2012 My memory of Egypt
To my friend Khalid
I met Khalid by chance of fate. Khalid was my same age, twelve years old. Her father, a young and cheerful Egyptian, worked as a hairdresser’s assistant in a barbershop on Betis street in Seville, I always thought he was a gypsy.
One day in 1962 my brother enthusiastically called me to go outside to see the camels. I went out to the door of my house in Triana and what I saw has stuck with me for life.
I do not remember the number of camels, but I do remember that one after another, as if it were a desert caravan, they paraded past the door of my house and on the first camel was Khalid’s father and at the end Khalid.
I had never spoken to the barber’s son, but that day maybe he stopped being shy and shouted for me to come with him.
Very few previous to this episode of the camels knew the identity of the hairdresser’s assistant, all believed that he was a gypsy by the color of his skin.
I walked after the animals and we came to a house with a large patio where, one after another, they entered an enclosure obediently at the barber’s orders.
Before arriving in Seville, Khalid’s father in Egypt was dedicated to the transport of goods with extensive experience in these animals. In 1961 he was hired by the Columbia film production company to care for the camels that participated in the movie ‘Lawrence of Arabia’. Khalid and his father worked as extras in the film like many Sevillians and it is almost certain that they were the only two native Arabs in that film or at least in the shots that were made in Seville.
Khalid liked medicine and study in Seville, Madrid and Barcelona, and I liked painting and art. We shared a fondness for space science and our topic of conversation was always about UFOs and extraterrestrial life.
I moved to Barcelona and Khalid went to Cairo as a doctor. Keep sending me press clippings and articles about UFOs
The riots of 2011 caught him at a congress in Florida. He returned to Spain and in 2012 after the revolution he asked me to accompany him back to Cairo.
We have seen the movie ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ together with him many times (he likes to see himself as a child) and during our trip to Egypt his family was my family
Hollywood in Seville: filming Lawrence of Arabia
British Army Officer T.E. Lawrence died in a road accident in 1939. His funeral is attended by multiple personalities from the military and politics of Great Britain who begin to talk about the past life that made Lawrence famous. As a junior officer in the English militia stationed in Arabia during World War I, he is seen as a talented individual and knowledgeable of local customs and is assigned the mission of contacting Prince Faisal, who is conducting a disorderly war. against the Turkish invasion and has little support from the British. But Lawrence soon abandons his observer mission and begins to brilliantly organize both Faisal’s troops and Arab tribes, dealing heavy blows to the Turkish forces. Very soon he begins to establish himself as a hero of the desert who can subdue the invaders and shed the light of hope on the possible emergence of an independent Arab republic
In the first months of 1962, the filming caravan of a film arrived in the city of Seville that would eventually become one of the great classics of film history: Lawrence of Arabia.
Part of the filming of the film was made in Seville. For this purpose, some of its buildings were adequately equipped in which English official instances would be represented, which were narratively located in the cities of Cairo and Damascus. The Mudejar architecture of Seville was the only one that remained faithful to the time since the cities of Damascus and Cairo had been modernized over time.
- In the main building of the Plaza de España they adapted the large interior courtyard as the setting for the officers’ bar that the English barracks had in Cairo.
-The Exhibition Casino became the City Hall of the city of Damascus.
-The Hotel Alfonso XIII was used in the film as the interiors of the Cairo Officers Club.
As a curiosity it can be highlighted that the thunderous Arab load with camels and horses attracted a crowd of curious people who traveled up to 100 km on the back of mules, bicycles or cars to contemplate the greatest free show of their lives. As it would happen later in the Almería shoot, the gypsies in the area acted as extras.
This film was awarded seven Oscars and was a demonstration that Seville could be a perfect setting, with great possibilities for filming.
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Filming sequences in Seville
EGYPTIAN POEMS ADEL GALAL
Adel Galal (Cairo, 1962). Poet, playwright and researcher. Member of the Egyptian Writers Union. Bachelor of Languages and Translation from the University of Al-Azhar. Diploma in Political Science from the Institute of Arab Research and Studies
The two resolved a quick and silent fight,
at the borders of night and fire
They fear the light of sound
And just at the moment of the end,
the girl waited in silence
all the past time she said enough is enough
Both start laughing
and they melted with shame.
A palm tree that climbs up …
The end of the photograph
A skinny dark sky that can’t keep up
And the night a knight who trembles
Who is there…?
We went out to see him right away … and the girl at the window
Who is there…?
It scared us and made us fly …
It left its shadow on the walls of the soul,
she came back panting screaming … turn off the light
We trembled and its shadow hid in our blood and slept
Under the roofs of the houses the thieves multiplied
The old woman’s bones murmured:
What catastrophe flies over the nights of the soul?
It appeared in the greeting of a young man who has just returned from ay
sing: “my country, my country, only I will protect you”
He sang for the clouds that Bab Al-Futuh left to make a horizon
of conquests, the conquests of the horizon
They do not end from Bab Al-Nasr to enemies.
The singer sings: ¨patria mía, patria mía¨
And his voice draws sad roses on the walls.
Stained with blood and soul.
One of my numerous lovers
Like ancient lovers
We will do a tour of the Nile together
To show you that I’ve been in love for thousands of years
And that I will continue to be in love for thousands of years more
And what will we be
(my lover and I Like a flute in the arms of the wind).
QUICK AND GOOD
If you want madness
Think a little about the void … and so
For you to exist you need emptiness
And for there to be a vacuum, you need a vacuum
And so that there is the one who made the void exist
Isn’t this an easy recipe?
fast and good enough to freak out
MY LUCK … A GIRL OF ORANGES
The girl who came out
From the field of oranges preceded by the paradise of the five as a procession
And behind her came the field of oranges
With the other fields screaming
Grant us our color and our soul
The girl that comes out of her soul
The smell of oranges
She complimented me and spun me into her field
Where she works as a day laborer, and she left
Imagine if they were not
Her friends with her… .not with me, my wife…
A SKILLY EGYPTIAN SCULPTOR
I knew that
The roundness of the girl’s breast
who mastered typing on the computer
it was a work of her hand … her hand that
resembles the hand of an original Egyptian sculptor
but she preferred silence
to contemplate the statue
as she ascended to her perfection
and when she saw that the breasts
they were going to be too round
rose with the serenity of a beautiful woman
with the grace of the first dancer
and disconnected the plug from the electricity.