A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

Archive for the ‘Egypt’ Category

dream jobs, part I: “Good representation and looking”

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on April 17, 2009

Yesterday I received an email that I initially mistook for spam. Upon reading it a second time, I changed my mind. I think that it is a genuine job email – just a terribly written one. No wonder the company wants someone with “Good English writing and speaking!”

If you consider your self to have good looks, a good command of English, a good amount of Minimum experience, and charity in your heart, this job may be for you:

A printed and online Magazine is looking for Media Specialized Sales Representatives in Sharm El Sheikh Qualifications needed:

* Good representation and looking
* Good English writing and speaking
* Computer Skills
* Six month of Minimum experience in that field

If you see your self fitting those Qualifications Please send your CV with recent photo to the following mail redseajobs@yahoo.com

Note: any CV without recent photo will not be considered

Qualified person will be entitled to good salary, accommodation and commission


Posted in advertising, Arab world, Egypt, internet, media | Leave a Comment »

Halloween, Egyptian-style

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on November 1, 2008

Last night we met our friends K & J for dinner in the city. We thought about doing various Halloween’y things – making sugar skull crafts at the Day of the Dead Celebration at St. Mark’s Church, attending the concert at the New Museum – but in the end, we settled for a low-key, its-been-a-long-week get together.

Except, of course, that it was a low-key get-together in Greenwich Village, which is also the home of the city’s Halloween parade. So our dinner locale, which also had a sizable bar, became a revolving door spectacle of costumed celebrants dressed as everything from Frieda Kahlo to a mouse and cat pair.

After dinner, H suggested going for a drink, so we could enjoy a little more people-watching. The nearest bar with not-too-loud music and ample seating (not only were we not hip enough to be in costume, but we compounded our un-hipness by wanting quiet and rest) turned out to be an Egyptian hookah bar. The bouncer was thrilled by H’s Arabic, and H in turn was thrilled by the music, which ranged from hip-hop to merengue.

But the musical highlight of the evening came when the DJ played the Village People’s “YMCA”. This song is a huge, huge hit all around the Levant – not least, I imagine, because the people who love it there are blissfully aware of the gay-pride reputation of the Village People. (At least, I’ve never known anyone there to wonder about a song that suggests that a “young man” look for a place where he can “hang out with all the boys” :).)

Anyway. The song is a perennial dance club favorite, along with “Its Raining Men” and the dance remix of “I Will Survive”. But many people in Lebanon and Syria dance to “YMCA” no differently than they do to any other song.

In other words, they miss out on this:

(Image courtesy of the Fairview Lakes YMCA)

American-raised or-educated Lebanese are more likely to do the arm gestures, so its less strange to do them in Beirut. But I have memories of a moment of acute embarrassment from a night out in Damascus several years ago, when my British-raised friend S and I were the only ones YMCA’ing.

No one else in the club thought our gestures were hip – or even cute in a goofy-foreigner way. What are you doing? one friend hissed at me. Are you okay? asked another.

Okay, yes. But deeply mortified. So it was nice to see “YMCA” being celebrated with traditional no-holds-barred gesturing last night 🙂 .

Posted in Americans, Arab world, Beirut, Damascus, Egypt, friends, holidays, Iowa, Lebanon, nightlife | 1 Comment »

drinking milk in Egyptian

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on May 22, 2007

Like most people here, I spent much of the day working in a state of semi-distraction, devoting the rest of my energy to checking up on – and discussing – the news and the rumors circulating throughout the country.

In between discussing whether warnings like:

فتح الاسلام تعلن عن وجود 300 متفجرة في شوارع بيروت و عن نيتها بتفجيرها خلال ساعتين

اذا لم ينسحب الجيش من حدود مخيم نهر البارد

فتح الاسلام ترمي مناشير تطلب فيها من سكان بيروت بمغادرة المدينة و تتوعّد الّلبنانيّين بمزيد من التفجيرات

were valid, and laughing over sms alert advertisements that solicited customers by asking:

“What more could happen in Lebanon?”

I found time to return to an earlier topic: dairy issues.

On my way to work, I stopped at the grocer’s to pick up milk for my tea. The store was out of Silhouette, my usual brand, but the clerk offered me another instead: the rather imperative-ly named Enjoy.

I noticed that the milk was Egyptian, but thought nothing more of it until I went to make my first cup of tea.

The English side of the  milk box was ‘normal’: Enjoy was spelled e-n-j-o-y.

The Arabic side, however, was not.

Arabic has a perfectly good letter – the jeem – that corresponds to the English “j”.  Were “Enjoy” to be transliterated in standard Arabic, the letters should read:

 أ ن ج و ي

Instead, however, the Arabic side read:

 أ ن چ و ی

In other words, “Enjoy” was written in Egyptian. In Egyptian Arabic, the “jeem” is pronounced as “geem”. Hence to indicate the hard “j” sound, the graphic designers put three dots below the “jeem”, instead of the usual one.

(The missing dots on the final “yaa” are a stylistic choice – often used in Egyptian printed works, but also found elsewhere in the Arabic speaking world. Its the jeem/geem that makes the spelling truly Egyptian!)


Posted in advertising, Americans, Arab world, Arabic, art, Egypt, food, neighbors, words | 7 Comments »