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Eid at the North Coast

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In Sahel’s Club M and Tabla Cairo seemed a world away

One of the beaches in Marina on Egypt's North Coast, Photo by Haddara

One of the beaches in Marina on Egypt’s North Coast, Photo by Haddara

By Mostafa Salem

If you were standing in the three hour car queue to get into Diplo, or actually upgraded from last year and managed to get into Hacienda (which might be harder to get into than heaven itself) then congratulations, you were finally in the club. Do not get ahead of yourself though, the club I am talking about is one that admires pretentiousness and hates the Muslim Brotherhood.

If you are the person I just described, do not worry, this article is not only directed at you but also directed at Sahel-goers who acted like they are tired of being in the scene and would rather go chill in a friends cabin by the lagoon in Hacienda. You, my friend, are still pretentious. However, it is not directed at all of you who tried to create a new trend of being different by not being in the scene. You guys require a separate article.

Pretentious is a big word though, but try to explain to me the fun in wasting many hours of your three day holiday trying to get to an overly crowded rather average beach, bearing in mind that you may not even get in. Nonetheless, Sahel in Eid had a variety of activities throughout the day and night that guaranteed sun, fun and complete relaxation.

If you did manage to wake up at 3pm, with the sun still up, and drove about 50km from the place you were staying in, got through the three hour car queue and fooled security to get in, (always fun), there were a still number of necessities in order to fit right in. For guys this year it was all about the haircut; shaved sides and you were good to go. Outfits were also specific; no Vilebrequin, these are so 2009 and they are too long, this year needed the tighter distinctly shorter trunks and the big hit were the brightly coloured, gym cut-off, loose, Jersey Shore-style shirts.

For the girls the dress code required focused on beach wear; if you were not wearing a Victoria Secret’s fringe bikini you should not have bothered leaving your 6th of October compound pool. It was a given that you carried an icebox, because where else would you keep your premium vodka. Tech-house and deep house are hot right now so it was imperative to bring your speakers, even if you had trouble hearing your music because of all the other speakers around but nobody cared, it was all about being seen and fitting in.

Part of enjoying a day on the beach for many was getting as drunk as possible during the morning and then venturing out in search of food. Deciding where to go to eat was as important as getting nightclub tickets. For those fully dedicated to their ostentatious persona and in possession of a strong stomach, there was only one choice: Andrea outside Hacienda. Attempting to forage there was not without peril; the owner does not easily allow everyone to enjoy his delicious grilled chicken. Those who did not fit the exact picture of being from the scene would be welcomed with a harsh word. The cost of relaxation true Sahel-style is always high.

The nightlife was much more politically profound and meaningful than the day. Those not going to Samakmak for a good cultural fix, with prostitutes dancing around you, were off to the other classier side. The new hot trend in clubs in Sahel was the Arabic bee’aa (low class) theme. The competition between different clubs this Eid entailed having bellydancers and performances by Egyptian artists such as Sama Al Masry and Oka and Ortega. Due to recent political events bellydancers shimmyed to Egyptian nationalistic songs, allowing club goers to share their rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood in unity. No one ever said anything about Sahel-ists not being politically articulate.

All jokes aside, the only possible explanation for the bizarre Eid in Sahel last week is that there is a certain class of Egyptians trying to distance themselves from any other class by going through a lot of trouble. This fixation pushed many vacationers into destroying their holiday; just to not be associated with other people they look down on. May we suggest you stop looking down and up, the pretentious will always find someone to look down on and chances are you will be next.

For those still trekking north this weekend: just enjoy your vacation. Sunday is a workday and university starts in two weeks. Find a nice beach with good company, listen to the music you want to listen to and stop thinking about what people you do not know think of you. It is your break, so enjoy it.

 

 

 


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