أمانة يا بحر…

16 02 2010

لملمت أوراقي سريعا فور أن وصلت السيارة اللتي أقلتني من القاهرة، مدينة الزحام و الضوضاء، الى شاطئ الأسكن100_1230دريه الأزرق الساحر الجمال. أخذت الأوراق من المقعد الخلفي و الكرسي من صندوق السيارة و سرت متلهفاً للقاء البحر كمهاجر عائد لأحضان محبوبته. أعبر الكورنيش بحذر، عين على الطريق و الأخرى على صفحات المياه الزرقاء.

بسرعة كنت جالساً على اللسان المفضل لدي في وسط البحر، و من خلفي أترك مبنى سان ستيفانو الجديد الفاره الطبع و التصميم. جميل المبنى ولكني دائماً ما أحسست انه يفقد مدينة الأسكندر رونقها و عراقتها و اصالتها. أترك من خلفي الكورنيش الواسع و السيارات الحديثة التي تدهسه بسرعتها الجنونية و سائقيها اللا مبالين لما هم فاقدين. أحس أحياناً أنّي أحقد على أهل هذه المدينة الجميلة، فهم يعيشون فيها طوال العام و يتمتعون بجمال شاطئها وقتما شاءوا فصارو لا يكترثون و لا يشعرون له بحنيني.

اجلس على كرسي الصغير لأشاهد أمواج البحر، ترطتم بأحجار اللسان مرة و تحتضنها مرات أخرى. يجلس على تلك الأحجار الصيادين من مختلف الأعمار و الطبقات. يرمون مع كل طعم يضعونه في سنانيرهم همومهم و متاعب الدنيا لتأكلها سمكة شاردة أو تذيبها مياه البحر المالحة فيخرج خطاف السنارة خاليا من خيبة أمل و بأخرى.

العنوان هو لأغنية لمحمد منير

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In the name of beauty

12 02 2010

The original article: In the name of beauty.

Having studied in Canada for four years, coming back to Egypt was quite a shock in several different respects. One of the most striking however, was the prevalence of plastic surgery among people I know who are my age–in their early and mid-twenties. At first, I completely dismissed the idea and treated the phenomenon as ridiculous, but not long after, I found myself examining my body in front of the mirror trying to figure out what could possibly be changed or fixed. This is when I realized what "peer pressure" really is.

Speaking to Hisham el-Minawi, assistant professor of plastic surgery at Cairo University, confirmed my view on the phenomenon. He says that he receives women from all age groups that want to have plastic surgery, however, young women in their twenties form a large portion of this group. And surprisingly, the phenomenon is not restricted to a certain social class or to those in specific fields of employment.

The plastic surgery hype started in Egypt as early as 1998, mainly due to the influence of the internet and satellite television. Previously, women had to go abroad to get things done, however the introduction of non-surgical and less invasive procedures paved the way for more women to get their problem areas fixed without the side effects of surgery. These procedures led women to consider the possibilities of surgery as a beautification option. The use of local anesthetics rather than general anesthetics also made the procedures safer.

“Women in their twenties usually go for liposuction because of a new fashion in clothes, and a breast reduction so that they can wear bikinis comfortably,” says el-Minawi. Both liposuction and breast reduction help women look better in swimming suits.

The introduction of low-rise pants has led women to believe they have problems in the abdominal area, mainly love handles, which was not a problem for earlier generations. This phenomenon has led to an increase in the number of young women asking for liposuctions.

Many women today still want to look pretty without the risk of surgery. Thanks to non-surgical procedures, their wishes can come true.

Hussein Ghanem, a cosmetic and consultant dermatologist believes the prevalence of surgery has diminished over the past ten years, as some non-surgical treatments have replaced surgery. For example, deformities in the nose can now be cured using fillers instead of a nose job, and lipolysis can be used instead of liposuction in some cases–although it is only 70 percent effective. Lipolysis is most effective in localized areas, such as love handles, double chins, and small bellies.

According to Ghanem, the most widespread treatment is lip augmentation, because women want to look like the Lebanese stars they see on TV.

“Social pressure to look ideal physically is to blame for the increase in the use of these treatments by young women,” says Ghanem, adding that people who usually decide to have these types of treatments already have a healthy lifestyle and are looking to improve their physicality, not just get an easy fix.

Speaking to some of the young women who went through surgical treatments confirmed el-Minawi’s speculations.

“I got a nose job done when I was 19 years old, because I felt uncomfortable with the shape of my nose. I did not like how my nose looked after surgery but I got used to it later on,” explains Dalia, a pharmacist in a multinational company. She said she would consider other procedures if she felt they were necessary.

Nour, a 24 year old financial analyst, just had a liposuction. She says she felt very uncomfortable with her thighs and is very pleased with how the surgery turned out. She would definitely consider another surgery in the future if she feels it would make her feel more comfortable with a certain body part.

Both young women said they felt comfortable going under the knife partially because local anesthetic, not general anesthetic would be used.

Over a year ago, when Jad Choeri, the Lebanese singer, portrayed Arabs in his video clip “Funky Arabs” as plastic surgery-obsessed party animals, many Egyptians voiced their anger online. However, thinking about the phenomenon today, could we fit that image any more perfectly?





Hakawy el A’ahawy

13 01 2010

I was sitting at a coffee shop waiting for my girl to finish her tutorial lessons on a nice sunny day. I was sitting alone, unprepared, without a book to read or headphones to listen to my music, so I decided to listen to the sound of birds which was magically loud and clear that day. But the crowd was loud too, for I was sitting among other people who happen to not notice the beauty of the birds or the sun among other things they didn’t notice. I wasn’t eavesdropping! But through the tweaking birds and the loud guests I had to hear some things.

Unfortunately, everything that I heard bugged me! school_books

I was sitting with my back to a wall, facing a Cairo side street. To my right was a simple, or rather a poor man in his fourty’s wearing a worn out Jalabia and Shebsheb (slippers). I’m not going to talk much about him, for he was sitting alone and didn’t talk much except to order tea or ask for more lit coal for his Shisha.
To my front were sitting two middle aged men and on a third chair sat a pile of different books.

The pile of books drew my attention. They were of different types and colors. My week eyesight wasn’t of much help with the titles but I managed to pick up some author names. Anis Mansour and Naguib Mahfouz were among other unknown authors; at least they were unknown to me. From some words I managed to read off the titles, the books were a collection of novels, poetry, and political books. And to my left sat two other middle aged men who we’ll come to later.

At first I thought one of the two men sitting around the table with the books was a book seller but it turned out in the end that they were not.
From the accent of one of them I realized he wasn’t from the city, Upper Egypt was my best guess. The other was a middle class city man in a cheap suit and a white shirt with a dirty collar.

Their voice was fading up as the argument heated. From the conversation I deduced that the man with the accent was a books editor or worked in a publish house. The other one in the cheap suite was what seemed to be a "wannabe" writer or author (I have a reason to call him a "wannabe")

The editor guy was talking about his work and the processes that followed him, how he edits articles, books, and novels. How he’d take hand written work and type it on the computer then edit it and spell check it till it’s ready for print. Then the publish house’s work on the cover and cover material. That all didn’t bother me, for all that was work that someone had to do.

What bothered me was how invaluable he made it all sound! How he spread to the other guy his list of "price". I know this is his job and that it’s what he did for a living, but the way he argued his price with the wannabe and the way he held the pack of valuable books in his hand feeling the covers of the books like he was selling cloth fabric! The way he treated it like it had no value for him other than it got him more money! Really great people spent months or maybe years to write these books on paper for people to benefit from, for people to be enlightened. Did Naguib Mahfouz write his books and argue about how much it would cost to publish them?

Even if it was a venue of profit for the editor, what about that wannabe? He’s a wannabe who’s not even good at being a wannabe, whether he was looking for rich or fame, he didn’t want to pay enough for it. He didn’t value his on work! Even if for other people who would publish his work it didn’t mean anything but a commission for the middle man, he should take pride in it an honor it! Did Anis Mansour allow his books to be published in a cheap cover because a good cover would be taken out of his share? I could only think of Tawfik El-Hakim who would do that, but we all know he was cheap; it had nothing to do with not valuing his work!

That day when i went home, i was so disgusted, yes, disgusted! Some may say it’s a strong word, but that’s how i felt. It’s normal for someone like me who keeps his books in a drawer to keep them away from the dust, and reads them so carefully without totally wide opening the pages to keep the book unbroken from the side and as good as new. I ran into my room, opened my, book drawer and gently carried a bunch of then in my arms. Dug my nose close to smell the papers. Admired the looks of them and thought how crazy i am in love with good old books. Treating them as my children or even more as other people’s children who made an honest effort to put them in my hands and now i have to look after them…

As for the two men sitting on my left, I’m too disgusted to talk about them now, but believe me, you don’t want to hear about them either…





Nada bet7eb Mahmoud

31 05 2009

I was standing at the Bon Appetite counter ordering lunch at El-Ahly Club when those words hit my ears stronger than a thunder bolt, so loud and clear: “la2et el nas kollaha 3arfa en Nada bet7eb Mohmoud” (i found out that every body knows that Nada loves Mahmoud). I was taken with surprise for a while, then looked at the speaker. She was about 14 years old, a little kid girl with her kid girl friend. Suddenly the picture of that lame Vodafone commercial jumped in front of my eyes: Bibo far2a3 Gigy (Bibo blew up with Gigy)!! 😀

Then i felt sooooo old! what has happened to the world? when did kids that age start talking about love? what happened to the kids of the new generation? talking about love, fights, boob jobs done by celebrities, Noor and Mohannad, star academy, play station, Esam El 7adary and how he’s not as cute as C. Ronaldo 😀

I’m not saying my whole generation spent their time reading Encyclopedias or Watching Discovery, but i don’t remember us having that amount of lameness, empty headedness, or shallowness in our conversations.

I guess that was before Pokémon’s invaded the west (yes, west! it came from Asia, so we are the west of that) then it all went wrong. Kids started fighting over rare cards, and wrong moves (all they had to do was flash a card, I have no idea how could that go wrong). then it was made tokens in Chipsy packs, then kids started buying them for the tokens and throw the rest of the pack away. Then came cable TV, and came MTV’s role, introducing us to all kinds of video clips and singing mania, Star academy, Nancy Agram, and Haifaa Wahby.

Untitled

What happened to Ragol el Mosta7il (man of the impossible) and 3arosty (no direct translation, it’s a clue guess game). What happened to those Muppets on TV, although they were dumb but taught the kids a lesson or two. Where did Wanis and Maysa go, bringing up a generation of good mothers and fathers? When did we stop going to sports clubs to play sports and go for picking up girls instead?

Somebody tell me, when did it all go wrong?





احسبها صح … تعيشها صح

4 02 2009

I received this e-mail, it’s about an issue that I guess is bothering some of you as it is bothering me, so I decided to share it with you.

I don’t know who originally wrote it, but this is how i recieved it:

مفيش حاجة واجعه قلبى ومسببالى انتفاخات زى الاعلان الغريب اللى بيطاردنى فى شوارع المحروسة بالاضافة للتلفزيون واللى شعارة تحسبها صح …. تعيشها صح … مستفزززززز جدا …. واحد بيوفر في استهلاك المياه (إللي هي المَيّه يعني!) وهو ده إللي خلاّه يدَخّل ابنه أحسن مدارس!!!! يا سلااااااام!! طب إيه العلاقه؟؟؟!! …. وواحد تاني بيوفر فى استهلاك الكهربا واللقطة اللى بعدها المحروس بيجرى ورا عياله فى الشاليه بتاعه فى بورتو السخنة !!! وبعدين رمش العين وفرت من مصروفها وجابت لاب توب !!! مصروف إيه فى ليلتكم الزرقا على دماغكم إللى بيجيب لاب توب ده؟!!! وطبعا فى الاخر الجملة الاكثر استفزاززززززززز فى المجرة الارضية واللة متعديش حتى على الهنود

( على فكرة احلى تحية للهنود بتوع النووى )

…. احسبها صح … تعيشها صح ….

وعليه…… خدوا عندكم بقا…. هِيّا جت عليّا انا يعنى ؟؟؟!! ….

توتى وفر فى فلوس المخدرات بتاعته وجاب عربية هامر جديده !!
تحسبها صح …. تعيشها صح

نوسة وفرت من فلوس الديسكو وسافرت 3 شهور فرنسا الصيف اللى فات وفى الغالب مش راجعه !!
تحسبها صح …. تعيشها صح

سهير بتشرب علبة سجاير واحدة بس بدل اتنين وبفلوسها حجزت شهر فى الفورسيييييزووون فى الرويال سويت!
تحسبها صح …. تعيشها صح

حنكش قلِّب باقية فلوس العيش اللى مامته كانت بتديهالو وبيهم دفع مصاريف الجامعة الامريكية !!
تحسبها صح …. تعيشها صح

عم حسين بواب العمارة وفر من التيبس اللى بياخدوا من السكان واشترى رونالدينهو بتاع البرازيل !!
تحسبها صح …. تعيشها صح

عادل صاحب شركة استيراد خصم من كل الموظفين 10 ايام وبيهم جاب خاتم سوليتير للفيونكه بتاعته !!
تحسبها صح …. تعيشها صح

صبحى وفر فى أكل الجبنة الروووومى وجاب فيلا فى التجمع الخامس بالبسين وجاب عوامة وزة كمان !!
تحسبها صح …. تعيشها صح

طأطأ بطل يجيب الكارت ابو 25 جنية وبيجيب الكارت ابو 10 جنية وبالفرق دفع المهر والشبكة وعمل فرحه فى لندن وبيقضى شهر العسل فى الكاريبى !!
تحسبها صح …. تعيشها صح

نداء الى اصحاب القلوب الرحيمة وجمعيات الرفق بالانسان والحيوان…. اوقفوا الاعلان ده

أو وفرولنا أدوية مكافحة الحمووووووضة
😀