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Bite Me Cairo: Europe By The Sea

It was time to take a break from Egypt, so her royal self and I decided a week in El Gouna was in order. This orange and white holiday village on the Red Sea, just north of Hurghada is, geographically, part of this country, but that is where the connection begins and ends. When I …

David Blanks

License to punish

So, this morning as I packed my bag I added a few extra things to make sure we would have a productive day at work. Shears, scissors, assorted lengths of rope and of course a straight razor.

Adel Heine

Bite Me Cairo: Something Fishy

Over time I came to realise that some people were simply so used to eating low-grade fish that when faced with the real thing they mistook it for being off. Such myths and misconceptions are boundless in the restaurant business.

David Blanks

Lambs to the slaughter

Earlier this week I looked up from Twitter to watch the pick of the day being dragged to the waiting butcher who was still sharpening his knife. Messages about the march to Maspero filled my timeline as the rest of the sheep did not even twist a tail as their fellow flock-mate was dragged to its end.

Adel Heine

Bite Me Cairo: Seoul Food

There are some great restaurants here but over time I discovered that what Maadi does better than anywhere else in Cairo is Asian food thanks to the large Asian community located here.

David Blanks

Kids are the root of all evil

They go barefoot, are always smudgy and have the pleading look down pat, yet their eyes are 80 years old. They turn vicious if you decline their wares and insults and curses, shouted in small, shrill voices, will follow those who say no down the street.

Adel Heine

The cult of personality

A perfect example is Mona Eltahawy who was arrested in New York City a few days ago. In a carefully colour-coordinated attack of spray paint and raincoat on an offensive ad in the city’s subway, Eltahawy professed to be exercising her freedom of speech.

Adel Heine

An empty soapbox

I was all set to leap on my own soapbox. But as I was thinking of how I would heap my arrogant scorn on the heads of those I deem beneath contempt, my plans abruptly changed during my ride to work.

Adel Heine

No more dancing with the devil

Nevertheless, the fearsome fighters found irrefutable proof that devil worshippers congregated for their spooky rituals during a brimstone-scented happening that was disguised as a concert. Those in the know were not fooled though, they saw right through the howling guitars and screaming singer. Heavy metal is a euphemism for the devil, we all know that.

Adel Heine

And an ostrich in a palm tree

Maybe El-Brince shares my appreciation of this strange looking, pea-brained, fast running mega bird. Our long-necked, feathered friend is revered for its ability to plunge its head in the sand to avoid seeing what should remain hidden from plain view. And given what purportedly went on is this villa the poor animal must have spent most of its time faced down.

Adel Heine

Bite Me Cairo: Home Savoury Home

The place is always packed with Koreans and under such circumstances I always try to eat what the locals are eating. I simply asked the kitchen manager for dinner for six, which worked out beautifully as it always does.

David Blanks

Kahk and groping: happy holidays

In a bitter, ironic contrast to the purity of thought and deed that are an integral part of Ramadan, scores of young Egyptian men took to the streets to chase, grope and violate women wherever they could find them.

Adel Heine

Bite Me Cairo: One more for the road

Still, the school district is making an effort, and even if the kids go on a hunger strike, it is preferable to the fast food made available to high school and college students in so many schools, including in Egypt.

David Blanks

Cultural curfew

The concept of time in Egypt is stretchable in ways that defy logic to most recent arrivals, but after a few unfortunate mishaps we usually catch up and adjust accordingly.

Adel Heine

Bite Me Cairo: Slow Food

It’s all about being a locavore. Eat what grows where you live. Support your local farming community. Practice sustainability and fair labor practices. Be a good global citizen. Sounds like a good idea, but not everyone agrees on the science and the economics.

David Blanks

Jagger and a galabeya

Suddenly all those people were my friends, Keith Richards’ face told stories of a life I could not yet imagine and Mick Jagger danced and sang only to me.

Adel Heine

Baring all

The bride seems ecstatic and receives her fair share of shakes and shimmies, as I stare with foreign eyes and struggle to find a bridge between these seeming contradictions.

Adel Heine

Geography ranks high

I do not understand how those who learned about persecution first hand have no qualms ensuring it will be part of a new Egypt, how geography ranks higher than freedom.

Adel Heine

Standing out

I had forgotten one of the things that has always made me love living here. That very thing that I have often received and always evoked surprised gratitude and humility.

Adel Heine

A Dark Tale

They dance and surge, emotions borne high for all to see, passionate and invigorated by those that surround them. Their power is most obvious when it is dark, their faces lit up by fireworks or fires

Adel Heine

Outlandish

I have always enjoyed talking to the drivers of the ubiquitous Cairo taxis, my broken Arabic and their often limited use of English make for an easier exchange than expected. Trying to understand, as opposed to listening to words, can suddenly go a long way, even if the traffic outside the windows is proving the opposite.

Adel Heine

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