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Showing posts from March, 2012

Cairo Journals 2012 — 2 — Kalaam Faregh

There is an Egyptian phrase called kalaam faregh. Translated, it means ‘empty talk’.


One of the main reasons for my return was to discover the new culture scene in Cairo I had been hearing so much about from Germany. Over the year, I had attended, organised and participated in many events in Berlin related to the new voice that the Egyptian people had found. However, after a year of talking and spectating, I felt that much of what I was saying was repeating what I had picked up from the internet or other people without an opinion of my own about them. In other words, kalam faregh.
Luckily, my talk was about to become filled, in some fashion and I was about to farragh some new kalaam. Farragh has another meaning.
One of my main interests in ongoing Cairo has been the street art scene. Or graffiti scene. In pythonesque manner, a war of walls has erupted. The factions involved in the ongoing democratic process have revived a long tradition of leaving your mark wherever you go. Going bac…

Cairo Journals 2012 - 1 - Arriving on Mars

Coming back to Egypt was almost an accident this time around.
Not having visited the country in the last three years, my last memory of Egypt was of a magical evening on a white beach in Sinai, with many friends, music singing and laughter. 

The magic I was to encounter this time was of a darker nature. Arriving on the 28th of February, fresh and cold from Mad Graffiti Week Berlin, I landed in a city full of new opinions, anger and hopes. These are to be encountered both on the walls of Cairo and in verbal formats. 
From the air, not much seemed to have changed in the country: Egyptair still flies to Cairo from Berlin without stops, you still have to fill out the immigration form with Nefertitis head on it before entering the country and the pursers jovial presentation of Cairo from above still reminded me of bad childrens TV. 
The plane landed, the passengers disembarked, collected their luggage and passed customs. Again, although this was a new airport, not much seemed to have chan…