Egypt circa 1990-2000 was a special and peculiar place to grow up. We have many fond memories of our childhood and now reminisce together at the oddness that was our upbringing. Here are a few things that will take you on a trip down memory lane:
1- Coloured Katakeet
Remember the eagerness we felt upon leaving school as we crossed the street to meet the guy who sells these beautiful creatures? We would play with them and then pick our favorite colored chick and take it home with us. No wonder guys now pick chicks up at bars, from one chick to another! But all joking aside, this was really so inhumane as the chicks never lived that long and all we did was just replace them with a different colored one.
2- Game Valley
The good ol’ days when you could buy yourself one new PS game a week and pay 50 pounds.
3- Leban Samara
We hated it, but we loved it!
4- Nady El Video
Once a week, your mom would treat you to a visit to Nady El Video and let you check out all the video tapes. You’d be at a loss as to which movies you’ll savagely devour on the weekend.
Forget Hardee’s, McDonald’s and all the other new cool sh*t! Arby’s was IT.
6- Space Toon
For those unlucky children who had no Showtime subscription, Spacetoon was the bomb! But we still hated the other kids who watched Cartoon Network.
7- Super Magic
El Leban El Se7ry; it changes color and thus it’s magic.
It is no longer possible to deny that a lot of weird habits got trendy while we were kids. There was a time when the art of making scoubidou was all we were interested in. We’d compete against each other as to who will combine the most colors, and once the tangled mess of plastic string turned into somewhat of a bracelet, we’d give it to someone we liked. And of course, only recently I discovered that it’s not Scooby-Doo.
9- “Stop” Game
In primary school, you were cool if you were the owner of the longest stop game. You would decide your friend’s entire future in less than 10 seconds and would laugh your ass off if their house turned out to be a sink or a bathtub. The worse your friend’s life seemed to be, the funnier the game got. Begad kona 3eyal rekhma!
10- Maktabet El Ahram
Every summer, you would go to Marina and there it was; a beautiful secluded place filled with all kinds of storybooks varying from Megalet Mickey to Goosebumps to Charmed.
11- Gersy Chocolate
You gotta give it to them though; the jingle is still stuck in our heads and it’s been over 15 years.
12- Sticker Books
Sticker albums consumed a lot of our time as kids. We bought the empty sticker book and spent months collecting all the stickers to finish the book. And when we would get the same sticker 10 different times, we’d get aggravated that our siblings are almost done with their book while we’re still stuck. We would also exchange the repetitive cards with our friends, make deals and think we’re super badass for knowing how to negotiate our terms of the deal.
13- Sarkhet El Ro3b
The Arabic edition of Goosebumps might have been my favorite thing ever. Horror stories for kids, what’s not to like? All the stories ended on a cliffhanger that left you angry though.
14- Dial-Up Connection
Back before we had wireless, we would use the landline to connect to the Internet and it would make the noisiest sound. We loved it, because it meant we’re one step closer to being with all of our friends online. However, at any given moment, your mom would ask you to disconnect because she needs the phone. Or even worse, the phone might ring and your connection would disable all by itself and you would sit there feeling left out, while the rest of your friends chatted away the hours.
15- Perfecting This
Whether your name started with an S or not, there came a time when perfecting this S was more important than finals and midterms. Everyone just had to prove they could draw one and anyone who was lucky enough to have an S at the start of their name was the coolest.
We couldn’t wait to leave school everyday to go on MSN to talk to the same friends we just left. Some days, we’d talk to smarterchild because we’re bored and our friends haven’t signed in yet. Other days, we’d wait for our crush to sign in and wait for a bit before sending them a message. Sometimes, we’d feel like nudging some friends on MSN because we’re in a silly mood and we want to annoy them. And if you were a bad-ass, then you must have installed MSN on the school computer and chatted with your friends who were sitting right next to you. W 3shan enta saye3 awi, you’re online bas enta appear offline.
17- Chiki Dodo
Admit it, we’ve all said to our moms at some point: MAMA, 3aiza el chicki dodo.
The little annoying rat singing one of the catchiest songs of our generation: “Zero talat sab3aaaat.. KHMASTALAF”.
We were all excited to meet Douby when we went to Dream Park, but we were also scared of him. We would back out and cling to our parent’s legs, afraid of letting go.
20- Sou Ya Sou Dream Channel Commercial
There are several variations to this video with the many different songs that used to dominate Melody when we were kids.
Let’s also give a shout out to those who couldn’t make it: Digging Jim, Captain Claw, the hours we spent being neighbors from hell, Bakar, Boogie we tamtam, Love & Care, Rico store, Lolita popsicles, Coca-Cola Caps with the promise of a bicycle, walkmans and naked trolls with big bushy colored hair. We miss you all the same!