Category Archives: Reviews



If there’s one thing that’ll awaken TBE from the non-alcoholic champagne and caviar haze in which we currently live, it’s poorly argued journalism about Mohamed ElBaradei. Reading the recent commentary on ElBaradei in Newsweek, we kept having to check the URL, to make sure we weren’t reading the aggressively illogical and agrammatical musings of a certain “journalist” whose comments, despite being free, often leave one demanding a refund.

Since we’re shorter on time than we used to be, we’ve simply reprinted the article with some parenthetical annotation. Following the article are a few more thoughts, and an invitation to the article’s author to clarify a few points.

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Filed under Journalism, Politics, Reviews

Broken Avatar Embraces: More Films Worth Blogging About

Whilst in the homeland TBE had the opportunity to see two movies: All About My Avatar (Todo Sobre Mi Avatar) and Titanic Broken Embraces. They were both good and bad in their own ways.

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Filed under Movies, Politics, Reviews

TBE: A Journal of Ideas

We designed this commemorative tshirt for the blogger on your holiday shopping list. It reads "Another Post About Democracy in Egypt" in Gringlish, and is sure to be a hit at any Tweetup or blogging conference. Contact TBE for details on how to buy.

Shadi Hamid wrote an article in the most recent issue of “Democracy: A Journal of Ideas” offering a damning assessment, if not quite a scathing indictment, of US aid to Egypt under Obama and more generally. The article contains lots of good points, including similar points about local elections to the ones we made the other day. It also contains many points about which reasonable people may disagree. Being reasonable people, we decided to disagree with many of Hamid’s points.

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Filed under Downtown, Politics, Reviews

Muhammad Abduh and the AKP in Dialogue at Wolf Hall: Book Reviews

Muhammad Abduh

A couple weeks ago TBE added a Reading Material tab to our masthead, but additions to it don’t show up in Google Reader and maybe other RSS readers, and the tab’s contents have the potential to become quite unruly, so we’ve decided to publish occasional book reviews on the main page as well as adding them to the reading material section. In this edition: A new biography of Muhammad Abduh, Wolf Hall, Dialogues in Arab Politics and the effects of Turkish Islamists’ governance on women’s educational and professional attainment.

We’ve also added the “subscribe via email” button for which those who have not yet accommodated themselves to the brave new world of RSS have long been clamoring. It’s below the links.

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Filed under Academics, Books, Politics, Reviews

Heliopolis: A Film Worth Blogging About


Despite the idiotic door policy in effect at Thursday night’s screening of Heliopolis, and the very real possibility of a Cairo bloggertwitterung, considering the large numbers of online denizens in attendance, it was nice to see such a large and enthusiastic turnout for what was a slow art film. Also TBE is always secretly overjoyed when we witness older folks take authority figures to task for their stupid policies, as occurred repeatedly that night (and that despite the fact that one of the ladies of a certain age who argued so vociferously at the door then sat behind TBE chatting with her friend and taking phone calls through the whole movie). Also it provided evidence for our theory, expounded in the waning lines of this recent post, about the existence of a critical mass audience for art.

The review, after the jump.

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Filed under Journalism, Movies, Politics, Reviews

Establishments: Egyptian, Literary and Hip Hop

TBE is more-or-less out of pocket due to a number of annoying intrusions on our regularly scheduled bloggingzeit, so we’ll probably be reduced to subsistence blogging during the next period.


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Filed under Books, Hip Hop, Jokes, Music, Politics, Reviews, Translations

Cairo Gems 1: El-Ebiary

Prescript: “Cairo Gems” is a new gimmick TBE is developing in conjunction with the unknowing city of Cairo, in which we highlight some of our favorite spots. We stole the idea from “MA,” “JJ” or “JL” or some combination thereof, so all due respect to them. Our idea is to self-publish a book with our text and luscious photos by our photographer or maybe this fellow, TBE’s portraitist-in-residence. We will then sell the rights to AUC, so they can include our guidebook in the orientation packets distributed to study abroad students. Enjoy!

"This is what springformocracy looks like" ... "And you will know us by the trail of springform pans" ... "Leopard-Skin Springform-Pan Hat" ... etc.

"This is what springformocracy looks like" ... "And you will know us by the trail of springform pans" ... "Leopard-Skin Springform-Pan Hat" ... etc.

El-Ebiary: The name alone conjures up visions of Moorish Spain, or a place where birds are kept, perhaps in gilded cages. Alas, it is neither of those things. Instead it is a store, or rather two stores with one name and two other stores separating them.

To find it, one strolls down Shagarat al-Dor in Zamalek away from 26 July. When you see a girl’s legs dangling from what might be an airshaft on your right hand side, reflect on what you just saw as you proceed to the next store, then enter. There are a lot of housewares and kitchenware stuffed in this spot, which can be disconcerting, especially for those of you who, like TBE, have a delicate constitution. Do not be deterred, o ye of little patience for overstimulation.

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Filed under Cairo Gems, Food, Home Maintenance, Reviews

Highly Self-Involved Book Reviews, Pt. 2

This review features Netherland by Joseph O’Neill and Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon. Part 1 can be found here.

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Filed under Books, Music, Reviews

Adams Morgan Dish Reviews

adams morgan

TBE and Adams Morgan go back many years, and since we’ve been reunited like Peaches & Herb, we decided to highlight a few of our favorite dishes in the neighborhood as part of our Omnibus Summer Guide #4080.

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Filed under Food, Omnibus Summer Guide #4080, Restaurants, Reviews

Itinerary Names: The Itinerary

A plethora of readers have written in asking TBE for an insiders’ guide to Paris. They’ve inspired us to write this quick travel guide, as part of TBE’s “Omnibus Summer Guide #4080.”



If old Marcel P. was still alive, there can be no doubt that he would dine at Itinéraires.

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Filed under Food, Health and Fitness, Hip Hop, Omnibus Summer Guide #4080, Restaurants, Reviews