Sunday, September 26, 2010

Men, Women and the Whole Nine Yards.

Ever notice how women are the only ones to ever read a how-to relationship manual? Women are also more likely than men to read how to please advice. Who do you think "Men Are from Mars Women Are from Venus" was written for? Do you think men care to know where women come from, let alone to please them?
In Muslim countries, the man-pleasing quests take on the form of righteous and pious religious behavior. In the west, it is the quest to be PHAT and sexy--but it is all one and the same. Look the way men want you to. Act the way men want you to. Make them happy. Why?? Because maybe then they will care about your happiness and needs.

All this women-power propaganda is just a thin veil of smoke hiding the ugly truth. It is only the women who are willing to go the whole nine yards. They work and earn money and put on make up. They learn how to cook better, dance better, be better in bed. They learn to be nice and motherly and 'appropriate.'

When was the last time you saw a man Google "how to please your woman" rather than indecent pictures of Carla Bruni?

A woman , on the other hand, Middle eastern or otherwise, will seek to understand and please a man even if it meant turning into a bleached, painted, Silicone sack. I am not saying it's wrong, rather I am wondering why this isn't reciprocated. Forget the why-- maybe it is too obvious.
I guess the question should be will it ever change?

The All-Egyptian Grand Night: Best Puppetry Show

Neither blinded by mere childhood nostalgia or a soft-heart for puppetry shows, I have deemed 'The Grand Night', or el layela el kebeyra as the best puppetry show that was ever made.
I was surprised to learn today while reading the Egyptian Chronicles: RIP Salah El-Sakka that this little operetta was directed by Ahmed El Sakka' s father. To all those who don't know, Ahmed El Sakka is the Kevin Costner of Egyptian cinema-- well, the "Bodyguard" Kevin Costner not the Swing Vote Costner.
This el leila el kebeira show then brought together 2 Salahs a master puppeteer, Salah El Sakka, and a master poet, Salah Jahin.
It is an authentic, funny, witty, larger than life, show. I wonder if anybody has ever translated it into English .... maybe I should try one day.....

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Islam The Politically Correct Religion and Racism in Egypt

Racism in Egypt is back by popular demand!
Seems like  racism will always be a popular topic-- be it in Egypt or elsewhere.

There are basically two types of responses:

a) Non Egyptians (of all colors of the rainbow) agreeing with my observation and some recounting their bad experiences with racism in Egypt.

b) Egyptians who are mad at me, and who utterly deny that any of this is true.

To all those who claim that Egyptians are not racist, I offer them the definition of racism from the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
"1. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.
 2. a belief that race is the primary determinant of traits... and confers superiority"
So does that ring any bells? Superior race anyone?? Yep, as Egyptians see it, whites or khawagas are considered inherently superior.

While, like a dear friend brought to my attention, racism in Egypt does not have 'evil' manifestations--just harmless mocking and "slight" discrimination --mind you I don't know if discrimination can be trivialized--
I just find it a behavior not becoming of Muslims. To see a woman in a burqa or a niqab call her Sudanese neighbor "ya sawda" , i.e. black, to insult her, just makes me utterly mad.

Islam was the first politically correct religion. The Quran instructs muslim to abstain from derision, mocking, and name-calling against other 'peoples' -perhaps the Arabic word kawm can also be translated as race ?? It also says explicitly in the Quran that God has created all humans equally, but made them into tribes and 'people' so that they can get to know each other. And he let them all know that the most superior or 'best' people are the ones that fear him and act in accordance with his orders -- you know,  the ones that are generally good people!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Egypt The Land of Oil Spills

YAY!!! We got our very own oil spill-- aren't we lucky!
But oh wait-- didn't  we just HAVE an oil spill off the coast of hurghada last June? Yeah, but this oil spill is just way cooler.
It is 110 tons of Diesel spilled right in our drinking water supply-- THE Nile. Call me pessimistic but TWO oil spills in the span pf two months is just down right outrageous.
What exactly are we waiting for? Where is our "ministry" of environment?

While authorities have graciously announced that most of the Diesel has 'evaporated', they failed to tell us anything about the long term implications of this ecological disaster. The Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency stated that the Nile is 'free' from contamination --because the diesel was ' immediately sucked by hoses.'

The no-contamination article preceded the closing of five water treatment plants , this does not give the authorities much credibility does it? First you say that there is no spill, then you say that it has been sucked away, later you announce the closure of water treatment facilities and that the Diesel has evaporated away
Well, here's a bit of Environmental Science 101 for ya:
There is such as thing as fate and transport of contaminants. When contamination occurs, the contaminant does not just vanish in thin air. Evaporation is not ,by any means, nature's way of cleaning up the water. Evaporation , correctly termed volatilization in this instance, means that part of the compound has switched compartments, from water to air. The   Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency assures us that Diesel is not very water soluble. While that is, at least to a certain extent, is true, it presents a problem of that not many people are aware of . Contaminants that are not very water soluble tend to stick more to particles and deposit  in sediment. This simply translates to polluting the Nile, and the Red Sea before it.

But why am I elaborating so much on this topic? Well, the first time an oil spill occurred I thought to myself :"let it go accidents happen!" But now I am just worried that there may be a pattern about to develop here.. you know, much like the electricity blackouts, water shortages, and soaring meat prices!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Seema Jilani Journalist Extraordinaire!

Want an example of a kick-ass activist, journalist, and humanitarian worker who writes about things that matter not just topics that are right-wing friendly and demeaning to third world countries, and ,either directly pr directly. glorify the west? Look no further, you can read Seema Jilani's great article in the guardian's comment is free section.
Seema Jilani dares to challenge the ill-mannered expatriated party animals drinking their woes away at brand new luxury bars in Afghanistan. She is ferociously attacked by the "free thinkers" who support the right of  their poor fellow colonials in partyin' til dawn.
This reminds me of the scenes from old Egyptian movies where brit soldiers are swaggering drunk at the early hours of the morning in Cairo streets. But I think that what's happening in Afghanistan is worse.
 Back in Colonial times, it was not claimed to be a war on you "for your own good." The British Army did not march into Egypt claiming to free its women and help human rights prosper. They knew they were the big bad wolf, and they didn't care! Ah, it was easy back then. Now things are more complicated. There is terrorism. There is Bin Laden. And there is of course the post 9/11 world of shiny bombs and sticky ambushes and dead civilians in a handful of countries in the name of the war on terror.
People like the pediatrician Dr Seema  Jilani humble me tremendously, but they give me hope. Hope in honest, fair, and enlightened  journalism

Two thumbs for sensitive, eloquent souls like Seema Jilani!