Candid Camera in Egypt

Being an actor in Egypt’s version of Candid Camera is a dangerous business, apparently. Here, the “joke” is for various Egyptian celebrities (apparently actors, actresses and comedians) to suddenly think that they are on an Israeli TV channel.  The woman interviewee’s reaction is to stop the process and apparently storm out; the mens’ reaction is to physically attack the crew.  One had his hand on his gun, but was told that it was a prank before he drew and fired.

Two particularly disturbing moments: First, the man who had slapped the female interviewer, slamming her into a wall and rampaging across the set, throwing and kicking furniture. After learning that they are really Egyptian, not Israeli, he suggests that the woman brought it on herself, and that she should come out to his car so that he can “put lotion on” her back. She declines, still holding her face.

Second disturbing moment: In the last seconds of this video, the interviewer has recovered enough from the last guest (who assaulted one of her crew, dragging him around by his head and hair) describes this as “Egyptian patriotism” and notes that every Egyptian is like this. She says it proudly.

Here’s a YouTube video:

Egyptian Candid Camera prank

And a partial transcript (of the two moments I mentioned):

Ayman Kandeel: You brought it upon yourself. Why did you fall so quickly?

Iman Mubarak: You hit me so hard.

Ayman Kandeel: It was just one slap.

Iman Mubarak: You see what can happen to the interviewer?

Amr ‘Alaa: People, let’s have a round of applause for Iman.

Ayman Kandeel [to Iman Mubarak]: After the show, come to my car with me. I’ll put some lotion on your back.

Iman Mubarak: I don’t want anything.

And at the end, after a day of being beaten up and (seconds before) threatened, she ends with:

Iman Mubarak: I’d like to tell you that I enjoyed today’s episode with Mahmoud. I didn’t know that there could be such patriotism, but it exists in every Egyptian who breathes the air of this country.

Full transcript here.

I have seen many disturbing videos on MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute) and their YouTube video feed is chilling; I think we have lost Egypt. But I wonder, here, as the interviewer pretended to be Israeli and presented the Jewish idea that they were just seeking peace (and got physically attacked), if she might have harbored some private second thoughts.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle