tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.

Monday, May 11, 2009

"We are the Swine Flu" tops Egyptian charts

Egyptian singer Sha'ban Abdul Rahim, also known by the diminutive Sha'bula, has written a pork-mongering song about the Swine Flu panic in Egypt, in which the government conducted a nationwide massacre of pigs.

Sha'bula, who dresses like the Egyptian version of Elton John, with a bowlcut to match, is known for his political songs but not necessarily for his political acumen. This new ditty is, well, uncomplicated...

The Swine Flu, by Sha'bula
We have yet another disaster,
The situation is dangerous,

That's all we needed,

Swine Flu.

It's an illness that threatens humanity,

I'm warning you,

It's spread to two countries already,

America and Mexico.
The flu has spread and become a dangerous disease,

It's not just birds anymore, it's pigs, too,

If you come across a pig or a sow,

You need to
get the hell out of there.

In every port and airport we need to write,

In big letters,

You're not allowed to enter Egypt with a pig

Pigs, birds and who knows what else,

People are scared,

May Allah protect us from cats and dogs, too.

I tell you loud and clear,

We don't want to be quiet,

It's a shame people are dying because of pigs and chickens,

So what if a few pigs die,

It's better than wearing masks over our mouth and nose.

We closed down many farms, killed many birds,

Now we want the go-ahead to kill all the pigs.

If we let the pigs live, we'll sacrifice many people,

It's better for people to be healthy,

So to hell with the pigs.

I hope they kill them, so people can be safe,

Without police intervention, without strikes.

We have yet another disaster,

The situation is dangerous,

That's all we needed,

Swine Flu.

Here's a clip of Sha'bula singing the song on an Egyptian talk show, with subtitles provided by MEMRI.*

In the subsequent (unintentionally hilarious) interview, Sha'abula admits he hadn't even heard of the swine flu when his producers called, asking him to put together a song about it.

* You can probably guess by the title of the clip on their website--"Egyptian singer Sha'aban Abd Al-Rahim sings about Swine Flu, calls for killing pigs, and declares: I am crazy about my dogs but will be willing to kill them for compensation"--that MEMRI is not an Arabophiliac organization.

No comments: