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Monday, February 20, 2006

Egyptians Are Like...

Moved on! Check TheCairoCalls

I've tried, technologically, to know what Egyptians are known for. And while that was fun, it really doesn't begin to show how Egyptians are really like.
Not that any one thing does. The ability to defy stereotyping is I think the only stereotype that can be applied to Egyptians. Ethnically we're part Arabs, part Mediterranean, part Turkish, part African; it is really a mix. We have blondes, brunettes, and niqb-clad chicks. We have religious fanatics, and we have party animals. We have Nobel laureates, and dumb-as-a-knob fellows. We have miserably poor people, and filthy rich ones. At the same street, and at the same time you can feel that we have too much money, or have too few.
It is just like that over here in Egypt.
But, a discussion with a friend last night, made me really realize a common trait among all Egyptians.
We were talking about politics, and succession in Egypt, when my friend said that if Hosny Mubarak died, nobody will go to his funeral. "Do you really think?" I asked. And then we thought about it for a minute, and remembered how Hosny Mubarak was cheered for in the stadium during the African Cup final, despite the fact that almost everyone had a joke or a cheeky comment about the man. "You know what?" my friend said as he nodded his head "people would probably go to the funeral anyhow". And I agreed.
I know that this line is repeated to an almost masturbatory degree, but I really believe that Egyptians are benign, kind-hearted people. To an almost naive degree.
Think about it this way: Almost every Egyptian (especially taxi drivers) will go on and on about how much he despises America, and about the conspiracy the "west" is plotting against Muslims and Arabs, but I highly doubt that any American, European (or even Danish--you can get out now don't worry) will tell you that he was mistreated by the simplest Egyptian because of his nationality, or religion. I have seen a taxi driver who was taken back by the fact that my professor, who was sharing the taxi with me, was in fact Jewish, only to start throwing out jokes a few minutes later about how we're all cousins, and how his "cousin" should find him a job in Israel that will surely pay better (despite the fact that the professor guy kept trying to convince him that he is in fact American!). And I have seen Egyptian men crying in front of TV sets when school kids were massacred in Baslan, despite the fact that everybody will go on and on babbling about how he/she supports the Chechnyens.
My point is: we can speak in the cruelest kind of language, make the toughest remarks, say the most inconsiderate jokes, and take the extremist positions, but when matters come to basic human feelings and relations, we are as naive as a clueless schoolgirl.

That's why I think Mubarak's funeral would be a hit. Can't wait!

Moved on!


hey man if you can get me tickets to the funeral that would be awesome :)

but seriously, your post is very true. but from a PR prespective, we are hurting our own image, beyo9nd repair. Cuz the world can hear the Egyptians saying we should burn or kill, while seeing other people actually burning and killing!

By Blogger Memz, at February 20, 2006 2:35 PM  

ma the problem with nations is that they dont have PR spoeksmen....in a way nations are like modern organizations where every individual (or employee) is the spokesperson of the organization through his actions and beliefs. All they have is ppl like me or you who can try to steer those actions to our vision of goodness.
part of the problems we have in the middle east is that governments think they can be the official PR spokesmen of their people instead of investing in the ppl who will do much better PR..
those r my 2 cents!

By Blogger Tomanbay, at February 20, 2006 2:50 PM  

And I thought you (egyptians) loved the man! I mean how long has he been ruling the country? like forever?

By Blogger Marguerite Jasmin, at February 20, 2006 10:22 PM  

looooool, this is so hilarious. and true! (it's probably also why we're so much fun to be with.. coz we change personalities like a chameleon. "kemet kemet kemet kemet kemet chameeeeeleaoooon.." oh. what's with this Boy George thing i've been on for the past 24 hours? akh, sorry. anyway, bravo 3alek ya 3am... :)

By Blogger The AntiSocialite, at February 20, 2006 11:58 PM  

very good point about the Egyptian personality...but why do you think we are doing this???

By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 21, 2006 2:23 AM  

I'm not trying to defend Mubarak or anything TomanBay, but seriously, after aknowledging all his fallibilities, compared to Nasser or god forbid the Moslem Brotherhood, the guy's a certified teddy bear, what really worries me is that 30 years from now, if the political circumstances and our own infinite wisdom leads us to put the MB in power, we'll get super nostalgic about the Mubarak days as much as we're nostalgic right now about king Farook's days.
That's why, I can't tell you that I won't be sad when he dies.
Anti socialite, I know exactly how you feel, I had karma chameleon going over and over in my head for
weeks and
I don't even like the song, just watch out when you get it out that it won't be replaced by Instant Karma.

By Anonymous Mohamed, at February 21, 2006 10:16 PM  

I'm not attacking him either..
Oh my god! I just wished that somebody drop dead! This blogging thing is really getting out the worst in me!

By Blogger Tomanbay, at February 22, 2006 12:13 AM  

that was a light, hearted, down to earth ,refreshing take on the often spoken about subject "the egyptian personality". it's a great relieve from the complex therotical "geometry" that plagues the subject.I enjoyed reading it and i thought it was reasonably humurous and fair in its descriptive language.
for a more distant perspective "from a japanese person" you can read this also intresting article about the same subject:



By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 06, 2009 4:39 PM  

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