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  • 15 Things You’ll Find at Every Ramadan Family Dinner

    ramadan-3ezouma

    Ramadan is a holy time of year. It’s a month of love, laughter and gorging yourself beyond the point of reason. The fusion of all three of these things can be found at your typical Ramadan ’3ezouma’, but family gatherings come with plenty of baggage and dysfunctions -  it’s the Egyptian way. There’s much more than the celestial satisfaction of having fasted for the day awaiting you…

    Enough food to feed a small African nation..

    You are ten people, but you conservatively estimate that the amount of food prepared could quite easily feed the entire Egyptian army, with seconds and thirds all around.

    The mad hostess…

    She opens the door, she cooks the food, she mingles with every single guest simultaneously, but she still has time to point out your flaws. Mashallah, you’ve gained weight! How are you grades? Why haven’t you dressed up?

    The family members you never remember…

    Your grandmother’s sister’s husband’s daughter’s cousin who you haven’t seen in five years is offended that you don’t know her name and is also very vocal about being astounded that you’ve grown in those five years.

    That one person who’s always late…

    You’re a nice family, so you wait for everyone before you start binge-eating, but this one person strolls in 15 minutes after the call to prayer and you can’t help but fantasise about killing them. But after eating. Eating is good.

    The mad dash for food…

    You could be my 96 year-old grandmother on a wheelchair, but come food time get out of my way or you will be trampled. No shame.

    The mahshi hogger…

    They position themselves strategically in front of the platter and eat directly out of it all night. Save some for the rest of us you selfish creature. You can eat all the mahshi koronb, though – cabbage is weird.

    The smoker…

    They’ve been waiting all day for that sweet, sweet nicotine that their body has been craving – that first puff is always the best one. Forget hunger and thirst, this is the real struggle.

     The accidental server…

    You weren’t looking where you sat, but you ended up in front of platter and now have the responsibility to serve every single person who eyes the dish in front of you. We know you never wanted this.

    Questioning your mother’s love…

    Why doesn’t she ever cook like this for me? Am I not as important as Auntie Safaa? Why won’t she love me?

    The hyperactive children…

    You have no idea who they belong to but they get to eat early and they throw tantrums like no other, but you have to be nice to the little shits.

    The obnoxious personal questions…

    Listen, just because we’re sitting next to each other doesn’t mean you‘re to entitled all the details of my life. When will I find someone nice to settle down with? Never – how about that, huh?

    The post-fitar gossip time…

    They’ve stuffed their faces. They’ve had their customary tea. Now comes the good stuff; the gossip. Who did what, who married who, who said this or that -  it’s like our own personal Real Housewives of Cairo.

    Mosalal binge…

    If fitar time interferes with their mosalsalat we all know they’ll pick up their food and go eat in front of the TV. They’ve got their priorities straight and won’t hesitate to ignore you for some quality time with Nelly Karim.

    The line for the bathroom…

    You subtly eye the door for 10 minutes from afar so you don’t seem like a creeper, but the second it opens up somebody closer gets there first and you’re left with a full bladder and a broken heart.

    The perversion of desserts…

    Harsh truth time: Konafa is not meant to be paired with mangoes, red velvet cupcakes, Nutella or anything else you have chilling in the fridge. Respect the integrity of the konafa.

    By Habiba Salama & Ahmed Ibrahim

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