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Thursday, 27 September 2012

Mona Eltahawy's spray paint mission proves a point. Too bad it is the wrong one.



Yes, those New York City subway ads are racist and despicable. But hey, that is free speech for ya. Not everybody feels the same way, yet we all have equal rights to express ourselves. 'They' get to say what they want, and 'we' get to say what we want. Deal with it. And then fight your battles appropriately. With words. Arguments. Debate. Collect some money for a counter ad campaign. Out-smart them verbally. Not with vandalism. 

I thought all of us 'decent' people had decided that was the adult way to deal with situations like this, when those 'savage' muslims started attacking American embassies* last week, because someone insulted their prophet. They were 'barbaric' in that they were incapable of formulating a proper response in words (or perhaps an equally offensive video - poorly made, of course) and chose to fight with their hands instead of their brains. 

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

New review on Cairo360: Cat Power - Sun

Easily one of the best albums I've heard in years. Triple amazing.
Read the whole review here

Nieuwe column op DeJaap en De Buitenlandredactie: 'Aan mijn lijf geen Egyptische polonaise'


"Gisteren vierde ik voor het vijfde jaar op rij mijn achtentwintigste verjaardag. In Nederland begin je dan tegen de leeftijd te lopen waarop je, alleenstaand en kinderloos, op familiefeestjes en verjaardagen meewarig wordt aangekeken. Ooms en tantes die vergoelijkend ‘het komt wel goed hoor’, in je oor fluisteren, en ‘het is nog niet te laat’. Oma’s die met de beste bedoelingen de gouwe ouwe ‘op ieder potje past een dekseltje’ nog maar eens van stal halen. Een moeder die quasi grappend maar met bloedserieuze ondertoon laat weten dat ze haar hoop op kleinkinderen inmiddels gevestigd heeft op je ruim tien jaar jongere zusje.

In Egypte ben ik de ouwe-vrijster-leeftijd al lang en breed gepasseerd."

Lees hier (of hier) de hele column. 

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Wall Talk: graffiti of the Egyptian revolution

The Cairene media collective Mosireen just released a pretty awesome looking book documenting the graffiti of the Egyptian revolution.

Keizer Graffiti on Nadi al Saeed, Mohandiseen
It's called Wall Talk and you can view the entire book online here

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Repainting Mohammed Mahmoud, 19 Sept. 2012

On the embassy clashes: can we please all act sane again now?

Posted at the Arab Spring Collective.

Nieuwe column op De Buitenlandredactie en DeJaap: 'Kan iedereen nu weer even normaal doen?'

"De afgelopen zeven dagen kunnen wat mij betreft de geschiedenisboeken in als de week waarin grote delen van de wereldbevolking collectief het verstand verloren. Te beginnen met een malloot in Amerika, die een bijzonder slecht filmpje maakt waarin de profeet Mohammed beledigd wordt.

Het audiovisuele gedrocht veroorzaakt een algehele hysterie onder streng gelovige moslims, en leidt tot tal van protesten die in sommige landen zelfs doden tot gevolg hebben. En dat terwijl vrijwel geen van de demonstranten het filmpje ├╝berhaupt gezien heeft. Het is te gek voor woorden."
Lees hier of hier de hele column.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Rihanna goes Egyptian

Pop singer Rihanna got a tattoo of the Egyptian goddess Isis.

I think the placement is creative, but I'm not sure how nice this is going to look when she's wearing a bikini. And yeah, obviously this is going to look horrible when she is 60, but all of us are going to look awful when we're old, so a little ink is not going to make much of a difference. 

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Friday, 7 September 2012

The differences between Arab and Western porn

The Netherlands has a reputation for being a pretty liberal country: soft drugs are legal, just like abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage. One of the main attractions of the capital Amsterdam is De Wallen, the local red light district. 

Apparently it is also pretty normal to study porn. 


Saher Amash is a student of Gender & Sexuality at the University of Amsterdam. For his master-thesis he decided to research Arab pornHe compared his results to the outcomes of a study Marleen Klaassen did on mainstream pornography, also at the University of Amsterdam.


So, what are the main differences between Arab and Western porn?

Firstly, women in Arab porn are older than the women in Western porn: 35% under 25 years of age versus 61%. The men are also older  (7% under the age of 25 versus 43%) and in Western porn in general there are more women than men.

About 42 percent of women in Arab porn are moderately overweight, while 52 percent in the Western porn is clearly too thin. Western porn appears to have a preference for extremely large penises.

However, in both studies, approximately one quarter of the men have a small penis. In Arab porn there is more pubic hair. Ninety percent of men and 37 percent of women were unshaven, compared to 28 percent and 7 percent in the Western study.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

The return of Fishawy kitty!

I took this photo on the 8th of June, 2011. It's one of the cats that lives in the popular Fishawy cafe in Khan el Khalili.

Quirky kitty in Khan el Khalili
 We went to Khan el Khalili again yesterday, and lo and behold, same kitty was still there!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Monthly roundup: most popular blog posts in August

Here are last month's best read posts: 

1. Universe, you win. I give up.

2. Cairo slum crippled by water shortage
3. Bye bye Ramadan!
4. Salamworld: the halal Facebook
5. New column at De Buitenlandredactie

So, I hit a bit of a rough patch last month... Let's not dwell on that too much, as I'm doing better now that things are kind of looking up again.
Lately I've been writing a fair bit for De Buitenlandredactie, DeJaap and Cairo360. I have a few more projects in the works, so hopefully more of my work will get published in the coming months.