What would happen if, God forbid, we hosted the Olympics?

Inspired by a chat during the Olympics over sushi at Sheboya with Alien Kitten and Earthling.

The program:

  • National Anthem
  • Opening words by El Rayess
  • Army manoeuvres
  • Pharonic themed dance with secondary school kids dressed up like Neffertiti and doing aerobics.
  • Mohamed Tharwat and Afaf Rady (or some other previously retired female performer) sing some sort of medley of praises to the Rayess, accompanied by some kiddie choir.
  • A band from old Egypt does a number involving Sufi dancing, Tannouras, dancing horses and gunfire (we are not responsible for casualties).
  • A “Elleila Elkbeera” segment featuring the notorious “Arragoz” and Nelly Karim.
  • A “3arroset elmolled” segment, also accompanied by the return of some long-lost celebrity.
  • Amr Diab makes a day-view with the new and improved techno-house remix of “bel7ob etgama3na”, performed live accompanied by some hip local DJ and Wust El Ballad as backup.
  • Olympic torch designed to look like a giant shishah.

Other things worthy of note:

  • There will be sponsors! Who’s logos and branding will be splattered all over the pyramid side stadium and embedded into the segments and costumes.
  • We will not be in sync and the government will have a hard time finding volunteers or people willing to participate.
  • The logo will be pharonic inspired, with the 5 rings made to look like they were invented 7000 years ago. The slogan will be “for a better tomorrow for our kids and yours”.
  • Security precautions will be extreme and they will get a scare every time fireworks go off.
  • The ceremony will not start on time.
  • All the celebs from the infamous “nawart masr” advertisement will take turns presenting segments.
  • Youssra might sing, you never know!
  • We will hire some foreign director to manage the whole event.
  • The press will either hate it or love it. You can’t half-ass this kinda stuff, either you’re kissing ass or you’re not.

Hmmm, what do you guys think? Any potential segments we may have missed?

Late: The Olympic Games

In Greek Mythology Mount Olympus is the home of the Gods. Its tenants immortal beings with extraordinary powers. These games were created as one of man’s infinite attempts to surpass his mortal state, to attempt to attain the perfection associated with the Gods. A series of games intending to crown the fastest, strongest, most agile or most accurate. Year after year organizing countries also competed in their endeavor to create the most awe-inducing most fabulously amazing opening ceremonies. At this point I’m going to say that most organizers have had reasonable success in achieving that target, only this year the Chinese have outdone themselves and the world.

My fortune had carried me to Beijing back in 2005 as a young industrial economist aiming to learn from the Chinese legendary industrial experience. Back then the historical city was home to the largest number of cranes I have ever seen. A whole 3 years before the actual games the entire city was in a state of “under-construction”. Their dedication was commendable. At the time I was more interested in the sites, the industrial zones and the culture than in the upcoming games, so I did not pay the work-in-progress much attention. Later that week in another city during a speech a young Chinese official answered one of our questions with “In failing to plan, you are planning to fail!” I didn’t realize how serious he was till this August.

Those of you who witnessed the opening ceremony will forgive me my lengthy introduction. Those of you who missed it, I greatly pity, for you have missed a truly unique ceremony, a feast for the eyes. If any of you are interested, I happen to have the opening on DVD, I decided it was something I wanted to keep on file and watch again for inspiration whenever inspiration is lacking. The stadium itself is a thing of beauty. The sheer amount of money, time and effort that has gone into the opening is immense but completely worth it.

The opening ceremony was a lesson in discipline, dedication and hard work. The countless rows of drummers all perfectly in sync; the poetry in their motion; their expression of personified pride as they banged those drums and the digital artwork that resulted as bangs turned lights on and off to create the countdown. I loved how they moved seamlessly from the documentaries to the action in the pitch, the malleable gigantic plasma screen that opened like a scroll and was used during the majority of the show and the giant plasma screen that covered the top ring of the stadium.

As a documentary on scrolls ends, the mega plasma screen in the middle of the pitch, unfolds from its scroll-like existence. A piece of paper the size of a dance floor emerges and a group of dancers gather atop it. As the unique music plays, the contemporary dancers gracefully cover the dance floor, drawing as they danced, with their body motions and using their hands and feet to leave ink imprints on the dance floor canvas. The choreography of it all being entertaining to watch and complicated to execute, let alone do while creating the image on the canvas.

If that wasn’t enough, after a quick word about the printing press, a makeshift printing press letter set emerges from below the field and the letters start to dynamically move up and down spelling other letters. I was pretty sure this part was mechanical controlled by dynamos and automated by a PC. Just to prove the sceptics like me wrong, at the end of their routine the young Chinese who were moving the individual letters popped up to wave goodbye to the camera.

Later on in the evening there was the marvel of the 3d globe and the runners orbiting it while jogging perpendicular to the globe and practically upside down. Not to forget the grand finale and the lighting of the torch.
I spent the majority of the 4 hours with my bottom jaw in close proximity of our living room floor. Moreover I was perpetually in a state of shock, bewilderment and disbelief. I must have yelled “No they did not!!!” at least 10 times, I was sure I was being conned, I just couldn’t figure out the trick behind the magic trick.

All in all, China was sending a message to the world, “we can and we will”. Watch out people the Chinese are coming! They are extremely well planned, well disciplined and very dedicated workers. I can safely assume that the future is red. I can’t imagine the UK outdoing what the Chinese presented us with this year. Yet I can’t wait to see them try. China has set the standard; let’s see if ceremony organizing will become an Olympic event.

Entertainment Update

Cinema

Cabaret

Went to see this one against my better judgement. Actually glad I went though. Don’t get me wrong the movie isn’t brilliant. The idea is not new. Moreover, for some reason all movies this year are posing the lewd notion that life is a Cabaret (or a Casino, waiting for the movie where life is a brothel!!!).

I’m not good with names, so I’m not sure if this is the author’s first work or the directorial day-view, but in all cases extremely impressed. The casting was brilliant! It’s an odd thing to notice in a flick but I was pleasantly surprised with most if not all actors in their respective roles. I really liked Jumana in her role (have not seen her in anything prior to this). Actors I didn’t know could act were made to stretch what little talent they had to it’s limit.

Hats off to the director for managing to bring that much out of them and keep us entertained. Fathy Abdelwahab was amazing, yet a curse often associated with the naturally gifted is that you come to expect it of them, hence he was as great as always. The directing was really good as well, good angles, lighting, and amazing performance in the scene where the whole world freezes except the center. It was the first time I’d seen it done well in Egyptian cinema.

Finally, I found the idea of a one-day movie fun, albeit not new. The ending was very befitting. Yet for all practical purposes movie didn’t have enough events for my taste. Also as far as soundtracks go, this one was very in-line with the setting to my dismay, so I got a great deal of ear piercing noise posing as folk singing by anyone with access to a mic. At the end I’d say go see it.

Al Rayes Omar 7arb

I’d give you a movie review, only this wasn’t a movie, more like soft porn! I found it terrible really. Extremely weak plot, forced scenes, over-symbolised message, stolen story line and extremely shabby decor.

I’ve heard it referred to as a failed attempt at Devil’s Advocate and Awlad 7arretna. I will agree with failed attempt… 🙂

Casting was boring, acting was cliche, effects were terrible and the message and dialogue I found more annoying than controversial. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that my world is a “casino” owned/managed by God/the devil (movie’s position not my own).

On a lighter note, those of you shopping for evening gowns for the wedding season should go see it, Somaya El Khashab goes out of her way to model her entire collection of gowns throughout the movie (whether or not an evening dress makes sense in a scene).

TV

Nour

I really don’t get it. Maybe it’s just me. Perhaps I’m resistant to change. Perhaps I’m not into pretty people. I just honestly don’t get the craze. It’s a damn soap opera. The public has already survived years of The Bold and the Beautiful, Days of Our Lives, Dallas and what not. Then years and years of dubbed drama from the wild Mexican west starring the likes of Salma Hayek in stories paralleling those of most third world countries and where all girls are Marias and all dialogues start with “3azeezy alekhandro”.

You’d think by now people would have gotten bored, or hooked on to the likes of Prison Break, Lost or Grey’s Anatomy. Instead all I hear about anywhere (friends, facebook, the number one national newspaper in the country) is Nour this, Nour that. There have been cases of divorce apparently caused by the series. People are going home early to catch the episodes. My own best friend is blowing me off to see re-runs.

Yet I honestly truly still can’t see it!!!!!!!

To Meredith

Cameron: I was in the top of my class.

House: But not THE top.

Cameron: I did an internship at the Mayo Clinic.

House: Yes, you were a very good applicant.

Cameron: But not the best?

House: Would that upset you, really, to think that you were hired because of some genetic gift of beauty not some genetic gift of intelligence?

Cameron: I worked very hard to get where I am.

House: But you didn’t have to. People choose the paths that grant them the greatest rewards for the least amount of effort. That’s the law of nature, and you defied it. That’s why I hired you. You could have married rich, could have been a model, you could have just shown up and people would have given you stuff. Lots of stuff, but you didn’t, you worked your stunning little ass off.

Cameron: Am I supposed to be flattered?

House: Gorgeous women do not go to medical school. Unless they’re as damaged as they are beautiful. Were you abused by a family member?

Cameron: No!

House: Sexually assaulted?

Cameron: No.

House: But you are damaged, aren’t you?

From the pilot episode of HOUSE M.D.

Unwind

Different people do different things to unwind, personally when I’m not working, studying or hanging out with friends I enjoy a little tv. Series such as Lost, Prison Break and Desperate Housewives; movies or just reality TV shows. The following based on such incident so if this is too airheaded for you click next.

This week on the Arab version of the Fame School reality tv show, namely Star Academy, two of my favourite performers (Tina and Mohamed Ammah) are nominated with quite high odds that they are both going home.

(YES yes star academy is a waste of time and money and there are people dying somewhere and starving someplace else and there is a million different better things I could be doing/ watching and this show is the devil. Did I miss anything???)

Anyways…. not asking you to vote for either of them god forbid!!!!! Instead I kinda like this couple and think they are both great overall performers who can sing, dance, play instruments, write lyrics and compose. I leave you with a duo that they wrote, as a tribute to them so to speak.