Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Gamal Show


The Gamal Show aired online tonight, and I watched it live with loads of people on Twitter. Was fun.

The Gamal Show is Gamal Mubarak’s attempt to convince us that he’s Barack Obama. He appears in a studio with a load of hand-picked young people in a “dialogue”, on this occasion moderated by Lamis El-Hadidy, a television presenter married to Amr Adeeb, brother of Emad Adeeb, head of the executive board of newspaper Nahdet Misr, which recently published a story in which it stated that all Egyptian Bedouins (except direct descendents of the Prophet Mohamed) are criminals.

Lamis wore an odd waistcoat affair that looked like the back was made out of a flak jacket. Gamal didn’t wear a flak jacket because he is protected from flak, because his audience was handpicked and as far as I know he doesn’t meet real people outside studios and controlled public appearances and dinner time with Khadiga.

During tonight’s Gamal Show Gamal was joined by trade minister Rashid Mohamed Rashid, so that he didn’t have to talk as much as on other shows.

Gamal’s hairline and Rashid’s face for some reason remind me of Tunisian president Zeineddin Bin Ali, who in a twist of fate is busily writing himself into another five years of history tonight.

(Aside: Rashid’s Wikipedia page tells us that he went to Stanford, Harvard and MIT, and only acquired Diplomas from each establishment).

The point of the Gamal Show tonight was to impress upon us the importance of a free market economy and the wondrous good being worked by the private sector and private companies who are selflessly and beneficently shouldering the task of providing all the services that Egypt’s failed state can’t, like vocational job training and practical skills.

Gamal, who - God help us - manages to combine looking scary with a complete lack of charisma stressed the importance of reforming the Egyptian education system and, predictably, suggested that this should be done by making teaching a vocation rather than merely a government position.

In government terms this translates into making pay rises for teachers conditional on their passing tests which mostly examine very little to do with what they teach.

As expected, there were several comedy moments during tonight’s Gamal Show:

1. Almost all the young men had been given identical striped ties of the type favoured by Republicans, making them look like a giant Mormon boy band.

2. The questions were farcical, and determinedly and deliberately skirted round ills of Egyptian society using one of the following methods:

Model A

Audience member: I am a victim of [insert minor ill of society, such as unemployment]

Rashid Ben Ali/Lamis El Flak Jacket: Are you still a student?

Audient member: Yes

Rashid Ben Al/Lamis El Flak Jacket: You lack experience and your contribution must therefore be ignored.

Model B

Audience member: I am a victim of [insert minor ill of society, such as unemployment]

Rashid Ben Ali/Gamal: You must immediately open your own business. This will solve everything.

Model C

Audience member: There are no minor ills of society, such as unemployment and people who say so are lazy liars.

Lamis El-Flak Jacket: Bravo. Next question.

3. A contribution from Wahid Ramadan Mohamed, manager of a Macaroni factory. A carbohydrate Willy Wonka.
4. Gamal’s observation that “Egyptians as a general rule don’t like to move from the place they’re born in” – such as the presidency of Egypt perhaps?
5. This series of exchanges:

Exchange 1

Audience member: There is no wosta [use of high-up connections to obtain benefits one wouldn’t otherwise get such as a job, or special treatment] in Egypt.

Lamis El-Flak Jacket: Bravo, that’s right. Next question.

Immediately afterwards.

Exchange 2

Audience member: I wanted to open my business but was unable to get the necessary licence.

Lamis El Flak-Jacket: What? Really? We’ll call the governor for you immediately and sort it out.

Gamal making change

6. Lamis El-Flak Jacket towards the end of the programme telling audience members to get to the point with their questions cos time was running out and apologizing for being ‘dictatorial’ quote unquote. At least she apologises for it, unlike the father of a certain 40-something year old former banker who wasn’t a million miles away from her.

I was surprised to discover that Gamal really does seem to believe all the nonsense he spouts about foreign investment and a strong private sector and a pulling back of the state being the answer to Egypt’s problems, despite much of the evidence pointing to the contrary.

I was unsurprised to discover that he did not have the decency to make any reference to the tens of people who died yesterday night when a train went into the back of another train. But then it only involved Egypt’s poorest, the people who are hopelessly shut out of Gamal’s grand plans for the expansion of the private sector and whittling down of state services, and who are ploughed down daily again and again and again by his government’s merciless schemes.

*Screenshots by Moftases

10 comments:

marooned84 said...

surprisingly I didn't hear of this show, and glad I didn't! You know, one might have a straw of respect to a dictator who knows that he is a dictator and tries not to say otherwise. But a dictator (or in this case a dictator-prince) who thinks all the problem lies in his needing media furnishing? He deserves pity more than anything else!

Gee said...

Following the show on your blog turned out to be much funnier.
I can't believe how far is Gamal from anything around him. These shows are not helping him much, they show how incapable he is with dealing with average Egyptian problems and the sad thing is that he's stubborn enough to go on with his own plans regardless of how disastrous and unpopular they could be.

mido said...

love your snide quips! hope being clever is working out for you.

without jimmy and his father's, regime la la land thespians/quixotic journalists would be asked to exit stage left with a oneway ticket back to your home shire!

keep poking fun at jimmy, but when you wake up one day and "the boys with the solution" order you to drop your camera/notepad, sport a sheet over your head and stay at home. you won't find it very amusing or the least bit funny!

Scarr said...

Mido I have no idea what you mean by home shire.

mido said...

wikibedia

"In Britain, "shire" is the original term for what is usually known as a county; the word county having been introduced at the Norman Conquest."

you missed your calling, you would give any hollywood screenplay writer a run for his money. yet you choose to pick on the only man that actually has a solution and an actionable plan.

call me a fear monger but jimmy is your hero/protagonist in this 'night of the living beards' horror show!!

marooned84 said...

hehe this is so typical! "Gamal is good because you'd better be afraid of El Ekhwan"
So according to the Party we're stuck with two choices: Being robbed by a dictator's sun or living in an Islamic country. This is getting amusing!

Scarr said...

Mido I'm still confused about what you mean by home shire.

Are you suggesting that in your doomsday scenario of when the MB take power I'll be kicked out of Egypt?
Hate to disappoint you but I don't think even Egypt kicks Egyptians out of Egypt (yet).

mido said...

'I don't think even Egypt kicks Egyptians out of Egypt (yet).'

try convincing these guys:

http://jewishrefugees.blogspot.com/2008/07/lets-hear-it-for-israels-model-egyptian.html

enjoy your day!

Ein said...

keep poking fun at jimmy, but when you wake up one day and "the boys with the solution" order you to drop your camera/notepad, sport a sheet over your head and stay at home. you won't find it very amusing or the least bit funny!

Well, the current government's already telling people to drop their cameras/notepads (and you only have to scroll down about two entries in this blog to see what I mean), and it's actively fostering a society that's putting awful pressure on all young women to cover their heads and stay home, so I don't see that we have much to lose.

I have to say, "this spineless, uncharismatic dictator is better than another type of dictator" is not much of an argument.

yet you choose to pick on the only man that actually has a solution and an actionable plan.

An actionable plan that sucks, yes.

call me a fear monger but jimmy is your hero/protagonist in this 'night of the living beards' horror show!!

A hero, yeah. He'll save us with his awesome bullshitting powers. Aaah! The Islamists are taking over! Ten-dollar words to the rescue!

subarhennedy said...

hey S don't these 2 look alike? but one works more than the other...


http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss356/tareknyc08/oompaezz.jpg