Le Fabuleux Destin d’ Amelie Poulain

“On September 3rd 1973, at 6:28pm and 32 seconds, a bluebottle fly capable of 14,670 wing beats a minute landed on Rue St Vincent, Montmartre. At the same moment, on a restaurant terrace nearby, the wind magically made two glasses dance unseen on a tablecloth. Meanwhile, in a 5th-floor flat, 28 Avenue Trudaine, Paris 9, returning from his best friend’s funeral, Eugène Colère erased his name from his address book. At the same moment, a sperm with one X chromosome, belonging to Raphaël Poulain, made a dash for an egg in his wife Amandine. Nine months later, Amélie Poulain was born.” (…..)


Amelie, an innocent and naive girl in Paris, with her own sense of justice, decides to help those around her and along the way, discovers love.


September 28th, 1997. It is exactly 11am. At the funfair, near the ghost train, the marshmallow twister is twisting. Meanwhile, on a bench in Villette Square, Félix Lerbier learns there are more links in his brain than atoms in the universe. Meanwhile, at the Sacré Coeur, the nuns are practising their backhand. The temperature is 24°C, humidity 70%, atmospheric pressure 990 millibars.



Cairo Int’l Film Festival


Every year I say that I want to watch lots and lots of movies in the Cairo Int’l Film Festival, and every year I get lazy and I see one or two maximum. I hope that I will be able to watch more this time.

Now which movies seem to be promising???

Let’s see the Arabic movies:


Caramel, directed by Nadine Labki. It seems to be very interesting (seems to be a girls only type of outting 🙂 )

American movie:


Spiritual Warriors, directed by David Raynr. Spiritual Warriors is the story of a misguided actor, FINN (Jsu Garcia), who meets a mysterious elderly man, ROGER (Robert Easton), claiming to know him from the past. Roger convinces an extremely skeptical and reluctant Finn to become his student and prepares him to fight the evil power of darkness that threatens the world.  Even though the story seems to be very cheesy, I like its concept, I also heard that it was filmed in Egypt, plus the stance of the guy (sankakotai kamae) is good, this is how we used to stand in our aikido practice.


Rendition, directed by Gavin Hood. here is the story: When an Egyptian terrorism suspect “disappears” on a flight from Africa to Washington DC, his American wife and a CIA analyst find themselves caught up in a struggle to secure his release from a secret detention facility somewhere outside the US…. mmmm, interesting!

This is it for now, I hope to find more interesting movies.

Ayman Lotfy

A very interesting Egyptian photographer. His website is brilliant, I especially loved his black and white collection.

The below picture won the first prize in the last Salon el Nile. the cropping is really nice!


He is also one of the few egyptian photographers (if not the only) to have a book just for photos. I think you can find it in Diwan and Virgin Megastores, but I’m not sure.. I may not like some of photos he put in the book, not exactly my taste, but some others are VERY innovative! way to go!


If – Rudyard Kipling

A lovely poem by Rudyard Kipling.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!


I discovered in my brother’s collection a book about Ahmed Hassanein (it was published by Dar el Helal in August 2005). The book is nice, but not very impressive, mostly it’s about gossips of the pre-1952 era. It talks about Hassanein’s ambitions and his stories with Queen Nazly and Asmahan. El mohem. In page 207, there is a dialogue between Ahmed Hassanein and Mostafa Amin. Amin was visiting Hassanein in the hospital, Hassanein told him about a poem that had a great effect on him. Needless to say I HAD to search it 😉

This poem will be included in my list of highly inspiring poems (along side Ithaca)

Hiking diaries

I found some papers I had with me during the hiking trip 🙂 :

“The best thing about hiking is to learn how to grow the sense of endurance. The mind has two options, either to reach for the impossible, or to find the safest haven. Both choices are crucial to life, but when one side wholly conquers the other, then the human being is in serious danger. 

There is nothing better than the moment I’m living in. surrounded by amazing people. Observing the moon. Had an interesting challenge. Feeling self confident (in contrast to the pre-hike phase of uncertainty and fear).

The only thing that makes me feel out of mood is knowing that my mother is anxious about me because this is y first time to do something like that, but I know that I will make feel more comfortable. The other thing is feeling some pain in my feet and my back, but this will go away.

This is our second (and last) night, and till this moment I can’t believe that I am here! Please God, give me the opportunity to discover my potential and discover the world.I hope that this calm sensation will help me reach a good decision in the changes I want to have in my life.”

Education 2

What is the best way to approach education?What is the appropriate scale? How to assess the needs of the egyptian educational syetem? is there similar catastrophic educational systems that were able to be developed on a large scale in a developing country? what are the methods that should be used? katatib or traditional western style. What about the experience of the Asian countries?


For the past few months education is haunting my mind. Most of the problems I witness are originated -in my opinion- from the ‘decaying’ educational system. the sexual harassment in the streets, the ignorance, the lack of creativity, the helplessness, the laziness,,,,, I can go on and on and on. And the worst thing is that even supposedly “good” schools are not good anymore. And if I were a parent I would need thousands of pounds just to offer my kids a decent learning experience. I can’t beleive the amount of money people pay for their kids in their primary education! It’s absurd!!

El mohem

Trying to look for the solution, and not just stare at the problem, let’s try to analyze the situation, at least for the sake of the argument.

1) there is a very high illiteracy rate in Egypt (especially among women). And even those who know how to read and write can not claim that they had a pleasant educational experience (even for the upper middle class who are considered to have the means to send their kids to considerably good schools).

2) the educational system is very complicated. It constitutes of: the student, the teacher, the curriculum, the management (the director of the school, the administration, the ministry). Each one of those has his own problems that may collide with the other.

3) the overpopulation makes any effort to revolutionize seems to be insignificant


that’s just the beginning