Sunday, March 16, 2008

“Ikhna” TV program: 60 minutes of fame

I now have another big reason to like Egypt. Yesterday, I was interviewed on a TV program called “Ikhna,” which means “we.” My friend Shereen called me last week asking if I were interested in being a guest on a TV program that explores why foreigners come to Egypt.

Sondos, my contact at the studio, sends a car and driver to pick me up. Hasan, the driver, has worked for the company for a few years. While friendly, he’s not as chatty as a cab driver. We make it to the studio with little traffic. I sit at a plastic table, waiting for the others to arrive. Soon, I meet the director, the producer, the executive producer and some of the hosts. The other guest, Yasmeen, an Algerian lady, is running late. Once she arrives, we are escorted into the studio, a spacious office with a large conference table. Various notebooks and folders act as a tablecloth. The main hostess, Deena, is a young and beautiful Egyptian gal. She wears long, black hair and sports a T-shirt.

They begin the program with my sitting on a chair next to the door, reading an Arabic newspaper (or giving the impression that I can read an Arabic newspaper). Once Sondos enters, I will accompany her to the conference table with the others to begin our talk.

Our interview is interrupted several times by the director for various reasons. The sound quality is not good. The lighting is off. Someone stumbled on a word or two. Cut! Ok…stand by. 5…4…3…2…1…Go!

My interviewers asked very simple questions:

Why did you come to Egypt?
What do you think of the Egyptian People? The food?
What’s been a memorable experience that you can tell us?
I related the story of the blind man in the metro.

What’s a positive aspect of the people here? Negative?
While I praised the Egyptian people, I really could not think of a negative aspect.

While I began in Egyptian Arabic and tried to speak as much as possible, there were some questions that I couldn’t understand, so Sondos, who was sitting next to me, had to interpret.

The interview will air next month on the O TV Channel. Stay tuned…

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