The latest local YouTube sensation 'El Kora Fann we Seyasa' is a refreshing take on football programming. We catch up with the cheeky presenters, Mostafa Fahmy and Amr Moussa to find out where it all began...
I would rather stream a match with awful pixilated quality which stops every second than watch football on Egyptian TV. It’s six to seven hours of old men with toupees talking absolute bullshit; Messi is not Muslim and Michael Carrick is not the best player of all time. Tired of this mess, I was relieved to find out about latest YouTube sensation, El Kora Fann we Seyasa, founded by two AUC graduates Amr Moussa and Mostafa Fahmy, both just 23 years old. Their witty and sharp four to five minute shows about Egyptian and international football are divided into three parts: recent news, the funniest football clips from the week, and score predications as they look at upcoming matches. Since their first episode, which aired in early April, their Facebook fanpage has grown to over 75,000 likes, and they’ve been asked to appear on Rotana TV to talk about their unique venture. We ask the cheeky chaps about how they got started, the state of Egyptian football, and the future of El Kora Fann we Seyasa…
What made you decide to start El Kora Fann we Seyasa?
Amr: Ever since joining my cousin’s media production company, ZaytZaytoon Media, I’ve been trying to find a way to start working on something that I’m extremely passionate about, which is football. Coincidently, we were starting this new project of creating a YouTube channel that features a variety of new shows of different genres, one of them being football. Knowing that I’m joker that enjoys messing around all the time, my cousins were keen to start a football show with myself as the host. I rejected the idea at the beginning but they convinced me that it’s only YouTube and if I didn’t like it, then they simply won’t publish it. I wasn’t convinced with hosting the program by myself so I decided to ask [Mostafa] Fahmy if he would like to give it a try, and we did!
Was it spur of the moment, grab a camera and let's start filming kind of thing, or did you plan it all in advance?
Mostafa: Our very first episode was a spontaneous one. We weren't prepared and just started filming. It was funny but the content wasn’t very informative. So we decided not to broadcast it and we went back and invested more time in structuring and organising the show. It was extremely important to kick-start the show powerfully creating a branded show that attracts our audience.
How much work and research goes into each show? Do you edit it yourselves?
Amr: Well, we have to stay updated with all the important football matches that are going on all around the world, as well as a special coverage for Egyptian football, which has huge fan base in our country. Then, of course, we have to look for the significant material online that might be funny enough to mention on our show. We have an editor from our media production company that does the editing for the show.
Did you expect the show to be such a huge success?
Amr: We certainly see great potential and definitely have the passion for football that can drive the show to great heights.
How does your show differ to football shows that are on Egyptian TV these days?
Mostafa: For starters, we actually talk about… football! Plus, we can pronounce the players’ names.
Are there any other new features or sections you're working on for upcoming episodes?
Amr: We always want to keep our fans interested with something fresh every now and then, like in episode four when we decided to cover the Champions League semi final from Spain, and that was a huge success. But yes, there are definitely more surprises yet to come in the future.
What's the funniest or your favourite clip you've aired…Mostafa: The Real Madrid vs Ahly scene from Episode Four, Part One is a fan favourite, the old ladies from Barca in Episode Four Part Two, the E G Y P T intro in Episode Three, and finally, the Ibra kiss in Episode Three.
Where do you see the show going in the future? A show on TV perhaps? Live commentary? A feature film about the two of you starting a football show? A documentary about the two of you making a feature film about starting a football TV show?
Amr: Definitely a documentary about how the two of us started a football TV show that helped achieve world peace!
We love the animation at the beginning of each episode. Who's the illustrator?
Amr: We sent it to a company that specialises in creating animation called Folk. The illustrator is Islam Ahmed.
My coach used to hit me, and make us train midday in the summer whilst fasting. How do you see Egyptian football improving in the future, and how do you see the state of the Egyptian league now?
Mostafa: Yes, “lazem testargel!!!”. Look, European football is ahead in everything: the organisation, the game itself, the media coverage, you name it. Nonetheless, I still watch every single game for Zamalek. It is more about loyalty and childhood memories. Same with Egyptian Chipsy, you hate it and there are many substitutes, yet you still eat it.
Who do you both support and who are your favourite players?
Mostafa: I am still loyal to the older generation. The likes of Beckham, Giggs, Ronaldinho and Raul. They made me love football, I owe it to them. Ibra and Van Persie also show remarkable skills.
Amr: I’ve been a passionate Ahly/Real Madrid supporter all my life. I never miss a game for both teams and used to attend a lot of Ahly’s matches in the stadium before they banned supporters. My favorite players would probably be Zidane, Ronaldo (Brazilian), Raul, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldinho and Figo from the older generation. From the current players I would have to say Cristiano Ronaldo, Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Iniesta and Abo Treika.
Is there any bias in your commentary during the shows?
Amr: Well, we try to keep it neutral unless it has to do with Ahly and Zamalek, where each of us supports his own team and we have this fun rivalry going on. I also let people know that I’m a Madridista with my Madrid episode obviously!
What are your predictions for Champions League final? Keep in mind that whoever gets it right will win a lifetime supply of ma7shy kromb from our office chef...
Mostafa: Without a doubt, Bayern! If you can beat Barca 7-0, you can beat any team in the world!
Amr: Even though I’ll be supporting Dortmund, I’m going for a 2-1 to Bayern and I’ll be coming knocking on your door on the 26th of May for that ma7shy kromb my friend!