Black Honey , “Asal Esweed” is used to refer to Black Strap Molasses here in Egypt.
But I’m not here to talk about Black Strap molasses the thought itself made me yawn, no I’m here to talk about the Arabic movie released early in the summer.
The first time I watched the movie I was with my older brother & my cousin, whereas my cousin & I found the movie amusing my brother wasn’t the least bit amused & said that it wasn’t even the bit funny for obvious reason.
As an Egyptian living abroad for several years in this particular visit he’d just been through all the perks the protagonist had gone through so the movie served as a reminder to things he felt better off forgotten.
The second time I watched the movie was last Sunday this time it was with my younger brother (who’d come on his vacation from the states) & my mom but this time I didn’t laugh on the contrary this time I felt a bit sad.
The name of the movie is a play of words whereas honey is suppose to be sweet & pure with the color black in the mix you tend to get the idea that the honey has been tarnished.
Simply put the movie discusses how Egyptians are treated in their own country as opposed to how foreigners are treated.
*On to the movie the protagonist named “Masry Al Arabi” which means “Egyptian Arabian” “intended as a pun” comes back after 20 years from his stay in the states to visit Egypt & stay here in Egypt while a professional photographer decided to make his next exhibition about Egypt.
For obvious plot reasons he left his American passport in the states as why would he need it if he’s come to his own country with his Egyptian passport ( which I find unbelievable if he intends on staying in Egypt for the rest of his life as he stated who leaves his passport in another country? ).
So he states he’s Egyptian & gets the Egyptian treatment starting from the airport security who leave him for hours to check his entry, to the micro bus driver who straight off rips him off telling him 1$ = 2 EGP & sells him a bottle of water for 30 LE , to the hotel receptionists, the police who detain him for taking photographs without a permit ( after he states he’s Egyptian of course) & beat him up …etc ( Guilty till proven innocent).
All the while making fun of him while he’s saying that he’s Egyptian & has rights as an Egyptian citizen ( you think by now he’d get a clue) :P.
So as any sane person would do he sent for his US passport & threw his Egyptian passport out of the window (Literally speaking he threw it out of the window, just how stupid is this guy?).
Everything changed after that now he has rights & is treated like a human being so he keeps flashing his US passport.*
The film goes on but I’ll stop here, my first impression was that this movie was made for Egyptians living abroad who left Egypt for exactly all the reasons this movie discussed.
My second impression, was that so everybody knows this & they’ve even made a movie about it, its common knowledge now, so why isn’t anybody doing anything to change anything?
So hopefully one day the honey will be pure & golden again 🙂