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Posts by Shalaby

The Lunchbox film review: Sweet aroma

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I had heard about The Lunchbox – it came highly recommended by the one and only Mayouie – and how it’s based in vibrant Mumbai, how it revolves around the dear Indian cuisine that plays on smell and taste as carriers of emotions, and how it boasts trains transporting dabbawallas and lunchboxes. That was enough to get me hooked before getting started.
Sure enough, …

Sayed wants his money

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Sayed’s 39. He never really had big plans for turning 40, but then again, there were very few surprises in how his life developed. His wife Mona works in the nearby public school teaching math, and more importantly, invests her exclusive love (and cooking skills) in the young boy and girl who mean the world to both Sayed and herself.
To get to the rice factory …

Leave it to the future

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Highly entertaining is the first reaction if asked to describe the bizarre unfolding of recent events in Egypt. Deeply sad and exhausting is how you would feel when you’ve had time to let the developments sink in. Absolutely optimistic is how you should be concluding the thought process.
The large showing on July 26th in response to Sisi’s call for a mandate to crackdown on ‘terrorism’ …

Beyond past time


And we’re back! After two months without this “column”, we’re ready to move the clock forward.
It’s fascinating how time works; it’s an almost paradoxical concept, an invention of something that doesn’t exist, but at the same time is inevitable. Would you be able to explain to someone what time is, or how it works? I know too much time has passed and that I’m late …

Marxism at work


A few weeks ago, I locked in the guys at ThePlanet to give them a presentation titled What the fuck is Marxism ya Shalaby?
It dragged for three hours with lots of interruptions provoking discussions, but I managed to put together a summary keeping it at 50 minutes:

One of the concepts that I failed in explaining to the guys at the presentation was that of exploitation. …

At home in the air?


Ya welad el balad!
I’m currently in mid-air on my flight back to beloved CaiCai from London, courtesy of SCAF-owned EgyptAir, as I’m writing this overdue post.
It’s interesting to delve into the concept of connectivity. Obviously, we live in a world that’s more and more interconnected (advantageously feeding into the theory of the workers’ permanent struggle – but that’s for another time), and it seems like …

The myth of political apathy


I won’t deny that political affiliation is the first ice-breaker I can think of when speaking with a complete stranger, and harsh judgements immediately follow. It’s not the best quality to boast, I’ll recognize that. But I think it stems from the conviction that, you can pretend like you couldn’t care less, but the fact of the matter is, whether you like it or not, …

Sex in Egyptian Society


The information super highway gifts us with some beautiful, engaging content, as it does, in the form of a 15-minute YouTube video. “Libido” is a skit that openly talks about closed doors, and questions what’s been granted unanswered.

Regardless of the values and norms, sex is a crucial topic that should at least be talked about, debated, and – God forbid – practiced. In Egypt, we’ve …

When the state recognizes classes

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When leading Revolutionary Socialist activist Haytham Mohamadein was detained, we thought it might be a while before he’s out. And the situation only worsened when lawyer Ramy Ghanem leaked the absurd charges directed towards Haytham. Thankfully, he was released without bail, and business is back to normal – or so it seems.
There’s much to comment about with this incident, but I …

Port Said, and beyond

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Fellow revolutionary planeteers,
Egypt can seem like a centralized country, with all the focus on Cairo. This could be partly due to the attitude of us Cairenes. I mean, we have to admit, residents of the City Victorious can get rather arrogant, and very few question that. Even within the capital, many of us fell strongly about our side of town as oppose to other areas. …