Last August, Cairo Gossip moved onto pastures new, as Media Republic acquired the site, eventually turning it into what it is today. It was a surprising – and emotional – move because it saw the man/fish behind it all let go of a project that started in humble beginnings.
In the biggest battle of minds since the Frost/Nixon interviews, I sat down with the fish, the myth, the legend that is Fishie to talk about nightlife in Cairo, fish sticks and lots of other enthralling topics.
So, Fishie, Fishman, Fishmeister – what are you up to these days, pal?
Swimming with the other fishies upstream in the Mediterranean – we heard that this year Sahel was going to be a massive party blow out, and with massive party blow out, comes massive drama, so we steered away from the Sahel drama altogether.
I don’t blame you. So, be honest – how many yachts can you buy with the money you got for Cairo Gossip? Six or seven? It’s seven, isn’t it….
Hmmm I think I can’t even afford a ship’s wheel with the money I got. But if you are offering me yacht, I would love a Riva or a Fairline. Mount one of those sexy English flags on top of it, have it parked in Gouna Abu Tig marina.
Don’t be silly – fish can’t steer wheels. How long is your memory, by the way?
What? I forgot the question. Who are you? Where am I? What’s that fuzzy thing on your face?
Touché. Anyway, let’s take a trip down memory lane with a boring question – how did this Cairo Gossip malarkey all start?
Blame it on ByGanz, Amy Mowafi and Scene & Heard. I grew up with the glamour and scandalous parties of ByGanz – I mean, who could forget the “Fu*k Me I Am Famous” party in the Garage of the Nile City Towers, while they were still being constructed? Who c forget those early Marassi Parties? That stuff needed to be documented; these parties needed to be shown to the world. I thought, thw world needs to know that Egypt known’s how to party!
Amy ‘s book, Fe-Mail: The Trials and Tribulations of Being a Good Egyptian Girl’ – which was sort of the Sex & the City of Cairo without the sex – inspired me too, in the way that she gave people a peek into high society. Scene & Heard had a whole gossip section going on, as well as Information about parties and night life – but they only promoted their friends.
I found my groove at ByGanz Parties. I love the way Amy wrote, the galore of it all. I loved the content of Scene & Heard, and even though we all look back and say it was sh*t, we all read it! Plus, I loved the anonymity.
I felt there was a gap in the market for something purely targeting nightlife and one that didn’t roam in only one “high society” circle. Hence Cairo Gossip was born.
F*ck that – scratch all of the above.I was bored.
Stop swearing, it offends me. What do you think of the state of Cairo nightlife right now? Has it changed since you started Cairo Gossip?
Completely, but it’s not just something that has happened in Cairo. Nightlife has changed everywhere is always changing.
Nightlife in Cairo use to be about bling-bling, glamour, dressing up all sexy. Now everything is more casual; all that shebang has been stripped from it.
Shebang is a funny word. You built your reputation on your no-holds-barred approach to covering nightlife – but what are your favourite watering holes in this glorious city of ours?
Tamarai’s terrace. I have a lot of respect for Ayman Baky in the way he manages his venues; he does it based on the science of marketing, not just on a haphazard ‘let’s throw something and see if it works’ way. There’s a lot of work that goes behind the scenes at Tamarai that people are clueless about – things that I had the privilege to witness a few times, that really had me look at the venue in a different light.
Do you consider sushi cannibalism?
Mate, do you even need to ask?
I ain’t your ‘mate’, bro. Nah, I’m kidding – you’re my hero. Can you actually ‘drink like a fish’?
Do fish drink?
Who cares – what’s your favourite fish-based movie?
Hmm…they all blow! BLOW! Get it?
Yes, you’re quite the comedian. One last, very important question: do you like fish sticks?
Ironically, I actually hate fish. That’s why I’m called Fishie – because I’m Ironic that way.