50 JULY 2012 CAMPUS
IN THIS ISSUE
Feature 14 The Illuminati and the Arab Spring 16 Life as a Christian in Egypt Underscore 20 Revisiting the Dark Ages... Your Teenage Years! 22 SCAF and the Iron Fist Rule 24 I’m Flushing “El Osoul” down the Toilet! 28 Because Morsy’s Victory is not Ours Opinionated 32 The Amount of Bullsh*t is too Damn High! 34 On the First Lady, Naglaa Ali 36 We were Taught to be Women, But Forgot How to be Ladies 38 The Audacity of Huge Center Stage 42 Interview with Bey2ollak 44 Eye Candy Campus Quiz 46 Which Power Ranger Are You?
Patterns 50 Trends 52 Made in Egypt 53 Fashion Bulletin 54 Tavi Gevinson 56 The Fashion Elections! The Gay Section 58 Love in the Time of... Well, Now Screens, Shelves and Speakers 60 Farewell to the Rom-Com Queen 62 The Life and Death of Music
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Chairman Shady Sherif
Editor-in-Chief Louis Greiss
Creative Director Leila Tapozada
Wessam Sherif Yasmine Zohdi
Youssef Saad Eldin
Business Development Ismaeel Khoudeir
Senior Media Executive Zeina El Alfy
Media Executive Ghada Zayed
Financial Manager Ehab A. Aziz
Chief Accountant 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 Mahmoud El Araby
Distribution Manager Shazly Eid
Abdelhamed Fathy Ashraf Ramadan Gamal Moustafa Ramy Afifi Ragab Fathy Aly Afifi Waleed Gilani Abdel Aziz Abdel Rahman Mahmoud Samir
Art Director Ahmed Saad
Graphic Designers Bassem Raafat
Writers & Contributors Ahmed Amin Amy Quotb Eman Omar Hend Ghorab Jonathan Rashad May Kamel Michel Antoun Sarah El Kerdany Sherif Elmashad Summer Nazif Tarek Afia
Sherif Elmashad Cover Credits Ahmed Saad
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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
SECTION NOTE EDITOR’S
PFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFT! 6 JULY 2012 CAMPUS
SECTION NOTE EDITOR’S
Defy reality. Conquer your limits; defeat your restrictions. Keep going, even when everyone insists you’re going to crash. Fall, on your own terms.
8 JULY 2012 CAMPUS
السادة الصيادلة، تعلـن شركـة جالكسـو سميثكـالين كونسيومر هيـلث كـير المحـدودة عن تـوافـر مستحضـري بـانـادول وبـانـادول اكسـترا لدى شركـات التوزيع الكبرى.
تصنيع شركـة اإلسكندريـة لألدويــة والصنـاعــات الكيماويــة بتصريح من شركـة جالكسـو سميثكـالين كونسيـومـر هيلث كـير المحـدودة ،ايـرلنـدا. PANADOL is a registered trade mark of the GlaxoSmithKline Group of Companies. For full prescribing information please write to GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, PO Box 23816, Dubai, UAE.
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SECTION ] ] FEATURE
12 JULY 2012 CAMPUS
The Illuminati and the Arab Spring The awkward moment when Ahmed Zbaydar and Tawfik Okasha are rightâ€Ś By Wessam Sherif
I WAS HAVING A COUPLE OF DRINKS WITH A TUNISIAN ACTIVIST AROUND TWO MONTHS AGO WHEN THE CONVERSATION –NATURALLY– TOOK A POLITICAL TURN. WE COMPARED NOTES AND I WHINED A BIT ABOUT THE FLAMBOYANTLY MESSY POLITICAL SITUATION IN EGYPT, BEARING IN MIND THAT, AT THE TIME, WE HADN’T GONE THROUGH THE ELECTORAL FAUX PAS YET. MY TUNISIAN FRIEND REASSURED ME WITH A BLEND OF CLICHÉS AND INSIGHT FROM HIS COUNTRY’S RELATIVELY MORE ADVANCED REVOLUTION… BUT HE ALSO MANAGED TO MESS WITH MY MIND, A BIT.
Amidst my rant about the rise of political Islam in Egypt, he interrupted me with a question: “do you believe that the uprisings in the region were incited by external parties?” For a revolutionary –even if from another county– to ask that question was a bit shocking and frustrating; why would someone discredit his own hard-earned struggle for freedom? So, I instinctively gave him the “oh no you didn’t” look and assured him that I don’t believe in a “Taraf Talet”. That’s when he brought up the Illuminati. Once again, he asked me: “What do you think is the Illuminati’s optimum goal?” “World domination?” I replied. I mean if it was good enough for Pinky and the Brain then it probably is good enough for the Illuminati. “They already do dominate the world,” he laughed sarcastically. Spoken like a true fruitcake. You see, I was never big on conspiracy theories, but I also never rule out scenarios, no matter how absurd. So, the rest of this article is based on what he directed my attention towards in addition to a lot of research. Read on with an open mind, and please, take nothing too seriously.
Who are the Illuminati? Originally, the Illuminati refers to the Bavarian Illuminati, an Enlightenmentera secret society founded in 1776 and, as their name suggests, promoting freethinking. A common misconception is that the Illuminati are, by definition, a sub-institution of the Freemasons, but that’s wrong. No proven linkage has been made between the two entities, although it is true that many members of the Illuminati are Freemasons and that the Illuminati’s framework was originally modeled on that of the Freemasons. The Illuminati are known to be very secretive about their hierarchy and their goals. That’s the boring part.
The Conspiracy Modern discourse claims that the Illuminati are actually a “World Government” or a “Government behind the government” that orchestrates the world’s political, economic and social affairs in order to establish to what is referred to as the “New World Order”. That term has been used by a many leaders, starting from Woodrow Wilson down to Bush Jr.. That “New World Order” is, supposedly, a world that is governed by one government and one monetary-unit system where boundaries and state sovereignty cease to exit. A world based on rulers and servants.
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And for that purpose, the Illuminati have members who occupy many influential positions across the globe. Many American and British leaders have been claimed to part of the Illuminati. That is not to mention that United Nations and the finance and banking institutions also believe to be under the Illuminati’s control. Even the music and movie industries are considered to be tools through which they spread their “subliminal satanic messages”. And artists like Jay Z, Beyonce, Madonna and Lady Gaga are all claimed to be-big time Illuminati.
The million dollar question here is: why would they want to bring about that New World Order? Here’s where it gets truly absurd. Most theories claim that the Illuminati are a satanic group that is setting the stage for the emergence of the Anti-Christ; the ruler of the new world, according to them. Both the Christian and the Islamic theologies acknowledge the emergence of the Anti-Christ at the end of time and that he will deceive people into believing that he is a deity or a God by performing biblical prophecies/miracles. As a matter of fact, Obama and the Pope are both thought to be Anti-Christ! Consequently, the Illuminati aim at bringing about the end of time, which many interpret as a third world war. Hence, according to conspiracy, the Illuminati are working on a number of simultaneous schemes, that aim at creating a number of global turning points and disasters that fit together to eventually lead to the collapse of the current global system as we know it.
The Arab Spring But none of that concerns me. What does, however, is the assumption that the uprisings in the Arab countries were all puppeteered by the Illuminati. Like mentioned earlier, the Illuminati’s optimum goal is to trigger the World War Three, and the prevalence of Islamic government in the Arab world would be the final nudge towards it. How, you ask? You see, an Islamic Middle East means an imminent war with Israel, which is more or less detectable by observing the discourse of most Islamic nationalistic leaders nowadays; you don’t have to be a conspiracist to make that conclusion. A war in the Middle East would undoubtedly mark the beginning of a world war. And that’s the point my Tunisian friend based his entire Illuminati argument on; the Arab Spring’s Islamization. At the time, Morsi wasn’t President yet, so I disregarded the hypothesis but made a mental note of it, and when Morsi won, his words were the first thing that came to mind. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t believe the Biblical bullsh*t on which the whole Illuminati tale is based. I just find it very interesting because, the way things are going, we might very well be heading towards an Islamdominated region. And making the “SCAF won’t let it happen” argument at this point makes no sense, because according to most analysts, they were actually forced by external pressure to allow Morsi to become president. All in all, I think this is a fun scenario to tamper with and ponder, but not to believe, because no tangible proof of the Illuminati’s activities is present nor of how they actually carry out their agendas. There is, however, the Illuminati cards.
The Illuminati Cards This is a card game created by Steve Jackson in 1995 which predicts many of the major global incidents that took place in the years that followed. Steve Jackson is allegedly a member of the Illuminati who created this game in order to taunt the world and show them how their lives are being controlled by the Illuminati. Whereas according to other versions, Jackson actually wanted to divulge the Illuminati’s global plan through this game, and that the American secret service tried to stop him before the game went public. Bearing in mind that this game came out in 1995, the accuracy of the illustrations and the predictions can be quite boggling. I’ll leave you guys with a number of cards that I chose from the game. Remember, however, this is only a game and this whole article is but a conspiracy theory. I also encourage you to read more about the Illuminati’s influence on the world’s economy, and more importantly, pop culture, I know you’ll find it extremely interesting.
The Illuminati Cards that caused wide controversy These cards are believed to be the sequence of what happened throughout the Arab Spring
Pretty clear. The uncanny resemblance to the 9/11 bombings is shocking.
The upper card is believed to be the prediction of the first black President, whereas the second is supposedly the British Petroleum oil spill that took place off the American coast.
This card is bellieved to be the Japan earthquake, especially since the clock tower in the card is identical to the Wako clock tower in Tokyo Not to mention that the clock tower in the card points to 2:47 which is the exact time of the earthquake.
Egypt By Michel Antoun FIRST OFF, LET ME START BY SAYING TWO VERY IMPORTANT THINGS. THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE ELECTION PROCESS ITSELF; BY THE TIME THIS ISSUE COMES OUT, OUR NEW PRESIDENT WILL HAVE ALREADY BEEN ELECTED. THE SECOND THING IS, PERSONALLY, I HAVE NEVER BEEN DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BECAUSE OF MY RELIGION, SO EVERYTHING I WRITE IS NOT PERSONAL, BUT RATHER AN OVERALL LOOK AT SOME OF THE CRAP I’VE WITNESSED OVER THE YEARS, CULMINATING WITH WHAT HAPPENED THROUGHOUT THE ELECTIONS PHASE. 16 JULY 2012 CAMPUS
I don’t think I’ll need to go into details about incidents of religious strife that occurred over the years because that’s pretty much common knowledge, and writing a timeline containing those incidents would serve no purpose. This is more about the way some people in Egypt think, especially when it comes to certain half-witted, asinine, and utterly unbelievable ideas and spur-of-the-moment judgments that result from situations that arise thanks to those ideas.
Weapons in Churches
Let me start with the most ridiculous thought of all: churches have an army’s supply of weapons and ammunition hidden in the basement. Seriously, I would love to sit down and talk to someone who really believes this, just to understand their logic behind it. I actually remember hearing some idiot on TV stating that they were planning on creating a separate state within Egypt run by the Orthodox Church and were going to start a war, which is why he was protesting in front of the church with a weapon in his hand. Obviously that was from some random guy on the street and obviously you’d have to dumb that statement down a great deal to get to what he actually said, but that was the general meaning. It was during the incident at the church in Imbaba last year, where many of the people claimed there were hundreds of gunshots coming from inside the church, aimed at them. Miraculously, none of the weapon-wielding protestors got shot except one guy in the arm, I think, so it would probably make a hell of a lot more sense to believe that one guy inside the church had his own gun and fired out of fear or for self-protection, but no one really knows exactly. The point is that following that incident, there was tension throughout Cairo. Road blocks not letting Christians through, and vice versa. Facebook was, as usual, a main source of several arguments about who was at fault in that particular incident, causing more tension and anger, and that was coming from the supposedly “educated elite”, and therein lies the immediate problem. Incidents such as this one or others, such as the infamous cliché of “they kidnapped a Muslim girl, forced/brainwashed her into converting to Christianity and now have her tied up inside the church” are caused by poor, simple-minded fools who think they are saving the country while in fact they’re doing the exact opposite. While they are behind the problem, the main causes really are the educational system and the culture, things that will take a very long time to remedy unfortunately. By the way it’s not about Muslims being at fault here, it is more about the poor handling of any situation by both sides involved, turning it into a religious situation very quickly that involves the entire country.
The thing is, one would expect much better from “smart” people. Instead of basing a judgment on very little facts, naming “the Muslims” or “the Christians” as to blame based on hearsay is idiotic, to say the least, and draws a line between them, which brings me to the trigger behind this article, and a main source of anger for me these days-- the elections. I’m angry because of one particular statement that was spread by so many people on my friends list, stating unequivocally that Christians are why Shafiq got through the first round and to the runoff. Whoever made that statement obviously made it out of anger, but that is really no excuse. Does anyone know the number of registered Christian voters in Egypt? I’m guessing around 5-7 million, and calling them an effective voting block is pure idiocy. Here’s the thing, all Christians I know personally didn’t vote for Shafiq; they voted for either Hamdeen or Moussa. The ‘Coalition of Christian Youth’ announced that they were voting for Hamdeen. The thing about the Church telling the Christians to vote for Shafiq may or may not be true but, personally, no one told me anything. Not to mention that it would be no different than the Sheikh telling people to vote Yes on the constitutional amendments during Friday prayers, or the Muslim Brotherhood and their slogan “Al Islam Howa el 7al” and various other ways people have used religion in the political game. Yet, people still blame “Christians” throughout Egypt because
Shafiq won, even though they don’t even know who exactly voted for him. Muslims are not affected by such shameful acts but Christians are?! For God’s sake, people, think before you speak! One more thing, I’m actually Catholic not Coptic; a percentage of the Christians in Egypt that people keep forgetting exists. The Coptic Church has no method of communication with this particular minority, which decreases the credibility of the “Shafiq won because of the Christians” statement even more. I could go on a rant stating why the elections turned out the way they did and why most of the voters could be considered stupid and do not deserve to ever vote again, but this would not be because I’m smarter than everyone else, but because I’m angry at how it turned out.
Here’s a fact, Shafiq and Morsy are people I really hate, and I hate them both equally. Consequently, I didn’t vote for either of them, and do not want either of them, but I will not blame anyone who votes for either. You could very easily give reasons for why anyone voting for Shafiq is an idiot and equally compelling reasons why anyone voting for Morsy is an idiot, but that does not mean you made a right choice and that you are a politically intelligent person with the best interests of the revolution at heart. It means you made a decision based on one of two things. Either to preserve your way of life or to change it to something that is equally bad, perhaps even worse, all in the spirit of change. Shafiq and people like him (felool) are the reason there was a revolution, and Morsy and the Brotherhood are pretty much the sole reason the revolution is failing/failed, and in my opinion if you think you’re giving someone a vote because you think they will help the country, then with all due respect you are an incredibly naïve person. If you want to blame a Christian for voting for Shafiq, then maybe you are not thinking straight. Morsy is about Islam, and the way he has talked, he borders on extremism. Think Salafis and how scared people were of them getting any sort of power in Egypt and then make that comparison to Morsy. This does not just apply to Christians; it applies to everyone really, particularly the older generation who fear the country would go backwards under the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood, a justifiable fear if I might add. I know Muslims around my age (I’m 25 by the way) who voted for Shafiq with every fiber of their being, because they believe that Morsy will ruin the country. Words cannot describe how utterly disappointed I am at how things turned out, but the whole Christian thing was a point of anger for me, I actually felt rage swelling up while writing this article. For the record, some of the people that said that Christians are the reason Shafiq is in the runoff, were probably never in Tahrir square or Mohamed Mahmoud during dangerous times, while anyone who was there knows that Christians were present and fighting with all their hearts for a better country next to their fellow “revolutionaries”. Which is another reason why I find most people these days to be self-righteous pricks. I would like to sum up this article with one final plea, before making any sort of reference to any sort of situation involving Christians: kindly consider the damage that you and so many others can so easily do in so little time. The fact that so many people are blind to this is utterly amazing to me. To move past this we need to really stop treating it as two different blocks, Copts vs. Mulsims, because that never was and never will be the case unless people treat it as such.
Introduces the GALAXY S III in the Egyptian Market Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, recently launched the third generation of the GALAXY S mobiles in Egypt. Building on the unprecedented success of its flagship, the GALAXY S II, Samsung’s GALAXY S III is designed using the latest unique, cutting-edge technologies. With a 4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED display, an 8MP camera and a 1.9MP front camera users are offered a variety of intelligent features and face recognition related options. The GALAXY S III is powered by Android™ 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, with greatly enhanced usability and practicality. To ensure faster content sharing and connectivity, the GALAXY S III offers Wi-Fi Channel Bonding which doubles the Wi-Fi bandwidth. With ‘AllShare Cast’, users can wirelessly connect their GALAXY S III to their television to immediately transfer smartphone content onto a larger display. ‘AllShare Play’ can be also used to instantly share any forms of files between GALAXY S III and the tablet, PC, and televisions regardless of the distance between the devices. Under AllShare Play is also the ‘Group Cast’ feature that allows users to share their screen among multiple friends on the same Wi-Fi network; making comments and drawing changes at the same time with coworkers, witnessing real-time sharing on the individual device.
MOBINIL BUSINESS LAUNCHES AN OUTSTANDING GOLF BUSINESS CLASSIC TOURNAMENT Mobinil launched its first “Mobinil Business Golf Classic” tournament in partnership with JW Marriott Hotel on June 2, 2012 at JW Marriott Hotel in the presence of top executives from national and multinational companies as well as Mobinil’s CEO, Mr Yves Gauthier & CFO, Mr. Kais Ben Hamida. All participants expressed their appreciation to Mobinil for organizing this high standard one day golf tournament that was full of excitement blended with a friendly atmosphere created by Mobinil’s team. The top three winners, Mr. Stewart Thomson, Mr. Ahmed ElNaggar & Mr. Sui Jun Li, will participate in the Orange International Golf Trophy which will be held in Paris in September 2012. Moreover, winners were granted valuable prizes at the event, the 1st winner received a Macbook , the 2nd winner an iPad and the 3rd an iPhone device. Furthermore, winners of the “nearest to the pin” and “the longest drive” won free accommodation nights at the JW Marriott Hotel. Mobinil’s Business Golf Classic tournament is considered one of many creative and fun activities held by Mobinil to create loyalty and build a strong relationship with decision makers from multinational and local companies and with their partners in success. Among such activities earlier conducted by Mobinil in this direction is its popular Ramadan Soccer Tournament Cup that will be held this year in Ramadan for the 9th consecutive year.
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REVISITING THE DARK AGES… YOUR TEENAGE YEARS! By: Youssef Saad Eldin
REMEMBER YOUR CHILDHOOD? BY CHILDHOOD, OF COURSE, I MEAN YOUR TEENAGE YEARS; THE WORST, DARKEST, AND MORE SPECIFICALLY, MOST SHAMEFUL YEARS OF YOUR LIFE. I’M PRETTY SURE THAT LIFE STILL HAS MORE DISGRACEFUL EVENTS TO OFFER US, BUT SO FAR, BEING A TEENAGER IS THE UNDISPUTED CHAMPION. THIS PERIOD WAS CHARACTERIZED BY THE COMPULSIVE NEED TO BE THE “COOLEST” PERSON THAT EVER EXISTED, BUT THE RESULT WAS A NEVER-ENDING SERIES OF AWKWARD, EMBARRASSING AND DISGRACEFUL MOMENTS. ANY SANE PERSON WOULD DO HIS BEST TO SUPPRESS THOSE MEMORIES BUT MOST OF US FAIL TO COMPLETELY BLOCK THEM, SO IN CASE YOU WERE SUCCESSFUL, I THOUGHT IT’LL BE NICE TO REMIND YOU, SO THAT YOU’D TAKE IT EASY ON KIDS THESE DAYS.
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Jenz fe Jenz
For some reason, we gave the hair too much attention; we assumed that having a normal haircut was some form of suicide. The “Spiky” hair cut was the number one choice for many guys out there. I still don’t know what the hell were we thinking? Did we think that everyone will admire us because we managed to apply half a container of “deluxe” Fiancée hair gel for a spiky look? And as if the hair didn’t look bee2a enough, we also had to endure the same old “enta etkaharabt wala eh?” joke over and over from all of our family members.
I’m talking about the jeans jacket which was always matched with an actual pair of jeans. No matter how fashionable it was, looking like Adel Imam in Salam Ya Sa7by or 7anafy El Obaha is inexcusable and unforgivable. I will not dwell on this because the image of you dressed like Adel Imam and singing one of his songs is a more than enough punishment (God knows it still haunts me till now).
The Cap The Sun-in Another shameful thing our generation did to their hair was the Sun-in. Some would spray this “will magically turn you into a blond” product, but of course, the result was a patch of red hair on their heads. Sadly, the Brad Pitt look that many people hoped for turned into an Ibrahim Sa’eed look!
Wearing a baseball cap because it’s sunny is a completely legitimate act, but wearing it to look fashionable was an epic fail. Some people used to brush their hair from the side and from the back (3ashan yenfesh) and then put on the cap to give the raggedy cap look. As for the people who used to put the cap on backwards, I will not comment, this was even ugly by those days’ standards… Shame on you! When it comes to the ice cap or the beanie I’ll leave you with the visual of Amr Diab singing his memorable “Ana 3ayesh W Msh 3ayesh”.
Boy Bands Boy Bands: Music has to do with taste, therefore judging someone for listening to bands like Backstreet Boys or Blue is not fair… that is unless you used to get carried away and danced to their music!
Facial Hair This is where it gets nasty. First of all, let’s talk about the sorry excuse for a moustache that starts growing when you’re 14-17 years old, or as some people like to call it, “shanab farmalet el motocycle”. Apparently, the reason we refused to shave off this dirt-like, first wave of a moustache is that we considered it a sign of manhood. Unfortunately, this proved the opposite and just looked bad… really bad. Another facial hair screw-up was the infamous goatee. Sometimes the goatee is all you manage to grow along with farmalet el motocycle, but it doesn’t really match the thick beard so you shave it off and all you’re left with is the goatee, which in most cases does make you look like a goat.
The O2 affair Wearing the O2 shebsheb over your socks was by far one of the most obnoxious things I’ve ever laid my eyes on. I’ll have you know that I proudly survived this period, since this is one of the very few things I didn’t do. It’s understandable if you did that because you were too lazy to put on your shoes, but most people did it because they wanted to show that they don’t care about what they wear, you know the good old “I’m too awesome to care attitude”.
Show me the boxers Normally, pants go around the waist, but for some reason we thought that it was cool to put it on just above our knees and show off our white boxer with big red hearts. Till this day, I still have no idea why some people did that despite their parents’ miserable attempts to make them stop.
Guitars El 3edda Somehow our generation managed to turn the cell phone into a bee2a “phenomenon”, allow me to explain. For example, someone would put his phone in a bee2a leather cover and attach it to their belt in order to show everyone the phone that they nagged their way into buying. I also won’t forget the time when we used to buy “customized” ring tones such as Shams el Zanaty or Ra2fat el Hagan theme songs.
The Shades I’d give away my Playstation (and I really love my Playstation) to find out who the as*hole was that said that green, red or blue shades are chick-magnets. I walked around for months wearing green shades, looking like a complete moron and for nothing.
The Wallet Chain The Wallet Chain: I regret to inform you that I was one of the victims of this hideous fashion trend. You’d get a chain and attach one end to your wallet and the other to your pants and walk around with the chain hanging out there. Why I thought this was cool is as big of a mystery as the Bermuda Triangle.
Metallica Metallica: I remember the time when I used to think that Metallica was one of the best bands out there and guess what? I still believe so! In your face, Beliebers (Justin Bieber’s fans).
In absolutes, guitars are cool, but dragging your guitar with you anywhere you go –especially on vacations– and playing the only 2 or 3 songs that you know (Hotel California is usually one of them) is nothing but lame.
Bad Asses This was when we were at an older age, and it has to do with cars. I’m talking about when we’d bleed our wallet dry to get the Sony Xplod sound system in order to force everyone to hear our crappy “gangsta music”. We’d also put on some stickers with pathetic phrases on our cars like “this car is Xploded”, “I don’t date ugly girls” and the worst one “my other ride is your girlfriend”. As for el takhmees and el shad, I guess the fact that you hit your car once or twice will always remind you of how stupid that was. Another chapter of the Bad Asses phase was the knena2at; everyone would brag about how they were able to take out 10 guys with only 1 friend to help them out. Sometimes you’d brag about the people you know; the type of people who’d gladly assist you in any fight. I still remember someone telling me how “3abdilah el masek el tamen” is in a friend of his, and how he’d “yegeblo nas” if he ever needed assistance in a fight. UNFORTUNATELY THAT WAS ALL I CAN REMEMBER, BUT I’M PRETTY SURE THAT THOSE EXAMPLES WILL SPARK A FEW MEMORIES OF YOUR OWN. BUT FOR BETTER OR WORSE, OUR GENERATION HAD A FEW GOOD THINGS TO BE REMEMBERED FOR, STARTING WITH SHOWS LIKE POWER RANGERS TO GAMES LIKE WOLF AND DOOM, AMONG OTHER THINGS. ALL I KNOW IS, WE MIGHT’VE BEEN OBNOXIOUS TEENAGERS, BUT WE HAD A LOT OF FUN.
SCAF and the Iron
Rule Because a Proper Constitution is Inevitable By May Kamel
I demand refund on the past 506 days of my life. In retrospect. With interest. And a bonus. We all do! Ever since Mubarak was overthrown, we’ve been going down a mucky road paved with all the horrible intentions from different political powers. A series of unfortunate events, you may say. We’ve been manipulated about the most serious of issues, and sometimes even for the fu*ck of it. Daggers were drawn and the situation was at all times this close to exploding. But things are different now. We have a president, or so I’ve heard (but it’s not Shafiq, so yay). How I see it, the president is not my concern at this stage, and it shouldn’t be yours either, if you ask me. The battle here is the constitution… which explains why we tend to dodge this every time it’s brought up-- it’s HARD and we know it.
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Plainly put, yes I blame SCAF for the joke that was the transitional phase, and yes I am concerned about what they have up their sleeves. And hell NO, they won’t have any special roles in the coming constitution. Maye7komshy.
A State within a State It’s understandable that the army should, at all times, have a cleancut constitutional role, which is the case in all democratic countries, or even in dictatorships. The conflict here is the extent of that role and its integration into the civil state as part of it. Essentially speaking, the role of the armed forces is to secure the borders and aid the civil police forces when needed. Other constitutions extend further to oblige the armed forces to protect the democratic state in the sense of preserving the majority’s rights to perhaps topple a certain regime should the regime oppose the welfare of the state; Jan 25th revolution is a case in point masalan. In dictatorships, on the other hand, armed forces have extended authorities, being actually in charge of laying down the regime’s law. Just so we’re clear, we want democracy. And we want it now. And dear SCAF, let me assure you that it is doable. Let me show you how others roll ba2a.
What Romans Do… The constitution of the United States of America defines the role of the army in section 2 of article 2 under the title “Civilian Power over Military, Cabinet, Pardon Power, Appointments”, which states that “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States”. The military budget is discussed discreetly by the Department of Defense and the president cannot make any decisions involving military expenditures without going back to the congress. In the French constitution, article 15 states that “The President of the Republic shall be Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. He shall preside over the higher national defense councils and committees”. Article 35 elaborates on declaration of war: “A declaration of war shall be authorized by Parliament. The Government shall inform Parliament of its decision to have the armed forces intervene abroad, at the latest three days after the beginning of said intervention.” The Spanish constitution’s article 8 reads “The mission of the Armed Forces, comprising the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, is to guarantee the sovereignty and independence of Spain and to defend its territorial integrity and the constitutional order.” That being said, the constitution has no specific say in the military’s budget. When talking about the role of the military in the constitution, the Germans do set a prototype. It is perhaps the most elaborate of all, covering all aspects that are to be directly or remotely controlled by the military. Article 12a starts off by stating in details that serving the armed forces is not mandatory unless during times of war, where those not willing to serve are obliged to render a substitute service. Article 17 protects the rights of members of the armed forces members to “freely express and disseminate opinions”. Article 26 moderates the manufacture, transportation and marketing of weapons, deeming wars of aggression unconstitutional. As per article 45, The House of Representatives (Bundestag) appoints a Committee on Defense with rights to investigate. It also appoints a Defense Commissioner to “safeguard the basic rights and to assist the House of Representatives in exercising parliamentary control”. According to article 65, “Power of command in respect of the Armed Forces is to be vested in the Minister of Defense”. Keteer? Wait till we get to article 87. Section (a) of this article covers the details of establishments and powers of the armed forces down to the minutest of them. What I consider to be the highlight of this whole issue of the role of the armed forces in constitutions ba2a is the following…. behold the Hamada of all Hamadas, section 87(a)(4):
“In order to avert any imminent danger to the existence or to the free democratic basic order of the Federation or a State (Land), the Government may, should conditions as envisaged in Article 91 (2) obtain and the police forces and the Federal Border Guard be inadequate, use the Armed Forces to support the police and the Federal Border Guard in the protection of civilian property and in combating organized and militarily armed insurgents. Any such use of the Armed Forces has to stop whenever the House of Representatives (Bundestag) or the Senate (Bundesrat) so demands.” Or in short… PROTECT THE STATE, DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM. Despite having 7 articles regulating budgets (109 – 115), none of them preserves any exceptions to the armed forces. Now that we’ve been through the Days of our Lives, German army edition, fein el mohem ba2a? Who calls for war, you may ask? Chapter 10 has the answer: “The determination that federal territory is being attacked by armed force or that such an attack is directly imminent (state of defense) are made by the House of Representatives [Bundestag] with the consent of the Senate [Bundesrat]. Such determinations are made at the request of the Government and require a two-thirds majority of the votes cast, which include at least the majority of the members of the House of Representatives [Bundestag].”
Us and Them… Simply put, our armed forces are demanding a separation. They don’t hate us enough to get a divorce, yet they’d rather keep things separate. They want their budget separate and kept to themselves without any audits or investigations. They want no supervision and no inspection neither on income nor outcome, and not even the salaries. As per the latest SCAF complementary constitutional declaration, the military council is to retain legislative power, even after the election of a president, until a new parliament is elected. According to Article 56 of the declaration, the president appoints and dismisses the prime minister, the ministers, civil and military servants, political representatives and certain members in the People’s Assembly and the Shura Council, represents the state at home and abroad, and issues amnesty, while the military council retains the power of legislation and the approval of the state budget after the dissolution of Parliament. A7abayeb alby? Why do we have a president then?!
Axe To Grind? Hurl accusations at me all you want, bas ana nefsy ab2a ba7eb el geish ya 3am. I believe in the revolution. I took part in every major and minor detail of it. I voted “No”, “Hamzawy”, annulled “”فاكس, “Hamdeen” and annulled “”مايحكمشي. And I’m El Baradei’s biggest supporter. Good enough? All I ask for here is to have a proper constitution that represents all 90 million of us, even people I hate, yalla ma3lesh. A constitution that puts everything is perspective. A constitution that sees no organization, establishment, foundation or firm above the law. A constitution for Egypt. Dear SCAF, enough is enough. Thou shalt not rule us with an iron fist. Thou shalt be part of the state. Thou shalt not sell makarona w deyook roomy. Thou shalt not stranglehold the Egyptian economy. Civilian control of the army is a term that you need to get used to, and it’s for everyone’s good, trust me. Dear Egyptians, like the president or not, the fact is that he’s here for 4 years. Give double standards a break and demand he has his full constitutional rights to act as president. Push for a proper constitution to be written for the sake of us and for the sake of the country. Think unity; don’t think “abo el ikhwan”. And you, Ikhwan, learn the lesson. See past your ego. This is not Pakistan.
أسيادنا يا دستور
I’m Flushing “El Osoul” down the Toilet! By Sarah El Kerdany
I WAS BORN AND RAISED IN EGYPT; THE PLACE I LOVE AND HATE THE MOST ON THIS PLANET. THIS LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP I HAVE WITH MY COUNTRY STARTED WHEN I WAS LITTLE, AS I CAME FACE TO FACE WITH ALL THE DOUBLE STANDARDS AND HYPOCRISY, EVEN THOUGH I WAS TOO YOUNG TO PRONOUNCE THE WORD (LET ALONE UNDERSTAND IT).
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Parents in Egypt raise their kids to be independent and mature human beings, and yet we should live with them and have them fend for us until we’re married. They are taught to think for themselves and form their own opinions, yet the moment they start doing that, they’re automatically accused of being rebellious and irresponsible. ‘If you want to play football, you have to follow the rules of the game. If you don’t follow them, then you have no place in the team’, my dad always told me. I believe that sums it all up.
My First Encounter with “El Osoul” My first clash with my parents occurred when I was about 12 years old. It was spring and my mom asked if I’d like to go for a walk with her. I said yes and got dressed in last summer’s shorts and shirt (that SHE had bought me the year before.) Mom: What do you think you’re wearing? Do you think I’m going to let you walk in the street like that? Me: Like what? You always let me walk in the street like that! Mom: Well, not anymore. You’re older now.
Mom: Of course not. Me: Why? Mom: It’s just wrong. A decent girl never comes home at midnight Me: But you know all my friends and where we’ll be. Mom: Does the doorman know? Do the drivers know? Me: Who cares? Mom: I do and everybody does! “El Osoul” keda!
I thought I knew how complicated life is for women, especially when it comes to relationships with men, but I really had no idea. I was only 20 when everyone who had lips acted like they have the right to shower me with these questions: Nosy neighbor: So, is there someone in the picture?
Me: So what? Why can’t I anymore?
Random old woman: Yalla ba2a! I can’t wait to see you in your wedding dress.
Mom: Because that’s “El Osoul” (tradition in Arabic)
My hairdresser: Are there no boys in your college or what?
I didn’t even ask what that word meant; I already hated it. I didn’t bother to argue either, because I was indifferent towards what I was wearing.
A friend of my mom’s: You make me so sad, Sarsouri!
A few weeks passed and we were heading to the North Coast. I was packing my bag and my mom came in wondering why I didn’t pack my shorts!
You usually brush it off. But after a while, it gets to you. It suddenly starts to be a huge problem, because that’s the only thing everyone seems to be talking and obsessing about! And so, you start wondering, ‘Why am I not dating? Is there something wrong with me?
Me: Didn’t you say I couldn’t because “El Osoul” say so?
Sexism: A Sacred Ideology
Mom: Yes, but it’s different there.
Egyptian women face great pressure the moment they get their periods. They have to be decent and shy, but have a strong character and be well-spoken. Be very good looking and dress like models, but not overdo it. Be outgoing, but not that much. Be open-minded, yet very religious. Be good in bed, yet remain virgins. Be successful at their jobs, yet super housewives and the world’s best moms… ALL AT THE SAME FREAKIN’ TIME!
Me: How and why exactly is it different there? Needless to say, it was a very unfruitful conversation, but what I understood in a nutshell was that it’s okay to dress more loosely at the North Coast and Sokhna, for some reason I still don’t get to this day!
The Curse (AKA, the Curfew) When I got into college and started to go out more often, my parents introduced me to yet another despicable word; “curfew”. My curfew was 10 PM and it was ridiculous, so I asked my mom if I could push it to 12.
If you are not up to those standards, then no man will want to marry you. And do you know what that means? You’re over! As for men, in our country, they are as holy as they get! Every man is the president in his home and it is a non-negotiable birthright! Take a look at this; I think it says it all:
Accusation Being Late
Let the sun beat him home. He’s a MAN.
Where the hell are her parents?
Sleeping over somewhere other than home
What’s wrong with a bunch of guys hanging out and having a good time?
Can you guarantee that nothing can go wrong?
Living on their own
Mature and responsible
A shameless rebel
How could a marriage succeed if the guy has no experience?
There are two types of girls, ones who date and ones who get married... and if you want to eventually get married, forget about dating.
Let’s put it that way, who do you think tobacco was invented for?
Who knows what else she smokes behind closed doors? And it looks very indecent too!
Not a very good quality, but boys will be boys
Never trust a girl who drinks
It’s just a phase. They always grow out of it.
She’s doomed. Who marries a slut in the Middle East?
His wife must have stopped paying attention to him. What did she expect was going to happen?
Who could blame the husband if he stabs her to death?
All of us make bad choices. He is a true man to fix it while he could.
If she were smart, she’d know how to keep him by her side!
Marriage After Divorce/ Marriage after being widowed
A man can’t live without being married. It is physically impossible for them to not have sex! Haven’t you studied biology at school?
How selfish! How could she do that to her kids? Did she not think for a second about the consequences of such an irrational decision?
*Created by: one or more unidentified sexist psychopaths
Guess What? I Blame Women!
Nipping “El Osoul” in the Bud
Yes! I wasted tons of my time being a feminist who hated men for all the wrong reasons.
Unfortunately, “El Osoul” in this society is such a sleazy, doublefaced standard. It has no principle and doesn’t follow any religion. That joke of a word happens to have a whole bunch of guidelines concerning everything, all of them founded on absolutely nothing.
I decided to step out of my bubble for one second and asked myself: Who raised those men? Who had the opportunity to teach them right from wrong? Who put them on a pedestal and let them get away with almost everything? Who favored the brother over the sister? Who gave the girl house chores and asked her to serve her older and/ or younger male sibling? Who forgot to guide her child on how to be a gentleman but demanded her daughter to dress modestly and behave like an angel? Who judges a girl who had a boyfriend or has been engaged before she met her precious son and decided to marry him? Who tells her boy to not let his girlfriend/fiancé/wife dress or talk or walk in a certain way? Who has the biggest influence on a man? MOTHERS! I will continue to defend women and ask for equality, but I will dedicate all my energy to the women who inflict injustice upon themselves. Women who believe that their mission in life is to please their men and that only when those men are content, will they have served their purpose in life. They pass on the disease to their kids as their next mission, and this madness needs to stop! No more meaningless talk of “El Osoul” anymore.
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What automatically pops into my head when I hear this word is things related to etiquette and formal social conduct: You should buy something when you’re visiting someone’s home. Girls shouldn’t wear white to a wedding. Men should open doors for women. As for the rest, I like to think of it as bullsh*t that should be flushed down your brain’s toilet the exact moment you hear it, or it will start to rot in your head, just like it did in my parents’.
JUHAYNA continues to support the Egyptian Economy throughout 2012 Juhayna Group held a press conference to announce some of the latest development that the company is taking to preserve its market leadership and regional status as a dairy food processing giant. As part of its celebration of the World Milk Day, the group has announced its intentions to double its investments in the dairy field during 2012 in order to provide more job opportunities and continue its positive role in supporting the Egyptian economy. Juhayna is the first company in the Middle East and the third around the world to launch Juhayna Milk in the new TBA Edge. The new technology that Juhayna introduced is a bi-product of ongoing commitment towards innovation and a 120 million EGP investment that the group has made in order to differentiate itself and set its products apart from other alternative options. Manufactured through a new, high capacity production line, the new package guarantees the highest levels of sterilization, uniqueness and a modern appeal that is tailored to the habits of Egyptian consumers. This investment is considered as a vast expansion that will create more job opportunities across several divisions within the group’s various subsidies, which is an integral part of Juhayna’s constant support and commitment to Egypt’s economy. The new milk package is 100% environmentally friendly due to the fact that it is being manufactured from virgin pulp paper that enables easier recycling and guarantees that no external components affect or contribute to harming the environment.
“Toyota Egypt” sponsors “Rahala” team in the Republic WRC Rally on June 28th In a press conference held on June 21st, “Toyota Egypt” has announced its sponsorship of “Rahala” rally team. The team entered the Republic Championship for Rally Racing on June 28, 2012 using the “Toyota Fortuner 2012”. Toyota Fortuner is assembled in Egypt for the first time in the Middle East. Rahala’s choice of the “Fortuner” reflects the strength, solidity, potential of the car. It will also be a true experiment of the efficiency, accuracy and quality of the Egyptian product. oyota Fortuner has enormous potential and extraordinary capabilities, especially in T mountainous areas and off-roads, which makes it the most convenient choice for the Rahala team. It was announced in last April that Toyota Egypt will assemble the Fortuner in Egypt for the first time in the region. Choosing Egypt reflects the company’s confidence in the Egyptian economy despite the economic situation after Jan 25th revolution. Toyota Egypt will also sponsor other activities for Rahala such as raising awareness of the importance of safe driving to ensure safety on the roads. The teams will conduct seminars and meetings in schools, universities, and clubs advocating road safety. The sessions will also address the random racings done by some young people in the streets, which subjects citizens’ lives to danger. It is worth mentioning that the “Rahala” Rally team is acknowledged locally and internationally. They won the ninth place in the World Desert Rally Championship in 2010, which makes them the first Egyptian team to accomplish this in the history of motor sport. They also finished fifth in the Rally of Spain in 2011, becoming the first Egyptian team classified globally for two consecutive years.
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Because Morsy’s Victory Is NOT Ours By Yasmine Zohdi
I BOYCOTTED BOTH ROUNDS OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. I THOUGHT THE WHOLE PROCESS WAS A SCAM, AND I BELIEVED WHOEVER WON WAS GOING TO HAVE SCAF’S BLESSING AND BE THEIR PUPPET ANYWAY. HOWEVER, THE IDEA OF MUBARAK’S LAST PRIME MINISTER WINNING THE FIRST POST-REVOLUTION ELECTION – ONE AND A HALF YEARS AND 1,200 MARTYRS LATER – WAS TOO MUCH FOR ME TO HANDLE. I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE AN INSURMOUNTABLE PSYCHOLOGICAL BLOW TO THE REVOLUTIONARIES – OR WHATEVER’S LEFT OF THEM, AND FOR THAT REASON ALONE, I PREFERRED THE SCENARIO IN WHICH THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD’S CANDIDATE, MOHAMED MORSY, WOULD WIN. Yet, when the results were announced, the relief I initially felt lasted a total of two minutes, before it was replaced with a wave of overwhelming disappointment. No, I wasn’t disappointed that Morsy had won, or even that members of the Brotherhood who had dismissed revolutionaries as thugs more than once before, were chanting “Ya ngeeb 7a2ohom, ya nmout zayyohom” at the top of their lungs in Tahrir. Sure, I found it infuriating, yet it was only expected, and there was actually something humbling in witnessing “al mahzoura” (as the previous NDP government constantly insisted on labeling the Muslim Brotherhood) leave that status far behind and celebrate reaching the highest political seat in the country. It is the general state of euphoria that washed over the Twitter/Facebook sphere that baffled and angered me, along with the thrilled, jubilant reactions of friends and revolutionaries – those of them who had voted for Morsy (with the intention of ‘saving the revolution from the peril that is Shafiq’) or who had boycotted/annulled their votes but still harboured an internal hope that Shafiq would lose.
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I understand that joy is contagious. I am well aware that we have been subjected to all kinds of intolerable pressure and are in desperate need of a victory to help us pull through. I am not usually a party pooper, nor am I genetically unable to see the ‘silver-lining’; God only knows how much I long for one shred of hope to hold on to; I am struggling to keep my set of values and beliefs intact. But, I do not find that Morsy’s win is the answer, in any way.
Not letting the MB off the hook The Muslim Brotherhood’s stance in regards to SCAF throughout the past year has been anything but revolutionary. They have used the revolution and its martyrs every time they needed the propaganda that label guaranteed, and sided with SCAF just as soon as the smallest hint of a carrot was in sight. Last November, almost 50 – if not more – young men were killed in Mohamed Mahmoud, and the Brotherhood remained on the sidelines; preparing for the parliamentary elections that were about to take place, Khairat El Shater describing protesters as “troublemakers causing chaos”. One month later, when girls were dragged and beaten on the streets by army soldiers, members of the Brotherhood were blaming those girls for being there in the first place and wearing nothing beneath their A’bayas. The MB had the majority of an elected parliament to push the revolution forward; yet the People’s Assembly had actually become an extra obstacle on our way. When protesters marched to the PA building Downtown to state their demands to the MPs that they had stood in line and elected, young members of the MB surrounded the building, ‘protecting’ it, as if from a band of thugs. And when some brave women attempted to create a human shield between protesters and the members of the Brotherhood so clashes would not erupt, they were beaten with belts, their attackers yelling “Allahu akbar” in the process. On January 25th, 2012, as we entered the Square chanting ‘Down with Military Rule’, they were playing old Abdel Halim Hafez songs that glorified the army, celebrating ‘the revolution’s success’. When we objected with ‘Di thawra; mesh 7afla’, their retort was, ‘Mouto b 3’ezko’. The Brotherhood’s pragmatic and power-thirsty tendencies have been demonstrated, not once, but enough times to make it unwise (that’s putting it as mildly and as politely as possible) to trust them, and foolish to expect them to spearhead the revolution on its path to victory from the presidential palace. Morsy’s very presence there is only testimony to the Brotherhood’s strong ties with SCAF, and further proof their word is no guarantee; they had announced earlier that there won’t be an MB candidate for the presidency. It was heartwarming to see my people celebrate the first civilian president in 60 years – a man they feel they brought to power themselves – in such boundless joy, but it won’t make me forget. It’s one thing to feel relieved that Shafiq lost, it’s another to celebrate as if the Muslim Brotherhood’s ascent to the presidency spells out the revolution’s success. To me, the MB and SCAF are two sides of the same coin, and as the saying goes: ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.’ Acting as if we’re on the best of terms and this whole ‘eed wa7da’ thing is not really going to work. They just don’t get to be let off the hook that easy.
‘Denial is more than a river in Egypt’ There have been several reports of girls who have been harassed on the street and in other public places by conservative-looking, bearded men who threatened them that ‘now that Morsy’s here, you’ll no longer be able to walk dressed like this,’ as well as other forms of bullying, and whenever any light is shed on such incidents, most people instantly rise to the Islamists’ defense, claiming it’s all National Security work aiming to turn people against the Brotherhood and the new president. Such behaviour is quite similar to the attitude of those who refuse to discuss harassment incidents in Tahrir as a very serious phenomenon, insisting it’s all state-organized. Yes, perhaps some incidents are indeed orchestrated, but why rule out the possibility that they could be
spontaneous? It’s not like religious fanaticism or sexual harassment are foreign to this country anyway; they’re both rampant. It also reminded me of a time back in March 2011 when everyone still believed ‘the army protected the revolution’. A massacre had just taken place in ‘El Zabbaleen’ neighbourhood, and every time anyone accused the army of not stepping in to stop the attack that had taken place by thugs, they would be accused in turn of causing a rift between the army and the people and tarnishing the image of the sacred Egyptian Armed Forces. Only months of conflict and blood later would people finally wake up and realize that SCAF was not on our side. Burying your head in the sand becomes a way of life in this country, and it’s about time we learned it has disastrous results. Addressing such incidents has to be taken very seriously; they should be thoroughly investigated into, and fiercely fought against. Yes, we should be extra cautious, and extra fierce. We have years upon years of accumulated social and cultural diseases eating away at us already and we are yet to figure out how to deal with them – we can’t stand by and watch as new ones take form; and that’s why we need to nip any indicators in the bud, starting right now.
Morsy and SCAF aren’t exactly at war, you know? I think it’s very unhealthy that every comment made against Morsy is now treated like a pro-SCAF statement. I am still free to reject both! This whole struggle for power had nothing to do with the revolution in the first place; the revolution was never a part of it. Morsy may speak in its name, but Jan25 shall not under any circumstances be monopolized or dissolved into the Muslim Brotherhood’s vision for it. Jan25 and ‘Mashrou3 Al Nahda’ are two completely separate – even contradicting entities. The revolution – if it is meant to ‘continue’ – must remain outside the current power structure. The revolution is to stay an independent third front that maintains the fight, not support Morsy as its leader, as some illogically think is the right thing to do. And it’s not like Morsy has declared a war on SCAF. So far, despite the packed Square, the fiery speech, and the chants against SCAF, Morsy seems complacent enough for SCAF to be satisfied; no serious steps have been taken to revoke the Constitutional Declaration or challenge the authority it grants SCAF (and denies the president). General Al-Assar of SCAF has audaciously stated on TV that Field Marshall Hussein Tantawy is to remain minister of Defense and even Commander in Chief, and the president has not said a word about that. As I write this, it has been announced that Morsy will be sworn in before the Supreme Constitutional Court as the Constitutional Declaration decrees. Morsy is the president; he has been in meetings with SCAF, and has visited the Square under the protection of the Presidential Guard, and this is only normal. Morsy does not represent the revolution, but is – in many ways – an accomplice of the regime it fights against.
Hold on to your misgivings I just find it sad that we suddenly seem to have forgotten that, slightly over a month ago, we regarded the Brotherhood and SCAF with almost the same degree of contempt, for the major setbacks the revolution suffered as a result of them siding against it. I find it sad that we suddenly seem to have forgotten that the ideals and principles to which they adhere are not exactly those which we chanted for on January 25th, especially when it comes to “freedom”, and no, I am by no means denying the role they played in the uprising. I want to run screaming down the street and jump up and down with excitement too, like I did on Februrary 11th. However, when Mubarak stepped down, our longing for victory unconsciously lead us to disregard the nature of the entity that came to replace him in power. It was only logical that SCAF would be counter-revolutionary, yet we didn’t think about it for a second; the happiness was too overwhelming. We ignored it until we could no longer ignore it. And I don’t want us to do the same this time. I don’t want us to be blinded. I don’t want us to fall for an illusion and ignore our misgivings once more. I’d rather we embrace them and fight.
Small Space - Big Space Size Does Not Matter! Call: 0100 66 87 667 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Small Space - Big Space Size Does Not Matter! Call: 0100 66 87 667 E-mail: email@example.com
Small Space - Big Space Size Does Not Matter! Call: 0100 66 87 667 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Small Space - Big Space Size Does Not Matter! Call: 0100 66 87 667 E-mail: email@example.com
Small Space - Big Space Size Does Not Matter! Call: 010 66 87 667 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SECTION ] OPINIONATED ]
The amount of bullsh*t is too damn high! By Ahmed Amin
AMIDST THE TUG OF WAR THAT WAS THE SO-CALLED EGYPTIAN DEMOCRATIC PROCESS -PARLIAMENTARY AND PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS- DEBATES AND ARGUMENTS ERUPTED, SWEEPING EVERYTHING IN THEIR WAY AND SUCKING US ALL INTO DISCUSSIONS. AND WITH A GREAT DEAL OF FINGER-POINTING, ACCUSATION-THROWING AND A TON OF DEBUNKING, A SERIOUS ISSUE WAS HIGHLIGHTED: OUR HEAVY USE OF BULLSH*T TO PROVE OUR ARGUMENTS OR TO KILL THE ARGUMENT OF OUR OPPONENT.
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In more colloquial terms, bullsh*t is what a good arguer bases his defense on if he just wants to win an argument or has an empty case; it’s most probably how your parents have always found an illogical way to prove their argument true and dismiss yours as wrong. It’s more or less like a punch below the belt. They are extremely effective yet they are morally and logically wrong. In the following passages I’ll try to shed light on some of the most used forms of bullsh*t and explain them or give examples of their application and give you the chance to make your own conclusions as to where you have encountered them, whether in certain popular arguments that have been made by advocates or supporters of candidates and political parties, or in movies and pop culture. The following are some of the most common forms of argument-related bullsh*t that I regularly come across:
Silence is defeat This is very commonly used when one party in the discussion is more knowledgeable or perhaps better-spoken, thus being able to lay down an argument that might be confusing, complex or mind-boggling at first, rendering the opponent literally speechless and creating the illusion of “sealing the argument shut”. An example for this is the movie 8 mile where Rabbit “chokes” and therefore making him inferior to his opponent and ultimately losing the “battle”.
I need not prove my claim; you must prove it is false Made famous by the film Thank You for Smoking, it is the part where Nick Naylor explains to his son, Joey, the beauty of argument. They were having the chocolate vs. vanilla ice cream debate, where he tells him that he doesn’t need to he’s right but prove that his opponent is wrong, consequently finishing the debate on top. In our culture, we have an idiom that is used to point this out: “al bayena 3ala man ed3a” or the proof must come from he who makes the claim. This HAS to be the reason behind that An argument often made by anti-revolution advocates to prove that protests disrupt the peace and are the root cause of the nationwide insecurity and epidemic thuggery. By claiming that the violence and mayhem following each protest or sit-in is the actual reason behind these protests, this logical flaw is built around making a conclusion which implies that there’s a correlation between the first event (protests) and the second (insecurity).
It’s either this or that! This was one of the pillars in Egypt’s recent political scene, starting from Mubarak’s “me or chaos” routine all the way to the presidential elections, where it was made a point by some that you have to choose one of the candidates because they are the only options, while in reality boycotting was a plausible third option. Due to the spread of this common logic flaw, the boycotters were met with mass resentment because they seemed to be choosing an option that did not exist.
Ne2sem el balad nosseen Commonly used in conflict resolution, where it is usually perceived that if there are too opposite and conflicting opinions a middle ground between them is most of the time considered as the best solution. Made famous by our informal idiom of “ne2sem el balad nosseen / let’s split the country in half”. It is used generally to propagate that midway solutions are always the soundest, this fallacy is so common that when faced by it, if you choose to not compromise and stick to your position you are seen as unwilling to resolve the conflict.
You’re missing the point! This is my personal favorite and seemingly the most-used fallacy, it is simply like when pro-Mubarak advocates site his war achievements in a political debate about his policy and government. Although the fact that he served in the war and might’ve had achievements is true and valid, it has nothing to do with the actual question or topic pertaining to the achievements of Mubarak as a president.
When solutions to problems are rejected because they’re not perfect. This was the trench that we failed to cross before reaching the castle, this assumption trumped down many solutions that we wanted in order to assure that our revolution was safe and sound. This was the “sorry but what you’re suggesting is unconstitutional” debate, where every time the revolutionaries had a radical solution was shot down because it was not perfect, since it would defy the norms of state politics and constitutions, while in reality they might have been the only truthful and practical solutions as times have later went on to tell.
Attacking the arguer instead of the argument The State Security’s favorite defense against its opposition, not much needs to be explained here. It’s exactly like the smear campaign against Mohamed Al Baradei that started in the end of Mubarak’s rule, where false accusations were made to defame Al Baradei as a person instead of answering and attacking his argument that this country is going down the drain as long as Mubarak and the NDP are in legitimate or illegitimate power. Your close friends would probably pull this off on you, sounding a bit like this: “bass yally… (Insert offense of choice)”.
I’m in power, hence I’m right This perhaps is the main role that our state media has assumed all through the revolution, if not the reason why state media exists in countries in the first place. You might also encounter this discourse when dealing with your boss. It’s more or less a way of using authority to back one’s weak arguments. These were a few examples, but there’s of course a million other examples out there, since bullsh*t is all we see and hear nowadays.
Booby-trapped questions This is when the question is asked in a way, that regardless of whether the answer is yes or no, the answer will inherently be an admittance of an unjustified assumption. A very common example from our culture would be the yearly Ramadan question of “Sayem wala zay kol sana? / are you fasting or is it like every year?” So whether your answer is yes or no, you will have admitted to not fasting in the previous years, as the question itself is loaded with the “like every year?” assumption that implies that you usually don’t fast.
On the First Lady, Naglaa Ali:
Egypt is NOT Stepford!
By May Kamel
DEAR CITIZENS OF THE EGYPTIAN SAINT-TROPEZ, CONGRATULATIONS! ABHARTO EL 3ALAM YET AGAIN… EIH EL ARAF DA KOLLO! Ever since Morsi was announced for the runoffs of the presidential elections, people have been snooping and digging out whatever they could find to discredit him. Let me first set this straight: I’m an upperclass, Ikhwan hater. I did not vote for Morsi and I most certainly am not defending him or saying that he’s above questioning. I just prefer another approach to do things: all due fairness. For over a week now, Mrs. Naglaa Ali Mahmoud – Morsi’s wife – has been under constant attack for the way she dresses. To my dismay, many people described her as not representative of Egyptian women now that she is Egypt’s first lady, and it’s all because she chooses to wear Khimar. Since I cannot possibly see how this is even an issue, I’ll tackle it point by point as per the comments I’ve seen.
Exhibit (a): She doesn’t look like us. Who are “us” belzabt? Mind you, if you care to step outside the bubble that is your life, and perhaps go the extra mile outside the borders of your posh neighborhood, you will see the people she actually represents. The vast majority of people who don’t look like “us”. As far as I’m concerned, she is as much representative of Egyptian women as Michelle Obama is of American women! It really is beyond me how could pseudo-liberals demand freedom, apparently most of which are bikini-related, yet they deny her the freedom to dress as she pleases as well. What really infuriated me though was the comparison to Queen Rania of Jordan, Sheikha Moza and other first ladies. So now not only are we being stereotypical, but we’re also creating moulds and expecting our women to fit in them regardless of their inclinations or beliefs. Awesome! For all it matters, I don’t care if the first lady is dressed to the nines if she isn’t a respectable woman who speaks no harm and acts no harm.
Exhibit (b): How is she supposed to run a decent, civilized, intellectual conversation with her fellow first ladies who look like us ba2a? Have you seen the lady speak? No. Then erkeno 3ala gamb. Just because she dresses differently doesn’t mean she’s intellectually challenged. Yes, she is not a university graduate, but neither were Suzan Mubarak and Jihan Sadat when they first got married by the way. The latter two earned their degrees after they became first ladies. As for Naglaa, she moved to the States shortly after she got married, studied translation and worked as a translator.
Exhibit (c): Why doesn’t she change now that she’s the first lady? Because ya 7abayby that’s who she is. Other women might lack style due to shortage of money or lack of taste, but not this one. Regardless of her resources, she chooses to don a Khimar. That’s how it looks and that’s how she projects herself and that’s how you shall accept her. She’s not dressing to impress. She’s dressing to abide by certain beliefs that she holds dear.
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Also why do we have to assume that there’s a bar to reach and raise when it comes to clothing? I never heard anyone demanding Michelle Obama dress in sexier, skimpier attire just to better represent the American women. I also never heard anyone commenting on Recep Tayyip Erdo an’s wife’s attire, which also might not fully represent Turkish women.
Talata Kilo Standards! Mind you, when I say that Egypt is not Stepford, I’m not suggesting that Egypt doesn’t rise to the heights of Stepford. I rather am questioning the pathetic stereotypes, the soiled classism and the appalling selfimportance being projected by such comments. Mind you, when we stress on the importance of having standards, we mean quality rather than quantity. Not only are some people being über-shallow with a side of double standards, they’re also skipping the most important issues and rather focusing on things that fuel negativity. Has anyone heard her speak? Exactly; she hasn’t officially spoken except in that one interview where she stressed on the fact that it’s her husband who won the elections and she has nothing to do with politics. She also refused to be referred to as First Lady. She does not care. Should Naglaa break a single rule, violate a sole freedom or even remotely demean any Egyptian regardless of the gender, I’m going to attack her so bad that she’ll dread the 25th of June, 2012 for the rest of her life. Until then, I say we let her be. And while we’re at it, how about we start respecting others’ freedoms before demanding ours intact to begin with? And on a different, pretentious note to those who claim she doesn’t represent them, Naglaa Ali might not be glam enough for your liking, but she’s the first lady. And other haters are not. So just burn.
Why she is NOT the woman this country needs By Leila Tapozada
I WON’T LIE TO YOU – WHEN I FOUND OUT MORSI WAS THE FRONT-RUNNER IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS I WAS IN PARIS AT THE TIME, AND AS SOON AS I HEARD THE NEWS I LOOKED FOR THE NEAREST BODY OF WATER TO DROWN MYSELF IN. BUT AFTER I GOT OVER MY MELODRAMATIC SUICIDAL THOUGHTS, I DECIDED TO ACTUALLY LISTEN TO WHAT HE HAD TO SAY. SO I LISTENED. AND THEN I HAD TO BE FISHED OUT OF THE SEINE. Seriously though, throughout it all I hadn’t heard a word about Morsi’s wife, the potential first lady, until I arrived back in Cairo to an uproar in my bubble about an article that was written about Naglaa Ali, which was deemed ‘classist, shallow and petty’. The article was removed before I got a chance to read it, but I was told that the gist was that Naglaa Ali wasn’t a suitable first lady. And I’m here to say I agree. And here are my reasons:
Reason #1: Diplomats are held to certain standards; you should be held higher Let’s start with the shallower aspects. I have no issue with the fact that Naglaa Ali wears a khimar; au contraire I think that in that case she does represent the majority of Egyptian women. And that’s besides the fact that any woman should be free to wear anything she wants. But there’s a difference between just a regular woman and a first lady – take a look at the international arena, and the first ladies. No matter what country, or religion, the presidential family always looks impeccable. We wouldn’t accept our diplomats abroad to look anything but extremely presentable; the first family should be held to even higher standards. It’s not about other first ladies setting a bar that she has to reach, it’s about being the face of a country that’s trying to move forward. And it’s not about the khimar. Since we’re also so quick to say Turkey this and Turkey that, both the Turkish First Lady and the wife of the Prime Minister are veiled and wear conservative clothing. But both are extremely wellgroomed, put-together and everything thing they wear is of good quality. It’s not about religious garb or not. I don’t want big players in the international arena to look at our First Lady and say, wow, so much for a civilized, forwardmoving country. Egypt can’t even afford to
dress its First Lady well. And yeah yeah, Suzanne Mubarak was welldressed “men feloosna” but I do appreciate an impeccable-looking first lady who I’d be proud to have represent Egyptian women all over the world. I mean, I’m pretty sure Michelle Obama doesn’t look the way she does in the news when she first wakes up in the morning – she has a stylist, a hairdresser, a makeup artist and a whole glam posse to make sure she looks BETTER than the average American woman, because while we normal folk are fighting traffic or popping zits, she’s being photographed and critiqued every day of her life, and held to standards ABOVE the rest of us, as are all first ladies of the world!
Reason #2: We Need a Role Model In the opposing article that came before mine, it was written: “Has anyone heard her speak? Exactly; she hasn’t officially spoken except in that one interview where she stressed on the fact that it’s her husband who won the elections and she has nothing to do with politics. She also refused to be referred to as First Lady. She does not care.” HOW IN THE WORLD IS THIS OK WITH ANYONE? A country’s first lady’s job isn’t to sit on the couch and eat bon-bons. I want my first lady to care enough about the country’s issues, especially women’s rights and education, to actually use her political power (because let’s face it, whether you want power or not, as the president’s wife, you’re going to have it) to HELP the country. I don’t want nor respect a woman who is in the position to do so much good, but chooses not to be involved. If you don’t want to be a first lady, don’t have your husband run for presidency. And if he is, then you better be prepared to step up to the plate, fulfill your responsibilities to your country and be a team player. The women of Egypt need someone they can look up to – not someone who will cower at home and let her husband do all the talking. Naglaa Ali has the perfect opportunity to reach the majority of Egyptian women –like we said, she represents them—and she should show them that it is possible to be a strong, powerful Muslim wife, mother and public figure; she should be a role model. Maybe these are high expectations, but as a wife of a politician, any woman needs to be able to accept and try to reach these expectations. Because if the only powerful woman in Egypt is Faiza Abou Naga, then we should just throw in the towel w nekhlas.
Reason #3: Education? Aspirations? BEING AGAINST ‘FGM’ MASALAN? If Naglaa Ali isn’t college-educated now, then she SHOULD be within the next four years. Is she going to? Is this a plan? Because in my opinion, it is in NO WAY acceptable to have a relatively uneducated first lady – how can we push for education of women if our own first lady lays no emphasis on it? Suzanne Mubarak had a BA in Political Science before she was first lady and went on to gain a Master’s in Sociology. Jehan Sadat had a Bachelor’s Degree, a Master’s and a PhD. We don’t want the girls of Egypt to aspire to be high school graduates w khalas. We want someone who will push for education as far as it will go. And speaking of girls of Egypt, how in the name of God can I support or believe in a first lady who DOES NOT TRY TO STOP FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION. I understand she’s a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but just like I detest and abhor Morsi for not being against female genital mutilation (FGM), I detest and abhor his wife even more, because she is a WOMAN and the mother of a daughter. How is this country going to progress when its biggest players are in the Dark Ages over certain imperative issues. Naglaa Ali, I have nothing against your khimar. But if you are not out there for every day of your husband’s presidency pushing for education, women’s rights and equality, as well as helping and reaching out to others and coordinating with your international contemporaries to make this country and the world as a whole a better place, then you do not deserve to be first lady of a country like Egypt.
We were taught to be women, but forgot how to be ladies By Eman Omar
FOR ALMOST ALL MY LIFE, I HAVE BELIEVED - OR RATHER WAS BROUGHT UP TO BELIEVE - THAT I SHOULD BE A STRONG, CAREER-ORIENTED, SUCCESSFUL WOMAN IN ORDER TO FULFILL MYSELF AND REACH MY POTENTIAL; AND THAT IF I DIDN’T GET THE HIGHEST GRADES, WORKED MY HEAD OFF AND BECAME SUPER WOMAN... I’D BE JUST AN “ORDINARY” PERSON (ORDINARY SAID WITH UTTER DISDAIN).
Very strongly, I followed this principle throughout the years and was pressured from the very first minute in every academic year to study and study, whether I actually enjoyed what I studied or not. Not only that, but in summer when most of the people were “just chilling”, I was again pressured to work and gain experience in different fields. I say “pressured” in the passive because there was no one actually pressuring me but own subconscious self. On a different note, being the “dreamy romantic” that I am, I have always loved the good old times, “el zaman el gameel”. I’ve always wanted to live in the fifties or sixties, when the women looked pretty, with their elegant dresses and skirts and the men would still open doors and hold chairs for the women to sit... when they were still called “gentlemen”! However, recently I started to look back in time and remember the Shakespeare and Jane Austen novels we used to study. I watched classic movies, not from the fifties but from way back in the century. But this time I didn’t look at what women wore but how they BEHAVED. For weeks now this idea hasn’t left my head; when I’m studying, when I’m thinking about my future and worrying that maybe after all of the trainings and activities no one will hire me, when I’m looking at myself in the mirror and thinking that I should take more care of my health and my beauty. The idea keeps growing and evolving... I want to BE like those women, I want to behave like them and be treated like them! Why should I study physics and biology when I could learn how to cook a nice meal or hold a party? Why should I memorize equations and statistical rules when I could learn how to play the piano? Why study velocities and momentum when I could learn to draw, dance and sing? Why is it that we have to know how to nail an interview and make a successful presentation when we should be learning the rules of etiquette and being a lady? Don’t get me wrong ladies; I’m not against feminism or anything. I believe women should work and excel and prove themselves, but only if they WANT to, I mean really truly and FULLY want to. If they’re okay with sacrificing some things like, cooking for their husband or enjoying a good book or looking beautiful (all the time), if they don’t mind missing special moments with their kids and being witnesses to their lives while they’re growing up, if they don’t care for a cup of coffee and a chat with school friends, then so be it! Work from 8 to 5, open up your own business, join political institutions and compete with men in their fields of success... GO FEMINISM!!!! Note: all of what I said above does NOT imply that women are to be naïve, airheaded, or shallow. There are always books, newspaper and the internet, where they could read and learn about anything they want. They could be more knowledgeable than any man in the world… without forgetting to be LADIES!
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“Why should I study physics and biology when I could learn how to cook a nice meal or hold a party? Why is it that we have to know how to nail an interview and make a successful presentation when we should be learning the rules of etiquette and being a lady?”
By Amy Quotb
HI, MY NAME IS AMY AND I HAVE BEEN SOBER FOR 29 YEARS. I ONLY REALIZED IT WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER AND MY FATHER WONDERED WHY I DON’T SPEND ALL MY ALLOWANCE ON FANCY CLOTHES AND JEWELRY LIKE OTHER GIRLS. BUT THE OTHER DAY, I HEARD A STORY THAT REALLY MADE ME WANT TO VOICE MY OPINION OUT TO THE WORLD.
Another Cup of Coffee
The story may not sound significant to you, but it shocked the hell out of me (and my friend who was telling the story…) You see, for his birthday, his friends chipped in to buy him a brand of coffee machine that is known to be quite pricey. Sure he was happy, but the whole packaging and approach of communication in the catalog wasn’t all too easygoing. Something along the lines of “you are one of the lucky few selected to join our exclusive club” bla bla bla was written inside. “It’s just a coffee machine! Jeeez!” he thought. Little did he know…
So anyways, moving on, a few days later he’s at a wedding party and he’s lightly joking with his friend about how he “joined the exclusive coffee club of Brand De La Glamour” and laughing about it, then this random chick goes “OMG ME TOOOOOO! That is so awesooome!” My friend – thinking that she’s playing along the joke – laughs along, but then the girl asks “So, are you planning to attend the meetings?” He then realizes that she’s serious. “What meetings?” – “The meetings where the members go and try new editions of the ‘Brand’ coffee and talk about their experiences with it”… Of course, she’s got a dumbass look and a sarcastic laugh. Needless to say, the girl went all diva on him saying “Oh wow, what is this? Really! That is why it’s exclusive! People like you who don’t appreciate luxury coffee should not be let into the club! I bet someone bought you that machine!” Erm, what now?
When my friend told me that story, all we kept talking about for the next hour was how much you could do with the money, time, effort and
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dedication invested in the Brand De La Glamour coffee machine and club! Just imagine paying the four-digit figure to feed a family – it’d feed them for months! Imagine turning that “exclusive club” into a volunteer group, the hours of participation, passion and enthusiasm. But no, it’s wasted on worshipping a frickin’ frappuccino. If we redirected our resources, where would the world be?
The Games We Play
This whole thing happened during the weekend, and it’s been lingering in my head ever since. I never – for the life of me – managed to understand the concept of “designer” stuff. Don’t get me wrong, as an advertising professional I understand what brand image is, and what businesses do to build a relationship between the consumer and the brand, blaa blaaa blaaah. What I mean is, I don’t understand how people actually fall for this! People tell me that the little “hippie” in me refuses the concept of capitalism and money taking over the world. But it’s bigger than that; I refuse the concept of people letting some guy’s name on their underwear define who they are, and assume that it will grant them instant recognition they did absolutely nothing to earn!
The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me is You
NOT!... I refuse to believe that I can only look good in a pair of jeans only if they cost an arm and a leg. I’m sorry, but I happen to find perfectly good jeans in regular-folk stores. And they’re in style too! I LOVE fashion, but I won’t let it drive me bankrupt. I refuse to pay thousands of pounds for a bag that 1) has been knockedoff out of its senses 3ala raseef Roxy, and 2) can easily become an unusable piece of garbage once a clumsy passerby spills Coke all over it. I refuse to own a credit card, because it will only make it easier for Brands De La Glamour to demolish any possibility I have in actually saving up like an adult. I will always be in dept, and for what? Shallow validation from my peers? What are we, fourteen? Grow up.
I’m Too Sexy for Your Party
Trouble is, I’ve dealt with the Brand De La Glamour Divas all my life. School, friends, work, you name it! And I’ve seen how completely and utterly absurd it is to be stuck in these imposed standards in everything! I always hoped that it was just a phase that they’ll all grow out of. When girls judge each other, that’s just girls being girls. But when they judge each other based on who they’re wearing, that’s pushing it. I heard girls making fun of their “bff’s” for carrying a less-than-branded wallet, or for being seen walking out of a cheap store. When I spend that much time with girls talking about the effort and money they put into buying their Brand De La Glamour item, I start to wonder, “If I dropped this wel3a all over it, will her face get all red and explode in a cartoonish manner? Coz I’d love to see that.” Do they really think it makes them better than others?
You’re So Vain
If you’re such a hot-shot, why don’t you check out my handpicked list, prepared especially for you? Because external validation from society will be portrayed by people kissing your ass, it deserves the best -- a $20 (120 EGP) two-roll pack of colored toilet paper is just what you’re looking for. Sexeh! And as a reward for being oh-so-awesome, treat yourself to a pack of “luxury” instant noodles from Harrod’s that will set you back just $43 (259 EGP), I’m suuuure it’s gonna be worth it... Then for your office pleasure, why not indulge in some $175 (1,057 EGP) gold-plated staples? But don’t forget your comfort on the can, you have to try the $249 (1,504 EGP) carbon fiber toilet seat, it’s craptastic! And my personal favorite, not that you clean up after yourself, but owning the $, (114,710 EGP) crystal hoover will sure make a difference! (PS: I own the exact same hoover in regular-folk grey, but I’m sure your snotty version will bust the dust waaay better.)
Call me a communist, a socialist, a hippie… Call me cheap or stingy… You know what? Don’t call me at all. If you actually think that your self-worth is defined by how much your wardrobe (or coffee machine, or hair extensions) cost, then you and I probably won’t get along anyway. Have fun spending money you don’t have on sh*t you don’t need, I just hope that when you run out of dough, you’re not too embarrassed to get out of the house. Word to the wise: indulging in your Brands De La Glamour won’t hurt, as long as you learn how to do without them, and to appreciate people who actually DO without them. Because when you fall into a ditch, guess who won’t mind soiling their cheap jeggings pulling you out.
Disclaimer: Song titles have been abused in this article. I have been possessed by the Demons De La Music. Sue me.
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An interview with the brilliant minds behind the traffic-fighting app! By Youssef Saad Eldin EVERYBODY KNOWS BEY2OLLAK, THE GENIUS APPLICATION THAT SAVES US ON A DAILY BASIS FROM INSUFFERABLE TRAFFIC JAMS. THAT SIMPLE YET BRILLIANT IDEA HAS MADE OUR LIVES A LOT EASIER, AND HAS BECOME A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS IN THE PROCESS. AND AS A CROWNING TO THEIR EFFORTS, BEY2OLLAK HAVE WON A 200,000 USD PRIZE FROM GOOGLE’S EBDA2. We decided to interview Gamal Sadek, one of the founders of Bey2ollak, to get the full story behind this brilliant application.
Campus: First of all, tell us about the team behind Bey2ollak. How many people run Bey2ollak? Gamal: The core team: the founders of Bey2ollak are 6 people. There are also another 10 individuals working who handle mainly administration and development.
C: How did Bey2ollak start? Were you trying to come up with an idea for a business or did the idea come first and then it developed into a business? G: I’d be lying if I told you that we had Bey2ollak’s current form in mind since day one. Now, however, we have do have a vision of how Bey2ollak will be in the future. It started when Ali Rafea (one of the founders) and I were trying to come up with new ideas and one of the first things we thought of was traffic. Ali thought of how people could communicate in order to avoid traffic, because there’s always someone ahead of you on
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the road, and usually they know the traffic status. Our idea was to form a communication platform for people to help each other out.
C: What about the launch of Bey2ollak, when exactly did you start and how were you able to make it succeed with your limited resources? G: On 10/10/2010, we launched the Blackberry version and it hardly cost us anything, aside from our personal time and effort. We were hoping to reach 1000 registered users and by the first day we already had 6000 registered users. Now we have around 280,000 registered users. We managed to accomplish this without spending any money on marketing, since we relied instead on word of mouth, in addition to Facebook and Twitter.
C: Was it your intention to turn Bey2ollak into a business, especially one that is so successful? G: On the contrary, money was never the reason or the main drive behind Bey2ollak and it still isn’t. Initially we wanted to start something new to help people out. And as the idea developed, we became more convinced with its importance and the positive effect it will have on society. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that we would disregard financial opportunities. But then again, money never is and never will be our main goal.
C: That was actually quite obvious when you integrated the “banzeen” part. How did that start? G: That started right after the revolution, we noticed that people use
Bey2ollak to ask about the safety of some roads and make sure that they are “baltageya” free, so we decided to add the “khatar” option. Later on we added the “7adsa” and “3otl” options and then we started to customize Bey2ollak to whatever happens on the roads. So when the banzeen issue happened, we provided the platform for people to share their information about where you can find gas.
C: How do you spend the money you get from your sponsors? G: Well, people usually assume that if you land a big sponsor then you have made it and you’re set, but what people don’t know is that it takes a lot of time to actually collect the money. The thing is, as the user base increases the money we have to spend on operations increases. The operational and technical part of Bey2ollak is much more complicated when compared to the simple user interface.
C: What was the Google Ebda2 experience like? G: Meeting other entrepreneurs was one of the best sides of this experience. The huge propaganda around the competition led to a big number of applicants, who were filtered down to 200 and then to a final 50. In my opinion, all 50 applicants deserved to win; everyone had a project with a different background. Meeting those people and learning about their experiences was, in fact, one of the best things about this competition. And aside from sharing experiences, the bigger your network is, the more likely you are to form alliances with other businesses for mutual benefits. We were also able to do different tasks in an empowering and competitive atmosphere which pushed us to outdo ourselves and come close to our optimum potential. The prize was only the cherry on top of the sundae; it was all about the experience.
C: How much did you win and how are you planning to invest it in Bey2ollak? G: The prize money is 200,000 dollars which is around 1.2 million EGP. Mainly, this money will be invested in hiring people of good caliber. Now we don’t have an excuse; we have the resources we need to perfect Bey2ollak and further develop it.
C: What are the potential problems that you might encounter in the future? G: One of the things we were very proud of was that we take each and every single decision collectively, however, the usage has significantly increased lately and consequently the technical problems have increased as well. To come up with a solution for each problem collectively is quite impossible due to time constraints, so coming up with a well-constructed division of labor is one of our next challenges.
C: Did you think about launching other applications? G: As a matter of fact, we have many things in mind, but it’s too early to do that now. For the time being we want to stay focused on Bey2ollak until it fulfills all of its potential and then we can explore new ideas.
C: Well, we’re actually done with our questions. But we’d like to thank you on behalf of the driving population of Cairo, you practically save our lives every day.
Then we moved on to a mini-inteview with the man behind Google Ebda2, Wael El Fakharany. C: Was this Ebda2’s first competition and has Google sponsored any competitions before? Wael: We sponsored competitions in other countries like France and
Wael El Fakharany Regional Manager at Google Middle East created an investment fund, however, since the revolution, there has been no limit to the creativity and potential in youth and we thought why not try to take those ideas from mere concepts into a concrete project.
C: During the competition, have you ever felt bad that you only had one prize to award? In other words, have you felt that any of the other teams deserved to win as well? W: Of course, we initially considered dividing this amount of money into smaller prizes but we decided that having one prize would have a stronger impact on the winning team. The other teams have also benefited through the trainings they received and through the mentors that were there, who were from different backgrounds including finance, marketing and academics. In the future however, we’ll most probably increase the amount of prizes and decrease the sum of each prize. We still have 2.3 million USD; we can do so many things with this sum of money.
C: What is the thing that you liked the most about Bey2ollak? W: Actually, there is something that I liked about most of the teams, but I’ll use Bey2ollak as an example; nobody likes traffic, but while you and I complained about it they found a solution. Nobody wakes up and thinks of how they are going to be millionaires, but some people think of solutions to a problem and in the process they become millionaires! C: Thank you for your time.
USA and were occasionally part of judging panels in universities, but this is the first time we do something on such a big scale.
C: So why now and where did the idea come from? W: This was a commitment we made to the Egyptian government to spend a specific amount of money based on an agreement we signed in 2009. The agreement was that the government would spend 10 Million USD and we’ll spend 2.5 million USD to “help the internet”. The 200,000 USD that Bey2ollak won is the first amount to be spent from the 2.5 million USD. With this amount of money, we could’ve opened up a call center or
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© Jonathan Rashad
SECTION QUIZ CAMPUS
Which Power Ranger Are You? Who hasn’t wished to be a Power Ranger?
What’s your favorite color? • Red • Black • Pink • Blue • Yellow • Green
What do you spend your spare time doing? • Martial arts • Sports • Partying • In a lab • Reading • Meditating
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Which of the following is your favorite animal? • Snakes • Elephants • Cats • Rhinos • I prefer birds • I don’t like animals
A thug tries to rob you on the street. You… • Beat him up • Try to reason with him • Try to outsmart him • Run the hell out of there • Give him all your money • Try to charm him into letting you go
When you’re going out with friends… • You decide where to go and what to do • You support the one who always comes up with the plan • You’re outgoing and don’t care what place you go to • You’re willing to go anywhere as long as there’s a party • You’d rather go some place quiet • You fight with the guy who always comes up with the plan
What’s your hair like? • Buzz cut • Dreadlocks • Ponytail • Neat and tidy! • Soft and smooth • What hair?
You’re stuck in traffic, so to entertain yourself you… • Listen to music • Call a friend • Sing to yourself • Observe people and make fun of them • Tweet • Do nothing
Which of the following is most like you? • Lady Gaga • Eminem • Johnny Depp • Bill Gates • James Hetfield • Dr. Phil
What’s your goal in life • Success • To find love • Make a difference • Become rich • Become famous • I don’t have a goal, really.
You’re going out on a first date. What’s your place of choice? • The movies • A fancy restaurant • A picnic • An art gallery • A pizza place • Chilling at home
Result: WTF! Are you dumb? You can’t be a Power Ranger.
Projects do not belong on paper
The Engineering Support Society (ESS) is a group of innovative and ambitious engineers who decided to change the engineering field by giving innovative engineers the opportunity to bring their ideas to life. ESS started building up a group, recruiting students and fresh graduates who want to make a difference. All ESS members share the vision of giving everyone with a brilliant idea the chance to prove him/her self and turn their ideas into actual projects. People who want to seize this opportunity should realize that itâ€™s all about being innovative. The only condition is to have an idea that hasnâ€™t been implemented before, then; ESS will support this idea and register it as a patent. The reason why ESS mainly supports new inventions is that they feel that many people with potentials donâ€™t get enough support. They want to encourage taking more risks and believing in the inventions of tomorrow, thus at ESS, they never discourage ideas, but rather, help you find ways to develop them and build them into an ideal project. ESS believe that understanding how to conduct a proper research and using it in a practical way will help build a successful project. ESS aims to get support from all areas, and later on, expand and seek new ideas from other fields besides engineering. Their final step is not just to register inventions, but also to start a small distribution company that would produce the project, sell it, and even export it.
Green is trending Green – in every shade - is all over stores and fashion houses; make sure you have at least one green item to flaunt this summer!
Monsoon Next River Island
It’s a bright and shiny summer!
We thank Queen Elizabeth for being oh so healthy and mighty, and for that reason bringing us this sparkly Jubilee summer!
L oud trousers
This summer, being covered from head-to-toe in items like cat suits, long dresses, or jumpsuits, or prints such as floral patterns, animal skin, stripes, swirls, or polka dots is totally hip.
Throw on a pair of statement trousers and make your legs the centre of attention! These pants can stand out in many ways; either with their cut, colour, or pattern.
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Pull & Bear
Brave the sun
This season sunglasses for men come in all shapes and colours; you can finally experiment and not stick to your usual Ray Bans or Police shades!
Camouflage is in again! Yes, we never thought it would ever be back, either, but it is – and in full force!
Abercombie & Fitch
ASOS ASOS ASOS
Just throw a Tee on and go!
A t-shirt is super simple, but is the key to your outfit. Here’s a selection of t-shirts that would serve any purpose, whether worn on jeans around the city or on your bathing suit as you strut your stuff on the beach. Bershka
ASOS Malak El Ezzawy Urban Outfitters 51
As your tan sets in, grab yourself this circle gold cuff by ‘Tash Jewelry’ (EGP 500) to accentuate both your golden tan and whatever you wear with it
This Handpainted Tunic by ‘Me by Alia’ is a piece of art by itself (EGP 1100)
Be both comfortable and eccentric with this ‘By Lisa’ aqua peeptoe. Throw them on whenever, they are suitable for all occasions (EGP 550)
Made in Egypt This colourful Dress chiffon halter dress by ‘Style Treasure Signature’ is perfect for the summer (EGP 850)
This orange beach bag is big enough for all your beach stuff, and also comes with a plastic clutch (EGP 256)
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One of this season’s hottest pieces is this ‘J’Rose’ basic chiffon top (EGP 200)
Fashion Bulletin Good Bye Yves Saint Laurent... Hello, Saint Laurent? Yes we are saying good-bye to Yves, it is actually happening. The brand is being reinvented, and will become Saint Laurent Paris, but thank God they will not be changing the YSL logo... yet. Hedi Slimane, who is in charge of the re-branding plan for the fashion house plans on “re-juventating” the YSL brand; he believes it has reached the point where it is starting to become out-dated. Slimane says he plans to move out the Y slowly, first verbally, then socially (then - we’re guessing - visually?) Well, for now this is the only change we know of the many changes the house obviously plans on pursuing... We shall wait and see.
Burn, Birkin, Burn! It broke the whole world’s heart (along with mine) to see a Birkin set on fire. Tyler Shields, infamous and whacky photographer, already beat Hermes to it by setting a $100,000 Birkin bag on fire while his girlfriend, Francesca (Clint Eastwood’s daughter), sat there and watched (how, woman?). Shields used this shot for his series of pictures that revolve around showing expensive items ablaze, destroyed, or ripped apart. The heading for the series is underlined with quotes such as “Money Kills” and “Fashion Kills”. When asked why he chose that back he replied and said: “We’re talking about a bag,” Shields said. “It’s no different than a bag you get at the grocery store. You carry your shit in it.”
Franca Sozzani: The Most Stylish UN Goodwill Ambassador The head of Vogue Italia (we all know her from America’s Top Model judging panel), got appointed as a UN Goodwill Ambassador, to be in charge of the two-year platform Millennium Development’s Fashion for Development Program; a program that helps promote and encourage fashion’s biggest players in order to promote sustainable development projects. The UN was never more stylish!
Photo Shoot of the Month This month Katy Perry once again reinvents herself on the cover of L’Uomo Vogue July/August. The darkness of the photo shoot, with what looks like this futuristic military theme, is guaranteed to capture every reader.
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The 16-Year-Old Wizard that Sets the Tone to the Fashion Industry
THROUGHOUT THE 20TH CENTURY FASHION WAS ALWAYS SET BY HOLLYWOOD STARS, INFAMOUS COSTUME DESIGNERS AND FASHION HOUSES. NOW, WITH THE CURRENT TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT THE WORLD IS WITNESSING, IT IS ONLY PRESUMABLE THAT THE INTERNET WOULD SET THAT FASHION. WHEN I SAY ‘THE INTERNET’ I MEAN FASHION BLOGS, AND WHEN I SAY FASHION BLOGS I MEAN TAVI GEVINSON. YOU PROBABLY HAVEN’T HEARD OF HER, AND IF YOU ASKED ME TWO YEARS AGO I WOULDN’T HAVE EITHER, BUT THE TRUTH IS, THIS LITTLE AMERICAN FASHION BLOGGER HAS CHANGED THE FASHION INDUSTRY IN OH SO MANY WAYS. Tavi Gevinson came to fame at the age of 13. No, she’s not the daughter of some important movie star, fashion designer, or artist; she’s just an average American girl. She was born in Chicago and her father, Steve Gevinson, is a retired English teacher. Tevi kept herself busy by starting a blog at the age of eleven, named ‘Style Rookie’ where she explored her passion for styling and design… until one day she got an e-mail from New York Times Magazine to publish a story. You would naturally imagine Tavi as super skinny, blonde, and all glamorous…but that’s actually everything Tavi inspires NOT TO BE. She described herself as a “tiny 13 year old dork that sits inside all day wearing awkward jackets and pretty hats.” Since she started garnering attention to her blog, in turn bringing the concept of fashion blogging to light, she had numerous collaborations and successes. In 2009 she partnered with London-based Borders & Frontiers to both design and sell her own t-shirts. Not only that, Tavi has been featured in the “View Section” of the December/January 2010 issue of Teen Vogue and the February 2010 issue of French Vogue. She has also become a regular buddy of the goddess of the fashion world, Anna Wintour, and has become a muse for numerous designers as far as Japan. She has been on several guest appearances from CBS to BBC. This little one, moreover, has been the inspiration for the Rodarte clothing line for Target, and has been called a “Vogueista” by Vogue Italia in September 2010. And on its 90th anniversary in October 2011, Parisian fashion magazine had Tavi on the cover for their feature on how the fashion world is currently being run by bloggers. It’s obvious that NZ Herald was spot on when it referred to bloggers like Tavi as the “frontline of fashion”. A while ago New York Times writer Elizabeth Spirdakis wrote: “Meet the next generation of style bloggers, they might not be able to drive yet, but their fashion sense is so incredible, it’s actually intimidating. They fuel their own trend cycles.” Tavi unlocked the door for many young (as in 12-year-old) girls to tap into the interweb and create these blogs, or so-called fashion diaries. All across these blogs, young girls (including Tavi) talk about their ‘fashion’ adventures and scrutinize/praise fashion celebrities or Hollywood actors. Such blogs have become the self-portrait of each of these young girls’ interests. And this whole phenomenon has brought back the era of the mixture of vintage, thrift store, and homemade, the obsession with the restructured and re-sewn. These girls all can’t afford the latest ‘The Row’ backpack, and for that reason they create and re-create what they already own or what their parents owned. This whole vintage-retro feel truly began with youngsters like Tavi. She illustrates this vintage-retro feel, for instance, by guiding her readers through recreating a ‘commes des garcons’ look by cutting up then sewing ribbon “lips” into a pink, vintage shirt. She follows that by wearing three different plaids and checks all at once. Today, Tavi is the Editor-in-Chief of online magazine, The Rookie. She is inspired by the notion of character, costume, and morality; she believes that dressing up is not for fashion’s sake, but a “liberal expression of identity”. Tavi Gevinson has revolutionized the fashion frontline on both an internal and external level. My final note would be whether you’re 12, 18, 23, 30 or 41, go check out her website: www.thestylerookie.com/. You will be blown by her humble creativity.
The Fashion Elections! Which Candidate Would Have Made the Most Stylish President?
SO WE HAVE ALREADY ASSESSED THE TRAITS OF EACH AND EVERY EX-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, FROM BACKGROUND TO EDUCATION TO CHARISMA, YOU NAME IT. BUT ONE THING WE DEFINITELY LEFT BEHIND IS THEIR SENSE OF STYLE... AND SO WE HAVE TAKEN THAT FORMIDABLE TASK UPON OURSELVES:
Mr. Amerikano Abu Ismail Although he has been disqualified, we still had to include him in this run-off for the sake of his strong efforts at pulling off a mixture between the Islamist (the beard) and the Globalized (the suit). In the below photos we see that Mr. Hazem keeps the Egyptian style prevalent; he always wears oversized suits (an Egyptian trademark), never wears cufflinks (another trademark), and finally the totally outdated thick neckties. He should still be thanked for his efforts, though, and also for keeping his beard neatly trimmed. Sort of, at least.
Abo El Fotouh – One Look in Every Colour! Well, his suits definitely look good on him, but after checking out most of his appearances, speeches and interviews, it seems that he bought the same suit in all the different possible colours; playing around only with the tie. Well, great job on finding the right suit, but big mistake thinking you’re going to fool about 85 million Egyptians! We do have a keen eye for fashion, dude.
Mr. ‘Smooth’ n ‘Slick’ Suleiman Once again, disqualified but we just couldn’t leave him out; if only for the fun of it! This expresidential candidate is notorious for his slimfit tailored suits and always perfectly groomed moustache. He definitely takes the prize for best suits (in terms of most fashionable), and a ’stache that out-lived his hope for the presidency. He falls short on the sunglasses collection, though; he sure needs to update those.
The Mousse-Man The Ace of Diplomacy and the King of the Arab League, is also the Don of Shades; he has always been spotted in the hippest and coolest shades ever. And we have to give him props for his laid back look, especially when he chooses to let go of the tie, trying to make himself one with the people. Not to mention the cigar, of course; the perfect accessory to that ‘worldly gentleman’ look.
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The Hamdeen Machine Egypt has seen many faces for Hamdeen Sabahi. As we go back to 1977, where he stylishly forcefully addressed Anwar El Sadat as a student, he gets points for the oh-so-very stylish black turtleneck and confidence. Then we move to some years later, where he was photographed as a political prisoner, but still had that hopeful smile. And finally, we flash forward to 2012: he still has that hopeful smile, and everyone loves it. Nevertheless, it seems that he hasn’t found the right man to suithim-up, because his suits are always a tad bit baggy and somehow unfitted.
Khaled Ali Always casual and true to the street-smart background he’s proud of, rarely sporting ties with his suits, and often wearing loose, shortsleeved shirts, the lesser-known Khaled Ali was doing well in this fashion runoff, considering his competition was made up of diplomats and intelligence men and other figures who had long been accustomed to public scrutiny. However, he becomes automatically disqualified for committing the most un-stylish mistake ever made by any presidential candidate in the history of electoral campaigns: misspelling his name in the address of his own website: “khaedali.net”. So, Au Revoir, Khaled! Or, should I say, Khaed?
Shafiq and the Notorious Pullover Ahmed Shafiq definitely has the whole smart casual thing down. He has caught our eyes with his stylish suede jackets, sweaters, cufflinks, and – of course - pullovers. His eyeglasses are by far the most subtle and simple ones. For his age, he is a very goodlooking man, not to mention elegant. But, honestly, it always seemed he’s trying too hard to blend in as a “commoner”. Hard pulling that off when his Gant and Lacoste wardrobe always gives him away, though, huh?
Morsy and the Korsy Well, well, well…if it isn’t our new president! We have to say that his lazy eye makes him distinguishable from all other candidates. His suits so far seem OK. He was also caught rocking a G-shock or possibly a Toy Watch, which is most intriguing. And it’s good to know that our new president isn’t soaking his hair in black dye like someone we used to know. We appreciate the grey hair and beard, and we think the eye glasses make him look modest.
The Results Well, they make no difference anyway, because whatever Morsy says or does is what shall be in. Over and out. 57
THE GAY SECTION ] ]SECTION
Love in the time of…well, now By Sherif Elmashad
IN ONE OF HIS MASTERPIECES, “LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA”, GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ TELLS THE STORY OF FLORENTINO ARIZA, WHO WAS IN LOVE WITH FERMINA URBINO FROM AFAR FOR 53 YEARS, BEFORE HE WAS FINALLY UNITED WITH HER AFTER HER HUSBAND DIED AND HE COULD GO AND RE-DECLARE HIS LOVE TO HER. FOR 53 YEARS, HE REMAINED AN “EMOTIONAL VIRGIN”, JUST TO HONOR HIS LOVE TO FERMINA –THAT IS BESIDES THE FACT THAT HE PRACTICALLY F*CKED OVER 500 LADIES ALL THROUGH THE NOVEL, JUST SO HE’D BE ABLE TO LIVE WITH THE PAIN OF NOT BEING WITH FERMINA URBINO, AND THUS, DESERVED TO BE THE HERO OF AN ALL-TIME CLASSIC NOVEL.
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now willing to show their sacrifice as “Sure honey, you can pick what we’re having for lunch today from the Sushi menu”. Yet, where technology has helped us minimize the dangers of being in a relationship, it has most certainly bitten us harshly in the ass. Where exactly in any of the given classics, is a person expected to drive all through Cairo, with its doomsday traffic and lack of parking spaces, just so you can find her a blackberry cover that matches her new out-ofthis-world nail polish? What gay fashion designer decided they should match anyway? Missed are the days when a single-page letter or even a rose were enough to keep her all hooked and feeling showered with emotions. Now, you’ve 140 characters tweets to reply to, outing arrangement DM’s to send, flirty Facebook statuses to comment on, an inbox to check, a midnight Skype video chat to catch or a casual daytime viber call to make, and a random BBM broadcast to forward. That is, without forgetting the foursquare notifications you have to answer to, the Facebook picture tags that should be deleted and the all the sexts that need to be deleted before she finds out about them. Thanks to all the restaurants and cafes having HD TVs with an Aljazeera sport subscription, now you’ve a whole dictionary of “offside, diamond 442, box to box midfielder, shadow number 9” to explain, before she gets too bored and starts asking you why are you not commenting/noticing Ibrahimovic’s new sexy tattoo, Ramos’ new cute haircut or Cristiano Ronaldo’s almost Greek-god-like 6 pack abs. And where cursing the hell out of every single player’s mother was a sacred football ritual, now one has to maintain maximum discipline while she admires Pep’s suits –which, one has to say, are perfection. And not only did they manage to turn football into a modeling contest, they actually jinxed the whole European chicks flashing their boobs for the camera at all games! Thanks to production lines, more cars are available now, and thus girls are somehow able to be anywhere, anytime, with all the protection they need thanks to a variety of self-defense mechanisms. Gone is the myth of a-guys only, liberated zone. One decides to go hang out with the guys at Korba’s Aswan at night, and she’s all insisting to come along. Somehow, the same technology that allowed you to downgrade the effort made in a relationship has created totally new fields for you to fill. And what everyone thought would end at girls publicly smoking or entering college and having a decent shot at competing with guys in the working market, ended up with them ruining the meaning of a stadium in a grand tournament like CAF’s cup of nations in Egypt, 2006. In fact, such tales and novels, where a person has to send a telegram using electric wires to a certain post office, and the telegram is handed to a horse rider that travels for a week, who then hands it to mule riders who climb up mountains to deliver the single-lined telegram that reads something like “Dear flower, hang on. Love you” are the main reason why girls have the stupidest, most insane and unbelievably retarded conceptions of love. How many times have you noticed the “the harder the trouble is, the stronger our love will be” tone in a girl you were in a relationship with? Who the hell believes in that? Why is there a constant urge to test that love? And why the hell is it my fault that I can send you a text message in less than a minute that would have taken more than 2 weeks to reach you 100 years ago?
All hail technology Yes, technology has for sure taken the game several steps forward and has raised the bar to where only an F-22 can touch, yet it’s not my fault that what took Florentino possibly 3 weeks to say in very subtle language, I can now express in “ <3, :* ;)”, etc., your thumb taps the send icon on the touch screen, and then here you are on a date for the night if not getting laid afterwards. Just like anything else nowadays, romance tends to be more efficient than anything else. Men have taken it upon themselves to suck all the “aww, cute” attitude out of romance and replace it with “yeah, me too”, which has become a standard reply to probably any show of emotion women can think of (that doesn’t include what you should say when she goes feisty on you and then comes back days later saying “Sorry babe, I was just PMSing.”) And where guys used to wage wars, or duel to death –whether it’s with swords or guns, it’s SO cool! - in the name of the chick they love, they’re
The change Yet, did technology flip the very core of a romance? I think yes. A big portion of the romance equation long ago was based on the feeling of actually missing someone. Things actually meant a lot for them because they were rare and hard to achieve. It gave their imagination all the needed space to work and function, instead of the 24/7 reality we’re now leading. The mutual –not overlapping– fields gave them subjects to talk about, instead of providing them with enough space to lecture each other. Despite all of this, I think a part of the reality did change during the past year and a half. All through the revolution, I’ve seen relationships take a whole new twist. Suddenly, the danger people faced in Tahrir, at any of the sit-ins, or even the marches taking place across the city, started validating what these relationships actually stood for. The tone of voice in which you hear “take care over there”, or the persistence by which you watched over your partner revealed how deep the feelings go. As if the only thing that could bring us closer in a world of instantaneous communication was the notion that a life threat could end everything in a second. We needed a push to rediscover how it all can be done differently. So, do I prefer love in the time of Cholera or love in the time of… well, now? I think saying that the mule fell off a cliff with all the messages I’ve sent is a way more believable excuse than “my battery ran out!”, yet, who would choose a time where they wore nothing but suits all the time? ‘Now’ is always the right answer.
SECTION SHELVES & SPEAKERS ] ] SCREENS,
Farewell to the RomCom Queen By Summer Nazif “AND THEN THE DREAMS BREAK INTO A MILLION TINY PIECES. THE DREAM DIES. WHICH LEAVES YOU WITH A CHOICE: YOU CAN SETTLE FOR REALITY, OR YOU CAN GO OFF, LIKE A FOOL, AND DREAM ANOTHER DREAM.” NORA EPHRON, FROM HER NOVEL, HEARTBURN
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It is the weirdest thing, realizing that someone has changed your life, only after they are gone. Nora Ephron, The director/writer of three of my alltime favorite movies passed away the night of June 26th at the age of 71, after a battle with leukemia. A funny, witty, inspirational journalist, blogger, essayist, novelist, playwright, Oscar-nominated screenwriter and movie director, Ephron was a rarity in a film industry where directorial ranks were, and continue to be, dominated by men. Perhaps she was the only female filmmaker to orchestrate so many well-known commercial hits that her name became synonymous with a genre: “The Nora Ephron movies”. Her films focused on smart, modern women who wanted a little old-fashioned magic in their lives and usually got it, in much-anticipated but far-from-cheesy happy endings. Though more often than not criticized as less than feminist, her movies proved hugely profitable, and their quotable lines and memorable scenes often became cultural touchstones. Her most well-known titles as a writer are Silkwood (1983), Heartburn (1986), When Harry Met Sally (1989), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), You’ve Got Mail (1998), Bewitched (2005), and Julie and Julia (2009). She also directed three of them: Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, and Julie and Julia. Nora Ephron is one of the few filmmakers who managed to pull off the difficult balance between box office success and critical acclaim. She received her first Oscar nomination for screenwriting in 1983, for Silkwood, followed by another one for When Harry Met Sally in 1989, and yet another one for Sleepless in Seattle in 1993 (the last two being major hits with audiences). Ephron’s personal essays were self-depreciating, funny and brave. The movies she wrote were smart, bold and always original. If she frustrated some feminist critics who wished for stronger role-models in her movies, she might have been enough of a role model herself. In the 1996 Commencement address she gave in Wellesley College (the private women’s liberal arts school of which she is a graduate), she told the girls who were graduating: “One of the things people always say to you if you get upset is, don’t take it personally, but listen hard to what’s going on and, please, I beg you, take it personally. Understand: every attack on Hillary Clinton for not knowing her place is an attack on you. Underneath almost all those attacks are the words: get back, get back to where you once belonged. When Elizabeth Dole pretends that she isn’t serious about her career, that is an attack on you. The acquittal of O.J. Simpson is an attack on you. Any move to limit abortion rights is an attack on you — whether or not you believe in abortion”. Her concluding advice to them – living on to young women today was: “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim”.
Meryl Streep an Stanley Tucci in Julie and Julia
Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail
Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally-
Meryl Streep and Cher in Silkwood Ephron’s movies have been amongst my favorites throughout my teenage years, particularly You’ve Got Mail and When Harry Met Sally. Till this day, they make me laugh, make me cry, give me hope, and put me into a state of lucid dreaming where I get to be a character of Ephron’s creation. I remember at 15 wanting to be Kathleen Kelly, leading to a rather unfortunate haircut, but cementing my love of books, the internet and New York. I wanted to own a bookstore in New York, wanted to live in a beautiful brownstone, be brought daisies and promised “bouquets of sharpened pencils”. (I never thought she got enough credit for being a bit of a visionary with that movie. After all, it was about finding love on the internet long before online dating sites had become popular). At 17, I wanted to be Sally Albright, to have great friends; both male and female, to drive across the country, to be a part of the messy transition from “frenemies” to just friends, and eventually, to lovers. I wanted to have someone love me for all my faults and craziness, and have him confess that love on a cold New Year’s Eve. I have watched these two movies and Sleepless in Seattle so many times that I can quote them, and so often do, and end up being dubbed a cheesy person by everyone around me. I fell in love, not just with Ephron’s New York, but with her words and the world her characters inhabited, the way her writing made me laugh, smile, sometimes tear up without being sad at all, and feel cut off from reality for as long as the movie lasts. There are not enough words for me to describe the influence Ephron’s work has had on my life, but I am grateful that she has, in a way, been in it as I grew up. Her contribution to the world of motion pictures, especially the romantic comedy genre – which she has played a huge role in shaping - can only be measured by the amount of women the world over who loved her movies and know them by heart. As Meg Ryan so eloquently put it: “Nora was an era.”
Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson in Heartburn
Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle
The Life and Death of Music SECTION SHELVES & SPEAKERS SCREENS,
By Tarek Afia
62 JULY 2012 CAMPUS
If you look back, there has always been Yin and Yang in music. During the 80s for instance, genres such as pop, electronic music, and a few disco spin-off genres took form. But on the other hand you had smooth jazz, New-Wave, contemporary R&B, and alternative rock. You had people like The Boss (Bruce Springsteen) and The Piano Man (Billy Joel) rocking out like no tomorrow. The point I’m trying to make is that, in the end, you can identify a decade with its contribution to music. The 50s saw the birth of rock n’ roll. The 60s took that and added a taste of the rhythm and blues to it; you had rock, soul, funk, & folk among others. The 70s took rock to another level, founded disco, introduced Progressive Rock and promised us metal. The 80s was a catastrophic decade (case and point; glam rock and synthesizers), but still, bearing in mind the metal scene that emerged, punk rock, classic rock in its 80s outfit; the 80s did give us a few good things. The 90s put grunge on the scene, introduced fusion genres, Nu Metal, Indie Rock and Trip Hop, then… Teen Pop! It was in the 90s that techno, house and trance, genres that started in the 80s, came to the foreground of the music scene. But the problem was never with these genres, it was the weakness of other musical genres that resulted in the black hole that was the 2000s. It hurts to think back on those ten years of my life and find that the only sounds I can hear are a monotonous pounding that passed off as the music of that period. To realize that the message that was being sent is that a man is nothing but how many cars he has, and how many honeys want him, and that a woman’s rightful place is dancing next to T-Pain. It’s pitiful to think back and realize that the “music” told us to get rich, and that: “if you want to be rich you have to be a bitch”. Ride the white pony. But what’s even more terrible is that people shook their asses to that and sung along. Okay, so if you’ve read up to this point, then you agree on some level. Here’s the truth of it. I found all this talk of music being dead to be a load of nonsense. So I dug deeper, talked to more people, tried to find out what really happened during that period of time. Here’s what I found: music is alive and well. But the problem is that it’s not getting its honest share of exposure. Artists (and I do not use this term lightly) have been writing and playing music all this time; good music. But they have been pushed down underground under the weight of Katy Perry’s behind. They’re on the internet; they’re in the underground clubs, shaking their fists at the world, trying to take back what’s rightfully theirs. And I’m not talking about music that mimics the greatness of the 70s, or any other decade, I’m talking about new music, different sounds, styles, feels and genres; original music. And it started in the 90s. It happened when we were looking the other direction towards Teen Pop and Dance, these people were making the music that would ultimately be, in 20 years time, the music of that generation. Indie is an example of the greatness that that generation had to offer. With Indie as an umbrella, several sub-genres emerged and gained ground, and created a movement that I expect will result in the inspiration to create other wonderful genres. Again, Indie is just an example, but it is one that is powerful enough to make my point. It’s all out there and we’re going back to our roots. Classical, Jazz, Rock, Blues, Funk, Soul, Progressive, Alternative, Metal, Electronic; you name it, you’ll find it, but the beautiful thing about it is that they all took on a new sound. The fact is that there is still hope and there always was. But we need to look for the music, and it’s up to us to bring it out from under the shadows to see the light of day. Good music is all around and we just need to realize it and give it room to grow, because the music industry is dead, but music isn’t. Good music was never about the consumer it was about the music itself. But there was always that perfect period of time when both worlds crossed paths, good music becomes appreciated by the masses and ultimately becomes popular… until the moment passes. It’s because of these moments that we know the greatness of years passed, and right now, we are in dire need of that sort of intersection. So it does lie in our hands partially. We need to take back our art; we need to learn to appreciate again. And it’s become so easy too; click the like button and start sharing the videos, stream them, bootleg them; it doesn’t matter as long as it’s heard.
It occurred to me lately that most of the people, whose opinion I respect when it comes to music, believe that there is no more good music being made; that the music that plays on the radio these days is tasteless and is made to make money and appeal to the masses so that it can generate even more money. It’s a sad take on things really, but it has become increasingly hard to find evidence to the contrary. Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Kesha, and the likes of them, have created a monopoly over what plays on our TVs, our radios, and the internet. The media glorifies them and makes them out to be artists and the face of the music industry today. Now, in light of that, one could understand where my friends are coming from. The question is though; what went wrong? At which point did all the good music take a back seat, and all the music that we dismiss as “bad music”, claim the spotlight?
Artists have been writing and playing music all this time; good music. But they have been pushed down underground under the weight of Katy Perry’s behind
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