Musical play-by-play of Egypt

Mobinil is one of the major mobile phone companies in Egypt.  If Egypt has anything in common with the USA it is that both countries are definitely consumer societies.  And how would we know what to consume if we didn’t have commercials?  Ramadan is kind of like the Super Bowl for Egyptian commercials.  This extended edition of one of this commercial has gotten rave reviews from Egyptians across the board, because it is just so wonderfully Egyptian.  Another other thing that Egypt has in common with the USA is that they are both diverse countries.  The commercial acts as a great breakdown for the novice Egypt fanatic.  Start the video and follow the play-by-play:


Video opens on what might be Zamalek.  The elite island where foreign students and wealthy hipters pay too much for the cooler things in life.  I will admit my favorite music venue, Sawy Culturewheel, is located in Zamalek.

0:22  Nubia!  When the British drew the borders on this fine land, they completely ignored that fact that a large chunk of a different ethnic group with a different language was being globbed in with the Arab Egyptians in the south.  This segment is sung in Nubian.

0:37  Ultras!  Hardcore (sometimes violent) football (soccer if you’ve gotta be that way, and “kora” if you speak Arabic) fans.  Believe it or not they constitute a significant subculture and a substantial force in society.

0:53  Ismailia, Port Said, and Suez.   The instrument being played is called a “simsimaya.”

1:16  Rural life.

1:34  Now we’re back in some strangely clean section of Cairo, where I wouldn’t be laughed at for taking caring of my plants.

1:51  Shebab (aka youths)!  Hipster/artist/activist.  The labels blend together.  They’re rapping something about getting a job, which is interesting because one of the major causes of the revolutions was the mass numbers of educated yet unemployed young people.  But I must say, I have never seen a bus that clean and spacious in Cairo.

2:08  Upper Egypt!  That means south, because the Nile goes the wrong way.

2:26  SA3BY!  My favorite.  Sa3by means “popular” or “of the masses.” It can also be used as a kind of soft insult, but I love it.  Sa3by areas in Cairo feel lived in and alive.  And boy do I love their music.  This is a good sampling.  I am maybe not so big a fan of the excessively gelled hair, the eurotrash pants, and bright skin tight shirts with terribly translated English, but even all that is entertaining sometimes.

2:44 Sinai, and that means Bedouins!  They seemed to have traded in their camels for pick-ups.  I completely understand.

3:05  Montage time!  Curtain call!  You were all great!

No comments:

Post a Comment