Dream for an Insomiac

https://i1.wp.com/www.lovefilm.com/lovefilm/images/products/2/27922-large.jpgIt has been a LONG time since I last saw that movie, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to see it on TV today. I remember when I first saw this movie, it was in the old Rack video store in Maadi, I was coming from school, very bored. The guy suggested it, I was a bit reluctant as there were no famous names (except for Jennifer Aniston). When I played it, I found the first part black and white! I thought that there was something wrong with the tape or the TV settings, but thought about continuing anyway, only to find that the girl was seeing the world in black and white untill she met her dream guy !! How sweet!!

Anyway, the two of them love to play with words, so expect tons of quotes AND interesting phrases too, something like:

“Unless it’s mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it’s a waste of your time. There are too many mediocre things in life and love shouldn’t be one of them.” ~ Frankie

Frankie: I am going to circumnavigate his soul until he is surrounded on all sides by my love.

Frankie: I don’t want to be 60 years old some day and seemingly happily married to some man that I know is my second choice.

Lena Chamamya

Akhiran there are songs to hear other than the melody and mazzika folks ! My friend brought me some songs of Lena Chamamyan. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL VOICE!!!!!

I tried to look for the lyrics, and here is what I found:

lamma bada yattasana is an old poem. I don’t know when it was written, but it was in Andalus that’s for sure.

جادك الغيث إذا الغيث هما يا زمان الوصل في الأندلس
لم يكن وصلك إلا حلما في الكرى أو خلسة المختلس
لما بدا يتثنى قضى الصبا و الدلال حبي جمال فتنا أفديه هل من وصال
أومى بلحظ أسرنا بالروض بين التلال غصن سبا حينما غنى هواه و مال
وعدي و يا حيرتي ما لي رحيم شكوتي بالحب من لوعتي إلا مليك الجمال Al Rozana is also another traditional song but from Syria.

عالروزانا عالروزانا كلّ الهنا فيها
شو عملت الروزانا الله يجازيها
يا رايحين عا حَلَب حبّي معاكن راح
يا محمّلين العنب تحت العنب تفّاح
كِلمن حبيبو معو وانا حبيبي راح

…… hunting for more and more and more

Noun ن

الصراع على إستعادة البهجة في عصر مخيف

Yesterday I attended the most outstanding book discussion. It was “Noun” by Sahar El Mogy, and it was held in el Kotob Khan. Needless to say, I love the environment there, it really feels like home now. And Sahar (Dr. Sahar) is a very sweet person, and has a nice bag, and I appreciate women who get catchy bags.

We read parts of her book, discussed some of the issues, there were lots of questions and answers. I know understood parts of the novel that I didn’t really get before.

It was funny that there were 14 women and 3 men attending the session. Doesn’t this send signal to our society’s attitude about feminist writers? (Even though feminism per se is not an issue in the novel as it talks about the views of 3 women and a guy).

Here are parts I really liked in the novel:

وددت لو أخبرته أن الحياة تختار مساراتها و كثيرا ما تكتشفون لاحقا أنها كانت أكثر حكمة منكم رغم أنكم وقت الألم تخبطون أقدامكم كأطفال مدللين. نبكون حتى تتحجر الدموع في أعينكم و تصرخون فتخز صرخاتكم قلوب الآلهة.

“I wanted to tell him that life chooses its paths, and many times you discover later on that it was wiser than you, despite that you -in times of pain- kicked like little children and cried till the tears dried off your eyes.

اشتعل صوت سارة بلهيب الغضب “أيوه كنت عايزة أصدق إنه مش ممكن يكون ماشي خلاص و بالبساطة دي و …. ليه!” خبت النيران فجأة فهبطت سارة سريعا إلى منطقة دفء. ارتجف صوتها ببحة دموع تتأهب للمجئ “كان لسه عندنا حاجات كتير نعملها مع بعض. أفلام هنشوفها و كتب نقراها و صناديق قديمة لينا قلنا هنفتحها و نشوف عقدنا و مشاكلنا و نبقى مع بعض و إحنا بنحلها. كانت لسه دنيتنا واسعة”

Sara’s voice was enraged: “Yes I wanted to believe that he is not leaving this easily and without a reason!” Then her voice was shaking with the tears to come “we had lots of things to do together. Movies to watch, books to read, old boxes we said that we’ll open and be together in solving its problems. Our world was still vast!”

و ارتفع صوتها في نبرة حادة سريعة مقلدة سميحة “أصلك ما تعرفيش تبقي زي البنات العادية”. و ضحكت سارة و دنيا تستكمل “مش فاهمة إيه المتعة إني أبقى زي البنات العادية!”

And she said in a high quick voice mimicking Samiha “Cause you don’t know how to be like normal girls”. Sara laughed and Donia continued “I don’t understand what is the fun in being like the normal girls!”

انطقي الألم يا ابنتي. لا تنكريه. لا تدفعيه بعيدا. اصرخي بعلو صوتك. إبك. أقيمي له جنازة مهيبة لو أحببت. ارثي قلبك المذبوح و طهريه بآخر قطرة دموع بإمكانك أن تسكبيها عليه. فترة الحداد. لا تضعي لها ميقاتا. دعيها تنهي نفسها. ستهاجمك الأسئلة. أفسحي لها مطرحا. ربما تفهمين بعض أشياء بينما تعصاك أشياء لأخرى. سيتراجع الوجع رويدا. و في لحظة مفاجئة سيعود شبحه مع ذكرى مكان ذهبتما إليه معا. شاطئ ذهب أو قلعة صلاح الدين و الموسيقى تعزف في ساحتها أو أغنية فيروزية أو ربما لا شئ محدد. دعي سارة تذكرك أن “زهور الحب حمرا يا دنيا لإن دمنا بيجري في عروقها”.

Declare your pain, daughter. Don’t ignore it. Don’t push it away. Yell at the top of your voice. Cry. Make a prestigious funeral for it if you like. Wash out your wounded heart with all the tears you can weep. Don’t put a deadline for mourning. Give it its time. Questions will attack you. Give it space. You may succeed in understanding things, while you’ll fail in understanding others. The pain will be reduced bit by bit. And all of a sudden his ghost will come back with the memory of a place you visited together. The beach at Dahab, Salahdin Citadel and the music playing in its courtyard or a song by Fairouz or maybe nothing in particular. Let Sara remind you that “the flowers of love are red because our blood run in its veins”.

These are just parts I liked from the book Excuse the bad english translation. . For more advices from Hathor, go get the book! 🙂

My Dream

Yesterday I had a nice dream 🙂

I dreamt that I was flying all over Cairo.

There was a traffic jam but I had no problem at all with it. I flew above the cars over 6th October bridge, I think that I went from Giza to Heliopolis in 3 minutes or something! People were gazing at me wondering how I made it. But I didn’t want to go down and talk to them. I signalled to them that it was easy, that they can do it, I even waited for a moment for them to come up.

I was happy.

The first push was a little bit scary, my heart was pumping really hard, but then it felt great. I felt the wind playing with my hair. I flew up and down. I did everything I can imagine of doing up there in the skies. I flew with a full speed, I bet that no plane could have caught me!

Yaaaaaah ! It was amazing!

I remember sitting there on my bed the moment I woke up, not wanting to get up, just wanting to go back and continue the dream 🙂 

The City


Few weeks ago I attended a workshop (a cooperation between the Spanish embassy and the AUC), led by a spanish photographer. I was so excited about this workshop as it was my first time to attend something like that. The photographer’s style is VERY different than mine, but I liked his ideas.

The main concept of the workshop was to look at “the city” from a different perspective. To look at stuff that other people may find ugly with a perspective showing beauty. So we were mainly interested in rural buildings made of bricks, we went on el mounib and shot some pictures.

I felt that these houses were very similar to kids’ toys 🙂 That’s why I made the above photo 🙂

Cairo is overwhelming me

I love Egypt. But when I identify where I live, I don’t feel that I am living in Egypt. No,, I am living in Cairo. Some say Egypt when they mean Cairo, but this is wrong. Also the extreme centralization is wrong. I know that life in Egypt was, is and will be always by the nile. This is how things are. But when Egypt = Cairo, then there is definitely wrong.

For example, among all the friends I have, I know only one who lives in Alexandria. And when I hear that someone lives in any city I feel kinda sorry for him. It’s weird for example that the number of cinemas outside Cairo and Alexandria might not exceed 10 (and I am very skeptical they would exceed even 5!), and I rarely hear about major “interesting” events held outside Cairo and Alexandria! Why? Can this be amended??!


I just wanted to say that Cairo overwhelms me. There are simply too much action going on here. I feel like I need to have at least 48 hours in my day to work and 10 days in my week to see friends, see the family, pray, attend events, study, read, play sports, enjoy my hobbies, and after all this take some time to relax and just do nothing.

I don’t know whether this is a syndrome of all capital cities, or is it a problem of time management, or if it is a simple want-to-do-it-all phase…

Georges Henein

Ireceived this from the French Cultural Center. There is a tribute to George Henein on the 25th of June at 7 pm. It was my first time to hear about him, so I thought to seek some light:

Henein, Georges (1914-73). Egyptian poet, editor, and journalist. For over a decade (1937-48) Henein led an active Surrealist group in Cairo, keeping up its contacts with the main movement and writing many poems, tracts, manifestos, and short stories (Déraisons d’être, 1938; Pour une conscience sacrilège , 1945). After a rift with Breton , Henein created a more informal and eclectic grouping, centred on the journal La Part du sable, where Egyptians figured alongside French writers such as Bonnefoy, Henri Thomas, and Jean Grenier . When, like his Jewish friend Jabès, Henein (a Copt) bowed to Arab nationalist pressures and left Egypt in the late 1950s, he turned to political journalism. Although from 1956 he eschewed publication, he never stopped writing creatively, and the works published since his death, including Pour un pays inutile (1977), La Force de saluer (1978), and L’Esprit frappeur (1983), have attracted increasing attention as they reveal an unusual alliance of intellectual brilliance, polemical drive, and poetic fancy. https://i2.wp.com/ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51GB7W6GASL._AA240_.jpg

He seems to be very well-known in France and not here in Cairo!!!! That’s very weird!! So Did anyone read for him anything??

I found an interesting blog post by Mr. Samir Gharib.  I have to quote him saying: ”

الخلاصة أن جورج حنين قام بدور مزدوج شديد الأهمية في تاريخ الإبداع المصري الحديث : فتح فيه عالما جديدا من الأفكار والتصورات والأساليب ذات الوهج الثوري والحالم في آن . وأدخل هذا الإبداع من جهة أخرى في آتون حركة الفن العالمية بما جعله جزءا منها ، وجعل مبدعين مصريين متميزين معروفين في أوربا ومشاركين في نشاطات ثقافية طليعية فيها .

Cairo’s Fête de la musique

https://i0.wp.com/photos-d.ak.facebook.com/photos-ak-sf2p/v75/97/41/792370592/n792370592_672443_4755.jpg 21-6-2007 was a memorable day. After work I went to Sakiat el Sawy to attend the opening of a friend’s exhibition (it was beautiful!). Had to run back home to change clothes. My initial plan was to pass by El Orman garden to check out the concert, but it would have been a suicide. I was barely able to go home and then head to the Citadel for Souad Massi’s.

Aslan I live close by el Orman Garden, so the day before I woke up at 3 am to the sound of the testing of the sound engineer ! I can’t say that I was very annoyed, but it was really weird.

Anyway, so I went to the Citadel. IT WAS CROWDED !!! I can’t beleive it that I parked the car that far from the place. I was very late and almost had to run, only to find a huge crowd standing by the gate, I thought that there was a demonstration or something, but it was just the crowd wanting to get inside.

I heard from a guy leaving the place that the security refused new entrance !! Elhamdlelah I managed to squeeze inside, and was able to take few pictures as well.


Tab3an her songs were amazing. But I confess that I didn’t enjoy them as much as I wanted to. Many of my friends didn’t want to come, also I was more concerned with taking pictures, and every now and then I would leave my camera and feel the music.

Later on there was a Sa3idi band. They were amazing. At exactly 11 pm they started singing, only to find that Souad continued singing (bena`an 3ala raghbat el gamahir)… Okay, I admit that I was more interested in listening to her songs, but they were already starting !! VERY bad organization!!

Back to that band. They were amazing! The songs, the dance, the costumes,,,, were beautiful!

Bottom line: I expected more from this day, but despite all the troubles, it was a good day filled with music. 🙂