Hard Talk with Hesham Mansour

A Salafi turned cynical presenter and creative writer is what describes Hesham Mansour every time he nails the hammer on the head in his new online show “El 3elm wal Emaw” on Al Gomhoreya TV. Everything from Egyptian relationships, gender issues or trivia he mocks it all and you are in for some serious laughs! The great part is that one totally relates to what he is pointing out and you would find at least one person in your close circle that you can totally relate to one of his scenarios.

Mansour was the creative director for Bassem Youssef’ show and worked on his show “America bel Araby”. He now works as Senior Copywriter at JWT and does his online show in parallel. We met with him to know why he has had it from women, Egyptian couples, and above all Tamer Hosny.

Whatever happened to the Evolution of Egyptian men on screen?

I blame producers for that; they are the ones responsible for men looking like they are now on screens as well as every girl putting a profile picture of a crying baby or cuddling a cat. We allowed producers to do whatever they were doing and we didn’t give much attention to the whole scene. Our cinema and music videos weren’t shot off by criticism so that is the natural outcome. Women are to blame, too; tell me why does someone like Tamer Hosny sell millions of records?

You made fun of nearly everyone, like the infamous 90’s moustache of actor Ahmed Abdel Aziz , does anyone appeal to you at all?

I like them all by the way. Making fun of them doesn’t mean that I don’t like them. I admire Ahmed Abdel Aziz, he’s the one who introduced the ‘Mefalfel’ hairstyle not the curly. I like that he likes himself. Tamer Hosny and Tamer Hagras are a case of their own. Tamer Hosny in particular harmed the male gender badly.

You talked about the misconceptions of the word ‘Open Minded’ in the Egyptian society; can you tell us more about that?

We have a problem; we are open-minded with a religious reference. You can see a guy who has been fooling around his whole life then insists on marrying a veiled girl. Astonishing Schizophrenia! The biggest stereotype we have in Egypt is about divorced women. We always tend to think of her negatively as she is doing God knows what and we forgot that Prophet Mohamed’s (PBUH) first wife was a widow.

Some women do lots of effort wearing brands from head to toe; do men really care about that?

Men won’t even recognize that this bag is expensive. I think women now wear to impress other women not men. That’s an internal conflict you women have. When a guy goes shopping, he buys a t-shirt he liked in a window display and doesn’t walk around the whole mall comparing outfits like women do. The cool thing to do is to be satisfied by the way you look and not make an effort to grab anyone’s attention.

You made fun of couples who want to be together, because they think they have so much in common liking the same pages on Facebook, do you think common things in a relationship isn’t a major pillar?

Common things are good but are extras not essentials. You can enjoy common things together for a while but you might get bored at a certain phase in the relationship.

Do you know what women want?

Yes, I saw the movie (laughs). Actually no one knows what they really want, that’s a journey on its own. I know what I want but along the way things change some dreams get bigger others get smaller and so on.

Hesham is now working on a movie script and he hopes to become a director one day. “I want to be called actor/writer/director” and we wish him all the best on his journey. 

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