IT’S EVERYTHING BUT PORN
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IN THIS ISSUE
Feature 10 The Oscar Special 18 How the Sphinx was Murdered 20 Bringing Down the Wall Underscore 24 The Cartoon Industry 26 The Egyptian Kiss of Death... Literally 28 Bab Elshams: The Literary Roots of a Dream Quest 30 Is “Et7agebty Bravo 3aleeky” Still Relevant? 32 How to Survive a Civil War Center Stage 34 An Interview with Sama El Masry: The Islamist Slayer Opinionated 38 My Life as a Lazy Perfectionist 40 Falling Far from the Familial Tree 42 It’s Tricky to Rock a Rhyme 44 Turning into a Vegetable 46 I Don’t Want to Have Kids Bare Naked 48 An Exclusive with Hesham Hoba! Patterns 52 Trends 54 Krak Baby: The Up-andComing “Relevant” Clothing Line 56 Made in Egypt The Gay Section 58 Love as an Excuse 60 The “He’s Just Not That into You” Phenomenon Screens, Shelves & Speakers 62 Life of Pi آمنت باهلل
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facebook.com/campusmagazine Chairman Shady Sherif
Editor-in-Chief Awad El-Ghannam
Managing Editor Wessam Sherif
Creative Director Leila Tapozada
Youssef Saad Eldin
Business Development Ismaeel Khoudeir
Media Executive Eslam Abd Elalim
Financial Manager Ehab A. Aziz
Sherif El Haggar
Accountant Ahmed Serag
Office Manager Sylvia Peter
Office Assistants Ibrahim Mansour Mohamed Eid
IT Manager Ahmed Saher
Production Executive Manager Sherif Mahmoud
Distribution Manager Shazly Eid
Abdelhamed Fathy Ashraf Ramadan Gamal Moustafa Karim Ibrahim Ramy Afifi Ragab Fathy Aly Afifi Mahmoud El Araby Mahmoud Samir
IT’S EVERYTHING BUT PORN
Sr. Art Director Khaled Khidr
Graphic Designers Bassem Raafat Nora El Gazzar
Writers & Contributors Adham Bakry Amy Quotb Haitham Abou Samra Hend Ghorab Mariam Abdel-Gaber May Kamel Menna Alaa Mohamed Adel Mohammed Jamal Sarah Adel Elkerdani Seham Kafafi Sherif Elmashad Sherief Hassan Summer Nazif
Cover Credits Nora El Gazzar
CTP & Printing
Sahara Printing Company
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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
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SECTION NOTE EDITOR’S
rof tnaem si tI .nagro didnelps a si niarb ruoY edam si ti ,noitalpmetnoc erem naht erom raf ro kniht tsuj t’noD .deirt dna detset eb ot woh ees dna tcelletni ruoy esicrexe ,knihtrevo .uoy ekat lliw ti raf a eb ot evah ylirassecen t’nseod suineg A nosrep a si suineg a ,QI hgih a htiw nosrep rieht ot elbissop sa esolc sa emoc sah ohw .laitnetop lluf s’dnim eb ot tnaem saw ti yaw eht niarb ruoy esU .desu
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حبيب العمر ،قصة حبى ،انتَ حبيبى، ارحم دموعى!
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SECTION ] ] FEATURE
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The Oscar Special By Mohamed Adel AS A MOVIE FREAK, THE AWARDS SEASON IS DEFINITELY MY FAVORITE TIME OF THE YEAR, WITH LOTS OF MOVIES COMPETING FOR THE PRESTIGIOUS GOLD STATUES -- ENTERTAINMENT AND GOOD FILMMAKING IS GUARANTEED. THIS YEAR THE ACADEMY NOMINATED JUST NINE MOVIES FOR BEST MOTION PICTURE, YES, NINE AND NOT TEN. THE ONLY PLAUSIBLE EXPLANATION FOR THAT ODD NUMBER IS THEY FORGOT TO NAME MOONRISE KINGDOM AS A BEST PICTURE NOMINEE WHILE ANNOUNCING THE NOMINATIONS. GOD ONLY KNOWS.
Best Picture Nominees
Amour: European movies make the cut (5 nominations) Argo: Ben Affleck does it again (7 nominations) I’m probably not the only one who’s not very fond of Ben Affleck as an actor (he makes me feel bloated), but one has to admit that he’s a brilliant director. With Gone Baby Gone, The Town and this year’s Argo, he has proven his capability as a filmmaker. Based on a true story, the classic tale of a white man who saves the innocent Americans from the ‘barbarians’ which of course the academy falls for every time, earned seven nominations including –my favorites– the veteran Alan Arkin for best actor in a supporting role nomination for portraying the producer of the fake movie, and Alexandre Desplat’s original score which transforms the movie to a compelling Persian adventure. This crowd-pleaser is one of my personal favorites this year but with Affleck not getting a best director nomination I’m not betting on it. Sorry guys.
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Winner of the Palm D’Or at Cannes film festival this year, Michael Haneke, the eccentric Austrian director is highly acknowledged at the Oscars with nominations for best director, best original screenplay and the prestigious best foreign language film. In addition (and surprisingly) the movie got nominated for best picture, a nomination that rarely goes to a foreign movie. This bleak story is about Georges, who faces the plights of stroke attacks affecting his wife Ann, whose state deteriorates massively making both their lives utterly futile. Emmanuelle Riva with her painful performance as the decaying wife earned herself an Oscar nomination at the age of 83, becoming the oldest actress to be nominated in this category (previously Jessica Tandy for Driving Miss Daisy). Sadly, her co-star JeanLouis Trintignant who poignantly portrayed the frustrated loving husband didn’t get the same recognition. An exhausting movie to watch; with its steady camera shots, long silent scenes and a haunting story that makes you uncomfortable as the case with most of Haneke’s movies, this is not a movie that everyone would appreciate.
Beasts of the Southern Wild: A perfect movie in every sense with no big names (4 nominations) I loved this movie to the core that I still can’t get over lots of its scenes, especially that one when Hushpuppy was mad at her sick, dying father after slapping her and said: “I hope you die and after you die I’ll go to your grave and eat birthday cake all by myself.” Hushpuppy, portrayed prodigiously by Quvenzhané Wallis, managed to snag a best actress in a leading role nomination, making the nine-year-old the youngest person to be nominated in this category. Recently, the academy acquired the habit of nominating a small indie movie among the other star-studded blockbusters as a tribute to the greatness of indie cinema and I’m glad Beasts was this year’s pick. It would be a shame not to watch such a delightful movie. With a mix of drama and fantasy, Benh Zeitlin’s directorial debut defines cinematic perfection and originality. Although the nomination is considered a win with such movies, one can only hope it wins all the nominations it’s running for.
Django Unchained: Blood baths + guns + violence = A Tarantino classic (5 nominations)
Les Misérables: 150 minutes of non-stop sad songs, so help us God! (8 nominations)
Life of Pi: Hands down best picture of the year (11 nominations)
The master Tarantino is back with a modern western told in Tarantino’s distinctive style: full of blood, violence and awkward long scenes, which means the three hour movie won’t disappoint the Tarantino fans thirst for gore. With a powerful cast, the only acting recognition for this brutal movie was Christopher Waltz, earning his second nomination for a Tarantino movie after winning big for Inglorious Basterds three years ago, while great performances by DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson passed unnoticed. With five nominations, the movie has the best chance at winning best original screenplay for Tarantino which would be his second win after Pulp Fiction.
I would love to see the academy handing everyone who worked on the set of this movie an Oscar for witnessing Russell Crowe massacre everything good about life with his horrendous singing. I will, however, have to settle with them just not nominating Tom Hooper for best director for casting Crowe as Javert and torturing us all. Apart from that, Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway did a great job singing their lungs out and making everyone cry like a baby. And Hathaway, an academy favorite - nominated before for Rachel Getting Married and hosting the Oscars two years ago along with the forever stoned James Franco- will definitely win the Oscar for best actress in a supporting role fair and square. Sadly, Hugh Jackman shouldn’t prepare his Oscar speech because Daniel Day Lewis has it locked, but well, Jackman is young and will get other chances. Or not, just hand Day Lewis his Oscar.
In a fair world, this universally applauded movie should swoop all the awards becoming the biggest winner on the Oscar night. Ang Lee’s amazing adaptation of Yann Martel’s book (thought to be unfilmable) is nothing less than inspiring with its quest for faith and spectacular visuals. The movie follows Pi who finds himself cast away after he survives a shipwreck along with a scary Bengal tiger. It’s almost impossible to tell what your favorite thing about this movie is but if I had to pick, I’d probably go with Mychael Danna’s original score. (Turn to page 62 and check out a detailed review on Life of Pi)
Lincoln: Daniel Day Lewis + Steven Spielberg + Biopic = WOAH OSCARS! (12 nominations) Okay, I know I should try to be objective and all but if Daniel Day Lewis doesn’t win the Oscar for best actor in a leading role this year the world should end, instantly. I shouldn’t say more about this acting category, since it’s a lock win with none of the other performances matching up to Day Lewis’, case closed. The movie follows Lincoln’s struggle to emancipate the slaves and end the civil war. Handling such a fundamental event of American history, the movie’s dialogue had to be eloquent, making it the most likely to win the best adapted screenplay statue. Not to mention, Sally Field’s vigorous performance as Lincoln’s disturbed, grieving wife earned a well-deserved nomination for best actress in a supporting role and although I would have loved to see her win again, we all know that Anne Hathaway is the one going home with the gold. Needless to say, Spielberg, who won the best director award twice before for Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan, might do it again and I personally wouldn’t be surprised.
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Silver Lining Playbook: A romantic comedy that went right. (8 nominations)
Zero Dark Thirty: Bin Laden ain’t got nothing on you Americans (5 nominations)
David O. Russell follows his fierce double Oscar-winning movie, The Fighter, with a dark romantic comedy about two messed up souls helping each other out while searching for the silver linings and positivity after struggling with mental illness, lithium and death. And with Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver (surprisingly) all being nominated, it made it to the prestigious list of 4 acting nominations in each acting category (last time was in 1981 for Warren Beatty’s Reds). But even with everyone loving this cute little movie, eight nominations seem like quite a stretch for its genre, with Jennifer Lawrence being the only one who has an actual shot at winning.
Kathryn Bigelow, the first woman in Oscar history to win best director three years ago for her classic war movie The Hurt Locker, returns with another dicey topic: the CIA’s hunt for Bin Laden. The movie starts with a disclaimer that it’s ”based on first hand accounts of actual events” and shows how Arabs and Muslims were tortured while being interrogated to find the location of Al Qaeda’s Osama Bin Laden. A pretty annoying movie that made me want to slit my wrists because of how ridiculous everything seemed. Honestly, I was thrilled when Bigelow didn’t receive a best director nomination for this half-baked movie. Apart for Jessica Chastain’s performance as a hardcore woman among all those ugly terrorists and dumb CIA agents, I really hope this movie doesn’t win anything.
• Moonrise Kingdom: Wes Anderson’s genial family drama got only one nomination for original screenplay and no best picture nomination or
a single acting nomination.
• The Dark Knight Rises: Christopher Nolan’s final Batman installment shamefully didn’t get a single Oscar nomination not even for visual effects (?)
• The Hobbit: Peter Jackson’s first part of the pre- LOTR trilogy was completely snubbed from all the major categories earning just three nominations for makeup, production design and visual effects.
• The Master: Paul Thomas Anderson’s cult movie fails to get writing or directing nominations, with only three acting nominations for Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams and the academy disregards Thomas Anderson’s genius once again. • Hitchcock: Both Helen Mirren and Anthony Hopkins were ignored from the nominations with the movie only being recognized in the makeup category.
• De rouille et d’os (Rust and Bone): Marion Cotillard’s tragic performance as a whale trainer who gets both her legs amputated after an accident which is - in my humble opinion – one the finest performances by an actress in years got also snubbed by the academy. The Oscars will be held this year on February the 24th and will be hosted by Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy.
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How the Sphinx Was
Murdered By Menna Alaa
18 FEBRUARY 2013 CAMPUS
‘’PACK YOUR BAGS, YOU’RE COMING BACK HOME,” TEXTED MY MOM. IT WAS THE FIRST DAY AFTER THE MARTIAL LAWS WERE ANNOUNCED BY THE PRESIDENT; THE DAY THE MEDIA REFERRED TO AS “BLACK’’ BEFORE THE BROADCAST WAS CUT OFF BY THE AUTHORITIES. THE TOTAL MEDIA BLACKOUT DIDN’T STOP ME FROM CALLING MY FELLOW COLLEAGUES AT THE NEWSPAPER. “HELLO,” I SAID. “WHAT’S UP?” MY FRIEND ANSWERED WITH A SHAKY VOICE: “IT’S OVER, ALL OVER,” BEFORE I HEARD SCREAMS ON THE OTHER SIDE: ‘’THEY’RE HERE, THEY’RE HERE!’’ I froze for a second, was it really happening? Did history decide to pay us a sudden visit to remind us of what we have ignored? Ignoring my mom’s text, I decided to take to the streets, at least to see what I was missing. Heliopolis was dead; it was gloomy and sad. No cars, no metro, nothing. Even the almighty Cairo traffic we had always complained of was nonexistent. I started wandering around with the car until I reached Salah Salem. “Your pass please?” said a bearded man with a machine gun. “What?” I asked. “The area you’re trying to enter is now ours. You can’t head there without a pass approved by our leaders. The road is open to outsiders like you from 8 am to 12 pm,” he said. “And who are you exactly?” I asked alarmingly. “Well, we are who we are. Call us whatever you want; revolutionary guards, militias, we are who we are and that is confidential information. Now leave before I take necessary measures.” Without any resistance, I decided to go back. Hands shaking, I called my friend and asked him to explain. “The usual, some clashes,” he explained. “But it was too much this time, it was too intense; the police, the presidential guards and the army refused to interfere so the authorities decided to use the alternative means.” ‘’What means exactly?’’ I asked in fear of what I’m about to hear next. “Militias… and not the type the media has been talking about. Those are real militias, I assure you. The type that doesn’t compensate, the type that doesn’t play politics, but believes protecting the legitimacy of the president to be a duty called upon by God. You know them pretty well, don’t you? They were there all the time, we created them. We create our own monsters by oppressing them; we create our own monsters by choosing to ignore their existence.” I hung up, my consciousness refusing to hear any more. So yes, the country was now ruled by militias who have divided the country to zones. Moqatam was now announced the centre of the capital, Alexandria was overtaken by the Salafi preacher Abdel Monem El Shahat and he was announced Emir of the Independent State of Bahari. Zamalek and Downtown were a different story; they were both declared among the Empire of Hazemoon, Sharqiya was now under the ruling of Ayman El Zawahiri, Al Qaeda leader. Other governorates were divided among the Al Zomor family, depending on who was interested in what. I went back home and started packing my bags upon my parents’ request, trying to ignore what I witnessed or heard. Along the process, I was praying that what I’d witnessed was just a bad dream that I would wake up from any moment, but no, I never woke up. I turned on the TV to try to find at least one proper media outlet to look at, yet all I found were the celebrations I never witnessed on the streets during the two preceding revolutionary years. Black flags, people celebrating while firing weapons in the air, along with ululations by Niqabi women with chants of: “Sharia has prevailed, sharia has prevailed!” Tahrir, the symbol and landmark of freedom and liberty, was now full of hanging dead bodies, people who were accused of attacking and threatening the President’s legitimacy, people who were accused of being anti Shariaa and anti Islam. Suddenly, the people who were the reason behind the success of the Islamists were now the ones seen as enemies of the Islamic “empire”. Unconsciously, I called my friend and said: ‘’One last thing before I leave, I need to visit my 7000 year old ancestors.” We took his car and apparently he had a pass, and he smiled and said: “That’s what you get when you have a Brotherhood member in the family. By the way, you’re my wife now until we reach Giza, those people don’t have friendship in their dictionaries.” We reached Giza, yet the Pyramids were never in sight. ‘’No, this can’t be happening. History can’t be erased that easily,” I told myself, and I was wrong. I ordered my friend to stop the car and ran into the desert to find the remains of the Sphinx, Giza’s once standing savior. What seemed like 7000 years of history was now buried in the sand; what was considered a virtue back then was now portrayed as sinful and forbidden. Next to the remains was a sign that read: ‘’To the Kufar of the world, Islam has arrived. Let this be a lesson for mankind’s idolatry.” The opposition finally united at that time, but they were all either dead or thrown in prison where their voices could never be heard, where their agony can never be heard of. Of course, they never learned from the past lessons, each decided to blame the other for the country’s state. The rich left with least harm done, they were just requested to leave several millions of dollars as their one way ticket out. The poor, however, were stepped on due to the IMF loan; prices increased, crime rates soared, and people were killed upon making any demands. ‘’Do you have weapons? You know, the type that gets smuggled from Libya every now and then?’’ I asked my friend. ‘’Well, yes, some undercover and illegal small revolutionary groups have started getting armed, actually. What’s on your mind?’’ he asked. ‘’Nothing much, just a fight for identity I chose to never let go of. It’s either I die with pride or I live with humility. Grab me a Kalashnikov,’’ I said.
Bringing Down the Wall SECTION FEATURE
By Wessam Sherif
I HAVE AN ISSUE WITH STEREOTYPES AND GENERALIZED JUDGMENTS, AND THAT IS NOT BECAUSE I’VE ALWAYS BEEN AN OPEN-MINED, TOLERANT PERSON, QUITE THE CONTRARY. BEING BROUGHT UP IN A PURELY EGYPTIAN EDUCATION, AND BEING “3AYEL SHAWAR3Y” AS A KID, I PICKED UP A LOT OF RACISM AND PREJUDICE GROWING UP. IN FACT, IT TOOK ME A LOT OF READING, QUESTIONING AND SELF-CRITICISM TO ACTUALLY LET GO OF MY PRESET NOTIONS OF ACTIONS AND PEOPLE. I HAVE MADE IT A PURPOSE TO DROP ALL EXPECTATIONS I HAVE OF PEOPLE, RIGHTS AND WRONGS… I DECIDED TO SIMPLY COEXIST. EXCEPT FOR ONE ASPECT: ISRAEL.
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Protracted Conflict That’s why political scientists refer to our conflict with Israel as a “protracted conflict” -- because it is not merely geographical; cultural and religious reasons define the very fabric of the struggle. That’s why it was very, very hard for me to get to the point where I could segregate between a normal Israeli citizen, an Israeli soldier/official and a Zionist. That differentiation became key when scrutinizing the entire situation; it filtered out all the “let’s hate and annihilate them all!” factor in me, and I gained more rationality, an empathetically humane aspect, if you will. I was entirely convinced that nothing would alter that final conclusion, but around a month ago I visited Ramallah and I reached new conclusions. The following are a number of stories that shaped the entire experience:
Jericho To get into Ramallah, you have to land in Jordan first, and then go through a border crossing –administered by Israel- into Jericho (Aree7a), then take a 45 minute drive to Ramallah. That was all fine by me, except for the border crossing part. You see, those who come through the border crossing are there because they didn’t want their passport stamped by Israeli administration, so instead they get official permission from the Palestinian authority and that’s what gets stamped. Those who agree to get their passports stamped by the Israeli administration can just take a plane to Tel Aviv and drive to Ramallah from there; it’s a much shorter trip. So, given that context, those who work in that border crossing know damn well that all these visitors are not particularly amiable towards Israel, I mean they’d take a grueling trip, just to not get their passports stamped! Consequently, the officials there are not particularly nice. I arrived at the crossing along with six of my friends and I could instantly see the looks of speculation on the faces of all those who work at the crossing the second they detected that we’re Egyptians. I shi*t you not, we got the looks, the smirks and the jokes (in Hebrew). As a matter of fact, when leaving Ramallah through the same crossing, this 20 something year old girl literally cried “Egypto!” out loud when I handed her my passport for inspection. Anywho, that was all understandable. What got to me is the following: they held us at the crossing for seven hours, where we waited, waited and waited. Why? Because a couple of us looked slightly different than the pictures in our passports and entrance permits; you know, longer hair, no moustache, that kind of thing. Their intelligence had to run some investigations, the kind that lasts seven bloody hours. I swear I could’ve done it in less than 15 minutes using Google, Facebook and Twitter. Mosad my ass. So during the wait, I came across a few very interesting observations/ encounters: • At passport control, the official, a 1948 Arab woman, looked at my passport then looked back at me inquisitively and said: “How are things with the new president?” “Don’t you watch the news?” I asked defensively. “No, not really, I’m not really following the updates,” she replied, slightly embarrassed by my retort. “Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad,” I kind of lied. I didn’t want us to look like a torn nation in front of them. Yea, “them”. • I noticed that the people who work there were all very young. There were 18-year-olds administering tons of stuff. And, I have to admit, Israeli women are hot! Every time I found one attractive, I thought “sam7eeny ya masr!” to myself. • I also noticed that many were 1948 Arabs; they spoke perfect Arabic, but you could tell who their allegiance was obviously to. I also noticed that the only black Israelis (Ethiopians, also known as the Flashas) were two female janitors.
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• The overall treatment of the crossing staff was horrible. They allowed some of us to pass knowing that we’ll still have to wait for the rest who weren’t allowed through. So we were all out there waiting for retribution, praying for those who hadn’t gone through yet till the first hours of the next day. And when we did ask about our “status”, they were extremely rude. I could tell that they were instructed to deal with the visitor in that fashion, and that it gave them a sense of power over us. Notice the “us” yet again. • We had a friend who held an American passport, but refused to get it stamped. So, needless to say, they held him up as well. So, naively, or perhaps quite stupidly, another friend went to ask one of the officials why they weren’t allowing an American citizen to pass. “I mean, don’t Americans have privileges?” she asked, as I face-palmed the hell out of myself. His reply was what really hurt: “You’re all the same to us, Egyptians, Americans, Pakis… We give no privileges.” That kind of structural discipline and strictness was such a slap in the face, I could almost feel it. That was the cherry on top for me. So, I was stuck at some crappy border crossing in the freezing cold for over 7 hours, feeling like a detainee, while the hunger gnawed at my innards and exhaustion tore away at my nerves. At that point I had gotten so frustrated by the environment and their condescending attitude that all I could think of was, “e7na 7ateena 3aleeko fe 6 October ya welad el mara!” I swear, when the last one got his permit and was allowed through the crossing, my previously mentioned stupid friend ra2a3et zaghrouta out of jubilation. That’s how desperate they made us feel. I hated every last one of them; I hated Israel, the citizens and the soldiers. And that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Swimming Permit Imagine this, you want to spend the day in Ein El Sokhna, but to go there, you need a permit from the Sudanese who have taken over the area and have placed checkpoints all along the road to it. And should you try to enter without a permit, you’ll get an easy 4 years in jail. That’s the case with the residents of Ramallah. This is what a Palestinian friend told me in the middle of a conversation about the living conditions: “The Israelis, they have everything. Do you see how beautiful Ramallah is? It is nothing compared to what they have, nothing. They have the beaches, the resources and the scenery. I would love to put on a swimsuit and take a swim, but to do that they must allow us to get to the beaches. Can you imagine? I swear to you, one day, they allowed the residents of Ramallah to ‘go to the beach’ and literally everybody left Ramallah for that long-awaited swim. Ramallah’s economy collapsed that day because there was nobody around for business!”
took him in, blindfolded him and tied him to a wall using the metal poles they use in building for 28 hours straight. The nerves and muscle in his right arm were severed and he couldn’t use that arm anymore. He then spent the following 20 years of his life in their custody. As soon as he regained his freedom, he left for Ramallah out of fear of being imprisoned again. He left a wife and kids behind and started a new family in Ramallah. He has been in Ramallah for five years now, and that’s how old he believes himself to be.
The Wall Must Come Down I had spent only 5 days there, and these were only my most prominent stories. If I had a penny for every drink I shared with a man who spent most of his life in a prison of sorts (Israeli or otherwise), I would have returned home a millionaire. The walls of the city are covered with pictures of martyrs (an amplified version of what we have here) and people, in one way or the other, always keep the struggle at the back of their minds, bearing in mind that Ramallans are considered to be “softer” than Ghazans, because they deal with the Israelis on a daily basis. As another friend told me: “We deal with them because of interest, but you can never be friend with one. You can have amicable relations with them within the framework of business, but that’s all.” But on the other hand, I’ve seen Palestinians (1948 Arabs, who have Israeli passports) who spend their weekends in Tel Aviv, partying and sleeping with Israeli women. It’s mind-boggling, this whole deal. That’s why the wall must come down; rights must be restored, and not just because I believe in the Palestinian cause, but because tolerance amongst nations shall never be completely achieved as long as one holds the other by the neck. I blame the tragedies on the occupation, still not the citizens, despite what I’ve seen, but I can’t be as empathetic or rational as I used to be. True, Hamas’ atrocities are their own doing, but they still remain an indirect result of the occupation. Not to mention the identity crisis that many Palestinians go through; always in doubt between a better life in Israel or worse one in their homeland. That’s why I can’t be rational. Equilibrium must be restored before any reason can be considered. The wall must come down.
That, coupled by the settlements that I saw firsthand, the astounding disparity between Israeli and Palestinian neighborhoods and the enormous –Berlinish– wall that separates the Ramallah from Al Quds, made it harder for me to retain any rationality towards what they refer to as “Al Sahayana”.
The Five-Year-Old Man This final tale is all about heartbreak and pain, not that the previous ones were particularly jaunty, but this one is especially painful, so skip to the conclusion if you feel like you can do without the heartache. For an onlooker, the man looked at least 70, he was skinny, with wrinkled yet very rugged features and darker skin than your average Palestinian. He always wore gloves, regardless of the weather. I had also noticed that he never really moved his right arm; it always stayed at his side. Coincidentally, I got the chance to share a meal with the man and I found out the he’s Ghazan, and he’s not in his 70s, he’s 50 years old. He used to live in his hometown, Ghaza, back in his twenties when Hamas decided to ruin his life. The Islamist group was chasing a fugitive who was trying to cross the borders into Egypt. And to my friend’s dismay, he crossed paths with the fugitive and failed to stop him from escaping. As a punishment, Hamas
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24 FEBRUARY 2013 CAMPUS
The Cartoon Industry Mindf*cking Children Since Mickey Mouse By Amy Quotb CARTOONS ARE FUN, IMAGINATIVE AND WILD, AND THEY MAKE EVERYTHING SEEM POSSIBLE. KIDS ARE GULLIBLE, FEARLESS AND ADVENTUROUS. Bad combination.
For a Little Girl
beatable men. They have no extraordinary solutions to the world’s problems; they just have to stand by helplessly and watch it collapse around them. They will not get the beautiful trophy chick, they will have to wait and meet tens of wrong girls, just like regular folk. There is no secret ingredient; it’s just life.
As kids, we had quite the imagination. My brother and I used to host our own “radio station” and record our “shows” on 8-tracks. We made and read the news, created songs, and even short plays. We changed our voices to match the roles of each program, and interviewed imaginary guests. It was fun. My problem was not with imagination, it’s a great gift and a talent that can be put to good use. My problem was the fact that cartoon makers didn’t take into consideration the difference between us –kids– and grown-ups. Grown-ups knew this wasn’t real, while kids always tend to believe that everything is possible, and cartoons only reinforced that rather dangerously.
Girls, we were fine the way we were, not even noticing the difference between curly hair and straight, dark and blonde, thin and fat, until fairy tales came along. Seeing Prince Charming fall for “the fairest of all” and believing that dressing up will get you the man, let alone that the man will solve all your other problems with his money and power… (Bear with me while I puke at this point.) And you wonder why –generation after generation– teenage girls look more and more like prostitutes? HA! Cartoons had us all grow up thinking that we have to look perfect and act inferior. Subjected to further marketing of fashion magazines and beauty campaigns, girls invest more in their looks, and less in their brains and skills. They walk around looking down at those less fortunate, because they believe that those “less than perfect” creatures won’t get anywhere – because they don’t look like them, or dress the way they do. Reality bites only when girls receive random awakening slaps of what’s really out there. It’s not pretty when you fail college and are forced to wait tables because you were too busy applying hairspray. It’s not pretty when you’re forced to marry just about anyone who comes your way because you can’t make your own rent. It’s not pretty when you turn from the beautiful thing that you were to a baby breeding machine because that’s what the man wants, and you have to please the man because he’s still paying your bills. It’s not pretty because, guess what? Life is not about being pretty.
It was quite disturbing for me to watch boys fight as superheroes – “I’m Superman! I’m going to kill you *insert name of imaginary villain*!” – “HA! This rock is full of Kryptonite, Superman! Take that!” OUCH. As you can tell, that one didn’t end well… Am I the only one who finds it premature? I mean, boys will fight anyway; they’ll fight over girls in high school, backstabbing their friends in college, and jobs and money as adults. Boys are bound to fight anyway, but did cartoon makers have to start it so early on by making them believe that superheroes were so common and… out there? Boys grow into men only to suffer from chronic concussions from hitting their heads on the rock of reality. They have no super powers; they’re just
In my humble opinion, I think that cartoons should be seriously revisited to suit their audience. Cartoons can be for everyone, sure, but there should be a different message for every age group. Brainwashing boys into thinking that they should have super powers, and girls into believing that they should be air-headed super models is only setting them up for major disappointment. Let’s just say that I started watching cartoons again when I was about 22, 23. I now enjoy the occasional episode of Tom & Jerry because I’m aware that it’s a work of pure fiction. I now have favorite superheroes (Hellboy, how cute!) because I know they’re imaginary, and quite entertaining. But that’s only because I know the difference.
I remember my mother struggling to convince my little brother that he can’t walk through the wall like Casper. I remember our family friend’s little boy who died at age 6 because he jumped off the balcony, drenched in his mother’s black “Abaya” yelling “I am Batman!” I remember wanting talking cats and mice, wanting to run across a meadow in New Zealand with a bunch of goats, and wanting to have pretty big eyes that twinkled, and perfect blonde locks that flew about every time I skipped my way to school. But none of that happened in real life, and at a very young age, I was mad at cartoons. Cartoons simply made my life seem very boring in comparison.
I’m Not Slaughtering Cartoons
By Youssef Saad Eldin
26 FEBRUARY 2013 CAMPUS
EGYPTIAN MOVIES HAVE BEEN -AND STILL ARECORRUPTING OUR MINDS IN MORE WAYS THAN I CAN POSSIBLY COUNT. BUT FOR NOW, LET’S FORGET ABOUT THE SOCIOPOLITICAL EFFECTS OF EGYPTIAN MOVIES ON OUR SUSCEPTIBLE MINDS AND FOCUS ON SOMETHING A LOT LESS IMPORTANT; KISSING! EGYPTIAN MOVIES HAVE IRREVERSIBLY AND DREADFULLY ALTERED OUR PERCEPTION OF KISSING THROUGHOUT THE PAST 60 YEARS OR SO.
Over time, kissing in Egyptian movies has developed, and like pretty much all the development this country has witnessed, it wasn’t exactly for the better.
Black and White Back in the black and white movies era, there was a very specific technique for kissing. But before getting into that, I should point out that to my recollection, their kissing was never really mutual. Aside from a very few exceptions, it is always the guy who initiated the kiss, and the girl rarely had any valuable input in the kissing process. All what the girls seemed to do back then was sit back and enjoy the ride. Nevertheless, in most cases, the guy wouldn’t just simply kiss the girl; he’d have to grab her from her shoulders or back, somewhat aggressively pull her closer to him, and finally, initiate the kiss. To sum it up, there was no plain kissing in those days, you either hugged a girl or hugged and kissed her at the same time. Of course, many actors mastered this move, but the most prominent of which were Abdelhalim Hafez, Roushdy Abaza, and for some reason I fail to see, Emad Hamdy.
Adel Imam, the Pioneer As of the 70s, kissing started to take a much more disturbing turn. Instead of watching the same kiss being done by different actors over and over, several styles of kissing originated. Adel Imam is a prime example; normally people would watch a kiss, but with Adel Imam, you’d hear it. it’s very hard to put into writing how a kiss would sound like so I’ll have to assume you know what I’m talking about here, you know, that horrible, slobbery lip-smacking sound. Another type of kissing that emerged during that time was the supposedly passionate type. I appreciate the fact that some directors and actors want to put the audience in the mood by displaying the affection behind the kiss, but for the love of God, don’t gross the living fu*k out of me. In that type, which for some reason, is mostly carried out by Nour El Sherif accompanied by either Mervat Amin or Poussy, the couple grab each other by the shoulder and one of them puts his/her hand on the other’s face and engage in a kissing frenzy. During this frenzy, the couple –systematically– stamp (I mean that literally) 20 short kisses on each other’s lips throughout a period of 15 seconds while the camera rotates around them to show the audience all possible angles of the atrocity. I really don’t care how much a couple love or miss each other, no one, and by God I mean NO ONE, should ever kiss like that. And if anybody does that in real life, I hold Nour El Sherif personally accountable.
The Romance Another equally disturbing type is the slow romantic one. Unfortunately for all of us, before Mahmoud Abdel-Aziz discovered the humorous aspect of his talent, he was stuck with romantic roles that gave “talzee2” a whole new meaning. While performing those roles, especially with Naglaa Fathy, the kiss would start anywhere but on the lips (be it the neck or the arm), and after about ten very wet kisses that take around one to two minutes, he finally kisses her one very long and very wet kiss. The problem with this type is that in some cases you could actually see the couple drooling all over each other (quite literally).
Da7raga Kiss There is also another type of kissing that I would’ve loved to make fun of, the one where “the lovers” chase each other in a park, then “accidentally” fall and roll on top of other and “naturally” start kissing. However, George Lucas pulled that off in Star Wars Episode II and I can’t in good faith make fun of something George Lucas did. Sorry, I’m a loyal fan. The poor approach that Egyptian movies tackle kissing with makes me quite grateful that we live in such an uptight community. I mean you can’t help but wonder, if this is the best they can do with kissing, what evil could’ve come out if they attempted to make sex scenes?
Bab Elshams The literary roots of a dream quest By Sherif Elmashad
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،يضحك و “يبكي ،فرحا وال ًا حزن ال ً خط سطرًا،كعاشق ٍ ،محاه و،الهوا في قلب مترس باللذات كبرعم،و هو فتى ” فانفتح..ملسته الريح I don’t quite remember which I fell for first, a book with a white cover with an orange circle in the middle and figures of people in different postures, or the above mentioned lyrics in the voice of Zein Mahmoud. In 2005, I met “Bab Elshams” –the book and the movie– for the first time, and little did I know, one of my all-time favorite books would later on shape one of my all time favorite moments in history.
Fiction In his novel, Elias Khoury tells a fictional love story that’s more solid than reality could ever be: Younis, a Palestinian freedom fighter, Naheela, a woman for whom a nation is fought for, and Palestine, the idea that just won’t come true. In the novel, Younis, the wanted freedom fighter, keeps traveling through the borders back and forth, secretly meeting Naheela in a little cave they chose to name “Bab Elshams” and secretly proclaimed it as the first liberated piece of land in Palestine. One of my favorite moments in the novel is when Naheela is brought in front of an Israeli prosecutor asking her how could she be pregnant if Younis had been banned for many years from entering Deir Elasad, their village. He considers it as evidence that he’s been sneaking secretly into the village, but she simply replied, “La… ana shar*outah”. It’s as simple as this: she decided that she’d rather be called a whore than to give away information about her husband. The novel tells the story of the resistance from the 50s and the 60s up until now, tracing how lost the idea of resistance has become and how messed up the concept of occupation became in the heads of every gun-holder in Palestine.
Reality For the past 64 years, there’s been an ongoing tragedy right next to us. In short, for the past 64 years there’s been a false perception that a person can claim a piece of land, killing anyone living there and everyone will still be able to sleep at night. And for the past 27 years, every lesson learned had delivered one repeated message: a fool is someone who does the same thing twice and expects a different outcome the second time. It’s been 64 years since the Israeli occupation of Palestine has started, and throughout those years, all Arab regimes have been stuck at one of the five stages of grief: 1) Denying the existence of Israel, 2) Anger and hate speeches towards Israel, 3) Bargaining with the Israeli state, 4) Depression caused by the belief that the state of Israel is a time defiant state that shan’t go away, and finally, 5) Acceptance; the state of Israel is a fact of nature, it won’t go away, there’s no use of claiming back Palestine, nothing more to do than to accept that what once was Palestine, is now a weird mixture of Gaza and the Left Bank. And for the past 64 years, in a way or another, the Palestinian resistance has been playing according to the Israeli rules. Trapped within the Israeli geographical set layout, and with Israel having the upper military hand, the Palestinian resistance has been forced to limit its victory to successfully defending its current stand, with very little hope of achieving actual land-claiming victories. Just like the political scene in all Arab states for the past 64 years, the political scene in Palestine has been stuck in a loop that gets only worse by time.
Fiction Becomes Reality In one of the books about Palestine, the author brilliantly noticed that all the Israeli roads passing by the Israeli settlements were specifically designed so that the passenger will never see or pass by a Palestinian village. Even on a basic engineering level, Israelis realize that they have the upper hand and can accordingly deny the whole Palestinian existence; what they don’t see, they don’t have to think about or react to. And on Friday, the 11th of January 2013, more than 250 Palestinians moved out of the Israeli geographically preset reality and embraced one of the most clichéd words in the Arab spring for the past 2 years, the revolutionary romance. Just like Younis from Bab Elshams, this group of Palestinians decided to declare a piece of land in area E1 –an area of the West bank, located adjacently to East Jerusalem– as a Palestinian village, a free piece of land. And just like Naheela’s “I’m a whore” call, they waited for no validation from any occupation forces. For a couple of days, using a bit of imagination and freewill, a piece of land that was intended to end as an Israeli settlement, was in fact a liberated Palestinian village. The Israeli forces then attacked the improvised village, removing all traces of it and assaulting its residents. A couple of days later, other Palestinians sneaked into it using a simple trick, disguising themselves as a Palestinian traditional wedding celebration and disguising journalists and TV camera men as wedding photographers. This other group of Palestinians were also beat up by Israeli soldiers. Then, on Friday the 20th of January, another village like Bab Elshams came to life; Karama, also located in the West Bank, with 50 Palestinians and 50 other people from different nationalities living in it. Whether the Palestinian masses –mainly in the West Bank– will adopt this method as a new way of resisting the Israeli occupation or not, is a question that will only be answered with time. Whether they’ll develop even newer ways of resistance, or will go back to military resistance –mainly located now in Gaza– or will simply push forward for a more coexistence-oriented approach like a single state for all people to live in, remains a choice that only they can take. Whether they’ll abandon all the forced circumstances or they’ll give in, whether they’ll believe in fiction or disbelieve in the facts, whatever their decision is, I know in my heart that the most beautiful Palestinian story hasn’t been told yet. N.B: this letter was published by Elias Khoury, the author of Bab Elshams, addressing the brave Palestinians behind the act:
:”“رسالة إلى أهلي في قرية باب الشمس أراكم وأرى كيف صار احللم على... فأنا معكم،لن أقول يا ليتني كنت معكم .أيديكم حقيقة منغرسة في األرض ألنكم عندما،“على هذه األرض ما يستحق احلياة” كما كتب محمود درويش . وصرمت أبناء هذه األرض وأسيادها،بنيتم قريتكم الرائعة أعدمت املعنى إلى املعنى كان ليونس حلم.”هذه هي فلسطني التي حلم بها يونس في رواية “باب الشمس وصرمت أنتم يا أهالي باب، فصارت الكلمات جروحا تنزف بها األرض،من كلمات . وتعيد فلسطني إلى فلسطني،الشمس كلمات تكتب احللم باحلرية أرى في قريتكم كل وجوه األحبة الذين غابوا في الطريق إلى أرض موعدنا ويطردون كل يوم، فلسطني هي موعد الغرباء الذين طردوا من أرضهم..الفلسطيني .من بيوتهم !غرباء وأنتم أبناء األرض وزيتونها وزيتها تبنون قريتكم فيشتعل بكم نور،أنتم زيتون فلسطني الذي يضيء بشمس العدل .” “نور على نور..احلرية أرى في عيونكم وطنا يولد من ركام النكبة الكبرى املستمرة منذ أربعة وستني .عاما أرى الكلمات فتكبرون في وجداني وتعلون،أراكم فتكبر في قلبي الكلمات .وتقتحمون السماء أتعلم معكم معاني، لي طلب واحد هو أن تقبلوني مواطنا في قريتكم،وختاما .احلرية واحلق إلياس خوري ”.2013 كانون الثاني/ يناير12 بيروت 29
Is ‘Et7agebty Bravo 3aleeky’ Still Relevant? By Mohamed Adel
A FEW OF YEARS AGO, I WAS TERRORIZED BY THIS SONG ‘E7TAGEBTY BRAVO 3ALEEKY’, WHERE THIS GUY SINGS JUBILANTLY TO HIS FIANCÉE WHO HAS DECIDED TO GET VEILED. IT’S AN AWKWARD SONG THAT MADE ME ITCH WHENEVER I HEARD IT, BUT WELL, IT WAS ONLY NORMAL DURING THE ‘7EGAB EPIDEMIC’ INVADING EGYPT ALONG WITH ALL THOSE COOL SHEIKHS PREACHING ON EVERY TV CHANNEL. Recently, I had made this observation, yep just an observation, not based on research or actual social analysis: lots of girls and women whom I’ve known as veiled for years are taking their headscarves off. A bold action that is not taken lightly by our conservative ‘motadyen be tab3o’ society. A society that dictates women to cover themselves, head to toe, claiming that a woman’s body is a ‘jewel’ that should be protected. A superficial society that judges people for their looks and not for their acts: calling every bearded man a sheikh and a woman not covering her hair a slut. Trying to dig deeper into this ‘phenomenon’, I started asking some girl friends who have taken their veils off recently about why and when they started wearing it, their decision to take it off and people’s reactions. MA said “I believe peer pressure had something to do with it,” about her putting it on for the first time, whereas NA told me that her school friends used to pick on her because she wasn’t veiled, so she wore it only for school. MM said that “it was mainly out of fear that I’d go to hell if I kept showing my hair.” Whether they started to wear it because they felt like it was the right thing to do as a good Muslim or just following the trend, they weren’t convinced enough with its value and thus couldn’t abide by the rules it conveys and level up with the people’s expectations of a veiled woman. MA added, “I never felt like myself; not because I’m dying to show my hair or skin, but I felt like a hypocrite.” BA, on the other hand, admitted, “I grew up as a veiled girl but I wasn’t very veiled, if you know what I mean; tight jeans, short tops and no praying.” And although most girls I talked to come from an educated background and weren’t forced to wear it, they all faced their parents’ objection to their decision, with the fathers arguing that “haysheel zanbaha” and the mothers worrying about “el nas hat2ool eh?!” But at certain age, most girls are old enough to do whatever they want, ignoring people’s
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judgment. As BA says, “I was obviously subjected to people talking but I couldn’t care less because soon enough they’d forget the whole thing and move on.” Regarding sexual harassment as a non-veiled woman MM says, “It’s almost the same, but more degrading.” Most, if not all, didn’t defend their decision, explaining that it might be upsetting to God but they still couldn’t take it. And as MA concludes, “I might be doing something that God wouldn’t really like, but at least I’m honest. And maybe I can take it one step at a time so whenever I’m fully ready, I can put it back on.” On the other hand, NM, who was forced to wear it as a kid, is still struggling with her stubborn dad who can’t accept her ever taking it off. And describing how that affected her self esteem negatively: “I started smoking and did a lot of body piercings just to prove to myself that I’m the one in control over my own body.” Most interestingly was an old woman who had been veiled for 20 years and then decided to take it off because she felt like she didn’t belong to the people who wear it and that she wouldn’t like to be defined as one the Islamists, as she described them. And with the Muslim Brotherhood’s dishonest behavior, massacring everything that Islam stands for and the sheikhs on the TV becoming more and more offensive, one can understand her choice. On the contrary, a veiled friend of mine, ST, who affirms that she never thought of taking her headscarf off, blames this ‘phenomenon’ on the stereotyping against el mo7agabat that they all wear ‘body carina’ or come from a lower class and stick their mobile phones in their veils. And with some places not allowing veiled girls in and most guys wanting to marry a non-veiled girl, being veiled is no longer considered as cool or ‘in’ as it used to be 5 years ago. Regardless of the motives, it’s obviously a personal decision that only concerns the person involved and it’s none of our business. So as a gesture of support to anyone who stands for their own beliefs, I’ve been congratulating every woman who took her veil off with a smile on my face and a ‘mabrouk’ and I do exactly the same whenever a friend decides to cover her hair. And I think everyone should do the same, not only because we live in a dumb society that disregards autonomy, but because we shouldn’t we change our perception of a woman just because she decided to dress differently.
How to Survive a Civil War By Sherif Elmashad 32 FEBRUARY 2013 CAMPUS
IN 1960, AN ARGENTINEAN DOCTOR WHO ABANDONED MEDICINE AND CHOSE TO CARRY ARMS INSTEAD, DECIDED TO WRITE DOWN HIS PERSONAL INSIGHT ON WAR. AND THUS, BASED ON HIS EXPERIENCE, ERNESTO “CHE” GUEVARA WROTE “GUERRILLA WARFARE”, A BOOK EXPLAINING HOW TO WIN GUERRILLA WARS AGAINST HUGE ARMIES. And in 2012, just weeks before the date the Mayans predicted the world would end, Egypt faced the first mock-up of a civil war. Someone had to write down the necessary tips and tricks to surviving a much-anticipated civil war, with a majority of Islamists on a side, and Egyptian civilians of every other sort on the other. However, these guidelines are for noobs only. If you’ve witnessed any action for the past 2 years, you’re ok as it is.
First of all, how to identify a street/civil war situation? • Living in Egypt, one should have the ability to tell a war and a fight apart. A street fight will normally have a maximum of 30 people fighting. There will be no chants, only loud cursing (also known as khena2et sab deen). Usually no firearms will be used, mostly either swords of variant sizes or sticks. • A street/civil war situation is very different from usual street fights. First of all, usually thousands participate in it. There are usually two parties fighting. There isn’t a thing such as a weapon limit; you’ll find literally everything you’ve seen in movies. There’ll be a lot of rocks flying in the air. Also there’s a general tendency to turn all the lampposts off, causing chaotic darkness. • In both cases, just check your twitter account not TV channels. TV channels will always depict it like Armageddon is taking place in Egypt.
Second, if it does turn out to be a street/civil war, how exactly should you look? • It’s a war. You have to wear something comfortable, highly durable and that will protect you at the same time. There’ll be a lot of tear gas, so you need something to protect your nose. A hockey mask would be perfect to protect your face. Also, wear something thick to protect you from rubber bullets, and for males, a cup for your testicles –yes, they’re in danger- and
comfortable shoes for running. Che always believed in the importance of comfortable shoes and –believe it or not- constructed a shoe factory to provide for his forces on ground. Also wearing bright colors equals being an easy target. • During World War II, snipers were able to locate the enemy’s soldiers by something as tiny as lit cigarettes. This is still valid in our times, yet, a more tricky situation is upon us, being a generation so attached to their music that we would take iPods to a battlefield for self-entertainment. Trust me, with that screen light on and your earphones rocking, you’re a sitting duck. • If you’re a girl, believe me, there isn’t a single parallel universe in which you can wear heals to clashes. Low waist jeans just mean you’re subject to harassment from both sides. Lipstick means that the tear gas will just stick underneath your nose. Also, contact lenses will screw your eyes.
So, you checked your twitter timeline, confirmed it was a street/civil war, got perfectly dressed in your old jeans, converse shoes, Palestinian scarf and puffed jacket. Do you have a weapon? • Your weapon of choice is mainly based on where you’re standing during the clashes. The main factions are the frontline, the cheerleaders, the tweeps, the field hospital and the “elly ye7eb masr, maykharabsh masr”. If you’re at the frontline, you’ll need something that is effective over long distances and one hell of an arm. Usually, the frontline is all rock throwing, with a minority of firearms. Try not to be near anyone with firearms because they usually have no idea what the word aiming means. If you’re in the cheerleader section, which is basically behind the last line there is, you won’t need any arms. You’ll be too occupied trying to show off in front of your girlfriend as if you’ve been injured in battle. If you’re in the tweeps section, this means you’re basically in the 4th or 5th line and might have been in the frontlines for a while. You’re just taking a few steps back to tweet about what you just did, post a couple of pictures of your injuries and proudly declare that the revolution is still on. If you’re in field hospital, that means you’re probably somewhere on the right or left to the battle, guarding doctors and injured people. In this case, a personal weapon (iron rod, baseball bat, hockey stick… etc.) will be perfect. In all cases, you’ll have no idea what to do the first couple of times you’re on the street, but if you survive those, you’ll find your own pace. • No matter where you’re standing, here’s personal advice: there isn’t a single place where it’s cool to kiss/hookup with your girlfriend around the battle zone. I know about the thrill, the adrenaline rush, the rocking sensation of a new experience and the excitement, but trust me, if she’s hot, a lot of the people around you will probably see you, no matter how good will you hide in a dark corner. I know that a street/civil war means a lot of people are staying home and afraid, so you’ll have all the empty streets for yourself, bas mesh lazem t7okaha fi ard el ma3rka. • For girls, always walk around with an electric taser and a knife. For a tutorial on how to use the knife, please refer to the movie Faceoff where Travolta teaches his daughter how to stab a guy. It’s a perfect tutorial. • If you’re using a dog, it can be a bit tricky. First of all, we’re not a typical pet society. Second of all, a lot of people in there –myself included– are scared shitless of dogs. Can you possibly imagine the horror I’d be living in if there’s someone attacking me with a sword from one side and there’s a two-meter tall dog barking at my ass? Not cool bro. Please take your dog and walk it off somewhere else, or unleash it on the other side and let it fight in honor. • For a very weird reason, Islamists are scared shitless of flares. I don’t know why, but I’ve seen masses retreat just because three teenagers ran towards them with flares. Maybe it’s because of the general fear of the Ultras, with the legend saying that a guy with a fire flare is definitely Ultras, but anyhow, it’s a weapon you can easily use. So, you’re on the battlefield, you’re dressed for a fight, you’ve got your map ready, your cell phone is charged, your twitter app isn’t crashing and your arms are ready. The only thing missing though is realizing that this is all real and not a Call of Duty simulation. Now, go make good old Che proud, or go home to your girlfriend with a scar, which will probably give you great sexy time.
] CENTER STAGE ]
Sama El Masry: The Islamist Slayer Because who knew politics, 3ayda El Sha3er and satayer el beit could all fit in one conversation?
Interview by May Kamel & Youssef Saad Eldin WITH THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD GOING AROUND SPREADING CHAOS, THE FAILED STATE REACHING NEW LOWS AND THE NATIONAL SALVATION FRONT CONDEMNING ALL THE AFOREMENTIONED WITHOUT REAL OPPOSITION, CAME SAMA EL MASRY, FAMOUS SINGER AND DANCER, GIVING PRESIDENT MORSI, MB FIGURES AND ABO ISMAIL A PIECE OF HER MIND. IN THREE VIDEOS, SHE SLASHED THEIR LOUSY POLITICAL PRACTICES WITH HER SEXY OUTFITS AND HER BLATANTLY SATIRICAL LYRICS. WE DECIDED WE MUST SIT WITH THE LADY WHO WE CLAIM TO BE THE ONLY ONE WHO REPRESENTS US AMONG THIS POLITICAL FIASCO, AND WE DID. WORDS WON’T SERVE THIS INTERESTING MEETING RIGHT, BUT WE’LL DO OUR BEST TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF HOW THE MEETING OF TWO SARCASTIC ENTITIES, US AND SAMA, WENT. 34 FEBRUARY 2013 CAMPUS
Campus: Finally, we get to meet the woman who challenged the Muslim Brotherhood! Enty el wa7eeda el betmaseleena fel hamm da! Sama: (Laughs) Maho besara7a kan lazem 7ad yerod 3alehom. Lama la2eit el shanabat mesh bete3mel 7aga, 2olt a3mel 7aga ana. C: When did this ingenious idea strike you? S: Kont 2a3da marra basma3 “Kayda el 3ozzal ana men youmy” beta3et 3ayda El Sha3er. The next thing I know, I was rhyming words to its tune. C: So you write your own words? S: Yes. C: That’s impressive. S: (Takes a sip of her yansoon). Merci. Ana bana2y la7n yekoon ma3roof lel nas 3ashan yeb2a sahl. We kaman 3ashan takaleef el tal7een beteb2a keteer, w betakhod wa2t. We adeeny bakhafef 3an el nas w ada7akhom, bakhod 7asanat. C: We now know how you came up with the idea. But what about the motive? S: Homa mostafezeen men ayam magles el sha3b, bas mawdou3 el manga da aktar 7aga 3asabetny. We were in 2012 and instead of discussing how to better develop the country, they were discussing the marriage age and genital mutilation. El nas tel3et el 2amar… Felix da natt men el fada2 w e7na lesa fel manga. C: Your messages are short and to the point, and we love that. How do you gather material for your videos? S: From talk shows and from things people share on Facebook. I never miss an episode of Ibrahim Eissa or Lamees El Hadidy. Beygeebo kol 7aga. C: And who do you despise the most? S: Amr El Leithy. El khallef mamatsh fe3lan… Ya3ny da Abo Ismail odamo, ezay may2oloosh enta kaddab?! C: Did your family ever oppose your involvement in politics, especially that you are challenging prominent figures of the nowruling party and the president himself? S: They are very understanding. Actually, my family was there during the shooting of the first video and we had so much fun. Mama bas kanet 2al2ana lama yeego ye2bodo 3alaya yakhdo el setara! (Laughs) C: (Laughs) What were the reactions your received after your released the first video “Baltag”? S: As you see, the videos are all home-made. I didn’t expect this one in specific to stir a buzz. After shooting, I gave it to my friends and asked them to spread it online if they wish. At the time, I didn’t think it would be a huge deal. The next morning, I woke up to a gazillion phone calls and text messages from friends, the press… everyone I know. Ro7t tal3a sa2la mama, 2akhado el setara? 2aletly la2… 2olt tamam ba2a! C: Tante motamaseka bel setara awy ya Sama! This last video
of yours was the major hit, or so we think. That Abou Ismail has really gone too far. S: Ana nefsy yerod 3alaya aslan. Howa aw gheiro, bas da belzat ana talabt monazra ma3ah law howa 3ando el shaga3a. Homa fe3lan gesm 3ogool bi 3a2l 3asafeer. C: He would never do it. Have you received any threats after any of the videos? We know that the lawyer Nabih El Wahsh recently filed a case against you regarding this matter. S: Nabih El Wahsh and “7azeqoon” filed a case against me, raqamha 10107, 7afzah, beyetehemny be 2ezdera2 el 2adyan, we takdeer el 2amn el 3am. Ya3ny eih aslan? W ba3dein howa mafeesh 7ad feehom beymasel el deen. I’m not merely attacking them because of personal issues. I’m attacking their policies and their failure to keep any of their promises. C: Oh, so it’s real. How did it go then? S: I’m a member of the Musicians’ Syndicate, and they have been more than supportive of my case. We ba3dein ya retny ana ommy Amricaneya; kont ro7t henak! We tany ba2ollo, law enta wa7sh, ana ghoul yabny! (Andy, the office cat, makes an unannounced appearance into the room and takes a couple of photos with Sama) S: Bamout fel 2otat… beykhafo menny 3ashan 3enaya shabahom. (Laughs) C: Do you ever get threat phone calls? S: Keteer. Bas asl ana comedeya. El yekalemny 3ala Morsi ba3od a2ollo “Maaa2, maaaa2”. We elly ye2olly handawar 3aleky, 2a2ollo leih bas el ta3ab, 2olly enta fein w ana hagelkom. C: You go, S! Have you always been interested in politics? S: Not at all. Like the majority of the population, I knew nothing about politics before the revolution. Everyone is being more politically aware now. C: Did you take part in the revolution? S: No, I just followed the news like most of the people too. C: Ever expected that Morsi would be the next president? S: After their reprehensible performance in the parliament, I thought that the MB winning was next to impossible. (Sighs) C: Whom did you vote for then? S: Ahmed Shafik. Masr lazem ye7komha ragel 3askary keda w sheek. Shofteeh embare7 fel television? C: I didn’t, but I heard bits and pieces keda. What do you think of other political figures? S: Bala7… C: Hamdeen Sabahy? S: Makontesh barta7lo, w et2akedt ba3d el 3amalo fel Tahrir ba3d el gawla el 2oola.
C: Abo El Fotouh? S: Ye2ool el ye2oolo, howa Ikhwan. C: Amr Mousa? S: Ma3agabneesh eno etkalem 3ala Mubarak we7esh ba3d el thawra. Mesh ba7eb el taree2a di. C: Baradei? S: Hmm, mesh 3arfa. C: Are you participating in any marches on the 25th of Jan? S: My mom is worried they would attack me. Also, with Egyptians, you can’t really expect what is going to happen next. I just don’t want more people to die. C: What about Jan 26th and the Ultras? S: Ultras Ahlawy doul 7abayby. Tesada2y doul aktar nas sabta 3ala mabda2hom. Beye3geboony gedan. Homa beydawaro 3ala el 3adl. C: How do you see the situation now, and the way out while we’re at it? S: El wad3 zeft. W gabhet el enqaz dol kaman farsenny. Law 2a3raf ala2y lohom tasree7at zay el Ikhwan kont 3amalt 3aleehom video homa kaman. C: (Laughs) We do look forward to that indeed. So we are hopeless? S: El Ikhwan hayemsho bas mesh orayeb, la2en lesa fin as keteer maga3etsh. El haymasheehom 7arb 2ahleya aw thawret geya3. C: If the Brotherhood had a proper plan to develop the country, but they were to force Islamic rule alongside, what would be your stand? S: I would still be against them. I’m against mixing politics with religion. If they are to feed the poor and benefit the country, they’re most welcome. But they can’t have a say on how we live our lives. C: Has the political scene post 2011 affected your work and art scene in general? S: Of course. Not the MB rule just so we don’t have things mixed up. It’s just like any other business. No one wants to invest during the unrest. The MB can never ban art; Egyptians will not allow that. It’s against our nature and our culture. E7na bensally el gom3a w nerga3 nesma3 Om Kulthoum. C: Some people claim that you are only doing those videos seeking fame. S: Let’s assume that this is correct. Wouldn’t I be afraid of them or any of their followers harming me? Why would I risk my life for fame or anything else for that matter? C: Had Shafik won and failed to meet expectations, would you still oppose him? S: Tab3an. Da 7a2ena. C: Politics apart, tell us more about your career. S: I graduated at the faculty of arts – English section, ya3ny ba3raf afarra2 el P wel B 3ashan teb2o 3arfeen (laughs). I got a job at the stock market in public relations and marketing, but waking up early isn’t exactly my thing so I quit after a couple of months. After 2 years, I was offered a role in the movie Maganeen Nos Kom, where I sang “Ahmed Ya Omar”. C: (sings along, ah 7afzeen tab3an “ya wa7ed men el etnin”) Are we going to be seeing more political sarcastic videos? Who are you slashing next? S: Wallahy ma 3arfa. Homa feehom el 3ebar, hala2y 7ad a3mel 3aleih oghneya. 3arfa meen kaman beyestafezeny? Betoo3 Qatar. Malhom w mal Masr? C: What about your other plans? Do we expect anything new soon? S: Fi shwayet 7agat le Ramadan, bas lama neshouf el balad haye7sal feeha eih. C: What is your dream role? S: Nefsy a3mel fawazeer zay Sherihan w Nelly. C: Who is your favorite singer? S: Fadl Shaker. C: Bas da etdayen w rabba da2no… S: Wana maly. Ana lesa basma3 aghaneeh. C: It was a pleasure having you over. We khody balek 3al setara ba2a... S: (Laughs) Ana kaman etbasat awy... La el setara mohema fe3lan 3ashan mama.
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يا حلو يا اللى العسل سايل من الشفة ،شعرك سالسل دهب، دمك كمان خفة ،أدفع فى مهرك ألوف ،واهديكى جمع مالى ،لو قلتى كلمة ياس مع بسمة من الشفة...
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SECTION ] ] OPINIONATED
as a Lazy Perfectionist By Summer Nazif
38 FEBRUARY 2013 CAMPUS
I AM AN 18-YEAR-OLD WHO VALUES SLEEP OVER ALL OTHER ACTIVITIES. I ENJOY LAZY DAYS ON WHICH MOVING FROM BED TO THE COUCH IS ABOUT THE ONLY EXERCISE I GET. I COULD SPEND DAYS AT HOME DOING NOTHING BUT READING BOOKS, WATCHING TV, EATING AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY, SLEEPING. I’M ALSO A PERFECTIONIST WHO HAS TO PUT HER HEART AND SOUL INTO EVERYTHING SHE DOES. I EITHER DO THINGS RIGHT, OR I DON’T DO THEM AT ALL. THE CATCH IS HOW TO GET MYSELF TO ACTUALLY DO, WELL, ANYTHING AT ALL.
Exhibit A: Being a college student can be very demanding; you’ve got assignments to work on, deadlines to meet, exams to study for and, for some of us, a life to live. The key is to keep a balance that enables you to get all things done right and on time to clear your schedule for what comes next. Being lazy, I fail to keep that balance; I put things off till the last minute, falsely thinking that I work better under stress and that the time I’ve got is more than enough, it’s never even close to that. Being a perfectionist, I double my effort when I feel time is running out which drains me both physically and mentally. I get things done eventually, but I always end up wondering “Why didn’t I start earlier? Did I really have to take an 8-hour nap when I could’ve run all errands and spared some leisure time?” Of course I promise myself a series of never-agains, only to find myself stuck in that vicious cycle every single time.
Exhibit B: I always make the mistake of thinking I’ll get to my destination on time, no matter when I leave the house. Being a Cairene, that’s physically impossible. Let’s say I have to meet a friend at 3, I would only get out of bed and consider getting ready at 2:15. Bringing myself to actually get up would take 10-15 minutes and before I know it, I’ve only got 30 minutes to get dressed, get going and meet my friend. Being a girl, I take quite the time to decide what to wear, wear it, change my mind about it and cry in a corner because my room is flooded with clothes but I’m convinced I have nothing to wear! Being a perfectionist, I can’t leave the house before I make sure I won’t have to look in a mirror for a few hours. Being late, I get called “Lazy bum” by almost everyone I know. Again, I promise myself and everyone else to “never again be late”. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve broken that promise.
Exhibit C: I have some sort of OCD and I’m a clean freak. A lazy clean freak. I hate untidy rooms, but it’s not like I would do anything about it. At this moment in time, my room is a bunch of papers, books and clothes scattered all over, and if you look closely, you might be able to see a bed. I’m usually home alone so I find it easier to move to another room and create a mess out of it till it becomes absolutely necessary that I clean up. My upper bunk bed is an extension for my wardrobe; I throw clothes up there when I can’t be bothered with folding and completely forget about them. My wardrobe looks like it’s been hit by hurricane Sandy, and don’t even get me started about my desk. I believe that the mess I’m surrounded with is why I feel like a mess inside, and I slowly grow to despise my own place, but I hardly take action to change that. Instead, I lock my room and stay in other tidy places in the house.
Exhibit D: When did I decide to write this article? New Year’s. When did I start working on it? January 18th. When was my deadline? January 19th. It’s not like I never had a few hours to spare, it’s just that I can’t fit everything into my crowded schedule of nothingness now, can I? Besides, that one time I decided to sit and write down my ideas, Mona Lisa Smile was on TV. Am I supposed to focus on anything but Julia Robert’s face? No can do. Of course now I have to live with the stress of making this as good as it could possibly be, and as usual I’m metaphorically slapping myself for putting things off, but I know myself too well to believe this will be the last time. As I slowly approach the end of my adolescence, I realize that my priorities need to change. I probably always will be the kind of person who prefers the comfort of home to getting stuck in traffic on the way to deal with human beings, but doing just that every once in a while won’t kill me (I hope), and I could give getting things done on time a try, only to see if it feels any better than my glorious unnecessary naps.
Falling Far from the Familial Tree 40 FEBRUARY JANUARY 2013 2013CAMPUS CAMPUS
I HAVEN’T SEEN MY MOTHER IN ONE YEAR, TWO MONTHS. I HAVEN’T SEEN MY BROTHER IN ONE YEAR, ELEVEN MONTHS. I HAVEN’T SEEN MY FATHER IN TWO YEARS, TWO MONTHS. AUNTS, UNCLES, COUSINS, GRANDPARENTS? DON’T GET ME STARTED. And this isn’t because we’re estranged, or because I hate them, or because I escaped or because I don’t love them. I think they’re great people, and I must commend my parents on the awesome genes they gave me. It’s just that somewhere along the way, we broke out of the typical mold of a nuclear family and never really formed a new one. Sometimes, when I’m being melodramatic, I can’t help but think of it as living in a familial vacuum. I’ve been living on my own since I was eighteen, and throughout my early twenties I never really gave much thought to the impact –both positive and negative—that not having a close family unit had on me (maybe because I was too busy bombing my brain cells, but that’s another story). But now that I’m older, and sober, I can’t help but realize that your immediate family is one of those makers and breakers in life; I look at my friends and see so clearly how their relationship with their family melded their personality, mentality and behavior, so there’s no reason to believe that I’m any different. I’ve taken enough sociology, anthropology, psychology, biology and any other ‘ology’ classes to know that this realization of mine is nowhere near an epiphany, it’s pretty much fact known by just about everyone and their cow. But as with most things in life, knowing something and feeling something can be two very different matters. And you know what they say, a life unexamined is a life not worth living. Or something like that. The positives of falling far from the family tree are numerous and obvious – my beliefs, mentality and priorities took seed and grew in a completely unhindered, uninfluenced environment (if you ignore my idiotic friends as well as media and cultural brainwashing). I was not brow-beaten into beliefs, I was not stifled, I was not emotionally blackmailed, I was no one’s disappointment and no one’s highest hope, I did not have to bear the burden of a household-load of emotions, I was not the victim of curfews, backward thinking, having to lie to not get in trouble, having to hide cigarettes and pretending I don’t drink, “2oom zaker”, “2oom salli”, “maysa7esh”, “mayenfa3sh”, “la2a”, “because I said so”, “el bawab hay2ool eih” as well as a litany of other parental phrases designed to drive a person up the wall. Loving and caring for your family and their feelings on a daily basis is not as warm and fuzzy as it sounds, it can be exhausting and frustrating and maybe even a little bit like losing yourself.
And it has to be said: sometimes your family can really f*ck you up, in a way that no one else can. But being an island, as freeing as that might be, is sometimes lonely. Because distance, when there’s too much of it, or for too long, can corrode things you never thought could be corroded. When I was a child, I doubt there was a kid in town who was as affectionate, cuddled, hugged, kissed and picked up as I was. Until this day, I’m extremely affectionate with the people I love and used to joke with an ex that I was “a barnacle”. But now, when I visit my mom after long stretches of time apart, stretches that have only been broken sporadically in almost ten years, I automatically stiffen when she hugs me. Not because I don’t love her and miss her, but because now I’m so unused to it, it’s almost like hugging a stranger. And then your brain shouts, “What do you mean, a stranger? This is your mother!” and the guilt seeps in. The same guilt I felt over this past year or so, when a few of the closest people to me lost their parents. I saw their unbridled grief, and I thought, will I grieve the same way? Could I grieve the same way? It’s so different, losing a person who was by your side for over twenty-something years, to losing someone who has been so far, for so long. And then automatically I feel so much guilt, it chokes me for a second or two. I don’t believe in hell, but I believe thoughts like that can send a person straight there. There are also the superficial factors, sure. The stress that comes with being financially independent, the food that you cook for yourself that tastes like death, the light in the bathroom that you’re too short to fix, the exhaustion of just surviving. You replace family with friends and relationships, but the problem there is thus, as cliché as it is: neither is unconditional. Friends come and go, relationships fail, and you don’t have the safety net of your annoying predictable, but familiarly comforting family. You have yourself, and nobody but yourself, so you better learn to really like yourself because you’re in it for the long haul together, just you baby. Living apart from my family for so long has allowed me to develop some really amazing qualities. But it’s not for the weak-hearted. Sure, anybody can sail a ship by themselves, but the question is: would you really want to?
It’s Tricky to Rock a Rhyme The Ins and Outs of Being a Musician By Mohammed Jamal
BEING A MUSICIAN IN EGYPT IS TRICKY, BECAUSE ON THE OUTSIDE EVERYONE THINKS WE DON’T PUT AS MUCH EFFORT INTO OUR WORK AS, FOR EXAMPLE, A DOCTOR OR AN ENGINEER. WELL, THAT’S ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE. The difference between a musician, or any artist for that matter, and any other professional, is that being a musician doesn’t necessarily require any sort of academic certification in the field. It’s a profession that can be acquired by experience, if the talent is there to begin with. Add to that passion, the ability to express oneself in an artistic form, and dedication. We play music because we love music and because it’s a passion that has to be pursued as a career; we do what we truly love, going against the saying “Love what you do until you do what you love”. We start from the other end. I was born into a family that appreciates music, both my parents were singers back in the day who later decided not to take it to a professional level in order to be able to “maintain a proper lifestyle”, and by that I mean finding a job that pays well MONTHLY, to start a family and raise kids and so on. Nevertheless, I thank my parents for feeding me good music ever since I could remember; I grew up listening to my mom and dad’s favorite artists: The Bee Gees, Abba, Fayrouz, Um Kalthoum, Abdelwahab, Abdelhalim, Adaweya, Mohamed Mounir, Ali El Haggar and other singers who were and will remain very influential to me. I had dreamed of becoming a rock star, or a performer in general, and it was always at the back of my head. Of course I had to enroll in one of the “top schools”, engineering, to please the parents and maintain a “stable career” after graduation. I started taking my amateur interest in music to a professional level nevertheless. I met a lot of people who were young musicians back then, formed my first band in 2005 and then joined “Salalem”, late 2005. And that’s when the cycle began. Now let me tell you how things go for most musicians in Egypt and how hard it is to maintain a stable musical career and make a proper living out of it here in Egypt. There’s one big project to every musician, the project that takes up most of his/her time and effort. To me that project is “Salalem”. We spent years of hard work just to build a name and a proper audience base; rehearsals, brainstorming meetings, workshops, sessions to create
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music, finding the right lyrics that represent the band’s identity as a whole and not as individual band members. Every band has a different identity and sound. It takes a lot of effort to get to the point where if your music is heard anywhere, people would recognize you. During which, the band is forced to compromise money or even agreeing to perform for free just to be able to gain as much exposure as possible, in addition to agreeing to be interviewed by boring TV presenters and media channels who only look for bands to fill their quota of material. The said main project is usually an original music band, next to which a few small projects can be started for “na7t” purposes. “Na7t” literally means sculpting; sculpting music to fit the market needs (mostly cover bands in all forms varying from rock to Latin and jazz). Consequently, the side projects usually aim at generating money to pay the bills. Furthermore, some very prominent musicians build a name for themselves by performing with international and national mainstream superstars, for the money of course. Because as you all know by now, we get paid by the performance and the pay is never fixed. And some singers start their own solo projects to sing the songs they are not able to perform with their bands, in order to fulfill their musical needs. These are usually songs that they wrote for other purposes that are more personal, hence not for “the band”. On top of that, most musicians, myself included, start looking for fixed day jobs, just to make sure they have a fixed income if worse comes to worst and Morsi and his kiss-asses decide to give it to us Saudi style. So imagine starting a project or a band, spending 7-8 years trying to get that band to a competitive place in the market, while maintaining its identity, direction and independency. And only when you get there, maintain success and start making money out of it, do you finally start treating it like a business with a social and artistic cause. But because the money from the main project is never enough, you join another band to make extra cash, and the dilemma of balancing two projects begins. The aforementioned package comes with the following: writing and/ or collecting proper lyrics, composing, arranging music, holding band meetings, marketing, PR, social media, TV interviews, magazines, meeting with potential sponsors, finding a band manager, motivating one another when the going gets tough, traveling to other cities and/or countries for expansion and exposure, working with corporate companies on jingles, and of course, trying to save money to be able for your primary band’s video clip. Moreover, imagine that, with both the long term project and the na7t project, you start your own solo project. So the cycle ends up being like this: after you finish recording a song at 4 am in the morning, you go home to sleep, tired as hell, only to wake up 4 hours later, to go to work as a normal employee, and then after work, the whole cycle starts all over again. And yet, some of us musicians are not able to maintain a stable financial status. And they call us lucky.
Vegetable By Sarah Adel Elkerdani
44 FEBRUARY 2013 CAMPUS
IT WAS AN AVERAGE DAY AND I HAD JUST GOTTEN BACK HOME. I WAS HEADING TO MY ROOM WHEN SOMETHING LITERALLY FELL FROM THE SKY AND LANDED ON THE BALCONY FLOOR. I RUSHED IN AND FOUND A PIGEON DRAWING ITS LAST BREATH. MY MIND COULDN’T PROCESS WHAT HAD JUST HAPPENED. IT WAS THE FIRST TIME I’D SEE SOMETHING DIE. MY CHEST TIGHTENED, BREATHING WAS HEAVIER THAN I COULD HANDLE AND I COULDN’T HELP BUT BURST INTO TEARS. I KEPT STARING AT ITS LIFELESS BODY AND COULDN’T BARE THE SIGHT. IT WAS A DEFINING MOMENT IN MY LIFE. AS MUCH AS IT HURT ME, I TOOK MY TIME. IT WAS ALMOST INTOLERABLE TO LOOK AWAY. Surprisingly, the sight of death is impossible to ignore once you stumble upon it. I looked up to the sky, because it represents God to me for some reason, and I sincerely asked him to never let me witness something dead again… I was not prepared for what happened three years later. My grandmother had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for a long time and we got used to her checking in and out of hospitals all the time. So when the last time came, we did not see it coming. After the whole thing was over, it felt like being hit by a bus. I really don’t know if it’s my family or the rest of the world who’s crazy, but when something bad happens, we grieve, and the world succeeded in making that process feel very awkward lately! The last time my grandmother went to the hospital was like any other time until she deteriorated rapidly. We literally couldn’t make sense of the blabber doctors kept saying. What I know is that she was slowly turning into a vegetable. Then they transferred her to the intensive care unit. All of a sudden, we were allowed to see her by appointment according to hospital regulations. Doctors and nurses were very irritated by our nagging questions about her status. The world was exposing a very cruel side that we never knew existed; one of our own was all alone, waiting for their death in a place far from home while being cared for by strangers who couldn’t care less. It was an utterly f*cked up situation. We almost never left the hospital. Her kids and grandkids were lined up by the intensive care’s door waiting for an absolution that never came. One night as we were waiting, I observed what looked like a scene from Grey’s Anatomy, doctors and nurses running to and from the unit. As I was preparing myself for the worst, a doctor came out and said that her heart had stopped but they worked on it and she’s back, but on life support, because all her organs have basically ceased to work. What I saw next haunts me to this day. She was lying on her back with her head tilted to the side. Her mouth was slightly open as were her eyes. She reminded me of sharks, that’s exactly how her eyes looked like.They were infinitely empty. I even remember asking, “Why does she have shark eyes?” It didn’t look like she was just brought back to life. She looked like she was violated! It was time for the waiting game, which I despise more than anything. I had to do it under the white neon lights of a ruthless hospital, waiting for the doctors to tell us that life as we know it has come to an end! Hospitals in countries like ours prey on this kind of patient. A family member is clinically dead and should’ve been let go, but the hospital could actually benefit by keeping them that way for as long as their body can take. More days at the hospital equal more money and everybody knows how good money is! All my mom wanted was to spend some decent time with her dying mother, so she proposed taking her home, where she could die in peace amongst her kids. However, the hospital said we would have to move her ourselves because it’s against the rules to move a dead person in an ambulance and it’s also against the rules to unplug her from life support. One of us had to do it with his own hands! Watching someone who raised and loved you unconditionally turn into a vegetable before your very eyes is something I do not wish upon my enemies. She died that day her heart first stopped and I would’ve unplugged that machine if they’d let me. It felt like we were challenging God by pulling her to our side and ripping her apart in the process. This is the hardest part the patient and family will have to go through in their life, because unfortunately it will be the last and most vivid memory left of that person. My grandmother passed away last Ramadan and yet her children are still looking for that rug that had been pulled from under them. It’s hard to answer questions like, where is she now? What’s she doing? Is she okay? Will I see her again? It doesn’t matter how religious you are or if you pray five times a day. Yes, we all know we’ll die someday, but when it happens to someone close to you, the world doesn’t stop… only yours does, while everything else continues as if nothing had happened. They say there are five stages for loss and grief. First come denial and isolation, followed by rage, bargaining and depression. The fifth stage however is controversial. Acceptance is not a virtue all people have. The lucky ones develop it, but for others, grief is a life sentence, one with no chance for parole.
I Don’t Want to Have Kids
Confessions of a Married Woman By Amy Quotb
WAY BEFORE IPADS AND SAMSUNG TABS, KIDS IN THE 80’S PLAYED WITH DOLLS AND MATCHBOX CARS. GIRLS, SPECIFICALLY, PLAYED MOSTLY WITH BABY DOLLS – PRETENDING TO BE MOTHERS. YES, GENDER STEREOTYPING IS A THRILL. HOLD ON NOW, I NEVER WANTED A BABY DOLL (OR A MATCHBOX CAR, MIND YOU.) MY FAVORITE GAMES AS A KID INVOLVED BARBIE AND HER BOY TOY KEN. I MADE THEM CLOTHES OUT OF TISSUES AND GLUE, COLORED THEM WITH COLORING PENS, DRESSED THEM UP, MARRIED THEM, DIVORCED THEM, GAVE THEM JOBS AND EVEN MADE THEM THEIR OWN LITTLE BANK NOTES. I WAS A VERY GROWN-UP KID FOR MY AGE.
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I’m not going to try and understand what exactly happened for me to turn out that way, but let’s just say that I always wanted to be a – (wait for one the most overused phrases of modern times) – “free, independent woman.” In my world, being a mother was anything but that.
I Want To Break Free
I won’t claim that I have “commitment issues” because I really don’t know the accurate definition of that. Let’s just say that I changed schools a lot throughout my childhood and “single serving friends” (Fight Club reference) were my thing for a very long time. As I grew older, the idea of a boy proposing to me “till death do us part” made me want to run for the hills. You can tell, my romantic life was not so romantic. The thought of being stuck in the same job, relationship, friendship or whatever sounded very “terminal” to me – is that it? Is this what I’m going to do forever? Is this who I’m going to live with forever? But then always having the choice to leave was my security blanket. I don’t “have” to be with you, I “want” to be with you. That makes one hell of a difference! Phew! So… I am now happily married. But, there’s a “But” Motherhood is a very different story; having a child of your own means that you have to love them unconditionally for the rest of your life, otherwise you’re a sucky mother. Say whaaaat? I want to have the option of quitting my job and becoming a hippie, or joining a tribe of gypsies, or becoming a man, I don’t know! There’s a lot out there, and the thought of “You can’t do that! You’re a mother!” just doesn’t cut it for me. Why should I – by choice – bring someone to the world for the sole purpose of being responsible for them? My generation -including myself- seems to be struggling enough as it is, without adding that extra major responsibility to the list of to-dos.
The Production Line
Before you label me “selfish” would you stop and think for a while about what makes motherhood so “selfless”? I’m not denying that mothers are great givers, but that was their choice. They decided to bring MORE PEOPLE into this world, and making a person isn’t a walk in the park. It takes work, DECADES of continuous, hard work. And it’s not like you did the world any favors by adding one more person to the population. Think about it, the chances that your kid will be a great inventor or discover the cure to cancer are really quite slim. Oh I’m sorry, was that what you aiming at when you got pregnant? I didn’t think so. So unless I want to make myself busy and have nothing better to do, I don’t see a point in joining the global production line of making babies.
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
I have a long bucket list, and not enough time. I want to travel and see the world, I want to feed starving animals, I want to try every job there is (that I can actually do) for a while. I want to look my best, better myself, learn more languages, jump off cliffs. I want to be better at the things I like to do, I want to sing and write and dance. I only have two jobs and already need more than 24 hours in the day, so I really can’t imagine having a child without killing those dreams for good. Accordingly… Being such an ambitious child myself, I really can’t see myself raising a Daisy straight, let alone a human being. I believe that, on many levels, I got screwed in the head pretty bad, and I don’t want to pass it on to anyone else –I don’t wish it upon anyone else– let alone a child that I supposedly love! I don’t know what we’re here for, and many people in their 30’s still don’t. I don’t know what my stance on religion, politics, or social standards should be, so how am I expected to teach a kid about those things? Would you have respected your math teacher if you asked them “what’s 2+2?” and their answer was “Jeez, um, I dunno!” No, you wouldn’t have. Now why would I want to make a person just to confuse the hell out of them?
The World is Not Enough
Look around you. No, I mean really look. The planet is overpopulated, overinflated, over exhausted, unemployed, underpaid, and under a whole lot of pressure. Nature is being tortured to death by our toxic byproducts, resources aren’t being divided fairly, wars aren’t stopping, brainwash in the name of religion is taking over, and the economy is falling apart. Are you happy where you are now? Are you having fun? Good for you. Well I’m not. I’m not happy with this world, and I’m not going to delude myself into believing that by the time my child grows up things will be better. Looking at the trends, things aren’t improving, if anything, they’re getting worse. So even if I think that my genes are worth copying (which I don’t), why would I want to bring another person to the world? Just to suffer along with the suffering billions? Now that’s just mean. Mind you, I think if people stopped procreating for an entire decade, the world will still be full. A good approach to overpopulation; maybe wait until the newborns of the past decade start having kids in the year 2023? Brilliant, I’m proposing this idea to the Emperor of The World.
Also, I Think Children Are Evil
With that said, kids generally scare the living hell out of me. They’re born trouble makers, and you can never predict what they’ll do next! My encounters with kids have always been disastrous; from squirming their way out to fall on the hard floor and bump their heads, to spilling EVERYTHING on clothes, carpets, laptops (if my own kid touches my laptop I’ll have them beheaded) to randomly create flying objects of breakables and scattering sharp bits everywhere. I honestly feel sorry for my friends and colleagues who are mothers, and I sh*t you not, I have twice heard the phrase “my children are evil!” from mothers around me. This sh*t is scary! And don’t even get me started on the crying and the screaming and the public humiliation that they use as emotional blackmail to get you to do whatever they want. Adults can hardly ever have a normal social life once they’re parents, thanks to the scandals that children cause once they’re out of the house. Those little demons know what they’re doing, and it’s chilling!
I have desires, of course, I’m human. I desire a cat and a dog and maybe a squirrel too. I desire cigarettes, chocolate, adventure, and good music. I desire a good time, and a fulfilled life. I desire the company of my husband and friends, and the exciting encounters of meeting new people. I desire knowledge and understanding of matters that interest me. I desire a lot of things, but until by some miracle I change my mind, motherhood is not one of them.
SECTION NAKED ] ] BARE
48 FEBRUARY 2013 CAMPUS
An Exclusive with
Hesham Hoba! 49
© Adham Bakry
SECTION BARE NAKED
HESHAM HOBA IS THE PRESENTER OF THE SELF-TITLED VIDEO BLOG, HOBA VLOG. HOBA IS FAMOUS FOR HIS SEX APPEAL, IN-DEPTH CRITIQUE, EXCELLENT TASTE IN MUSIC AND, OF COURSE, HIS KILLER DANCE MOVES. IT CAME TO OUR ATTENTION THAT, DESPITE HIS MASSIVE TALENT, HOBA IS USUALLY MISUNDERSTOOD AND IS SUBJECTED TO TONS OF CRITICISM FROM HATERS, WHO CLAIM THAT HIS VIDEOS MAKE NO SENSE. WE HAD A CHAT WITH HOBA TO CLEAR MATTERS UP AND SHUT THE HATERS UP ONCE AND FOR ALL.
C: What do you think of Maher, Mazinger’s pilot? H: Cool guy, he could do better than Fatan though. That girl looks like
Campus: Where did you get your name from? Hoba: Hoba is not just a name, it’s a lifestyle. You don’t choose to be a
Hoba, it chooses you. Plus I like the way Captain Mamdouh Farag use it. The Captain is my moral compass, sex hero, and just like every redblooded Egyptian living under the sun today, he’s my role model.
C: Tell us a bit about sa7betak, Madame Hoba. H: Hoba gets on with the ladies, all the kinds, all the time. That’s why
Hoba doesn’t have a Madame aslan. But as a rule of thumb, Hoba’s likes the ladies who treats him a little bit rough, it’s a sex thing.
C: You’re always talking about getting a garoof 3ashan “tedfen el gossa”. Who did you murder, Hoba? H: This is interview is going to be publiced and it is very much
concidered to be a public record, my lawyers adivesed me not to go into any kind of detail regarding this “insedent” but just to cover my Hoba ass, the only thing I have to say is “It wasn’t me”.
C: “Beta3 eldelivery et2akhar awi”. What did you order? Did he eventually arrive? H: Hard to remember which time are you talking about. I order almost everything by home delivery, except food of course. That I have to go on buy myself.
C: Santa asks you to strip every year, what the hell is the nature of your relationship? H: It’s a very loving and tender relationship, as good as it can ever get
with a fictional character. But every once in while, good old Santa would asks me for what he calls “fun time favors” and those usually involve stripping and other unspeakable activaites.
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the physical manifestation of PMS (sorry ladies) and her dad is waaay over dramatic. Chillax Dr. Khairy, you don’t have to be so hysterical every time a robot attacks Tokyo and almost destroys the entire city! Have some fun bro and listen to dubstep.
C: What the hell is up with subliminal messaging? What exactly are you trying to convey? H: If I tell you I’d have to kill you.
C: Tell us about your childhood. H: I don’t remember anything about my childhood, which is always a sign that the person is trying to shove the traumatic experiences in his unconsciousness. But I’m sure in my case it’s because I have so many beautiful and fun memories that they are all fighting for a space in my long term memory.
C: Who’s your favorite person in the world? Favorite cartoon character? Favorite porn star? H: Skrillex is my jam, BMO from adventure time, if you pay attention to my vlog you’ll find a small paper toy of him, and my favorite porn star is Ron Jeremy because he’s just too awesome. Have you seen his video clip?
C: What the hell was your d*ck doing on a plane? H: I just saw the movie Snakes on a Plan, and I loved it so much that I
wanted to recreate it in real life. Turns out it’s hard to get a cobra in this city in an hour notice, so I improvised and used my d*ck instead. C: Where do you live? H: I live everywhere, in the hearts and minds of all of us.
C: Could you please explain that “milking” video? That’s some weird sh*t. H: It’s a youtube fad that looked like it was going to be the next big thing after planking. As we all found out, it didn’t really take off at all.
C: Do you know that your English sucks? H: No it not!
© Adham Bakry
C: What do you think of Morsi? H: He’s my homie, me and him go waaaaay back aslan. We used to bark at ladies in the hood we keda ya3ni.
© Adham Bakry
C: You seem to have a fetish for all things Asian. Is that true? H: Yep! Japanese specifically. Again, because of the sex stuff.
C: The fact that you noticed that Jacob doesn’t have genitalia is a bit gay, don’t you think? H: FTW! Hoba is all about the ladies.
C: Do you have a daytime job? H: Hoba gets his beauty sleeps during the day so he can recharged and refreshed for taking the dance floor by storm at night. So no day job for me, plus, you don’t really need a lot of money when you’re a fictional character.
C: Tell us something that no one knows about you. H: In the words of the great Mark Twain “Total abstinence is so excellent a
C: How does it feel being famous? H: Awesome.
C: Where you hugged enough as a child? H: Bear hugs all time, by actual bear though.
© Adham Bakry
thing that it cannot be carried to too great an extent. In my passion for it I even carry it so far as to totally abstain from total abstinence itself.”
C: Your mustache makes you look like a rapist, is that intentional? H: If you really think that, then I’m going to buy a new set of garoof and bashawra. Sh*t is going down bro.
C: How do you think we could counter harassment in Egypt? H: Get all the women out of the country. That way there will be none to harass. Is that too hard!
C: Do you have anything to say to your fans all over the country? H: In the wise words of Jersey Shore’s Mike The Situation “G.T.L. baby. Gym, tan, laundry.”
SECTION ] ] PATTERNS
H&M- Black booties
Accessorize- Maggie Tartan rucksack
River Island- Isabelle necklace Misguided- Tartan skater skirt with leather stud waistband
H&M- Tiger tee
ASOS- Wool bomber jacket
River Island- Mono pattern clutch
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H&M- Flowered pants
Primark- Color block one piece
Urban Outfitters- Bootie shoes
HIS LOOK River Island - Vest
Outfit 1 NEXT - Beige chinos River Island - Blazer
Office - Frankie Bourges
Outfit 2 H&M - Burgundy chinos H&M - Shirt
NEXT - Burgundy boots
ASOS -Waistcoat in blue herringbone Zara - Beige loafers
Krak Baby The up-and-coming By Hend Ghorab ‘relevant’ Egyptian clothing line. KRAK BABY IS A NEW ONLINE STORE THAT MAKES STREETWEAR; IT IS THE BRAINCHILD OF MOUSTAFA MOUSSA AND HATEM HANOUN. MOUSTAFA IS A DIGITAL ARTS GRADUATE, A GUITAR PLAYER, A DOODLER, ANIME LOVER, ROCK AND ELECTRONIC JAMMER, AND A BREAKING BAD FAN. HATEM IS AN ECONOMICS GRADUATE, SNEAKERHEAD, URBAN SUBCULTURE FAN, TECH GEEK, AND A SETH MACFARLANE WORSHIPPER. Campus: Why “Krak Baby”? H: Well, we wanted to stay true to ourselves without trying too hard to be ‘cool’ or follow trends, so we looked into what we like, to keep the brand genuine. The name represents who we relate to and the time period we were born in, the 80s, the infamous crack decade. Our drug of choice however, wasn’t crack (we were too young for that) but rather the TV set from which we absorbed and adopted everything we saw. Accordingly, we are Krak Babies addicted to the screen. C: Can you tell us a bit more about yourselves? Where did you graduate from? Where do you live? M: We both graduated from AUC, we knew each other from primary school. I studied communication media arts and minored in digital arts and design. Hatem studied economics. We’ve both lived in Egypt our whole lives, but we travel frequently.
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C: Why did you startup Krak Baby? M: I’ve always appreciated creativity, and nothing is more satisfying than contributing directly by taking a concept, sketching it out, digitizing it and then producing it. The process of creating something, for me, was the main catalyst behind wanting to start up Krak Baby. H: I wanted to make clothes I would want to wear, clothes I could relate to. The streetwear subculture is huge abroad, people are always looking for that sick brand no one else knows about rather than flocking to the big designer names who will charge you ridiculous amounts for simple a*s stuff. For us it’s all about ‘let’s see if we can change the general perception of local underground brands’. C: What inspires you? H: Our inspiration comes from TV and drugs, not in the sense of being on drugs, but from the general topic of narcotics and how they affect one’s approach to life. On the other hand, most kids grow up wanting to be like someone they saw on TV, whether it’s an athlete, musician or an actor. Moussa for example, had, and still has, aspirations of becoming a ninja. C: Do you design the stuff yourself or do you have a team? H: So far, we’ve done it all ourselves. C: If you could describe your line in one word, what would it be? M: Esoteric. C: What are the obstacles you’ve faced since you started Krak? H: The main obstacle we faced was finding a manufacturer willing to produce such small quantities. We want to keep Krak Baby exclusive through supply not through price, so we produce only 50 pieces of each design. Finding someone willing to do this wasn’t easy. M: Also, as expected, delivery times weren’t great. C: What are the advantages/disadvantages of starting up an online store in Egypt? M: The advantage is obviously lower overheads. Also, an online store gives people quick and easy access to everything we have in stock. It also allows us to share links and take advantage of social media platforms to market our brand and build hype.
H: The drawback of only having an online store is that you are somewhat limited in your ability to fully communicate the brand to the consumer. Whereas in a physical store, you are able to design the place in a way that would deliver the brand’s story and give an overall sense of what Krak Baby is about. C: What was your proudest moment? M: Many friends have told me that when they wear Krak Baby t-shirts abroad, they get people coming up to them to ask them where they got the t-shirt from. The fact that complete strangers appreciate Krak Baby tees gives me a sense of accomplishment. H: I’m just happy that we’ve managed to transform Krak Baby from an idea into something solid all by ourselves. From the website to the designs, we set out to learn everything so that we would be selfsufficient. C: What made you confident that Krak Baby was going to make it amongst all the new, up-and-coming, hip and alternative designers? H: We’re mainly targeting the male demographic; that’s not saying girls can’t rock Krak, but most up-and-coming designers are doing things for the females. And even those catering to males are going for that superficial feel to the brand. Like I said, we’re not trying to be ‘cool’, we’re staying real and if you think that’s cool then it’s fantastic. M: The plan wasn’t to compete with any growing brands, the aim is to make a brand that represented us and people like us. I think we’ve done a decent job with regards to that so far. C: What was your biggest fear before launching? M: The fact that if it didn’t work out, I would’ve had to get a desk job. H: I didn’t think that far ahead, I don’t really fear the future; I tend to cross every bridge when I get to it. C: If you could go back in time and change one thing about your line, what would it be? M: I would’ve liked to launch with a bigger variety and more designs, but our budget restricted us from doing so. We had to plan out carefully the development of our line. H: There’s not much I’d like to change, not that we’ve done everything perfectly, but I consider the mistakes we’ve made an experience. C: Do you plan on expanding into other products? M: Definitely, we’re working on snapbacks right now for the summer. H: Our goal is to eventually get into anything we want to make, clothes or not. I personally want to make collectible vinyl toys. C: What advice would you give up-and-coming streetwear designers who want to start up in Egypt? H: As cliché as it sounds, being real is the best thing to do. People buy into the people behind the brand more than the designs of the products, you want people to come back to you, not just buy one item and then forget about you. M: Always be friendly with everyone and anyone, you represent your brand, you never know what opportunities are available to you. C: Black or Orange? M: Black. H: Orange. C: Leather or Cotton? M: Cotton. H: Cotton. C: What is your most favorite piece in Krak Baby? H: The white AIR KRAK tee. I can match it with a bunch of my kicks. M: Could one choose a favorite child? C: If you could change one thing about your PPR what would it be? H: It’s not so much change as it is increasing our online presence through social media and such. C: Where do you see Krak Baby in 5 years? H: With a flagship store with people lining up waiting for the drop of our latest collection. M: Going global, maybe having a few celebs rock Krak.
Amira El Helaly pompom asymmetric vest
The Pink Powder Room cotton top
Dina Maghawry Design enameled amethyst necklace
MADE IN EGYPT
Ladyloca studded pullover
Nihal Basha: The Zip Tote in purple
LadyLoca studded leather jacket in black
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Borsetta “Portrait of an Egyptian Woman” clutch
This is Lumia!
On the 23rd of January, Nokia launched in the Egyptian market its full range of Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices –the much acclaimed Nokia Lumia 920, the Nokia Lumia 820 and the Nokia Lumia 620- bolstering its smart devices portfolio in the country. With the latest range of Lumia WP8 devices, Nokia is all set to lead the change for the Windows Phone ecosystem with its Lumia differentiators. The Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Lumia 820 and Nokia Lumia 620 will be available in selected retail stores across key cities starting February, 2013.
• Exclusive camera lenses that transform the creative power of the smartphone camera. The Cinemagraph lens adds simple animations to still photographs, while Smart Shoot creates a single, perfect shot from multiple images, even removing unwanted objects from the picture.
The stunning Nokia Lumia 920 is the flagship Windows Phone 8 smartphone, including the latest advances in Nokia PureView imaging innovation while the Nokia Lumia 820 is a stylish, mid-range smartphone that delivers high-end performance in a compact package. The Nokia Lumia 620 completes the range of latest Lumia WP8 devices with a more fun and youthful appeal.
Speaking at the launch, Ajey Mehta, Vice President (Acting), Nokia North Africa & Levant said, “At the beginning of 2011, Nokia outlined a new smartphone strategy to deliver devices that will revolutionize the industry and redefine the future of smart devices. We are proud today to present the amazing Nokia Lumia range that will deliver compelling experiences to our consumer across price points.” Uniquely Lumia All the Nokia Lumia WP8 come packed with signature Lumia features that deliver the best experience on the WP platform:
• The world’s best maps and location experience, including Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, Nokia Transport and the exclusive Nokia City Lens. Nokia City Lens displays information about local surroundings overlaid onto buildings as seen through the camera viewfinder.
Nokia also announced a wide range of wireless charging partnerships and accessories, each designed to meet the needs of different people. These include: • The quirky Nokia Recharge Pillow by Fatboy that provides the perfect place to lay down your Lumia for a power nap. • The sleek and minimalistic Nokia Wireless Charging Plate and the Nokia Wireless Charging Stand are extremely simple to use and come in different colors to match your Lumia. • JBL PowerUP for Nokia, the world’s first wireless charging docking station featuring NFC and Bluetooth connectivity in old-fashioned retro styling. • The JBL PlayUp Portable, a portable speaker specially made to complement Lumia smartphones. It uses Bluetooth and NFC to wireless stream music from a Lumia.
The Nile Project: Discussing cultural challenges through music! Following the two-week music residency in Aswan, which brings together an ensemble of Nile basin musicians to compose and record new music, the Nile Project presents its world premiere with two free concerts in Aswan and Cairo. “The Nile Project has been in the making for nearly two years and we are thrilled to be bringing such an exciting line up of stories, songs and musicians to audiences in Egypt. We hope these concerts showcase the fresh encounters among our musicians,” said Mina Girgis, founder and executive director. During the residency (15-29 January at Fekra Cultural Center in Aswan), musicians from countries that share the Nile, collaborated to create a new body of songs, drawn from the rich and diverse genres, traditions and instruments found throughout the Nile basin. Under the musical direction of Miles Jay, the music residency provided a space for the musicians to learn about one another and compose and record new music to be performed in Africa and around the world. The Nile Project was founded in August 2011 by Egyptian ethnomusicologist Mina Girgis and Ethiopian-American singer Meklit Hadero to address the Nile basin’s cultural and environmental challenges using an innovative approach that combines music, education and an enterprise platform. The world’s longest river runs through 11 countries and touches the lives of 400 million people. The Project’s mission is to inspire, educate, and empower Nile citizens to work together towards fostering the sustainability of the river’s ecosystem, and engage them in a cultural dialogue that evokes Africa’s iconic river as a shared ecosystem.
Love as an Excuse LATELY I HAVE BEEN SPENDING AN INCONVENIENT AMOUNT OF TIME WITH YOUNG GIRLS THAT ARE GUSHING ABOUT THIS JUSTIN BIEBER CHARACTER. AFTER THEY SHOWED ME HIS MUSIC VIDEO “AS LONG AS YOU LOVE ME” IN AN ATTEMPT TO GET ME TO TRY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS EXACTLY THAT MAKES HIM SO APPEALING, I HONESTLY ENDED UP FEELING DISGUSTED BY HOW THE WAY “LOVE” IS REPRESENTED TO GIRLS NOW.
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Based on the stories I hear, the movies I watch, and my personal experiences in the dating world, I’ve managed to categorize what people perceive as an excuse for Love: 1. It has turned into an excuse for neglecting your friends: I really must applaud friends who have to put up with other friends with boyfriends/ girlfriends, because most people have a very difficult time balancing between both parties. Friends usually get the leftover time slots available that their taken friends have for them. Usually if we’re not careful, these friends will get fed up with this type of treatment and move on to people that actually care enough to see them. This also goes for texting and calling your new partner while with friends. No point hanging out with your friends if you’re just going to stay attached to your phone. 2. It has turned into an excuse for changing your identity: It’s very natural for a couple to start adapting to interests and hobbies of the other person. When it turns into “Adam likes Blink 182, so I like Blink 182” is when it starts to become a problem. Especially if you’re part of an “I Hate Travis Barker” Facebook page. It certainly goes beyond that of course. Particularly, when one party starts to become more controlling or possessive over the other. Some partners go out of their way thinking they can change the other person. Which doesn’t make any sense to me because if they seemed so great to you in the beginning, why would you want to change who they are all of a sudden? Soon you’re left with both parties being unsatisfied with the changes. The one changing the person will become bored of how submissive their partner is, and the one that does the changing will be irritated or frustrated with their lack of connection to who they have turned into. 3. It has turned into an excuse for going against your family: This whole “us against the world” attitude when it comes to relationships has gotten slightly out of hand. If your mommy or daddy doesn’t like your new girlfriend, I’m pretty sure they have an explanation. Although no one likes to admit that parents are right, they do have experience when it comes to relationships. Whether it’s through their 40 year marriage, the divorce they experienced, or if they went through an arranged marriage. You experience ups and downs in any relationship. Your parents are not the enemy and all they want is what’s best for you. Your parents probably share close values to you, especially since these are the values they raised you with (duh). And even if you have different values, your parents still have a pretty basic idea of who you are the type of person that would be complimentary to you. Now I know there are the exceptions of course, such as parents looking for boyfriends/girlfriends with a mentality identical to their own, or some that think absolutely no one is good enough for their sweet little angel, or some that are just in all cases completely off their rocker. But your average loving families want what’s best for their kids, and if you bring home a guy that says “sup?” to your parents and has ambitions to be a McDonald’s manager, I think it’s time you drop the stupidity and understand that they know what the hell they’re talking about when they say “don’t you think you can do better?” What movies have done though is turn this idea of “screw your parents” into an adventure. The most classic example of this is “The Notebook”. I can only imagine the millions of women that have fallen in love with this movie. The rich girl sacrificing her education, wealth, and reputation for a guy that slept with her after a few weeks of knowing her in a house that was ready to collapse because of how old it was! Yes I most certainly can see how this is such a beautiful story (sarcasm alert). The couple argues over him teaching her how to drive, riding a two-person bike together, slow dancing with no music on, and eating ice cream off of each other’s faces. After spending years apart, she goes against her parents’ wishes to be with him. The story ends with them dying in bed wrapped in each other’s arms. Ladies... it’s a movie. Stop taking any movie seriously please. Listen to mom and dad, because when you get knocked up, they’ll be the ones that are more likely to stay by your side, not him. And guys... if mommy isn’t too happy about the tramp stamp you brought home, it’s probably because she is very aware of the fact that you are not the only dude who has seen that tramp stamp in many other ways. 4. It has turned into an excuse for running away: This pretty much ties back to my previous point with the whole “us against the world” thing. Because no one understands your love for each other, clearly the solution is to run away from the people that are trying to divide you. Right? I don’t
know how people have bought into this because all I can see are two people who aren’t mature enough to handle a problem, so the only way to fix it for them is by running away from it. This just starts a really terrible habit that can lead to one person running away from the other as soon as the relationship gets too hard. 5. It has turned into an excuse for sex: People have a huge difficulty separating love from lust. Once two people feel that chemistry and that rush of adrenaline from how well you are connecting with a person, they believe it’s called “love”. What they don’t get is that this rush may end once conflict of personalities starts kicking in after getting to know each other more. And soon, everything that you found so exciting about a person will become old news. Sure, at first when you met him you thought it was so incredible that he could play the guitar or that he comes from some exotic country, but these things will soon fall into the very basic profile of who he is, and his characteristics (personality, attitude, temperament, and point of views) will begin to skew your perception of how charming you found him/her in the first place. However, not many people take this into consideration and feel that the rush most certainly is love and get so excited that they actually believe that they finally found the perfect person they’re looking for! This rush eventually leads to talk of having sex. Or just having sex straight away. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this ridiculous phrase guys and girls say to each other “If you love me, you’ll sleep with me.” So just a bonus excuse, love apparently also means literally doing anything for a person, even if it does not agree with your morals. 7. It is an excuse to demand presents and eat pricey food: I am seriously stunned by how much weight people put their relationships on materialistic goods. Why do you need your boyfriend to buy you a fancy three course dinner to prove how much he loves you? When I look at the prices on the menu of some of these places I am praying that there are some kind of magical healing powers inside of the food. By the way, did you know that roses die? Flowers are really not necessary and give you a five-minute smile. You know who is supposed to guarantee your happiness forever? Your partner! Not a flower. You do realize that demanding money to be spent on you does not make you a girlfriend, it makes you a product. A product that you are trying to auction off to the highest bidder. 8. And my personal favorite, it is now an excuse for physical and emotional abuse: As we have all heard, love makes us do crazy things. Or wait? Maybe some people were mistaken and heard “love turns us into completely crazy assholes” instead. Which is why people start putting up with physical and emotional abuse in the first place. People become so lured into who they are with that they’re in denial that someone who claimed to love them so much could start hurting them. They blame themselves, forgive the other person easily out of fear, and think “no one will ever love me again”. Of course, also people become threatened if they dare utter a word about the abuse. The continuous cycle of threats followed by “I love you” confuses the person and often makes them feel trapped.
SECTION THE GAY SECTION
“He’s Just Not That into You” Phenomenon
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DEAR GIRLS, THIS IS FOR ALL OF YOU BEAUTIFUL GIRLS COMING OUT OF THE “PUPPY LOVE” PHASE AND GETTING INTO A RATHER MORE SERIOUS FORM OF RELATIONSHIP, THE ONE WITH ACTUAL POTENTIAL, OR AT LEAST THAT’S WHAT YOU THINK. THIS IS MY VALENTINE’S GIFT TO ALL OF YOU. AN UNPRECEDENTED (OR SO I CLAIM) INSIGHT INTO MAN’S MIND AND MENTALITY DURING THAT MOSTLY AMBIGUOUS PERIOD, THE ONE BETWEEN THE FIRST SPARK TILL YOU’RE BOTH ALL CLEAR AND OUT IN THE SUN ABOUT HOW YOU ACTUALLY FEEL. Let’s set up the backdrop first: you like this guy and you’re not sure whether he likes you back. Sure he’s nice, a sweet talker, and the shift in dynamics between you two indicates an interest of some sort. The fact that he’s flirting, in a subtle manner or not, with other girls is baffling, definitely, but you’re a special case. So the question here is this: are you even on his radar or is it all just your imagination? The answer here lies in the ‘shift in dynamics’; if the way he approaches you changed without an apparent reason then you have a legit reason to say he likes you. Hold your horses, ‘liking’ doesn’t entail much, it means either a work in progress where he isn’t quite convinced that you hold potential for a relationship or the more common “he’s not THAT into you”. Watch that movie, it’s an eye opener, it will convince you with the “not enough” liking that you’ve been adamantly refusing. Now, all that is well known, tried and tested time and time again. What I have to add here is a dimension that is often disregarded. I realized that I visit that dimension often without realizing it and then it hit me when I was advising a friend that the guy she was in question about is not definitely not into her, and her only option to lure him was Moroccan dark magic. This dimension is ego. As easy as it sounds, if you’re interested then his ego is fed and that makes him happy, now bear in mind that he’s a gentleman, far from a jerk, he doesn’t really want to keep you stranded and at the same time nothing is clearly stated. All there is at that point is untold, and the untold here is quite real, you never got that wrong; so he keeps his distance in an attempt to cut all the strings, being the good guy that he is, trying to send the message as gentle as possible: he appreciates who you are, but he’s just not that into you. He kept his word and the dynamics shifted again, he seems more distant for some time now, you got the message, and after some time, you reluctantly stopped trying to approach him, you do have dignity after all. Here’s the catch –don’t you dare skim though this part– suddenly he realizes that your interest is dead, or about to die, and his ego doesn’t like that, it needs to be constantly fed with that interest you’ve displayed. So while his conscious self is relieved of the burden of keeping you stranded, he remains conflicted between wanting things to remain normal in the “pseudo-friends” realm, where you guys are civil, not giving you false hope because of his genuine good nature, and finally the most malicious of them all, the subconscious-driven need to quench his ego’s thirst, consequently giving you false hope. That inner battle results in the following, almost each and every time: he comes back to approach you with a sincere will that he wants to keep a civilized friendship going on without realizing that his ego is actually pushing him to do that. You’re hooked again, but confused still because his approach was quite flat, but it was enough to feed his ego and revive a seeming friendship. To sum it up: the guy likes you but he’s not that into you. He came back to feed his ego but he is not the selfish jerk I’m portraying here. Not until he promises something he isn’t intending to do… you know, not until he actually deliberately starts being devious. All I can sincerely say is that when a guy really likes you it’ll be as obvious as the Egyptian summer sun at noon, and he’ll approach you as directly as he can. Don’t waste your time and effort on someone who doesn’t know how to make up his mind.
SCREENS, SHELVES & ] ]SECTION SPEAKERS
Life of Pi !آمنت باهلل By May Kamel
AT A TIME WHERE WE ARE IN DIRE NEED OF MAKING EVEN-HANDED, DISCRETIONARY STANDS REGARDING OUR BELIEFS, OR THE LACK OF THEM FOR THAT MATTER, COMES ANG LEE WITH LIFE OF PI AND ITS MOST LINGERING SENTENCE: “DECIDE FOR YOURSELF WHAT YOU’LL BELIEVE.”
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We have seen many unfilmable literary trademarks, Cloud Atlas being one of the recents, take the leap to the big screen, and it seems that the “unfilmable” label put on Yann Martel’s 2001 Booker Prize winning fantasy adventure lured the ambitious ones to make it come true. The most recurring thought has always been: how the hell do you make a compelling movie about a boy stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger for 227 days? To Ang Lee, the answer was quite simple. Just like the book; with sheer brilliance. In David Magee’s adaptation of the original novel, Ang Lee gives a third dimension to the lifeboat. The film tells the story of Piscine Molitor Patel, or Pi, a distinctive and intelligent boy with thirst for knowledge, reason and belief. The turn of events leaves him stranded on a lifeboat in the middle of nowhere with a far-from-tamed 450-pound Bengal tiger. Little does he know that he is about to experience a spiritual crash course which, according to the narration (by Irrfan Khan), is how he came to believe in God. Many might reduce the plot to a boy and a tiger in a lifeboat, but this reduction doesn’t do justice to the thorough, philosophically rich story and the exquisite visuals accompanying it. Quite honestly, Ang Lee’s mission was no less challenging than that of Pi himself. The latter had to survive a hungry beast and the angry ocean, while the former had to survive the fans of the novel who would not settle for less than what each and every one of them has imagined! Add to that the fact that he had almost 127 minutes of two characters on screen, one of which doesn’t speak, and you’ll get a better idea of the challenge he was up to. The key to his success, I believe, is letting the book do the work. With the script sticking closely to Yann Martel’s, the narration being that gripping and the ending almost verbatim, Ang Lee brought it all home. Credit is also due to how he effectively distinguished an emotionally engaging spectacle from the usual cinematic technology we see nowadays. Those 127 minutes held some of the most impressive depthof-field I have seen, with major scenes unfolding so subtly without heavy signposting or forced shock tactics. How Mychael Danna’s music scores were strategically positioned complements the audience’s response rather than coaxing it. With attention to the tiniest of details, it’s safe to say that Ang Lee perfectly orchestrated all the givens into one deep, textured meditation session. Elements usually labeled as being outside the known reality were seamlessly incorporated into the narration, suggesting the distorted nature of memory to better serve the story. Off to the main characters, Suraj Sharma is a natural talent who is nothing short of a revelation as teenage Pi. With more than a fair share of screen time, and so much hinging on his performance, it’s safe to say that he shouldered the film perfectly, managing both the physical and spiritual parts of the role. The co-star, no other than Richard Parker the tiger, is such a vivid character despite being a computer-created creature with bits and bytes where its flesh and blood ought to be. Forget anything you’ve ever seen before; CGI nailed it this time. While every scene in the movie is largely compelling, the ending of this awe-inspiring is what lingers. It’s concise and powerful enough to keep you coming back to watch it again, revealing layers of perfectly woven symbolism underneath this visual bravura. The novel, and accordingly the film, does feel like a religious tale, as though it were a moral story comparable to that of Daniel in the lions’ den. What I really liked about it, however, is how it did not promote a certain religion. Instead, it showed that it doesn’t really matter what you have faith in, or if you have any at all. What really matters is that you determine your position in the world and digest it fully. Ask questions. Be forever eager. When given the choice between the truth and the legend, Life of Pi picks the legend. And what better analogy for our existence in this universe than a couple of terrified creatures stranded on a wobbly lifeboat in the middle of nothingness? Life of Pi is not a film asking to be marveled at (although many would kill things if it doesn’t take home a handful of Oscars). It sutures you into its visual brilliance and treads on the line between what’s possible and what’s not. On behalf of my occipital lobe, I thank you, Ang Lee. I give this movie 3.1415 / 4 and rate it obligatory.
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