An insightful commentary on everyday life with a touch of humor
Shaklaha Bazet (Looks Like it s Falling Apart)By Omar TaherAtlas Publishing
A friend hands me a book and tells me, “I have a surprise for you, read this. At first I thought that he might have handed me one of the epics novels that we keep hearing about these days; the bestsellers and the books that become blockbuster movies. What I discovered was something else entirely.
“Shaklaha Bazet (Looks Like it s Falling Apart) is Omar Taher’s depiction of everyday Egyptian life. He presents a humorous, often sarcastic, look at the words we use, our habits, as well as the incidents that have taken place over the last few decades years that have influenced. The outcome is a satirical portrait of society: the top 100 lies Egyptian men tell women; how to recognize an arranged marriage versus a love match; the reactions of single men and the way they live their lives; and even the ministries we would love to see in Egypt. These are just a few of the topics covered in this 200 page “album of satire – as the writer refers to it.
As I began to read the first few pages, I found myself thinking, “I remember this, and “Wait, this is so true. We do this in Egypt, accompanied by the occasional light laughter and more frequent smiles. Even after a long day at work, I found myself sifting through the pages, unable to put the book down. I went through one hundred pages in the first session (I’m not very adept at reading Arabic, so that should tell you something).
I found endless amusement in the author s insights on the familiar phrases and occurrences of everyday life. How do men ordinarily treat their fiancées? How can you tell that you’re walking down an Egyptian street? The author describes a common national trait that we ve all encountered: an insistence on demonstrating our understanding of everything, regardless of our lack of knowledge. Taher explains how we have come to identify a new form and color to identify and describe “Egyptian dust . He tackles the questions that single men are repeatedly asked about why they haven’t taken the plunge and gotten married yet.
Taher confronts people with irrefutable evidence that life in Egypt has its imperfections. But it’s a realization that puts a smile on our face that allows us to endure the painful reality. The book allows us to laugh at the issues we all dare not utter, but all want to talk about.
A light read guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face. Anyone, especially those born between 1970 and 1990, will read this book and smile at every other line, remembering how the incidents and descriptions relate to something that had occurred in their lives. Whether it’s the explanation of how Egyptian road rules work, or how national newspapers portray “real life , this book puts a humorous spin on nostalgic memories.
All in all, I believe that this book is a must read. Once you pick it up, you won’t want to put it down until you’re cracking up on the floor and thinking, “Shaklaha Baz-zet ya gama3a (It looks like it’s falling apart, guys).