Wahid Hamed’s brilliant script came to mind the moment we saw Amr Diab and Mohamed Mounir’s Al Qahera yesterday, particularly the quote which says, “seeing this country from above is nothing like seeing it from below”.
It has now been established that the Egyptian media doesn’t know how to be considerate to the majority of Egyptians. When this happens out of ignorance, we might let it pass. However, when it is done on purpose to distract the people, and polish the image of a country rapidly unraveling, we just can’t ignore it.
Last night, Amr Diab and Mohamed Mounir released their new music video; a collaboration long-awaited by their hardcore fans. The video, in my humble opinion, is a huge slap in the face of Egyptians’ reality. That is not to say “let’s only focus on the half-empty part of the cup”, but can we stop trying to paint an image that looks nothing like the real Egypt?
“can we stop trying to paint an image that looks nothing like the real Egypt?”
In the video, Cairo got a major facelift, only it is one that is done by a tacky, untalented plastic surgeon, leaving it more scarred than rejuvenated. Cairo doesn’t look like itself anymore, it looks like a jarring, freakish version of itself, a version which has grown old and weary, but is still trying to look like it is a teenager.
“In the video, Cairo got a major facelift, only it is one that is done by a tacky, untalented plastic surgeon, leaving it more scarred than rejuvenated.”
The Cairo where you go out on rooftops and enjoy the nightlife without a care in the world has not existed for the majority of Egyptians for decades. In fact, most Egyptians are struggling on daily basis to make ends meet. And those who could afford that are now either going through PTSD and/or trying to leave the country, either due to the fact that there’s no hope of making a living with the country’s economy going down the drain, or out of sheer panic since arresting the youth seems to be the new trend for the Egyptian government.
This is not Cairo. So please, stop trying to convince us otherwise. Stop trying to polish a decaying vessel, because the worst part of this is that it makes the depressed majority feel like something is wrong with them.
“I’m all for hope, but false hope is a cruel, harsh tool to be used on the desperate.”
This isn’t an invitation to only speak of the negative, nor is it an invitation to ignore the beautiful things about Cairo, and Egypt in general. It is, however, an invitation to stop using art as a means of propaganda for a failed state and a panicked government. I’m all for hope, but false hope is a cruel, harsh tool to be used on the desperate. I’m all for hope, when it’s for the people who need it the most, not those who already see Egypt through pink glasses.
“We can all think Egypt is beautiful when we see it from the rooftop of a five star hotel; it’s easy to love that Egypt.”
Change doesn’t happen by ignoring reality. We can all think Egypt is beautiful when we see it from the rooftop of a five star hotel; it’s easy to love that Egypt. It is only when we see it up close and personal from its filthiest street, with its congested traffic, polluted air, animal/child/women abuse, poverty and decay that it can change. When we choose to love this Egypt, we will be able to do something about it.