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A Pakistani’s love letter to Egypt and its culture

Both Egypt and Pakistan share a close nation to nation bond as the two nations were founded as modern nation-states in an era of nationalism with a predominant Muslim population.

I have never been to Egypt but there is an irresistible urge in me to visit Egypt one day as Iam so much fascinated from the Egyptian culture, music and history.

Since I have never been able to visit Egypt so I have quenched my thirst for Egyptian culture through having ear orgasms from Egyptian music and through closely following Egyptian cinema and TV soaps.

Egyptian cinema is a flourishing industry, which has spawned an exceptional selection of features over the decades. From epic love stories and heart-wrenching social dramas to political panoramas, these films portray the rich culture that Egypt has to offer, and its influence on the international scene.

My favorite Egyptian movies are not the old ones but some recent blockbusters like “Hassan and Marcus” from 2008 which starred living legends of Arab and Egyptian Cinema, Adel Emam and Omar Sharif. The movie was a much anticipated summer blockbuster in Egypt in 2008.The movie revolved around the lives of a Muslim Sheikh (played by Omar Sharif) and a Coptic Christian priest (played by Adel Emam).The movie showcased the diverse cultural and religious makeup of Egyptian society. The movie addressed issues of religious extremism, intolerance and sectarian violence, and emphasized the possibility of friendship and love between members of different religions.


omar-sharif Adel Emam said that “I hope Christians and Muslims will leave the cinema and embrace one another.”Iam also a great fan of Egyptian movie “The Yacoubian building” which was based on the novel of same name by one of my favorite writers from Middle East Alaa Al Aswany.

The movie was a scathing portrayal of modern Egyptian society since the coup d’état of 1952. The setting was downtown Cairo, with the titular apartment building (which actually exists) serving as both a metaphor for contemporary Egypt and a unifying location in which most of the primary characters either live or work and in which much of the action takes place.


The movie enthralled and intrigued me especially the symbolic significance and cardinal role played by Cairo’s Art deco monument Yacoubian building. The once-chic, now rundown, building serves as a metaphor for Cairo’s own deterioration.

The movie along with a plethora of big names of Egyptian showbiz also starred Egyptian actress Yousra who is a glamorous icon for the youth of Middle East and more specifically Arab world and is also an influential voice in the region.

Apart from Cinematography, when it comes to music, there is no match for Egyptian music especially the melodies of Umm Kulthum from her mesmerizing Enta Omri to captivating Amal Hayati. She is also notably popular in Israel among Jews (of Mizrahi/Arab background) and Arabs alike, and her records continue to sell about a million copies a year.

Egyptian pop music also has no match especially when it comes to pop hits from Tamer Hosny, Amr Diab, Mohamad Hamaki, Angham and Lara Scandar.These Arab pop singers have their own unique and dignified place in Arab world and the Middle East.


Pop songs of Amr Diab are popular everywhere from nightclubs of Tunis and Cairo to the streets of Sana and Amman. Even Bollywood is also fond of mesmerizing songs Amr Diab has produced especially his Tamally Maak which was also copied by Indians for the song Kaho na Kaho from the movie “Murder”.


Though Indian version wasn’t able to match the mesmerizing vibes from the original one from Amr Diab.Then how can one forget the “Star of generation” Tamer Hosny who has been popular for his songs like the duet he had with Snoop Dogg named Si L Sayed.He also did a trio song named Arabian Night with international singers Pitbull and Akon.Whenever Iam free from my work and studies, I just have songs of Amr Diab and Tamer Hosny with a plate of Egyptian Koshari and such a lethal combination makes my day.


I have made Egyptian friends like Khalil from Cairo and Ahmed from Alexandria who have always helped me in quenching my thirst for Egyptian culture by sending me different movies, TV soaps and songs.


One of my favorite Egyptian sitcoms is El Kabeer Awy in which I was more than fascinated from different characters which were being played by the Egyptian comedian Ahmed Mekki from his character as mayor of Al Mazarita to the characters of children of mayor.

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