When someone says Egypt a lot of things come to mind.
For instance, Egypt is unstable.
They've had three regime changes in the past 5 years. There was Mubarak. And then, Morsi. And now some general named, Sisi -- which may not be the best moniker in a culture of homophobic religious zealots. If there's a new election, there will be another new head guy. They're like the San Diego Chargers of the Middle East.
When I think of Egypt, I also think of state-sanctioned misogyny. This is where the army literally rounded up women to conduct virginity checks. And it's where 60 Minutes reporter Lara Logan was sexually assaulted. Egypt is Sunni, which is marginally better than Shia (Iran), and they haven't gone full burka, yet. But they are sexually repressed.
And still, or perhaps why, batshit crazy.
Let's not forget that earlier this year, the Egyptians arrested a stork and accused the bird of being a spy for the very crafty Mossad, the Israeli intelligence department.
The point is, when you say Egypt you don't think of funny. Unless you know my buddy and stand up comic Tamar Kattan, who is extremely funny. He's also pretty smart. And rational. So he is definitely the exception to the rule.
But broad generalizations and preconceived notions are like Nordictrack fitness machines, they have no place in this world.
Years ago I came across this advertising campaign for Panda cheese. Like the pyramids, it was made in Egypt. For sheer brilliance, great acting and superb timing, the campaign too should be considered one of the Great Wonders of the World.
Here are 5 of the spots strung together:
"Mayd dela heshla."