Democratic Republic of Zamalek
Old money, new money and young money of Cairo unite and join Mouwafak Chourbagui as he says no to ghetto, and emancipates Zamalek from the rest of Egypt. Warning: sense of humour necessary.
With the MB’s year in power being a catastrophe, and the imminent constitution an institutional con, I have officially entered depression and decided to mentally secede from Egypt and permanently remain in my beloved Zamalek. So please join me in proclaiming the independence of the sovereign Island of Zamalek from the Arab Republic of Egypt.
Our new flag will consist of three colours: blue (to commemorate the Nile we don't appreciate enough), white (for those nostalgic of the royal days) and purple (to celebrate the survival of nightlife and swagger). A burger bel ta7ina held by Nagiub Sawiris will be centred on the flag. Our official language will be a magical hybrid of Arabic, English and rural Filipino. French initially joined in on the polygamous linguistic fun but the language would be eventually banned after a member of the Zamalek Guardians remarked that ‘God’ means ‘dildo’ in French. The only French term currently allowed is “Louis Vuitton” after some intense lobbying from the Gucci Corner.
Our security forces is composed of 15 middle-aged men roaming the streets on Harley Davidsons with insecure virility. Checkpoints will be dotted around the island to block access to and from Imbaba and Bolaq, which have both been designated as dangerous ghetto zones by the elected government. However, the nation of Zamalek possess no army; not because Zamalek is peaceful, but rather because all the island boys will manage to get a wasta to avoid military service.
Our economy is stimulated by systematically opening countless burger joints and shisha cafés. However, after a few years of revelling in the empty charms of consumerism, Zamalek will find itself in crisis. Indeed, there is no more space to invade and no more sidewalks to rape. The island becomes one bloated food court and is mockingly dubbed by its neighbours as Mall-handessin. This being said, tourism in Zamalek will remain sound. A smart PR campaign will be devised to seduce both main target markets; the Westerners are lured in with promises of the Nile’s mystical beauty and the low value of the Egyptian pound, and the Khalijis are assured a five-star erotic safe heaven and the high value of the Egyptian to pound.
During its first decade, the island of Zamalek will enact laws that will see civil marriage, prostitution, euthanasia and soft drugs legalised and excessive honking, Red Bull and babies in cinemas banned. Philosophy will be taught in schools and diversity of thought will be cherished.
Zamalek will be a democracy but an imperfect one. There will be elections every five years but only people with membership to the Gezirah Club can partake. This will give the island’s poor workers (retail staff, restaurant servers, drivers etc…) a clear disadvantage. Some of them will become disgruntled and form the underground militia group, The TTM (Tok-Tok Mujaheddin). For a year, they will roam the streets at night, terrorising the residents by cutting their subscriptions to OSN, calling girls ugly on their way out of Mohamed Al Sagheer and eating food in public with their mouths open.
However, all changes on one fateful day when the lovely rhyming cripple who wheels around esharet Shagarat El Dor wins the lottery and buys the biggest and nicest house in the island. There, each night, he assembles all the invisible faces of Zamalek - the Nubian sofragis, the private chauffeurs, the clueless dof3as and the koshk owners - and they will enjoy and share food, wine and laughter until sunrise. Members of TTM dismantle the movement and move in to the mansion. They are now all hippies and have been hired by Sekam.
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