Wednesday, May 27, 2009
God, I miss the States!
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Just want to tell him happy birthday. I love you very much. I miss you and Sierra misses you too. I hope that you are safe and are doing well. I hope you were excited to get the letter from "NJB" and I hope that you keep your promise to stay out of trouble once and for all this time. I also hope that one day soon, I can keep my promise to bring you to Egypt. We would love for you to come. W asks about you all the time and can't wait to meet you.
I don't know if he will see this website - but anyone reading from Evansville, Indiana, in the Oakland City - Princeton area, or Vanderburgh and Gibson County - if you see him or know him please tell him to email me.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Rest in peace little Roger. We will mis you.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Here is one movie that I particularly enjoyed:
3aelate Zizi (Zizi's Family)
That one comes from Google Videos. You can find more Arabic movies on websites such as Arabfriendz.com or Copticweb.
Coptic Web was a great site which worked great from the US, however, in Egypt I found that I was unable to watch the movies and unable to download them. I have recently looked at their website and noticed that they have entirely changed it since I last used it 2 years ago. Not only does the web site have a new look, it states that it charges $4.95 per month for unlimited access the the movies. If you are a fan of Egyptian Arabic movies, or a serious language learner it is well worth the investment.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
This dog has been a cat chaser since she was a puppy. When we found the kitten the other night, I was a little hesitant to take it afraid of how the dog would react. But check it out - she loves the little guy. When I feed him she comes and puts her head on my lap and even tries to help groom him. When he cries, she sits outside the bathroom door and cries, too.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
Don’t Blame The Chickens For Latest Bird Flu Death Say Egyptians
"It was the will of God that she died. The chickens had nothing to do with it," says Husseini Ahmed Amine, 54, a furniture maker who employs a son of the dead woman, who was aged 50.
Bird flu blamed in Egypt child's death
"The police have seized the chickens from the market," said Hayem Mohammed, a heavyset woman with gold looped earrings and an aluminum cane. "Why should we be scared? We all believe in God and God's will."
"People aren't scared," he said. "They understand this bird flu scare is all a trick to kill the business of local chicken producers so importers connected to the government can make big money. That's what this is all about."
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Another really annoying thing about watching TV in Egypt is the censorship. Although I have not quite figured out what their guidelines are yet. One Egyptian station broadcast the movie The Exorcist uncut in its entirety. While another station butchered and chopped the movie Babel beyond recognition. I have seen stations broadcast every curse word under the sun (although the Arabic subtitles do not reflect what is being said), and then edit and bleep things like: "mother of God", "pray the rosary", "in the name of the father", and "Jesus Christ". So apparently it is OK to say "fuck" and "shit" but it's not OK to talk about religion.
Censorship of movies does not end with TV, it gets even more absurd in the cinema. S and I went to a movie back in January. Wanting to see something English and funny we chose Jim Carey's new movie Yes Man. There were parts that were choppy and obviously something had been cut out, but when the movie abruptly ended with Jim Carey standing in a truck giving out clothes to homeless people, S and I just stared at each other in amazement. "That can't be the ending!" We both said in unison. Later I had W download the movie just so we could see the end. For all of you who have not yet seen this movie my apologies for spoiling the ending, but here it is: 500 people standing naked in an auditorium. The scene was shot from such a wide angle (the perspective of the man standing on the stage) that you could hardly see anything but a sea of people with muted flesh tones. It was so unbelievably silly that this scene was edited from the movie.
But starting Tuesday a large audience in Egypt will be bombarded with episode after episode of Big Love, the series now in its third season on HBO. The show is about a fictional fundamentalist Mormon living in Utah with his 3 wives and 7 children. When I was in Florida in December I caught a Big Love marathon on HBO in preparation of season three beginning. It was my first time to see the show. I have to admit it is not a bad show. It has some pretty big name stars in it and the acting lives up to expectations set by previous HBO series like The Sopranos. However, I can't help but wonder how a show like this will be received in Egypt, a country that takes religion ultra seriously. In Egypt, religion is very black and white without all the shades of grey we are used to in the States. You are either Muslim or Christian. I don't think a majority of Egyptians have ever know a Mormon, or Jehovah's Witness, or Seventh Day Adventist, or Christian Scientist, or Scientologist (with the exception of Tom Cruise) , or Pentecostal... Well you get the idea. And don't Middle Eastern countries already have the wrong idea about Americans due to negative stereotypes in the media? How is it going to look when they start seeing a show about an American guy and his 3 wives who practice a strange religion that borders on a cult. I don't know about you, but I also think polygamy is also a sensitive subject in a Muslim country. I have lived in Egypt for over one year, and have yet to meet a man who has more than one wife. It's just not all that common in the modern mainstream. It is often only the fundamentalists who you find boasting about their right to have more than one wife - 4 to be precise - in order to use religion as a tool to further exploit women.
Speaking of fundamentalists, my best friend from high school became a Mormon for a period of time in her life, but has since left the faith. I sent her an email asking her opinion of the show Big Love and her opinion of Mormons in general. Here is what she had to say:
"First of all (and I don't have to watch my language, right?), Big Love isn't
about normal Americans. It's about the fucked-up Mormons who disregard American laws and do whatever the hell they want to do because they said "god" told them
to. There is no bigger group of psychos in the atmosphere than the Mormons.
Their men are controlling, abusive, manipulative assholes who couldn't care less
about laws because they follow a COMPLETELY different set of laws. They do as
they are told (by other men) and the and female children women suffer. But those
are the polygamist Mormons. The sect of Mormonism I was in were more cowardly
than that. They had the control & manipulation down but they didn't practice
polygamy. That was the only difference. Big Love was actually a great show. It
depicted polygamist Mormonism in its true light and Tom Hanks is one ballsy
genius for doing it. I'm an even bigger fan now.
I can understand your concerns about the show being aired in Egypt. But maybe you can mention in your article that this is not America. This is Mormonism. It is not exclusive to America. It is worldwide, it is dangerous and it is disgusting.
Somewhere right now, God is shaking his/her head in his/her hands
saying, "You people just don't get it."
I just hope everyone watching the show in Egypt gets it.
© HBO Photo Credit: Ron Batzdorff
Dinner every night is a family affair. Pictured: Ginnifer Goodwin, Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Chloe Sevigny.