« | Home | »

Reagan in Cairo

Tags: |

The other night I went out with a group of people to a private dinner club hidden away at the top of a residential building in Garden City, a middle-class area of Cairo where many foreign embassies are (with, not surprisingly, a very heavy security detail). A Sudanese waiter welcomed us into the vast, sumptuously appointed flat. It used to belong to Hoda Shaarawi, an Egyptian feminist leader, born in 1879, who wrote poetry in Arabic and French, and was the first Egyptian woman to remove her veil in public, in 1923.

An oud player was performing in one room, while corny pop tunes – ‘Feelings’, ‘Blue Moon’ – blared from the stereo in another. We sat down, and were greeted by another Sudanese waiter. Was every waiter at the club Sudanese? ‘They are Darfuris,’ my host said, a homage, he explained, to old world colonial aesthetics (and hierarchy). Our waiter wore a name tag: R. Reagan. And indeed the name of this man, born in Sudan in 1983, was Ronald Reagan.

Comment on this post

Log in or register to post a comment.

  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • Joshua K on We Need to Talk about Donald: Given Trump's not going to be president, I'd say we need to talk about Hillary. The revelation of her two-faced private agenda has been completely bur...
    • streetsj on The Horrors of Heathrow: I remember reading the Gilmour piece when it came out. There seem to have been so many opportunities in the past 70 years to resite London's main airp...
    • Graucho on Gaitskell and Europe: One of the few occasions when Le Grand Charles did us a favour. Shame he wasn't around when Edward Heath rolled over on his back and waved his legs in...
    • Alan Benfield on Gaitskell and Europe: I can see no reason why anybody would accuse Hugh Gaitskell of being a "fascistic, xenophobic and racist Little Englander": the issues he was concerne...
    • Sock on Gaitskell and Europe: Fascinating. Might have been instructive for this kind of information to have been aired prior to the referendum, and perhaps even more so now. Shallo...

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

Advertisement Advertisement