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April 23, 2005



How do you know that this song "puts Shaaban seriously out of step with Egyptian public opinion"??

the aardvark

That is exactly the point! Maybe I framed this clumsily: what I was trying to say is that Shaaban usually has an uncanny ear for Egyptian public opinion, and this video clip is very much at odds with what *we think* Egyptian public opinion is. So one of two possibilities: either Shaaban has gotten things badly wrong for some reason; or Shaaban senses something important that outside observers haven't. I have no idea which is true, but I want to!

the aardvark

Wow, going back and re-reading the post I see that it wasn't just clumsy, it was totally mis-framed. It wasn't supposed to be "why is Shaaban so wrong", which is how the post as written came out. It was supposed to be "wow, Shaaban's video sure seems surprising - what should we be making of it?" My bad. Hopefully the update in the main post above will clarify things.


He is in fact resembling the public opinion again I believe, just not mine or other bloggers' or Egyptian analysts' & demonstrators' (which are the minority if you've noticed). The signs in the streets endorsing Mubarak --signs put by shop owners and the like-- are already going up. Why would such people hang such endorsement signs? 1) because they're forced, 2) because they're used to that and rather have what's known today than what's unknown tomorrow, 3) they're a bunch of selfish materialist utilitarians trying to make any benefit out of this. I tend to think its 3).


Somehow I'm not that surprised... remember that in "bakra israel" he sang: "I love Hosni Mubarak because of his big mind / whatever he does, he does it conscience". Okay, that was in a completely different context,... but still...

Nur al Cubicle

Wow. Ewan MacColl never did that to us! But duuude, check out the harlequin shuuuuz!


Oh and Abu Aardvark, you might be interested in this if you haven't read about it already: Star Academy Winner Told to Leave Riyadh

Its amazing how much these pop stars can threaten Arab regimes.


He kinda looks like one of the older Jackson brothers.


Praktike: That...Or like a disco reject.

A visit from 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy' would not be a bad idea.:-P


exactly chana'd...


Thanks Nur for the note about the shoes. I'm not as visually or sartorially acute, and was too stunned by the wig (it is a wig, isn't it?) and the red jacket to even notice the shoes.

Gazma glory!

Now that I'm looking closer, I see the belt matches the shoes...Unbelievable. He does look like he's ready for the big time in Nashville.


Regardless of how shabi any singer is or pretends to be, they oddly always know what and where political power is. Yet, this is not a problem exceptional to the Arab world - it happens in "democratic" America as well.

Remember the Dixie Chicks after the Bush comment in London? That led to Brittany Spears chewing a wad of bubble gum talking about utterly trusting the president because he knows what he is doing (as seen on Fahrenheit 9/11).

Also, let us not forget - Shabaan Abd al-Rahim also is the same guy who did the commercial for McDonald's 'McFalafel' after intifadat al-Aqsa started and popular committees for solidarity for the Palestinians in Egypt were calling for boycotts against anything American. This guy knows or thinks he knows which side of the line to toe.

Entertainment, after all, is all about getting paid....

Anna in Cairo

Regarding the possible reasons for Egyptians to prefer Mubarak to the unknown, I think it is more like mr. Mohamed's Reason #2 (the devil you know).

You also need to realize that many Egyptians are really politically naive, particularly older people who aren't that educated. They tend to put more faith in the government than the younger ones who have had more schooling. Shaaban tends to speak for the undereducated working class and many of them are what you would call pro-regime but really I just see it as political naivete and being too concerned with making ends meet to really worry about politcs much.

Shaaban's clothing reminds me of Liberace. Only even less taste. But it is part of his schtick.

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