Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Metro, a Damned Book!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 0
The book cover

"Metro", the first graphic novel in Egypt was released around this time last year, I didn't get to read it and I'm not sure what exactly is its plot but that doesn't change the fact that it's a book, a book that a writer and a illustrator made an effort to write, and it deserves to be published.

Mohamed Magdy, the artist behind the book

The book was banned in Egypt weeks after its distribution by Malamih publishing house, which also printed the book, and both the writer "Magdy El-Shafie" and the publisher "Mohamed El-Sharkawy" are up for a trial because of it ever since, the book - Naturally - is still banned here.

The Publisher

Unfortunally I couldn't attend the press conference that was held yesterday somewhere downtown Cairo to discuss the latest updates that took place durning the court session that was held couple of days ago, what I've heard through Facebook.com is that the trail was pushed to a later date and the whole supject is still bending at the moment.

Personally, I think that any book has the right to be published even if it was offensive to some people, any writer who has the creativity in him/her should be able to say whatever he/she feels like saying, and the debates between any two groups should take place in more neutral atmoshpere than a court.

The freedom of speech in Egypt is not a political concept at all, it's a human right that should be giving to anyone who's asking for it, a right to talk about any subject that any Egyptian can talk about without the fear of being pushed to court, or damned by any group of people, or even the leaders of any religion.

The book might be right in some places and wrong in others, I didn't read it so I wouldn't know, but no person should be banned or attacked because of his/her thoughts or the way it was expressed, and any creative act just be treated jently and with care.

and from now til that happens in Egypt, If ever, Metro would join a gorup of other books that was banned or attacked, a group that included some of the best Arabic writers in the world.
the list would start with "Nagib Mahfooz" and won't stop with "Metro".

Monday, March 30, 2009

First To Fight

Monday, March 30, 2009 0
For the first time in I dunno how many years a forward email actually was true.

usually I don't read the emails a certain person keeps on sending me, and I do have a reason for that other than totally hating that person (which I do!), and my reason would be the fact that 99.99% of his emails are about the conspiracy theory that Israeli people or American people are plotting to kill all the Arab (why?! are we more important that the Chinese for example?!).

This time, the email was about this new video game on Xbox, a game where the children has to shoot the "pages of Quarn" to gain more points and kill Islamic peaceful people to pass the time.
I was like "Yeah, Right!", shooting the pages of the Quarn won't be in a game for a simple reason, it's not challenging enough for young boys who're the main audience for such games!

I deleted the email, and started working, but I notice something, the name of the game the email was talking about does ring a bell, "First to Fight" you say ?!

I googled it, and what-do-you-know, here come the Wikipedia page of the game.
the game centers around Marine Corps Lance Corporal with the callsign Gladiator 2. The Lebanese Prime Minister becomes ill, and must temporarily leave office to recover. Seeing a prime chance to control Lebanon, Syria and Iran begin supplying a local militant group, the Atash Movement, led by Tarik Qadan. As things escalate, Marines are inserted into Beirut for the third time.

isn't an amazing plot ?! wow!
after all of those years making fun of myself being an Axe of Evil, I turned out to be one indeed.

I couldn't stop myself laughing when I read the following:
The game is not officially endorsed by either the US Department of Defense or the United States Marine Corps.

seriously now?!

I did get offended, giving the fact that I'm Syrian after all, and for more realistic reason as well, I just don't want a 12-year-old boy in Texas to hate me while playing a game and eating a burger.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

GAYraini ..

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 0
Abdul-Fatah Graini raise to fame last year, with an album the blow minds and a style of hair more likely that you'll see it in the fabulous 60s rather than an Arab popstar.
Graini gained so much fame as the hip new singer, who really connect with young girls and hash smoking boys, he looked like one of them really, and made sense to them.
couple of days ago, Graini was throwing a concert in one of the Cairo downtown cafes, he did some OK job, and some people actually stoped him in the street asking him for photos.

Not that I disapprove or anything, it's always cute to see the love in the eyes of people, but, don't you find it really weird that Graini couldn't let go of the hand of his "friend" to take a photo, let's take a second look.

How lovely, another piccture just for you to get the "picture".

Oh Graini, darling, love is really in the air, and all this love songs you write and sing to impress young girls are just really true.
Doesn't that interview that Graini took couple of weeks ago, and talked about the "girl" of his dreams just has a whole different feeling to it now.

I kinda understand why some people in Cairo can be double faced, sometimes they're being themselves not expecting someone to see, but when they know someone is looking they take that "persona" they have created for themselves, it's really fine to decide to hide who you're from the eyes of the puplic specially in a city like Cairo.
I wish that someday people who're hiding behind a mask to be able to work in a certin carrer or have a semi-normal life style in Egypt to just drop that mask, but till then, Graini, sweetie, let the fuck go of your boyfriend hand, and try not to get killed, both carrer wise and actual wise.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Water and a Flame

Monday, March 16, 2009 0
Today's song is by both "Daniel Merriweather" and "Adele", I got to listen to it while browsing PerezHilton.com.

You might know Daniel from his previous hit "Stop Me", which I really enjoyed, I really liked the music video and all the girls in the bars smiling and dancing while a cartoonish tears are dropping from their eyes.

I always think that Perez never actually listens to the songs he propose to you in "Listen To This" almost-daily post, I have a mental image of him copying the link from God-knows where he gets those songs and paste it on the website before he goes to draw a new p***s on Lily Allen's mouth.

his taste in music is not that great, but sometimes he hits the right song somehow, and this time it was one of those times.

The song title is "Water and a Flame" and it's just fabolous.


Seven day has gone so fast
I really thought the pain will pass
It's been nearly an hour since I thought of you.
There's no answer in the phone
I'll settle for a busy tone
At least by then I know that you're OK.
A girl like you ain't meant to go away.
Now that you're gone, there's nothing else I want.
Now that it's over, there's nothing else I want.
What have I done, Looks like I was wrong.
Is everything really meant to change?!
I guess we're like water and a flame...
Water and a flame...
I'm tired of this empty house
I need a drink to get me out
A couple more till I forget your name.
I saw a boy that looked like you
I didn't know what to do.
Talk about the well to bring myself
I realize what I wanted wasn't there.
Now that you're gone, there's nothing else I want.
Now that it's over, there's nothing else I want.
What have I done, Looks like I was wrong.
Is everything really meant to change; I guess we're like water and a flame...
Water and a flame…
Daniel: If you see me coming…
Adele: I look away, I look away.
Daniel: If your mind is made up…
Adele: I look away, I look away.
Daniel: If you're wrong about it?!
Adele: I'm ok, I'm ok, Yes I'm
Daniel: Then all this sorrow and this pain, it's gonna go away.
I love you.
Now that you're gone, there's nothing else I want.
Now that it's over, there's nothing else I want.
What have I done, Looks like I was wrong.
Is everything really meant to change?! I guess we're like water and a flame…
Water and a Flame…
P.S: I can't find the song anywhere but on Perezhilton.com, so here's the link to the song where you can hear it and leave a comment if you like.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Homie ?!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 0

Today Show:
Homie ?!
Starring: an editor who started working in my team for couple of months now, with the nickname "Mr.Smelly", and yours truly, Myself.

Take One, What was going on in my head when he called me "Homie":
- Did you just call me "Homie" ?!
I said that to him while I start to walk back, he looked at me stupidly and did not reply.
- let me assure you, mate, that we're not in a music video starring Flo Rida, and this is not your own version of "Fresh Prince Of Bel Air".
he did not understand what I was talking about, I did not care ..
- and, I don't think that you can actually have the right to criticize the way I work, the way I deal with you or with others, or even think of trying to befriending me by calling me "Homie".
he took a step back, and was trying to think of an answer, I didn't give him the chance.
- before you do all of that, maybe you should speak proper English.
he tries to take a step towards me, I took a step back:
- and before you can actually have chats with people, maybe you should take a shower.
I turned around and left him speechless.

Take Two, What actually happened in real life:
- Sorry, What did you just say ?!
I said that, calmly.
- Sorry, I thought that I can ...
I gave him my back and start walking:
- don't think, just do what I just told you to do ..

Why people are not free to tell other people what they really think ?!

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Exorcism of Oum Mohamed!

Friday, March 6, 2009 0
So, Here I am, standing in my kitchen, feeling all freaked out, and listening to the Islamic chanting of a man trying to get the "spirit" out of our bowaba (door-woman), looking at my roommates who, weirded out as well, stood there next to me, trying to understand what is going on.

It all started with Ray coming to my room and screaming at me to follow him, I was like "WTF" and he screamed at me again, while I was running to the kitchen, I had a list of the stuff that can go wrong, including - of course - a hoax from Ray, but I wasn't ready at all for what I was about to hear.

The voices were all smashed up first, I couldn't tell, as I was getting nearer to the kitchen window, what is exactly going on in our building, then I could tell there is a guy, screaming "Lord, She's hurt, Help Her", and a voice of a woman crying.
it took me a minute to understand what was going on, it was an exorcism, an Islamic one, going on in our building in the middle of Zamalek, a wealthy neighborhood in Cairo.
the woman started screaming, and the guy told her to "shut-up", asking her "We-ba3deen?" (where all this screaming taking you?!).
I went to Sarah's room, told her what was going on, she looked scared, but she followed me to the kitchen, half believing.

when I got back there, the woman was actually vomiting, you could hear her doing that, and the guy was actually hitting her! you could hear him doing it!
then, the guy started to call for prayer, which is an Islamic thing to do when you're preforming an exorcism, which caused her to actually vomit more, so he stopped to tell her that "Waga3" (I wish you more pain) and then continue with his chanting.
While we were doubting whether to call the landlord (or the police), the voices started to fade away, before the peaceful silence of Zamalek was back.
Ray brought the "blue eye" thing and hanged it on the kitchen window, Sarah thought it was something like knocking on the wood, I thought it's has more to do with our peace of mind.

Now, the Islamic exorcism, much like the Christian one you see in The Exorcist or in The Exorcism of Emily Rose, includes lots of chanting, some prayers, forcing special bread down the victms' throat and hitting them sometimes, to push the demon away.
There are parts of the Quaran that are usually used for such cases, like the parts where God reminds the Devil how He created Adam and ordered him to bow for the new born, in addition to tons of prayers for the Lord to push the devil out of this humble human, and asking for His mercy over this troubled soul.

I've never thought that I'll be able to hear one, but hey, you get to see a new thing everyday here in Cairo.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Photos of Mr. AKON Shitous night!

Sunday, March 1, 2009 3
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