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How (Not) to Shoot a Porno

The Georgian tourists who were arrested for being suspected porn stars have nothing on Timmy Mowafi...

A couple of weeks ago, 12 Georgian tourists were arrested near the island of Gaftoun, of the coast of Hurghada. for apparently producing porn videos. Turns out they were just sort of having a holiday and on the beach without maillot shar3i. Disgusting!

I know exactly how they feel, not because I live next to Russia and have a lot of different types of cheese, but because of a certain incident that happened to me a few years ago. Had it happened during Morsi’s time, the headline could have easily read: “Blasphemous British Spy and Syrian Refugee Found Shooting Adam & Eve Themed Porn In Maadi Garden!”

The guilty parties were myself, a very talented photographer and a voluptuous Syrian model. I was donned with the task for conceptualising the campaign shoot for WeWOOD Watches in Egypt, which are, as the name suggests watches made from wood. The idea was simple: get a beautiful girl, cover her in wood-themed things, have her wear the watch, and take a few snappy snaps before sunset. This being Egypt, it didn’t go quite as planned; you can’t just do things here. You usually have to go through some sort of dusty obstacle course, jumping over your beliefs, side-stepping your integrity, swimming through ancient, nonsensical bureaucracy, hop-skip-and -jumping through your patience and bribing the man at the finish line, and then and only then,can you actually get something done in this country. Of course, that’s all only after you get out of traffic. We barely passed the traffic stage after two days of trying to get to Maadi for the shoot before sunset. It was a small, public garden surrounded by old apartment blocks. I say garden but it was mainly solid mud with patches of grass and a few trees but the photographer insisted he’d worked there before and it would be perfect for the shoot. I say public but the sepia toned leaves that blanketed the floor looked like the foliage equivalent of Methuselah: clearly there weren’t quaint family picnics here happening on a Friday morning. At best, a sexually repressed, middle aged man being jacked off by his veiled fiancé on a Monday night was the most public action it’d seen for a while.

On the third day of trying, we finally got there just before the sun started to go down which made for perfect lighting and we went to work quickly in setting up the scene. The model in question slipped on the tightest, shortest, skin-toned  dress you could imagine and we wrapped her up with tied twigs and leaves, giving the illusion of a sultry and somewhat naked woodland fairy. The photographer went to work taking some beautiful shots of the model, whilst I jumped about the trees, topless with a big branch tied to my back like a forest nymph, partly to lighten the mood and partly because of my narcissistic tendencies in wanting to model in my own shoot. 

Everything was going quite swimmingly until a low rank police man crept his way behind the bushes in the distance. I imagine he’d probably been waiting for the next PDA show. He was amphibious in nature and stared intensely at the model, like a prepubescent boy discovering Fashion TV for the first time. It wasn’t the kind of wood we were looking to have in the mise en scene.

The photographer and I approached him. I bellowed what I usually do in aggressive situations “FE EHHHHH!” but with an English accent and being half nude, it probably sounded like I was drunkenly asking myself. The photographer approached him composed, and clearly used to pervert frog policeman, asked him nicely what he was doing there and what he wanted.

Malaksh da3wa!” he retorted revoltingly.

After a few more aggressive “FE EHHHs” he retreated back and we hurriedly continued to get a few more shots in before the sun set and the stars came out. And come out they did. Unfortunately, not the burning, wondrous symbols of light and dreams, but the plastic type, resting on the sweaty breasticles of six Maadi zaabets, who were suddenly closing in on the public garden, including the frog pervert looking far too satisfied. My “FE EHHHH” attack would only work against a miserly one star rank policeman; we were pretty fucked. They swarmed around us antagonistically, and the photographer stalled them as I had the model dress up quickly and rush to the car. The leader of the policeman snatched the photographer’s ridiculously expensive camera. I assume he was the leader as he was the fattest, with gallant kirsh gained from a life of munching on bribe-bought KFC buckets in the corner of their station, as the rest ate from a trough of fool. Another two grabbed us and started walking us out of the garden as we frantically tried to understand what the hell was going on.

“Fe nas fel sho2a2 de eshtaket en ento betswaro aflam sex.”

Illustration by Bouklao Illustrations

He spoke triumphantly into his walkie talkie, telling the other end that he had caught the porn stars, that there was a whole scene set up with lighting and a director and there were people having sex and that he was taking them back to the 2esm.

I always wondered how I’d end up going to jail for the first time, and I can honestly say I’d never thought it would be as a porn star. They took us to their marked truck outside the nearest police station and hassled us for details. I gave them  a feverish soliloquy on them all being useless, telling them that there are people being killed, houses being robbed, accidents on the street… People are dying! Why are they wasting their time with us? The reply was an eloquent shakhra. They told us that they’re waiting for the head zaabet of the Maadi area to come decide what to do with us. Yes ,the whole police force of Maadi was busy shutting three kids down for shooting a watch ad whilst actual cold blooded criminals ran free.

We tried to get them to look at the pictures, to show them that it was just an ad and the shots were only of her face. They refused. I didn’t know what to do; I thought about calling my parents then, quickly, thought again. “Yeah, hey Mum. Listen, I’m at the police station because they think I was shooting porn in public. I swear I wasn’t, I swear, no Mum, can you come pick me up?” It couldn’t have got much worse but then the photographer called his friend, who happens to have strong political connections. A friend who also happened to also be seeing my ex at the time. Just what I fucking needed. Yes, new boyfriend of my ex, please bail me out of trouble…

After an hour or two of waiting and contemplating what jail food might be like, thinking that I could possibly bribe the lead policeman for some of his KFC, the head zaabet finally arrived. He had a refined posture about him and spoke English. He was pleasant and kind, and shook our hands with respect, listening to the fabricated story from the other police officers, nonchalantly. He saw the first two pictures taken on the camera, handed it back to the photographer, rolled his eyes, gave the other officer an afa and told them all to fuck off back to the car, apologised to us and left, leaving me half-naked and sullen in the middle of a barren Maadi street.

 


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