The Yacoubian Building is a movie about contemporary Cairo, Egypt. It deals with issues such as corrupted Imams, sexuality and poverty through the lives of residents in a downtown building called The Yacoubian. The movie is molded from the best selling novel by the same title.
Marwan and Wahid Hamed are Egypt's most celebrated father and son screenwriters. They have written well over 40 screenplays and in the father's own words he says "...I think the movie will be like a document of the time we live in..." and that "...the movie says in public what many citizens are thinking in private."
A hundred and twelve MPs have demanded censorship of the homosexual scenes saying that they are "defamatory and spread debauchery and obscenity" and that the movie goes against Egyptian values. One MP Mustapha Bakri said:"...as a citizen I felt hurt when I watched it. I respect freedom of expression and creativity, but this is neither."
The movie deals with the intertwined daily lives of residents of that building and according to Mr Bakri, the MPs did not actually call for a complete ban on the movie. Just asked that the "profane" scenes be deleted. He went on to say that "...novels and movies are not made to promote tourism, but to deal with real issues of life..." and asked "...it's a pity. How can a movie defame a great country like Egypt?Why aren't Italy, France or the US defamed by movies dealing with homosexuality?".
It's worth noting that Egypt is amongst the most conservative islamic countries in the World and issues like sexual behaviour are a big taboo. The most prolific example is the Queen Boat case, where 52 men were arrested on May 9th,2001 on counts of homosexual practices.
So much for a country that was once the sole superpower on the planet for an uninterrupted 4000 years!
Thursday, July 06, 2006
When I first saw the video, no, let me get this straight! I LOVE INDIA ARIE. So when I first saw the video, about a few weeks ago, I re-fell in love with her. And then last night, a couple of friends from out town and I decided to treat ourselves to a strip club.
This stripper that one of my friends liked and that I also happen to know from the community comes up to me for a chat and somewhere in the conversation he tries to explain to me why he doesn't go out to black clubs anymore and get this. Apparently most black guys hate him because he is light skinned!I know,eh! My jaw dropped. I was like, what? He goes on to say:"...well you guys don't understand, you guys are not really black, black!"
I go: "what do you mean we are not really black?" He goes on to explain that the fact that we are not "blue black" and also like to wear our hair in either mohawks or natural curls like some of my friends, and the fact that we are of African descent, the other dudes don't really care or even want to "compete" with us because we are not from the islands, you know, west indians!!! Oh my god, I was flabbergasted!!
So this morning I wake up and tune to BET and guess what video is on? India's I Am Not My Hair. Then it hit me. It actually wasn't about other guys hating his light-skinned ass but more like his discomfort towards his kind. I have seen him around and I know that he is into either brown guys or light brown, near or middle eastern looking guys like my friend he was talking to all night.
I have heard him before referring to some of my darker skinned friends as "the african boys". But he never calls me that. Apparently I am not african enough, or damn straight not black enough.
So in 2006 black people are not only still dealing with poverty, racism, and homophobia but we're also still dealing with self-hate in the form of skin shades, hair texture and the likes.
It's all going to be alright though. We shall overcome all this nonsense!