud Darwich’s poems. The Palestine that gets bombed day and night. I started understanding the state of Israel that Dr. Abdulwahab Elmseery talks about. Terms of “transfer, apartheid, and the Jewish identity crisis” started being regular guests in my world. My hatred for Israel increased. Why such a long introduction? If you want to know the very short version, please skip to the last phrase in this article. If however, you’re interested in the longer version, keep on reading. In August, 2011, thousands of Egyptians surrounded the Israeli embassy in Cairo, demanding the departure of the Israeli ambassador and the cease of the gas supply to Israel among other demands. And, for the first time ever, a brave Egyptian citizen, climbed all the way up to the Israeli embassy and took down the Israeli flag. And for the first time since 1973, almost everyone saw clearly that the attitude between both states had to change. For the first time since war, the people’s own voice of refusing any signs of normalization of relations between both states had the upper hand. This went along with the 14 times the gas pipeline between Egypt and Israel made people instantaneously demand the removal of the siege around Gaza. Palestine was back on Egypt’s agenda, with people clearly showing in the streets, that this time, Egypt was not on the Israeli/ American side. Yet, surprisingly, on the 18th of April, 2012, Egyptians were shocked to see their Mofti, the highest high-ranking official Islamic figure in the state, walking freely in Jerusalem. Out of nowhere, and without any prior notifications, he was praying in Masjid Alburaq near Alaqsa. And just like that, me, among so many others I personally know, felt as if everything that was done regarding the Israeli incident was being erased in vain. Here we have, a state official, who is willingly visiting occupied Palestine, under the full supervision of Israeli forces, and then claiming he’s just doing this, on a very personal non-official basis, in support of Palestinians who live in Jerusalem and in a quest to stop the Jewishnization of Jerusalem. And though I’ve always wished to visit Palestine, I was up in rage refusing such a visit. How does one visit a place where its true owners are prohibited from entering it? How can an Egyptian walk proudly into a land that has been taken for 64 years now, while the true owner of this land is watching with despair behind an actual wall with a key in his hand. A key to a home that’s been passed on from generations to generation just to keep the memory of a land and a house that were taken by force alive in the minds of the new generations. How can you, Sheikh Ali, accept entering Jerusalem under Jordanian authority –in compliance with the Israeli authorities- when thousands of Palestinians wait by hours at Kalandia check point in the hope that maybe today, just maybe, a teenage Israeli soldier who’s probably from Europe will allow them into Jerusalem? Why Sheikh Ali, couldn’t you be like Pope Shenouda who had a clear stand on entering Palestine? And it wasn’t just entering, he prevented Christians from doing pilgrimage to Palestine unless it was free and all Arabs of all different backgrounds were allowed in. How can you defend
yourself and this visit saying it was a long-waited for dream? Do you have any idea how many generations had such a dream and refused to fulfill it willingly? Can’t you understand, and you hold such a prestigious position, that the strongest weapon we have against Israel is the popular refusal to recognize Israel’s own existence? That it’s not the state of Israel, but rather the Israeli/Zionist occupation? How exactly did you think your visit will awaken the Palestinian “cause” in the minds of people? Actually, how exactly do you think, that encouraging Arabs to go and visit Palestine will help solve anything? How will popular recognition of an occupying state that’s been our enemy bring all the rights back? How will normalizing the relations with the Israeli visas on our passports help keep the cause alive? How will in 20 or 30 years of now, the youth of all Arabs realize the truth of the Arab/Israeli conflict, if they’re used to visiting and dealing with Israelis as if it was just a regular trip to Egypt or Lebanon? How will my own kids go to the Israeli embassy to get their visas, when their own father and a lot of people once chanted for the removal of this embassy from Egypt? And how exactly could this be an “on a personal level” visit, Sheikh Ali? I don’t recall you resigning from your post before going there, and until you do, every single newspaper’s headline will read “The Egyptian mufti has visited Jerusalem today”. Why Sheikh Ali, why did you do it? Why go against what the people clearly chanted? Do you think we wanted the ambassador to be deported, so that we’ll replace him with a visit from our side? Why didn’t you come out and apologize for that? Yes, I’m a romantic when it comes to Palestine. Yes, for me, Palestine was the prophecy, then the emotional shock, then the place I knew from novels and poems. Yes, I can’t figure out a brilliant solution to solve the Palestinian tragedy, yet I can clearly see what isn’t a solution. Yes, I refuse to have a single word in Hebrew on my passport or a single Israeli official authorizing my entrance to Palestine. I’m a romantic who acknowledges the existence of the Israeli occupation, resulting in an Israeli state that’s bound to go away one way or the other. Yes, I refuse naturalizing relations with a state where more than a thousand prisoners had to go on a hunger strike so that they can negotiate a part of their rights. In short, as much as I’d love to visit Palestine and Jerusalem, I can’t set foot there until every Palestinian is allowed in, without a single restriction, with full rights, with no Israeli checkpoints, and with houses having their keys in locks for the first time since 1948. I’m not fulfilling a childhood dream, until the single dream of generations that have passed away comes true, a dream that’s named Palestine.
Reinventing Charity WHENEVER SOMEONE MENTIONS THE WORD CHARITY, YOU CAN’T HELP BUT THINK THAT IT’S SOMETHING GOOD AND POSITIVE. EVEN IF THE REASON BEHIND CHARITY IS NOT TO HELP OTHER PEOPLE, BUT TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF OR TO PROVE TO OTHERS THAT YOU ARE A GOOD PERSON, IT STILL IS A GOOD DEED. Don’t let the title deceive you; I’m not trying by any means to convince you that charity is bad; I’m just trying to point out that sustainable development is a better option. It comes down to a very simple point, charity is simply donating something to “the less fortunate”, but whatever it is that was donated, it will eventually be of no use. Money will be spent, clothes will grow old, food will run out. Sustainable development however depends on providing a steady income for the impoverished. It’s more of giving someone the momentum to move on their own. Charity, on the other hand, is placing someone in constant need for you to push them. Many Egyptian NGOs have taken the sustainable development approach, the most prominent of which is Alashanek Ya Balady Association for Sustainable Development (AYB-SD). AYB-SD believes in working on the roots of problems, and posing practical, socially innovative, and sustainable solutions for them. AYB-SD is not only concerned with training the unprivileged, but also making sure that they make use of their training in finding a source of sustainable income. Some of AYB-SD efforts include finding formal employment opportunities, micro and small loans as well as personal coaching, while striving to promote the idea of volunteerism in community development. Currently, AYB-SD’s main project is “Foq El Khat”, an initiative to empower 10 Million people to rise above the poverty line by 2020. Bear in mind that the poverty level in Egypt has increased during the past 20 years from 14% to over 40%. Most NGOs rely on contributions, donations and funding from international organizations and big businesses. But due to the current political and economic instability, many NGOs (including Alashanek Ya Balady) have been facing a hard time funding their projects. In fact, those NGO’s are now at risk of aborting their projects or even shutting down completely due to the lack of financial resources. However, several initiatives, such as AYB-SD’s “Help Us Help Others”, have been developed in order to overcome the current crisis. If you want to find out more about this initiative and how can you contribute, visit AYB-SD’s official Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/AYB.ASU.
28 JUNE 2012 CAMPUS
Make it Your Homepage
SECTION ] OPINIONATED ]
THE QUARTERLIFE CRISIS By Menna Tarek
30 JUNE 2012 CAMPUS
The mid twenties is a very tricky stage to survive. You know, you are not a teenager, you are not a kid and you most certainly are not a grownup just yet. You somehow feel more responsible towards certain things and this is not because you think they are important. It is because you are constantly in the presence of an invisible clock ticking away the human-made concept of time, not planning on giving it back. No meeting older people who are more or less successful that you are in all or some aspects will make this ticking sound in your head pause for even a little while. You are pressured into; let’s call it, perfection that is dictated by your small society (friends and family). At one point you look around and realize that everybody is doing better than you. Better salaries, better career paths, better partners and better skills. In short, you think everyone is happier than you are. Mid twenties, next thing you know you will be thirty and you freak out like never before. You can’t ignore the pressure to “find yourself” any longer and now the fun begins.
If you are in your mid-twenties, if you -or anyone around you- are acting weird, lost and confused, then we have a quarter-life crisis issue. Hate Your Job: This is not what you want to do with your life. Hold on to the job you have to avoid staying at home where you will be poor and with more family members’ friction. Almost everybody at this stage thinks it is a good idea to start a cupcake business, open up a book store or an art center, freelance or start a new website that offers a new service or whatever hobby you might have that might be able to sell to another person. If you don’t have a corporate 9-5 job, if you have a hippy-er job, you will be happier. Or so you might think. Again, it is a quarter-life crisis, crisis being the keyword here. Start Reconsidering Your Friends: To maintain a “new” lifestyle, you need to be surrounded by a different kind of crowd. You find yourself drifting away from friends and hanging out with weird groups of people. I am not suggesting that making new friends is a crisis in itself, I am just saying that during this crisis situation you are confused as to which friends to keep and which are the ones poisoning your air. You keep playing around until something happens that slaps you back to your real friends. Switch Sides on the Single/Committed Scale: Your current situation is something you think about every day. You can’t wait until you have someone you can share things with and maybe try out getting married to. Marriage is an experience everyone should go through plus, it will happen anyway so better now than later. You can hardly wait to change your Facebook relationship status to something sexier and have one of those amateur photographers make everyone on Facebook see how happy you really are smooching that person no one has ever seen you in public with. And now you start thinking about kids. OR, this relationship is not working out for you; you want to, again, find yourself and learn how to play the flute and master Turkish language and pursue your dream of becoming a motorbike mechanic and this relationship is holding you back. You want to be a free bird. Dump him/her. Try All that’s Left to Try: Think about life and death a lot and let those thoughts prevent you or push you towards smoking or recreational drugs or excessive alcohol consumption. Try those things for the first time, just now and have them make you realize you are -in fact- going through a quarter-life crisis. Master the Art of Ruining things for Yourself: At that point of your life, you have a significant amount of experience that allows you to ruin things for yourself. And how do you do that? Easy. Spend long periods of time thinking about the fact that everything you ever say/do/write/paint/choose to do has been done before and that nothing you have thought about hasn’t been thought about before. Ruin good things that happen to you by thinking that they will be ruined a few minutes after, make this your attitude towards things. Getting a new significant other? Why? Why would they be different from anyone in your collection of exes? Get a Masters degree? Had I known what is it that I want to do with my life, I would have studied it this instant. Take yourself on a nostalgic depressing trip every month or so and have weird memories float on the surface of your brain. Don’t care about the future because it will never be as good as the past. Think about Therapy: There might be illusions or actual signs of depression at this point. If you are smart enough, you will start thinking about the shrink option. You could try other things like aroma therapy, getting a massage, or whatever meaningless therapy that is trending. If all else fails, there you said it... cupcake business or an expensive camera and become a photographer. I am not sure where this quarter-life crisis leads us. We might be confusing that entire crisis crap with actual depression or actual growing up that I believe some of us need to do real fast if they ever want to do it. If you ever figure a way out of this, please let me know. Until then, just stay safe.
Sticks and Stones By Amy Quotb
I REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME I WAS TEASED FOR MY WEIGHT… JUNIOR HIGH. I WAS SHORT, FAT AND UNSUSPECTINGLY FRIENDLY. BAD COMBINATION. YOU SEE, I STARTED TO PUT ON WEIGHT AROUND THE AGE OF TEN. FOUR YEARS LATER, I HAD TO SHOP FOR XXL CLOTHES IN THE ADULTS DEPARTMENT. MY PARENTS WERE FINE WITH IT, MIND YOU, I DIDN’T SEE AN ISSUE EITHER, UNTIL THE FIRST DAY OF THAT SCHOOL YEAR.
I was the new girl, and like every time I changed schools, I liked to mingle and strike up conversations. Until this one girl said “You’re gonna be with us in class? YOU?” and cracked a weird laugh while checking me out from the feet up. This is where the world started to spin. I spent the rest of the day going through everybody’s looks, and imagining what they must be thinking of me. I went home, my mom was the first person I saw and I went ballistic, screaming “What kind of mother lets her children consume all this junk? 7aram 3aleky!” I rushed to my room crying, with a decision shaping up; I was gonna be skinny, no matter what anyone says. Why Now? I decided to share this with you because there was this article in last month’s issue of Campus, about “toothpick figures” and how empty their brains must be, and how shallow they should be to think that their greatest achievement is to fit into a size 2. So let me show you the other side of the coin. Allow me to make my point.
BEAUTY IN THE EYE OF THE BEER HOLDER
I decided to be skinny because we live in a tough world. Because I believed I was funny, talented, smart and a great friend, but the world won’t care to find out all of this about me if it came in a package less than perfect. No matter how great you are on the inside, most people won’t look twice.
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I decided to be skinny because I had a lot to offer, and I wanted everyone to know.
At some point, I even considered taking it up as a profession. I wanted to help all those people out there who feel like they’re the fattest kid in class, or the chubbiest bikini-wearer at the beach. THE STRUGGLE I wanted to share all that experience with the world. But because I Try to imagine how hard it is for a 14 year old to give up practically ALL knew that medicine wasn’t for me, I wrote articles and blogs about it the food she loves so much, to live on veggies, fruit and lean meat. Try to instead. imagine having to give that up in a world where all teenagers did was go out to fast food places, and snack while studying. I may have helped even one person, but that also counts. My parents refused that I’d go see a nutritionist, arguing that I was “too Now that I’m a Xeroxed Toothpick young to consider a diet adjustment” so I did it on my own. I was good at research, so I spent a few good hours in the school library, reading about At 5 foot 2, I lost a total of 35 kilograms. Yes, I do now weigh less than healthy eating. 55 kg (go back to last month’s reference.) It wasn’t even remotely easy, telling my mom that I will not eat her delicious I graduated from medical school, I was a singer in a rock band, I did “macarona bel bashamel” or my aunt’s heavenly apple pie. It seemed charity work for animal rights shelters, I switched careers to advertising, pathetic at the time, going out with my friends on weekends and having a then marketing in an I.T company, I freelance for my favorite magazine salad while they stuffed their faces with burgers and pizza. (wink), I got married, and I have friends who often take my advice when they wanna slim down for the summer. It was torture, but I took it like a man. I had a plan and nobody was allowed to mess it up for me. I wear what I want, and I feel confident wearing it. I am a hardcore vegetarian, and I still watch what I eat. On weekends, I indulge in foods A SENSE OF ACHIEVEMENT I love, knowing that comes Sunday, I’ll be back on the healthy wagon. I get medical checkups every year or so, and I’m neither anorexic nor I spent my whole school year religiously eating healthy. And since I was bulimic. living abroad, I only visited friends and family in Cairo during the summer break. People look at me and think that I’m blessed with a naturally thin figure. Little do they know. Needless to say, losing 15 kilos in a year isn’t a lot, but when people saw me for the first time in a year, their jaws dropped. They were even more THE POINT impressed when my mom told them, with an objecting “shofto el bent 3amalet fe nafsaha eh?” tone, that I did it all by myself. So the point I wanted to make to all those who are either victimized by us, “the toothpick Xerox copies” or wanna look down on us to make I didn’t expect their reactions, but I savored each and every one of them. It themselves feel better… And as a response to last month’s article – was a feeling better than scoring straight A’s, winning a contest, better than and everyone who believed that article – is that generalizing is not cool. it all. Because it was all mine, I did it alone, for me. Girls who try as hard as they can to look thin, or fit in a size 0, are not PERFECTIONISM all bubbleheads who have nothing on their minds but Vogue. They are strong, much stronger than you all think. They are smart, interesting In the years to follow, I kept on fine-tuning what I had already human beings who think that being perfect all around is doable. And accomplished. I felt confident enough that I could do anything. I mean, they’re not afraid of trying. They make sacrifices most people out there I was still me, only a better version of me. A me that now knew that she can’t even dare to consider. doesn’t only have to be the straight A student, the helpful classmate, or the funny friend. But she could look stunning doing it! So, if you think that dieting or exercising is too hard, well you got that right. But loving yourself is worth every minute of it. If you want to look Throughout high school and college, I went through my ups and downs, down on us, go ahead, but deep down inside you envy us for our but I always reminded myself that I can’t go back to what it used to be. I willpower and strength. don’t want to!
WE DON’T DESERVE A SLAP, WE DESERVE RESPECT.
OVER AND OUT. From the first time I started to “diet” to somewhere along the way, resources have doubled, tripled even. We had books, newspaper articles and TV interviews, then we had the internet in all its glory. Somewhere in between, I got lost. I tried everything and my weight seemed to yo-yo endlessly. So I decided to see a nutritionist. Unfortunately, nutritionists here in Egypt only function with the method of trial and error. Finding the diet that’s right for your body type isn’t in their agenda. They want you to see results “now”, gain a little weight after, come back. Repeat. At least that was the case back then.
I also went on researching about the different eating disorders, and the fact that I was studying medicine at the time helped a lot. I talked to psychiatrists and therapists, read clinical studies and dove deep into the world of weight-related psyche, emotional eating and motivational techniques.
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© Mos’ab El Shamy
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Citystars Sharm El Sheikh wins at the Cityscape Abu Dhabi Project Awards!
The unique resort Citystars Sharm El Sheikh, , won the Best Residential Project Award amongst the major industry players, at the 6th edition of the Cityscape Abu Dhabi Awards for Real Estate in the Middle East and North Africa region. Citystars Properties also gained 3 other prestigious recognitions, as it was short listed and nominated for its pioneering Citystars Sharm El Sheikh development as “Highly Commended-Best Urban Design & Master Planning Award” and “Highly Commended- Best Mixed Use Project Award (Future)”, including the nomination of its flagship Citystars Heliopolis project as “Highly Commended- Best Mixed Use Project Award (Built)”. Situated 60 meters above sea level, Citystars Sharm El Sheikh is an exclusive 7.5 million m2 luxury gated mixed-use community surrounded by high mountains with breathtaking panoramic views of the Red Sea and island of Tiran, offering an unprecedented experience and lifestyle. World class facilities and innovative amenities include 1.2 million m2 of beautiful crystal lagoons, an 18-hole signature golf course designed by Colin Montgomery, a spectacular Sound & Light Show, and Tennis Academy, offering an unrivalled lifestyle that caters to all needs and preferences, Citystars Sharm El Sheikh will bring an entirely new aspect to Sharm El Sheikh. At the Cityscape Abu Dhabi Awards ceremony, recognizing the latest cutting-edge projects shaping modern city skylines across the Middle East and Africa, Kim Semiao, Owner Representative at Citystars Properties, received the prestigious accolades on behalf of Citystars Properties.
Sony Launch VAIO E14 Series
McDonald’s Egypt organize Annual Charity Completion for the Children of Ezbet Kheir Allah and Batn Elbakra Nurseries
As part of its commitment to social responsibility and the development of unplanned communities, McDonald’s Egypt in partnership with Peace and Plenty Association, organized the annual charity completion for the children in Ezbet Kheir Allah and Batn Elbakar nurseries. During the celebration held at Fouad Galal primary school, a competition was conducted between 24 nurseries in Ezebt Kheir Allah and Batn Elbakar. McDonald’s Egypt has undertaken to renovate and train their teachers, to select the nursery that has excelled in educating the children, meeting hygiene and cleanliness criteria and providing a healthy and positive atmosphere for preschoolers McDonald’s Egypt has set a long-term plan to support its social role in the Egyptian society, focusing its efforts on nursery to secondary school levels. McDonald’s Egypt has completed the renovation of 24 nurseries and is now working on primary education with plans to eventually take its efforts to secondary school. McDonald’s Egypt succeeded in collecting EGP 2 million for the renovation of 24 nurseries and a school in Ezbet Kheir Allah and Batn Elbakar since 2009, through the initiative “Kids helping Kids” 25 piaster were allocated from each happy meal and the donation boxes placed at most of the branches. The battery life of up to 5.5 hours is enhanced by the discreet GPUs that automatically switch off to boost battery life when less graphicintensive tasks are being performed. Sony’s xLOUD and Clear Phase technologies enhance volume levels without distortion for impressive-sounding movies and games. Alternatively, one can switch to Dolby® Home Theatre® V4 for rich, cinema-style audio. Video chats are now of upgraded quality with the built-in ‘Exmor for PC’ HD web camera. The feature has the capability to deliver sharper details, higher contrast and rich colors, even in low light conditions while other web cameras struggle with grainy, fuzzy images. Gesture Control allows users to interact with the laptop using spontaneous hand movements through the web camera. One can move though web pages or photo gallery, PowerPoint slideshows, pause music playback, or adjust music volume up or down with just a flick of the hand.
Sony, the leading consumer electronics brand, today announced the new VAIO E14 Series, a 14-inch notebook with stylish new ‘wrap design’ and long battery life, was finally rolled out across the region in May. Ideal for stress-free everyday computing, the laptop is equipped with third generation Intel® Core™ i5 and i7 CPU with AMD Radeon™ HD 7670M discrete GPU (VRAM: 1GB). The light-weight VAIO E14 stands out from the crowd with its soft and subtly reassuring ‘wrap design.’ Available in five refreshing colors including white, black, pink, silver or gun metallic, its design is accented by complementary color flourishes around the notebook’s edge, touchpad and keyboard.
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VAIO also makes for a handy ‘any time’ charger in the absence of a quickly accessible AC socket. Users just need to plug in their phones via USB, even when the computer is switched off or in sleep mode. To further increase the usability, VAIO E14 comes equipped with comfortably-spaced isolation backlight keyboard for error-free latenight typing. Equipped with PlayMemories Home, the new software that allows users to import pictures and videos from any camera or camcorder, the notebook helps the user instantly relive old memories. The unique feature includes camera direct viewing, 3D playback, external HDD direct viewing and 3D short-movie creation. One can even transfer the files to DVD or Blu-ray Disc™ or upload them on to social networking sites such as Facebook® and YouTube™.
Do you need to sell your car but have no idea where to start? Is your room full of items you no longer use and you don’t know how to get rid of ? Would you like to buy a used aptop in a reasonable price rather than a very expensive new one? Well, Hagtak.com is your answer! Hagtak.com is one of the first online market places in Egypt, owned by two young entrepreneurs: Mounes Hesham and Ibrahim Hatem, from Alexandria and Cairo respectively. The idea was to enable people to sell their used goods and make profit, as well as help people buy any used stuff they may need. Mounes and Ibrahim aim to make Hagtak.com "Egypt’s most customer centric market place, where people can come buy and sell anything they want, but online." Why Hagtak.com is suitable for you: - Why buy a brand new item for more when you can get a used one in the same quality for less? - Hagtak.com is a user-friendly website; to sell an item will be an easy process: All you have to do is create an account, and you can then sell whatever you want. If you want to buy a used item, it is not even necessary to create an account. - It’s safe doing business online; you can contact the buyer/seller over the phone (ask for a fixed telephone number) or consult a variety of public sources for more information about the buyer/seller; for example search on the internet (Google and Facebook) by name, e-mail, address, telephone number or bank account. So, go ahead! Instead of just throwing your used items away, why not sell them instead? Hagtak.com is easy, safe and customer-friendly!
Facebook.com/HagtakDotCom @HagtakDotCom w w w . h a g t a k . c o m
] PATTERNS ]
Time to colour block! Colour blocking is very trendy this season; you’ll find it everywhere: on celebrities, all over runways and dominating all the big stores.
Accessorize on the Beach
What’s a perfect swimsuit without accessories? Make sure you complete your beach look with the following must-haves.
Hottest Kaftans in Town
Swim in Style From sexy bikinis to trendy onepieces, it’s all about those bright summer colours and choosing the right cut for your body.
Kaftans are essential summer items; and this year they come in all shapes and colours.
Matalan Matalan River Island
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It’s those few months in the year where you guys can go as wild and as bold with cuts and colours as you want to; so make sure you use that chance!
Tanned in White Three are only a few words to explain this: nothing looks better than a tanned guy in white. ASOS
River Island Bag NEXT Urban Outfitters Primark
On the Go Urban Outfitters
Guys need bags just as much as girls do; and backpacks are both practical and stylish!
Going Sleeveless So for all of you who hit the gym a month or two before summer in order to master “formet el sa7el”, this year you can show off your muscles all you want, because sleeveless shirts and tops are totally in!
Primark River Island
Fashion Bulletin Francisco Costa for Macy’s Calvin Klein creative director, Fransico Costa, makes a line for Macy’s called “A Magical Journey to Brazil” - as it was inspired by a photo of a sunset. The line hits stores May15th.
Mischa Barton Launches Her Brand in Dubai Mischa Barton’s line finally hits Dubai. We are not sure if we are excited or not, because it took her a few runs to reach where she is: it began with her ill-fated headband collection of 2008, followed by her attempt at a handbag collection which wasn’t that much of a hit either. Barton already has her own online store, “Mischa’s Place”, where you can find everything she makes, from Mischa-branded body scrubs to clothes. Barton chose Dubai because she claims people will appreciate her clothes there and that Dubai is “where the market is”. But she isn’t stopping at the Middle East; she’s already planned a store opening in the Spitalfields area in London next month.
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Photo Shoot of the Month: Emily Blunt for Vogue Italia Emily Blunt is an interesting creature: sometimes she’s just a plain girl; other times she’s breathtaking. In this month’s Vogue Italia, she looks sharp, classy, and classically elegant.
Outstanding Outfit Katy Perry blows our mind away by going Goth for the NARM Music Biz Awards dinner party, where she rocks a black bandage dress with sheer panels, studded Christian Louboutin heels, dark makeup, wine-colored lips, and – yes - purple hair. Somehow with all that bizarreness, she manages to look stunning.
H&M Overdoes the Tan! In their last campaign, the Swedish retailer company, H&M, was criticized by the Swedish Cancer Society for using a model for the bathing suit and sports collection who was supposedly “over-tanned”. The society blamed H&M for promoting an “unhealthy” tan for young people. “Every year, more people die in Sweden of (skin cancer) than in traffic accidents, and the main cause is too much sunning,” the Society stated. “Regardless of how the H&M model got her tan, through sunning or a computer programme, the effect is the same: H&M tells us we should be very tan on the beach.” H&M stated that the only purpose of the campaign was to promote the bathing suit and not the tan. “We are sorry if we have upset anyone with our latest swimwear campaign. It was not our intention to show off a specific ideal or to encourage dangerous behaviour. We have taken note of the views and will continue to discuss this internally ahead of future campaigns.” The model for this campaign is actually the Brazilian Isabeli Fontana, and it turns out this is actually her natural skin tone after some regular suntanning on the beach.
Hussein Chalayan The Face of Contemporary Forefront Fashion “The important thing in the design world is to be always thinking of something that isn’t already done. otherwise, the ones that are doing it will do it better than you.” –Hussein Chalayan In the eyes of many, fashion has reached its limits; all designers do is recycle and bring back ideas that had previously been executed – perhaps sometimes with a twist. They believe fashion is no longer as “original” as it used to be; everything has already been done. Hussein Chalayan, however, is one man who doesn’t think so – and who has done enough himself to prove that that theory is by no means valid. Throughout the past two decades, the name Hussein Chalayan has become synonymous with innovative, edgy, and bold. Hussein Chalayan is a half-Turkish-Cypriot, half-British fashion designer. He is renowned for his ingenious use of materials, precise pattern cutting and progressive approach to modern technology. From the very beginning of his journey in fashion, it was evident that Chalayan was different. As early as his graduation project from the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, his ideas were fresh and quite unusual. The project was titled “The Tangent Flowers”, and it centered on a collection of clothes that he had buried in his back yard and dug up again. The collection caused such uproar that it was purchased and displayed in luxury designer store Browns in London. From then on, Chalayan went on exploring the deepest, wildest ideas that hit him, building upon them, and sharing his findings with the world.
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It became Chalayan’s dream to start his own fashion line. Because that’s no cheap affair, he joined the London Fashion Design competition in 1995 and was able to beat 100 other designers, winning the award. He received financial backing of about £28,000 to create pieces for the British Fashion Week in October 1995, and that’s how his career skyrocketed. Given that Chalayan’s work, which relies heavily on technology, is extremely costly, he always had trouble with funding and sponsorship. For instance, he was appointed design consultant for the New York knitwear label TSE and worked with them until 2001. When they decided not to renew his contract, he was in a rut. He was £250,000 in debt and because of that was forced to go into voluntary liquidation. Luckily, though, he was able to reconstruct his company and made a comeback collection without a catwalk presentation, and he was aided by designing for Marks and Spencer to make ends meet. He was also fortunate to be appointed as fashion director for both Gibo, an Italian clothing manufacturer, and Asprey, a British jeweller. Not only did Chalayan’s financial position improve, he also started garnering recognition, both within the UK and worldwide. He won the British Designer of the Year Award twice in a row (1999 and 2000), and in 2002 he was able to expand his design portfolio to include a menswear line that was eventually sold to internet retailer Yoox.com in 2007. To Chalayan, fashion is art, and his creative approach is somewhat fierce, and very in-your-face. Every piece he makes is an expression of a deep-set view in regards to a global issue; his inspirations and the many themes which influence his work range from cultural identity to displacement and migration. He views celebrity-based fashion as weak and “lame”, and he made it clear by publicizing his feelings towards collaborations like Kate Moss’s with TopShop as “insulting”.
Chalayan’s most famous collections/pieces: “Afterwords” – his ‘wearable, portable architecture’; furniture that transforms into garments “Airborne” – his latest fusion of LED technology with fashion, where he collaborated with Swarovski and made a breathtaking dress using Swarovski crystals and over 15,000 flickering LED lights “Before Minus Now” - a dress made of materials used in aircraft construction which change shapes by remote control “Readings” - a dress made up of over 200 moving lasers, creating an extraordinary spectacle of light It’s the beauty of how Chalayan pushes limits that makes him a genius; his courage rejecting the established and allowing himself to rebel and be free of all the rules of the current fashion system. “I suppose I start with political and emotive issues, and then intellectualise them in my own way and turn them into visual things. I hate the idea of being labelled ‘cerebral.’ At the end of the day I’m really interested in form and shape and the body and cut. People don’t buy a dress because they like the inspiration behind it, they buy it because it looks good on them, they like the way it makes them feel. The inspiration is only there to trigger the process.”
It’s Wedding Season… Let’s Celebrate in Style! Whether it’s your best friend, your best friend’s best friend, your aunt’s cousin, your boyfriend’s sister… you are sure to get invited to tons of engagements and weddings this summer, and you will want to look good! The best thing about summer weddings, though, is that your options are not limited to evening gowns, as some ceremonies are held outdoors and early in the day. Here are the latest and trendiest styles for both men and women this wedding season:
Primark NEXT French Connection
Austin Reed French Connection
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MADE IN EGYPT
Jewelery’s long pendant with multi-coloured bead is the perfect summer accessory; and the gold will accentuate your tan and make you glow! (
Ideal for the summer heat, this Style Treasure signature colour block cashmere T-shirt dress will keep you comfortable and at the same time looking super trendy.
This small Amina K ‘3omda’ belt is the best of traditional and modern fashion combined. It can be worn low or high waist, and is sure to turn your outfit around.
Diversify and get yourself a flagship top from 100 Percent Cairo; it’s stylish and its bright coloured hem is very summerappropriate! This oversized plastic beach bag by Koukla has enough space for all your tanning lotions and towels, is available in a variety of bright, summery colours, and is ideal for the sand because it’s very easy to clean!
Totes are in and they’re great for summer. Karma has created the ultimate Arabesque tote: spacious and unique; it’s beautifully handmade in Khayameyya fabric.
Burton and Depp on the set of Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
] SCREENS SHELVES AND SPEAKERS ]
Depp-Burton Collaborations… Overrated? By Yasmine Zohdi “HE STARTED THE PATH I’M ON NOW; I’M NOTHING WITHOUT HIM. IF HE THINKS A STORY IS WORTH TELLING, I TRUST HIM WITH EVERYTHING.” -JOHNNY DEPP ON TIM BURTON Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have one of Hollywood’s longest standing collaborations; so far they have worked on eight films together, starting with 1990’s Edward Scissorhands, all the way to this year’s blockbuster, Dark Shadows. Dark Shadows is based on an old gothic American soap opera of the same. Johnny Depp stars as Barnabas Collins, a 200-year-old vampire who leaves the coffin he had been imprisoned in to face the modern, unfamiliar life of the 1970s. As much as I enjoyed the film – anything that involves both Tim Burton and Johnny Depp is guaranteed to be more than mildly interesting – I couldn’t help feeling a little bit disappointed in the end. I felt like I had been waiting for a certain something to happen throughout the movie’s running time, but the credits rolled onto the screen, and that something never came. I am a hardcore Johnny Depp fan; I enjoy watching him do pretty much anything, and I believe he’s a genius. Nobody masters diversity and becomes one with his characters like this exceptional artist – and yes, I intend to say artist and not just actor - does. Although there are many outstanding Johnny Depp films that haven’t been directed by Burton, such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Finding Neverland, I think Burton was the first director to bring out that certain quality in Depp that makes him the master he is today – that dark, quirky, slightly goofy side that first appeared when he played Scissorhands and dominated many of the characters he portrayed for years after that, giving them that unmistakable edge.
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Tim Burton is a brilliant director; a visionary. I used to watch films like Batman and Mars Attacks in utter fascination when I was a kid, and as I grew older and my love for movies grew along with me, I got hooked. The way he gives life to his imagination, creating parallel worlds that seem so real with all their tiny, intricate details, is truly unmatched. The first DeppBurton movie I saw was Sleepy Hollow, and I loved it, although I usually have next to zero interest in horror films. I then went on to check out their earlier work together, and that wonderfully twisted, whimsical pattern of their collaborations started to become clear to me. They were the perfect match, in the sense that while Burton is the first to have discovered that refreshingly strange Depp persona, there is probably no other actor who could bring Burton’s fantasies alive onscreen the way Johnny Depp does. Ed Wood, the 1994 biopic about the late cult filmmaker who was once voted worst director of all time, is my favourite Depp-Burton film. The 1950s Hollywood setting, the cast, how weird it was, and how brilliantly Burton made the film in that particular style Wood himself would have made it. But that rush, that revelation-like feeling you get at the end of a very good movie like the one I got as I watched Ed Wood… I no longer find that in the films Burton and Depp make together. That depth, that stimulating twist, that emotional dimension. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is an exception; the dark musical genre fit perfectly with Burton’s technique, Depp was at his most magnificent, the story had weight and the characters were complex and multi-layered (yet the credit for that last point goes to the writers of the original play). I also loved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Burton being colourful for once, Depp’s reinvention of Willy Wonka was very entertaining, and the story is a classic; you can’t go wrong with a text like that. My misgivings started with Alice in Wonderland (2010). The buzz that film made even before it was released was phenomenal – it was in 3D, it
Depp as Edward Scissorhands
Depp as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Depp as Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows
Depp as Icabod Crane in Sleepy Hollow
Depp as Ed Wood
Depp was Victor’s voice in Corpse Bride
had cost a fortune, it broke records in the box office on its first weekend in movie theatres, the special effects were stunning, and Johnny Depp managed to create yet another memorable character in his role as the Mad Hatter. But it just didn’t leave an effect on me. I can barely remember the movie as I write about it now – nothing about it got to me. And I think the same happened to me with Dark Shadows; it left no particular impression on my consciousness. The art direction in both films is superb, the set design is Oscar-worthy (in Dark Shadows, the whole town of Collinswood was built from scratch in an old deserted parking lot in England), the makeup and costumes are top-notch. But the foundation of a movie is the story it tells – and I find the storytelling aspect lacking in both. It’s as if the film becomes an affair where spectacle is favoured over substance, and this should never be the case when that film carries Burton’s name. It might be that Burton is conforming to current Hollywood standards, maintaining the peculiar touch that makes him special but focusing more on visual flair than thought-inducing narrative and a solid plot; putting commercial success before critical acclaim. Or it might be that the current technological advancement filmmaking is witnessing has cast its spell on Burton, a movie junkie at heart, and that he has not yet managed to strike a balance between his fascination with all those new perks and the simple old basics that make a good movie.
Depp as the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland
Certain elements have become so recurrent in Burton’s work with Depp they’re starting to border on redundant: How Depp is almost always a slightly scary, slightly comical character with a white face (his acting remains sublime, though), the dark hue constantly dominating the scenery, Helena Bonham Carter… Yes, it would definitely be a welcome change for Burton to be a little bit more adventurous with his casting choices; Helena Bonham Carter has been Depp’s co-star in his last four movies with Burton: Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland, and – most recently – Dark Shadows (she also happens to be Burton’s wife). I still cherish each and every one of those films, though, and I keep checking IMDB for news about the next Depp-Burton venture (there’s bound to be one), and when I learn of its existence I’ll keep waiting for the day it hits cinemas, and as soon as it does I’ll be first in line for a ticket. I just hate to see filmmakers – artists in general -losing a trait that makes them so gloriously unique in favour of some popular market demands. It hasn’t come to that with Burton; the above indicators just scare me that it might. However, to answer the question I posed in the title - No, I definitely do not think Burton-Depp collaborations are overrated; I just think they’re becoming a tad bit predictable.
SCREENS, SHELVES & SPEAKERS
Ahdaf Soueif - Cairo: My City, Our Revolution Nostalgia at its finest By Yasmine Zohdi MORE THAN A DECADE AGO, AHDAF SOUEIF SIGNED A CONTRACT WITH HER PUBLISHERS TO WRITE A BOOK ABOUT CAIRO, THROUGH HER OWN EYES AND FROM A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE. FOR YEARS, SOUEIF COULDN’T BRING HERSELF TO START ON THE BOOK. THE CITY SHE HAD KNOWN IN THE 1960S AND 1970S OF HER YOUTH WAS IN CONSTANT DETERIORATION, PARTS OF IT BARELY RECOGNIZABLE. EVERY TIME SHE TRIED TO WRITE ABOUT THE FADED GLORY OF CAIRO, THE CAPITAL SHE WAS BORN AND RAISED IN BEFORE SHE HAD MOVED TO ENGLAND, SHE WOULD FEEL LIKE SHE WAS WRITING “AN ELEGY”… “AND I WOULD NOT WRITE AN ELEGY FOR MY CITY,” SHE SAYS IN THE BOOK’S PREFACE. Until Tahrir.
In 2011, and during the 18-day uprising that shook the world, Soueif finally found it in her to write about the city she held so dear – not with pain and sorrow at the sad state to which it had come – but with hope, confidence, love, and pride, for she felt that her city had come back to her, to its people. Cairo had finally been reclaimed. Soueif starts her book with her account of January 28th – she recounts her experience on Qasr El Nile bridge, the raging battle with the police, and how it felt to enter Tahrir, victorious. From then on her narrative moves along the eighteen days, recalling the most significant stops along the way: the deployment of the army, Mubarak’s speeches, the appointment of Ahmed Shafiq as Prime Minister then Omar Suleiman as Vice President, the Camel Battle, the creation of the miracle that was Tahrir Republic, all the way to Mubarak’s resignation. Midway through the book, Soueif leaps to October 2011, after the Maspero massacre, when she, along with her family, are facing the fact that her nephew, Alaa Abdel Fattah, is facing charges by the military and has been imprisoned pending trial. She takes a step back from October to July, tells the story of the July sit-in, the infamous Abbasseyya clashes that took place on the 23rd of that month, and how the sit-in was violently dispersed on the first day of Ramadan. Back to October, she writes more about Alaa and the statement he made against military trials, and then back again to the legendary 18 days; the center of the book. And although, having lived it all yourself, you always know what happens next as you read, the details and how Soueif brings them to life is what gives this book its edge. Her description of the Square in its glorious days brought such a powerful wave of nostalgia over me – I could once again smell the scent of the air in Tahrir, hear the chants, see the flags waving everywhere, taste the over-sweetened tea – and I actually teared up in several parts as I remembered. Moreover, the story of the revolution becomes personal when Soueif intertwines it with her own life: conversations with members of her family, her memories of the city, glimpses from her day-to-day life and the challenges of her work as she reports from Egypt to the world.
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Each time she comes across a specific building or street or institution in her narrative, Soueif would stop and somehow brilliantly weave it with a personal story that links her to it. As she passes by the Maspero building, she recalls that this is where she got her first job back when she was in college, and pictures herself sitting with her first husband in the “Paprika” restaurant next to it… As she rests on the sidewalk outside the Mugamma’ building in Tahrir during the sit-in, she remembers her late aunt who used to work there and how she used to tag along with her as a child and marvel at the long corridors and endless staircases within… As she drives by a church in Shubra she writes how her mother used to tell her stories about her walks with her father to that very spot everyday when she was pregnant with her. That personal dimension, combined with Soueif’s account of real events that you were actually part of as they took place gives you the feeling that you’re reading a novel in which you yourself are a character, and that enriches your reading experience immensely. The book ends on a very emotional note, the day Mubarak steps down and Egypt celebrates and Tahrir becomes the very center of the world, then an epilogue where Soueif and her sister, Laila, Alaa’s mother, are marching for Alaa’s freedom and are still filled with hope for the country despite everything. Then Soueif adds a twist – words from the young people around her who had been part of the revolution and who she views as the very future of Egypt: Her niece, Mona, tells her story with Amr El Beheiri and the No Military Trials for Civilians group, her nephew, Alaa, speaks of the martyrs and how their blood remains the one and only truth, her other niece, Sanaa, recounts her experience in founding El-Gurnal, an independent, selfsustained newspaper she started with her friends from Tahrir, and her son, Omar, describes the combination that made Tahrir unbeatable – each in less than 2 pages. Overall, this book’s significance lies in its role as an accurate and heartfelt documentation of the 18 days that changed the modern history of this country, as well as the value that Soueif’s beautiful prose gives it, making it a rich, vibrant work of literature. As an account of the events, you might not find it as appealing as a foreigner who hasn’t witnessed the revolution firsthand would, but it would represent to you something deeper; more personal – an eternal enshrinement of those golden days, and – in the midst of the challenges the Egyptian revolution is currently struggling with – a precious and much-needed reminder of what it’s all about.
Zamalek: 5 Sayed El Bakry St. Off 26th of July St. Cairo, Egypt. Tel.: 02 27 380 080 Heliopolis: 131 Omar Ibn El- Khattab, St. Cairo, Egypt. Tel.: 02 24 174 095 Reservation no. 011 544 412 34
Small Space - Big Space Size Does Not Matter! Call: 0100 66 87 667 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Small Space - Big Space Size Does Not Matter! Call: 0100 66 87 667 E-mail: email@example.com
Small Space - Big Space Size Does Not Matter! Call: 0100 66 87 667 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Small Space - Big Space Size Does Not Matter! Call: 010 66 87 667 E-mail: email@example.com
SCREENS, SHELVES & SPEAKERS
Mashrou’ Leila at UMF Rock Stop One Hell of a Night! By Yasmine Zohdi
THE UNDERGROUND MUSIC FEDERATION (UMF) IS AN INITIATIVE AIMING AT PROVIDING SUPPORT, EXPOSURE AND ANY KIND OF BACKING NEEDED FOR UNDERGROUND EGYPTIAN MUSICIANS. UMF-LIVE, THE WEBSITE, DESIGNED TO SHOWCASE EGYPT’S BEST UNDERGROUND MUSIC TALENTS AND BECOME AN ONLINE HUB WHERE THEY COULD INTERACT AND BE EASILY ACCESSED BY THEIR FANS, WAS LAUNCHED IN JUNE 2011. THEIR VERY FIRST EVENT, WHERE A NUMBER OF THE BANDS THAT HAD BECOME MEMBERS IN THE FEDERATION PERFORMED, WAS HELD LAST OCTOBER. But their biggest success so far, has been the Rock Stop concert held in Nile Garden on May 18th, featuring several distinctive Egyptian musicians and Mashrou’ Leila as the much-anticipated, mind-blowing closing act. I had been waiting for Mashrou’ Leila to perform in Cairo ever since their last two concerts here exactly one year earlier, in May 2011, the two of which I had attended and just couldn’t get over. The band is one of my favourites, and live, they were magnificent. The moment I heard they were coming back, I was super excited. But it wasn’t just Mashrou’ Leila that made Rock Stop special. The location, the selection of musicians, the brilliant weather and the crowd combined all made it a very entertaining night. The event was held in Nile Garden, next to Mohamed Ali Club, right on the Nile… as in you could literally dip your feet into the water if you wanted to. The evening breeze was refreshing and you could order shisha and enjoy it along with the spectacular view. There was also a food stall, a Red Bull lounge that kept the bands and audience powered up, and Fred Perry added their own special flair by installing ping pong tables where many people were playing and having a great time. The line-up was made up of a collection of young and diverse musicians who are among the most talented on the current scene. The Percussion Show were first to rock the stage, setting the audience on fire with their beats. Followed by Shady Ahmed, who added a laidback Rock n’ Roll flavour to the evening. Next up, the crowd got a double dose of rock with Faking It and, after them, Simplexity. Hany Mustafa soothed everyone with his soulful voice and the magnetic rhythm of his guitar, while Digla had everyone hooked, especially with their hit, ‘Highlights’. By then was it time for Mashrou’ Leila to make their grand entrance. While during the previous acts people were scattered around the large open space, some eating by the river bank, others mingling and smoking
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and laughing or playing ping-pong, the moment it was announced that Mashrou’ Leila were coming out, there was an instant surge towards the stage, everyone fighting for a prime spot; the closer the better. At the sight of Hamed Sinno, the band’s frontman and vocalist, the crowd went wild. The band started their performance with ‘3al 7ajiz’, a sharp, tense song about the state of security in Lebanon. Although it’s one of their lesser-known tracks, everyone knew the words and sang along in unmatched exhilaration. The band’s eight members - Sinno, Haig Papazian (violins), Omaya Malaeb (Keyboards), Carl Girges (drums), Firas Abou Fakher (guitar), Andre Chedid (guitar), Ibrahim Badr (bass guitar) - kept the crowd in thrall for all of 90 minutes, performing popular hits like ‘Fasateen’ and ‘El Hall Romancy’, sad ballads such as ‘Shimm El Yasmine’, and songs from the new album they are set to begin recording next October, the most memorable of which was a catchy tune called ‘Abdo’ about a flowerseller in love with a widow. Fans went crazy over Sinno’s moves, danced along with him in ‘Ghadan Yawmon Afdal’, screamed out ‘wi risas w risas’ at the top of their lungs in ‘Wajih’, passionately sang along to ‘Imm El Jacket’ and finally lost control when Sinno climbed down the stage and joined them as the band played ‘Raksit Leila’. The hype wasn’t over when Mashrou’ Leila left the stage, though, or even after everyone went home. Just as they had been eagerly discussing it weeks before it took place, people were talking – and tweeting - about the concert for days: the beautiful music, the place, how you bumped into almost everyone you knew there… it was, by all means, a hit. It looks like Cairo has more interesting concerts coming up, though, because Muhammad El-Ayat, founder and creative director of UMF, has assured us that UMF’s plans for the year do not end at Rock Stop, and that they are to organize several other musical events throughout the months to come. “We also plan to continue engaging in album production and distribution for underground artists, and supporting them whichever way we can, as was our original target,” Muhammad added. “I’d also love to thank our sponsors and especially Mobinil for all the support they give us in promoting those local bands,” he said. Well, here’s to beautiful music and many more Rock Stops, as sensational as that one was.
Mashrou’ Leila - Haig
Mashrou’ Leila - Carl
Mashrou’ Leila - Omaya
Mashrou’ Leila - Firas
Mashrou’ Leila - Hamed
Mashrou’ Leila - Andre
The Percussion Show
Samsung Galaxy Note: Taking a smart phones to a superior level… The Samsung Galaxy Note puts the idea of buying a smart phone into a totally different perspective. Many people have second thoughts when it comes to changing the type of smart phone they have or even before getting one for the first time, mainly because switching between different types of smart phones gets confusing when it comes to handling the new interface. The Galaxy Note however is an exception to that case. The Android is considered to be a very user friendly interface in terms of flexibility and control. It didn’t take me much time to get used to it when I switched from my previous phone to the Galaxy Note (and I’m not exactly a tech-wiz). The Galaxy Note comes with an 8 megapixel camera, GPS and an additional set of specifications that could be found in any smart phone nowadays. Nevertheless, there are several other things that I found specifically interesting about this phone. One of the things that really caught my attention is the size; the Galaxy Note’s 5.3 inch screen makes it the biggest smart phone out there. Add to that its 1200 by 800 screen resolution and it feels like the images and videos are coming to life! You might prefer relatively smaller phones, but I personally find them quite irritating. The Galaxy Note is also one of the fastest smart phones out there; its 1.5 GHz dual core processor and 1GB ram make it literally faster than the last desktop I had couple of years ago. Consequently, multitasking between applications feels like a breeze.
The device’s battery life is one of its strongest points; most smart phones have a very lousy battery life and I assumed that it would be worse with the Galaxy Note, seeing that it has quite the powerful processor. But ironically enough, it turned out that it that the battery will stay alive for an entire day if you’re a heavy user and up to two days if you’re a light user, which is above expectations, especially when compared to its peers. The Galaxy Note’s most distinctive feature is the S pen stylus and memo apps which are certainly the icing on top of the cake. I’m no artist and I have a horrible handwriting, but I still found it to very useful on more than one occasion. So imagine what you could do with it if you actually have talent! All in all, the Samsung Galaxy Note is one of the best smart phones available in the market. It’s practical, convenient and more importantly fun to use. If you’re considering buying a new phone, the Galaxy Note is the where you’d want to put your money.
Samsung Launches Egypt’s Largest Mobile Application Development Workshop: “Developers Day 2012” Samsung Electronics hosted their Developers Day Workshop at the Mariott Zamalek from the 6th to the 7th of May. The workshop was specifically designed to support start up developers, undergraduates and fresh graduates in the development of Samsung platform mobile applications including Bada, Android and Samsung smart TV. On the importance of the workshop, Mr. Duke Park, General Manager of Samsung Egypt, said, “Samsung is constantly striving to support Egyptian youth and provide them with the tools to successfully develop their own businesses. As one of the leading mobile application developers in the region, and realizing the potential that Egyptian youth have in the IT sector, we decided to develop this workshop.” During the two-day event, around 260 participants were trained in the latest mobile application development techniques with a number of training sessions being provided by both senior members of Samsung as well as local representatives from AsgaTech. Additionally, a number of competitions took place to encourage entrepreneurial spirit and creative ideas, with awards being given to participants to recognize their efforts and contributions to the Samsung Developers Day. The event is expected to draw on the huge potential that Egypt’s growing youth population has already shown in the field of information technology and mobile phone applications development. Through the workshop, Samsung hopes that participants will develop the skills needed to successfully compete in this industry, with the possibility of some of them even joining Samsung at a future stage.
Personally, as a Bayern fan, I’m still a bit bitter (trust me the bitterness will show throughout the article) now that the final is over and Chelsea are the champions of Europe. But as a football fan, seeing a team win the Champions League for the first time is never a bad thing. If I learned anything from the Champions League this season, it’s the old saying that ‘the better team doesn’t necessarily win’ is 100% true, and by “better” I mean expectations-wise as well as performance-wise. In retrospect, one had to see this coming a mile away. Chelsea had an atrocious season and was well on its way to having the worst season by far in the Abramovich era, and yet in a span of around 2 months, it has become the best season in Chelsea’s history! In contrast, Bayern were having an incredible season, challenging on all fronts and in the span of the same 2 months, they lost everything, coming in 2nd in the League, German cup and more importantly, the Champions League. Football sometimes is like a fairytale, with improbable teams winning in an incredibly dramatic fashion, which leaves you talking about that run for many years to come. Myself, and many others hate Chelsea right now for the way they won. In all honesty, it’s been an incredibly lucky run since the semifinal first leg against Barcelona and the scenario continued in the 2nd leg and in the final. Barcelona and Bayern threw everything they had at the Chelsea goal, but a kamikaze defense, excellent goalkeeping, a couple of moments of skill, atrocious finishing and the post all stood in the way. You cannot argue with the Chelsea’s heart though; players literally threw their entire bodies in front of the ball to prevent the other team from shooting. I have a new respect for Ashley Cole after watching the guy save three shots on target by throwing his body in the way. All in all, you can say Chelsea won it cause of a combination of heart, teamwork, defense, and of course, lady luck. But you can’t say they won it because they played better football. (I’m not saying this as a bad thing, it’s just how it is). A lot of people were rooting for, and expecting, a “Classico” final between Barcelona and Real Madrid. I probably wouldn’t have even watched that final. I’ve seen around 10 Classicos in two seasons, I don’t really care to see another one, not to mention the fact that if that were the final, that would only prove that there are no more surprises in football anymore, which is certainly not a good thing. So what does this final mean for football? Well, I remember mid-season people saying that this Champions League has no real contenders other than the Spanish giants, with Manchester United exiting embarrassingly at the group stage, Chelsea being in very bad shape, Arsenal as usual not considered contenders, Inter struggling domestically and in Europe, and of course Bayern and Milan being around but not being considered as contenders to the two Spanish giants expected in the Champions League final. Well in a season without “contenders”, Barcelona and Real Madrid both didn’t reach the final. What if there were contenders? Trying to look ahead to next season and the potential contenders, Manchester United will be back trying to make up for a crappy season, Manchester City will try and prove they can become European heavyweights now that they conquered the Premier League (and you just know they’re going to buy maybe five new world-class strikers to add to the five they already have for extra depth), Bayern back for redemption, Chelsea as the titleholders, AC Milan will try and regain their past glory and the return of Juventus to the European stage once again. That’s not to mention the potential dark horses such as Arsenal (sorry Gunners fans, but they genuinely stopped being contenders in my book), Borussia Dortmund, Schalke and Udinese to name just a few. Perhaps the time for Barcelona dominance is over. Obviously Barcelona fans won’t like this, but they’ve won enough championships to last a lifetime, so I would hope that a new era in European football begins. One where the entire championship season is not based on Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Lionel Messi. I guess what I’m saying is, the day I stop getting surprised at what happens in football, is the day I stop caring about it. So I’d like to conclude that Chelsea winning the Champions League final sucks for me as a Bayern fan, but I believe the final itself between those two teams is a victory for football fans everywhere!
How to get better service Powered by:
HERE IN EGYPT SADLY, WE’RE NOT KNOWN FOR THE BEAUTY, SPEED AND GRACE OF OUR SERVICES AND SERVICE PROVIDERS. BEL 3AKS YOU’RE PRACTICALLY NOT EGYPTIAN IF YOU HAVEN’T HAD A NIGHTMARE EXPERIENCE WITH A WAITER, CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE, BOUNCER OR STORE CLERK. 3ADI, BETE7SAL. BUT THERE’S ACTUALLY WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING BETTER SERVICE, WHICH LEADS TO A BETTER EXPERIENCE, WHICH LEADS TO A BETTER MOOD, WHICH LEADS TO 3ALA RA2Y MAROON 5, RAINBOWS AND BUTTERFLIES AND COMPROMISE THAT MOVES US ALONG.
• When you sit down, ask him nicely to check in on you every now and then because you change your wel3a a lot.
• You’d be surprised how far being polite will take you. Greet the waiter as he seats you, smile and look him in the eye when he hands you the menu. Many people brush past waiters and take their menus without breaking conversation or even acknowledging their existence. • Make sure you give your order clearly and ask them to repeat it back. This lessens the chances of any mix-up and potential problems with your order.
• Be friendly; joke around. He’ll hover in your vicinity with his trusty wel3a more than he will around the bitchy girls in the corner who call out things like “ya 7amada… ya Hassan… ya Ahmed… yooooh… aywa enta!” (true story, we actually witnessed this. Please note that this does not make you cute or clever, this makes you a giant sphincter).
• Ask him/her their name. People respond muuuuuch better when called by their name as opposed to “law sama7t, law sama7t!” • Thank him/her anytime he refills your water, brings you napkins, 7agat keda. If a waiter/waitress feels appreciated, they’ll want to serve you better. • If it’s busy and they’re taking forever with your order, don’t automatically jump to being rude. Calmly say you’ve been waiting for your order for awhile and ask how much longer it will be. If a problem persists, also calmly ask to see the manager. Lots of the time it’s not the waiter’s fault that they’re understaffed or if there’s a problem in the kitchen, and he won’t be able to fix it. Yelling at the waiter will very rarely solve the problem, and he’ll be even less motivated to get you your food. • Tip well if there were no problems. Waiters actually have a pretty good memory and will probably remember you the next time you go, so tipping well is a way of ensuring you have good service next time. • Go a lot! If you’re a regular at a certain place, and consistently polite and friendly with the waiter, trust us, it will enhance your experience by a gazillion percent. They’ll give you the best spots, they’ll give you preferential treatment, they’ll sometimes give you discounts, free desserts, you name it!
Shisha guys: • Pretty similar to how you would treat the waiter/waitress. Smile at him, ask him his name. Trust me, he’ll come much faster if you call out “Sha3ban!” as opposed to “wel3aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”
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• Tip him at least five pounds. Shisha guys respond very well to money, so you’ll guarantee good service next time.
Customer service representatives: • One would think that they would give the best service, but half the time they’re the most obnoxious and you’ll want tedeehom beli 3ala reglak, especially when it’s over the phone and you’ve been on hold for seventeen hours. But just remember losing your temper should be your last resort, not first. • In general you get better service if you actually go to the telecom branch or the bank as opposed to dealing with them over the phone, even if it’s less convenient. When you’re in their face, they’ll dedicate all their attention you and do what needs to be done to get you out of their face, whereas on the phone they could be singing zalamo while you’re ranting about extra phone charges. • Don’t get frustrated; if you feel like you’re hitting your head against the wall, ask them for their name and ask to speak to the manager. • Don’t be afraid to ask for compensation or extra services. For example, if your phone company makes a mistake, ask them for some kind of monetary compensation, 100 le off your next bill for example. Or when you’re purchasing a plane ticket from a travel agency, ask them to send a messenger to your house/office to pick up the money and give you the ticket. You’d be surprised the things you can get if you’re polite and simply ask for it. Obviously the moral of this ‘how to get better service’ is pretty simple – be nice! Be polite! E7na magebnash el tayha, bas trust us, people always ask us why we get such good treatment everywhere. Now you know!
Youâ€™ll go to hell if you donâ€™t follow us! (This seems to work brilliantly these days)
] FROM THE READERS ]
On Leaving By Eman Omar
THE AIRPORT WAS VIBRANT AND BUSY. LAILA LOOKED AT HER WATCH AND REALIZED SHE STILL HAD FORTYFIVE MINUTES TO HER FLIGHT. SHE RELAXED IN HER CHAIR AND PLAYED WITH THE TICKET IN HER HANDS, REMEMBERING THE WORDS SHE HAD WRITTEN IN THE LETTER SHE LEFT ON THE CONSOLE AT HER PARENTS’ HOUSE THAT MORNING. SHE HAD WRITTEN THAT LETTER A FEW MONTHS BACK WHEN SHE DECIDED THAT SHE COULDN’T TAKE IN ANY MORE PRESSURE. Her stomach pains were back, but different this time. They were knots of anxiety, along with butterflies from the childish excitement she was feeling. She remembered the last time she had that feeling; it was about 20 years ago when she stood on the stage in the school choir for the first time – she was only seven. She felt it again a few years after when she was one of the finalists in the art competition in her school. She was 12 at the time, with promising talents and life full of arts and music. It was only one year later that her parents told her it was time to take her studies seriously and quit all the “child’s play”. She did as she was told without questioning Mummy and Daddy, as it was an accepted fact in her family – parents knew what’s best for their kids, full stop. She did take her studies seriously from then on and her life changed significantly, with her parents taking control of her every step. Her enthusiasm and interest in every activity there was, turned into a quiet, composed manner and solitary studies in the library. In just a few years, she was a straight A student with no more than two or three close friends. Laila recalled her inexplicable stomach pains; the ones she later realized happened every time she did something against her will - just to please her parents. The first time she had to let go of art competitions, and the application she wrote for a business school she did not want to go to. She bitterly remembered acing the courses she loathed just so she wouldn’t disappoint her father and the elective
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courses she couldn’t apply for because she was “nicely” advised to focus only on her finance and economics. She recalled starting a career in investment banking that she had never been looking forward to, and reaching a success in it that she had to pretend to be proud of. The last few months in her so-called successful career were like preparing for a revolution. Her stomach pains were getting too much to bear and she knew just what the right cure for them would be. She had developed an interest in fashion design earlier in her college years; a hobby she did not dare confess, not even to her friends. She used her researching skills to find herself the right schools of arts – abroad! Putting her savings together – and they were a lot, seeing as how she had just a couple of friends and no significant other; she applied for an Arts school in France and booked her ticket three months in advance. She made arrangements to stay with a foster family and packed light so as not to attract her parents’ attention. Experience had taught her that there was no use confronting them or trying to convince them of her dreams – they would never understand. Heart-breaks were inevitable, Laila knew that; but she was tired of it being hers. She wrote a careful letter, making sure it’s sensitive enough, especially for her mum. She said goodbye to the house that had witnessed her oppression and the burial of her inner self for years, promising it that she would not come back until she was an established fashion designer with her own business and a stronger character to face her oppressors with. The thought gave her a pang of guilt, which was subsided with at once. She had every right to think of her parents as the executors of her dreams and thus her whole existence... Laila was awoken from her daze by the sound of the electronic voice calling for her flight. She got up and walked slowly, imagining of all the amazing experiences that were yet to come and the butterflies and childish excitement that will come with it. She boarded the plane and never once glanced behind.
In loving memory of Khaled Said (January 27, 1982 - June 6, 2010) 66 JUNE 2012 CAMPUS
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