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    Яαgιи Яαvєи
    Cairo, Egypt
    Wanting people to listen, you can't just tap them on the shoulder anymore. You have to hit them with a sledgehammer, and then you'll notice you've got their strict attention.
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Tapping at my chamber door

In 2008, I'll Get Me A Shotgun

I will also:
2. Get closer to
Job hunt some more.
4. Get closer to my
5. Learn a new language.
Finish at least one screenplay.
Lose the extra weight.
8. Get a
driver's license. I will not buy a car.
9. I will
rule my world.
10. I will have my

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Never ceases now, does it?

Alright. I received the following pictures via email. I have to admit that I'm one of those people who seriously hate forwards; especially the ones that say send this and you'll get rich in two weeks… or any of that crap. It just shows how desperate we are, doesn't it?

HOWEVER… forwards that show massive batteekh in culture or standards or anything really… those just lighten up my day. I thought I should share those in hope to spread the smiles across the blogosphere.

Nope. No impaired vision. No Photoshop fraud. Now I SAW this one. For those of you who are interested. This sign is located in Cairo International Airport's, pretty close to the last arrival gate. I think it's the one right before the internal flight terminal. I couldn't take the picture when I was there cos there was a cop giving me all sorts of suspicious looks and at the end of the day we kinda argued a bit. It's amazing though isn't it? Now whoever made this sign should be sued and sentenced to life in a very dirty cell. I mean DAMN IT!! It's not even written in Arabic now is it'?

Yes. By your head. Abu Samra seems to be seeking international markets now isn't he? I kinda wonder if he spelled it that way on purpose. I mean I would LOOK AT IT, STARE AT IT… at HIM too…

I wouldn't buy it though. It looks like major gastric erosion.

Egypt's Bestseller 2006-2056… probably.

Yoogad telephone ma7moooool :P Don't you just hate that sign? I made a suggestion in one of our meetings at work that we should put our desk phones in front of our clients and sell them mobile time instead of investments and credit facilities. Sure would make us more money… and probably save theirs too. Of course, nobody even responded to my suggestion. But they sure started giving me less work to do. :P

My personal favorite. Very smart indeed!!

Ahmed Ibrahim... I bow my head in respect. :)


Saturday, March 24, 2007

That deafening, alluring sound

While I was in the shower today (Ha ha ha very funny. No… this isn't a joke and I'm not gonna talk about anything explicit) I came to realize that one of my top five favorite sounds ever is the sound of water pressing on my eardrums. It's amazing how all of a sudden a sound that simple can make you feel one with everything that is natural. If only I could use that as the theme song from my life's motion picture.

I regret not properly learning how to swim at a younger age. I won't lie. I'm a very bad swimmer. If I crashed in the middle of an ocean there is no way I'd survive without proper help. So flipping the feet about is it? Pushing against the water? I dunno… I tried all sorts of things. I just don't get it! lol

It's impossible to go to any bay or gulf or even a decent swimming pool in Egypt without having all sorts of bikinis jump all around… and the sad thing is that it's not only the bikinis… it's what they do in them. Kinda reminds me of the old version of The Time Machine movie. The Eloi people remind me so much of the people up at Marina or Sharm. Fucking about in the middle of the crowds, pretending like nobody's staring or lurking or… whatever.

Oh well, if I ever get a million bucks, I'd buy me a personal swimming pool. (Shouldn't be too expensive I think)

For now… I'll just settle for the sound of water in my shower as I wash away my daily sins.

Friday, March 23, 2007

I used to call it 'home'

I was born there, raised there. It made me the person that I am today… but then again, I was only a kid. I didn't experience the adult life over there.

My first school was Islamia English School. I was recently informed that it was shut down. I learned how to recite the Holy Quran there. I learned a lot about Pakistanis, Indians, Bengalis, and… Arabs. It wasn't fun, attending at Islamia English School, but it was definitely productive in terms of the mind. Arabs usually felt superior, a higher race. Non Arabs had the upper hand though, since the only Arab teachers were the ones that taught Arabic and Islamiat. Many arguments and fights too place. In PT class (funny… I still don't know what PT stands for)… we always played soccer. Arabs against Non Arabs. We usually lost. I remember that I wanted to make an end to the big ass Arab ego one day when I turned around and scored an own goal on purpose… trying to prove that we shouldn't be divided like that. I was so wrong. You shouldn't turn against your own people just in order to prove something. I was only 10 at the time. I clearly remember that day.

I left IES and went to join the 8 graders at Emirates Private School. That's like High School to those of you who're not familiar with that system. At EPS they were all Arabs. Non Arabs couldn't afford EPS at the time. Of course today it probably ain't the same. EPS was fun. It wasn't educational. The teachers sucked big time. They hired one Irish dude to teach Economics. He was always drunk. He told us that his wife and kids left him. A year later after I returned to Egypt, I learned that he killed himself. His name was Mr. Leech. There was also Ms. Riley. She was from Essex. She always wore a long skirt and I'd say her clothes were modest enough; however, her skirt had that cut (I dunno what it's called and I don't care) that reached her knees. When used to gather at the side of the class where, when she crossed her legs, "something interesting" could be viewed. It was a boys only class and one out of the 25 of us ended up gay. I learned years later that he was gay since puberty. اللهم احفظناWe've all managed to find our way to communicate with women as far as I know. Coed schools can kiss my ass. It's not a dating service is it?

They also had three Bosnian dudes transferred from Bosnia during their war. The three of them were good friends of mine. I remember how their parents thanked me for being a good friend. It was very touching. I regret not mailing them when they got shipped back to Bosnia. Every letter they sent took about four months to reach me. I gave up on them.

At EPS I discovered that I know by heart more Surahs (Quran) than everybody in my class. I was better at English and Arabic as well. Islamia English School WINS!! Non Arabs WIN!! I know that mathematics is the only language that is internationally spoken, but if you don't know your native language or your religion… then what good are you?

At EPS I had my first crush. I was 12 at the time.

I miss my old gang. I miss the Cultural Foundation. Even though the place sounds nerdy, it was still cooler than any mall. Every exhibition that was held there stood tall. The film room was as big as Stars Cinema (I watched Evita twice by mistake in there). The Emirati Book Fair offered a discount of a minimum of 45% on any book. At Egyptian book fairs you can only get around 5%. And we still call ourselves the center of the Arab Culture. Culture my ass!!

I miss the fireworks on the National Day. I miss the walks across the city (it took around 60 minutes to walk across Abu Dhabi). I miss the Shallal and the Dallah… their orange trash bins too (they actually have trash bins there). I miss stopping at red lights in traffic. I miss how the police had the city secured 24/7. We actually felt safe.

I miss Thomas Cook Al Rostomany. They only charged 30 Dhs for an International Money Order check. Over here it costs too much that banks are actually cheaper. I miss the good ol' days when 1 Dirham = 0.9 Egyptian Pound.

I miss Aiwa, Akai, and the Made in Japan myth.

I miss Eldorado cinema. I miss the Tourist Club. I used to play for their soccer team and we won the local club tournament two years in a row. I have three gold medals stashed somewhere; one of them for Best Midfielder in the tournament.

I miss how I actually practiced Japanese with a Japanese kid who joined the team. Kombanwa, Ito. I miss the Skating/Arcades/Restaurant place they had there. I miss their Pizzeria. I miss their record store and Aziz who used to give me cool discounts on older albums. Theirs tasted better than Pizza Hut. I miss the Coop mall and its music store. I miss Hamed and Hamdan center. I miss that book store that used to sell MAD magazine for only 5 Dhs a piece. (MAD magazine sucks now, I think)

I miss how the air was clean and odorless and how tap water wouldn't kill you if you drank it. (My nose kept bleeding for six months when I first moved back here)

I fucking miss calling it the F word. Lol

Now… home is Cairo. I'd sure miss Heliopolis after midnight.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I suspect...

that she's the one behind it all. That suspicion is driving me insane. The anticipation is killing me; and the thing I hate the most is the fact that I know for sure that I will never find out the truth.

During the past three weeks I've been losing a lot of work-related documents, forms signed my clients, mail that I was sending out to other department that just vanished, applications that are just impossible to replace.

I am losing my mind here.

She got transferred to our department in August 2006. I was the only fool at the branch. I actually believed her, felt sorry for her. She's got her hair dyed blonde, and she uses blue, green, grey, turquoise, and lime colored lenses. She's as fake as it gets.

Most days she just walks into the ladies room and returns with different lenses.

There is nothing honest about her. I was asked to teach her the job when she first got there. I taught her for almost three months… a record that I so disgracefully hold. It took me a week to be able to do it all by myself when I first got hired. She used to work real well when I was around, volunteer to help out when help was needed… she even reorganized my side desk drawers. I was blind enough not to see that she just set her eyes at the top guy at the place and decided to win him over. Not to brag or anything, but I did have enough influence on my managers to believe in her… at first.

She's taken almost 30-40 sick days so far. She started taking them in October.

The branch manager hasn't even written her a single warning letter yet.

It's as if she's holding some sort of leverage against the branch manager, seen her naked or something. She's well connected. Her father is a friend of the bank's chairman. I'd say to hell with it. I'm tired of "connections". Egypt does not need more corruption. She's too unqualified to do anything. She talks and looks like a freaking porn star. Nobody likes her… and the fact that she doesn't care strikes me as unbelievable insane.

I yell at her, shout at her, blame her… the problem is that I'm the only one who does that. But then I think that I might have just driven her off the edge of all reason.

They assigned her the responsibility of getting the mail ready to be sent. They said that she ain't good at anything else. The problem is… I… think… that every now and then she picks out one of my applications… and hides it or throws it in the trash.

NO… I don't have proof.

It kills me.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


I haven't done it in quite a while, stare outside my window. Even though it's free, casual, and not at all striking, it still brings me joy.

Even though today was as dusty and windy as a war zone, I still manage to catch the crescent of the new month, Rabei Al Awwal. It's the same month that Prophet Muhammad PBUH was born. We celebrate his birth by buying candy that tastes bad and rots our teeth. We celebrate his birth, which happens to be a national holiday, by staying home, sleeping all day long, swallowing that candy, and maybe partying all night. It sucks that some people… most people… have forgotten what his birth really meant.

Oh well… back to the main course of action, my window. Outside there's a star, brighter than the sun. It's always there, floating still in its very own ravishing galaxy. I'd like to think that it's Venus, but I'm not so sure. I've always wanted to own a telescope. I'd buy one if someone would tell me how to get one in Egypt. I'd buy one off Amazon if Egypt wouldn't triple charge me the bloody customs. Yeah well… I guess I'll have to settle for buying DVDs online; even with the customs added they still by far cost less than at Virgin Mega stores.

Outside my window, they're shooting fireworks to celebrate some minor victory in a third class soccer match. I've always loved fireworks. There's something about them that just takes your breath away, especially if it’s a cool night and you're at a beach. Tonight it reminded me of a night that I haven't remembered in ages. It was December 1, 1996. The 1st of December happens to be the national Independence Day at the UAE. It was my last winter there. My friends and I went to the beach, lied down on the sand with Pepsi in our hands and watching the fireworks shoot all night. It was a cool night. We were such a close bunch. 1996 was the first year that they decided to use laser in their fireworks sequences. They painted eagles and stars across the sky. They shot up one laser beam starting off at Baynona Tower. Apparently, the laser reflected off something and onto my brother's car. The next morning when we checked his car, the color was a bit defected. It was too funny we didn't even care… but the color gradually got back to its original white.

Times changed and me and my friends from that night grew up. We are no longer 15. We no longer talk. At that time, they were my best friends. Funny!

Khaled and Mostafa… hope that wherever you are they still shoot fireworks.

I should definitely be looking outside my window more often.

Who knows what the skies might bring?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

بدل بطيخ

الأهرام – الجمعة 16 مارس 2007

بحث الدكتور أحمد نظيف أمس الخطوط العامة للشق المالي الخاص بمقترحات الكادر الجديد للمعلمين، بحضور وزراء المالية و التنمية الادارية و التربية و التعليم.

و صرح الدكتور مجدي راضي المتحدث باسم المجلس بأن التكلفة الاضافية للكادر الجديد تبلغ 4.5 مليار جنيه، حيث سيتم منح المعلمين، فور اقرار الكادر، بدل تدريس بنسبة 50% من المرتب الأساسي و بما يتراوح بين 70 و 225 جنيه شهريا لكل معلم، و تبلغ تكلفة البدل 1550 مليار جنيه... و أشار الى أن هذا البدل لن يكون بديلا عن الزيادة السنوية المقررة للمعلمين، مثل بقية موظفي الدولة...

الله أكبر

1. 4.5 مليار


Unless I'm mistaken, a مليار is 1000 million.

The average salary increase per month, as stated, is 148 [(225+70)/2] i.e. annually equals to 1,776 EGP.


4,500,000,000 EGP divided by an annual increase of 1776 per teacher gives us a total of 2,533,784 active and working public teachers in Egypt. That’s 3% of the population. That's also 1 teacher for every 33.3 persons. That's assuming that every single Egyptian, infants to elders, still go to school.

I don't know about you, but this shit doesn't make any sense.

2. بدل تدريس بنسبة 50%

This news headline made my day. It was written on the first page of Al Ahram newspaper (Egypt's official). I thought بدل referred to an extra bonus in a person's salary offered due to going an extra mile on the job. That's like getting paid for transportation if you live away from work, getting paid overtime for staying up late, or getting paid for borne risks if you're a fireman. THEY DON'T PAY بدل TO DO YOUR FREAKIN' JOB.

I think teaching is one of the noblest professions out there, but to actually have that بدل mentioned on the front page of our official newspaper, the one that gets shipped off to the rest of the world to read… that's just pure pathetic.

Is there any hope left in this country? I'd have said much more than that if only I haven't stopped swearing.


Thursday, March 08, 2007

On Job Evaluation

Every other week, I find an email in my work email inbox titled Branch Meeting or Department Meeting. An email is also known as LONO where I work. They call it lono because we use Lotus Notes software. They call it lono because when they had it installed, they didn't know that that thing we send using it is in fact an email. Every once in a while somebody gets to email some dude who works at one of a corresponding banks abroad and gets to say 'in reference to the lono below'. Of course, the reply is usually hysterical.

They should cut us off globalization. We only manage to embarrass ourselves, don't we?

So back to the main issue… Meetings are usually clichéd everywhere. Same people, same attitudes, same faces, different places.

There's always the key speaker, usually the head of the place, the branch manager in my case. Also usually is the person who knows least about the job. She's been there far too long, she's started to not give a shit around the time I was born, but doesn't want people to realize that fact. During department meetings, she usually sits there and gets to listen to people talk about their work. The reason she does that is because she wants to try to actually know a bit about what's going on right before the big crash.

It never is fun, the meeting. We get to hear the same bullshit about accountability, responsibility, and team spirit… the same load of BS a five year old can quote from a book titled Basic Principles of Management. Right after a team spirit speech is well said, another one is laid out about competition, personal appraisal, and how the profit sharing scheme has changed to only reward the efficient and demote the unqualified. Our nature, as fellow incompetent Egyptians makes everyone hate the new scheme. In the end, they promote whoever been there the longest. It's like an endurance quest basically.

Same bullshit, different place.

There's also the ass kisser. Usually a he if the manager's a dude. A she can kiss both asses no problem.

It's not because women are malicious, but more due to the vulnerability and fragility of management who always want to be praised about the nothingness they tend to add. Ass kissing should be a profession, a craft… it's not easy to kiss ass. You gotta know the right time and the right words. Ass kissers usually don't care much about his/her colleagues. They know that this is what they need to do in order to get places.
They usually do.

Ass kissing doesn't always stop at top management. It continues along the chain of potential managers. You never know who's gonna be evaluation you next year. That's probably their moto.

'I love to see you work', she said.

Right next to the Ass-Kisser usually sits the Silent Rebel. Usually a he… sits there quietly, observing. Numb smiles when he's spotted by top management. He usually has four-seven friends in the whole branch at most. He meets clients with a big Fuck You on his forehead that only his close colleagues can see behind a big fake smile that says You Can't Hold Anything Against Me.

I love to watch them work.

Then comes the house wife… Always a she. She's proof that women belong at home and that the only profession they're suited for is parenting; IF THAT. She can't wait for the next paycheck. She usually possesses the least product knowledge among the herd. Her contributions are usually dramatically insignificant. Her sick leaves are BEYOND whatever. She's usually the first to leave and if she stays ten minutes after five, Drama becomes her middle name. They should pay her kind to not show up.

There's also the paranoid-nervous-wreck. He's shaken by anything, but usually the most loved… or felt sorry for; makes you wonder. He's been there far too long, yet he still doesn't know how to hold his worries in. Makes you wonder if he's on too much caffeine or if he's an ex-Aerosmith who's just shot-up one too many times. He's proof that humans of his status, if induced with enough Ecstasy, can fly. He's usually the one who looks like he's about to blow himself up.

Oh and there's me… the guy who blogs about it all.

This is my very personal evaluation.

If only I could LONO it to top management.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Territories of "wisdom"

He touched the wrinkles on his face and wondered if they were real. He can’t remember having them yesterday, but then again he can’t remember his kindergarten years either. Perhaps he had them back then too, back when he was supposedly chubby-cute and innocent.

Back when no meant no and yes meant yes.

Back when his only dream contained chocolate syrup and his worst nightmare was a beating by his old man's belt.

Along with these wrinkles came dreams of a big bank account and an island of his own, to stick his flag into every dollar and every girl. He won't kid himself anymore. Family and children, he figured, are only means to eventually find someone to change his diapers when he's old and bury him when he dies... and beg for his forgiveness when he's long gone.

We change. We evolve. We devolve.

He'd tear his chubby-cute pictures apart if he'd only find their location in the deep sewers of his mind. Nobody likes chubby-cute. Nobody fears chubby-cute.

Another wrinkle across the forehead marking something else he's learned. It's like that, life that is. No matter how close you are to your parents, how rich you are, how a good-listener you've been... If you're ever going to learn anything it'll be the hard way. It's not a matter of ethics and value and spirituality anymore. It's about who'll end up standing, sticking his flag, marking his territory, peeing all over his own self degenerate life.

That wrinkle said that.

He also has a wrinkle on the sides of his lips, disguised as dimples, posing as false beauty marks. They remind him of the times he's smiled before. They also remind him of his college years. Back when he got betrayed by his friends many, many times, turned down by a cute girl and seduced by her sister; acknowledged by an honest professor and failed by a jealous one who knew his uncle and didn’t want it to seem like he was doing his uncle any favors.

Social hypocrisy ain't really bliss, he's learned.

However… he doesn't care what he's learned. He'll have to learn more anyway. It'll never be enough; but he knows that when he dreams at night all wrinkles will fade away.

That much he's learned.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Only in Egypt


And so I was passing on Makram Ebeid Street the other day when I saw a car that was so messed up, I didn't even know it was a car until I got closer to it. It looked more like a decomposing tank from WW2.

A couple meters ahead, I couldn't help but notice a door chained to a light pole. If it was up to me, I'd label it the Eighth Wonder of the World. Yup… you won't see this anywhere else. Right here… in my beloved Egypt. Some dude saw me taking these pictures and kept staring at me until I left; probably thinking I'm a tourist. Well... my staring, nosy friend, a tourist wouldn't take these pictures, he'd probably freak out and run home.

My mother later explained to me that there's probably a place that sells doors right where that pole's located… One really must respect their low budget advertising technique, don't you think?

I would miss this if I ever left.

تحيا مصر


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