Simple observation. Everything yesterday morning was blurry: weather, people, sky, cloths, buildings. All I could see around me was a giant grey, dusty hue captivating the whole lot. What happened to bright colours? Why egyptians choose to wear colours as grey, pallid eggplant colour (a weird mixture of pale violet and disguised blue), faded brown, this weird colour they couldn't find a better name to describe it other than firany, or mice colour (this colour always looks dirty). Even if someone decided to wear a bright colour, it will be immediately cloacked with a black foullard, or colourless jacket! What happen to red, orange, yellow, blue. Solid colours, people?
Personally speaking, I hate greys. My favourite colour is white. Almost all my shirts are white, just plain white. I like the white shirt look: clean, fresh and organized. My friend CLR whenever we went out together, would wear a clean ironed white chemise on khaki pants. He looked very charming in that outfit (not minding that he doesn't wear leather shoes--at least to my seeing). The trick about white shirts is that it is high maintaince, not anyone can afford it. You have to be clean inside and outside, just out of the shower. En plus, the shirt has to be not only clean but well ironed with no black marks on the collar from the press. Because of all these constraints, hardly could you find any egyptian wearing a white shirt to work. Sure there are many reasons for that. The pollution and/or dusty air are more than enough to avert you from wearing any whites. Once out in the street your white shirt will be taned with black on the sleeves and collar jeopardizing your clean-cut look; it also takes a lot of effort to maintain especially in the summer with all the sweating; plus if you are running after the bus or have to go out to do some errands, you want to choose a colour that no matter how dirty it gets, it won't show. What is best than 'firany'.
In france, hardly would you find someone wearing white shirt for some reason. The dominant colours are blue electrique, and blue ciel both with a yellow tie and a nice brown or blue pants (leather shoes is a must). I like that touch. There is a nice mystique aura created when combining blue and yellow. Sometimes a variation of a blue shirt with a white collar, not particularly my favourite style, but it looks good. And no matter the inside joke about french people and perfume, they at least look vibrant and clean to me. Italians are different story. They have the best taste, the wildest characters, and no history with perfume. Valentino is my favourite designer. I also like the masculine serious German look. Any connection here between style and identity? Just a rough one!
Back to Egypt. The only egyptian guy I know of who like to wear bright, really bright colours, is M. He wears BRIGHT RED, SHOUTING BLUE, BANANA YELLOW. He looks good in these colours. Gives him a distingue look. One time he wore a red shirt on jeans and a red shoes as well. Believe me he looked original. I won't go that far, but he looked different. My uncle S., a very dynamic, energetic blue eyed old man is the 'colour man'. He dares to wear yellow and green suits, or any firey colour, be it a socks, tie, or shirt. Well, it matches his active, vibrant personality. Whenever he sits with me he demands my total attention, be attentive to his witty moves, teasing, talks and arguments. It attracts my attention, and in turn makes me alert.
So, what's up with the emblematic Egyptian taste? Why do they swerve from picking solid, clear, distinguished colours and rest for dull ones? Please don't blame it on the low standards of living. Ok, you are ostensibly well-heeled, have an airconditioned car, and have some time to waste reading blogs instead of chasing a bus, what are you wearing today to work? If you are an exception and will surprise me with wearing red to work, look around you, what are your collegues wearing?
Here is a question for you: do you think the colour you choose to wear mean anything? Can it tell anything or something about your personality and attitude in life? My conjecture is yes, it is a gizmo to understanding personalities, an indication of some sort. Think about calling a colour 'firany', what does a rat reflect for you? My construe of the greyish colour, mild colour is a propensity of a persona that flinchs away from being seen or distinguished, wants to dissolve in the crowd and remain hidden, has no real sense of self-worth or appreciation, lame follower, not creative, or maybe just tired from the incessant struggle that the Egyptian history is most famous for. Is this what we have become? Well, yes. We are all the above, and none of the 'to become', because we are just saturated and have no space for new ideas or changes.
Some people rationalize it by throwing it in the lap of Islam, and the modesty it requires from muslimsl;the culture norms that insinuate bright colours with portentous attitude, especially in relation to Red. Well, I am not convinced. If bright colours are aganist Islamic teaching, why would some hadith indicate that Prophet Mohammed looked his best in a vibrant green shirt. If dull colours are an indicaion of modesty, why didn't he just stick to black, beige or even white colours? So blame it all on yourselves, your moods, and attitude.
For all those who wear pale colours, please invigorate your lives, our eyes, your spirit, our moods and start wearing bright vibrant colours. It does make a difference and sure cheaper than viagra and prozak! For all the women wearing niqab, if you don't want to listen to from cairo
beseech to take off the niqab, at least try to choose nice colours and forget about this black, 'micey', ash colours. You look really depressing. 'ina Allah gameel yuhebu al gamal.' Look at the rainbow colours, what do you see--any 'firany' up there? Wonder why! Why not be just be a reflection of God's nature beauty and rethink yourself as, lets say, flowers spreading the scent of Islam, have you ever seen grey, or black flowers? God NO! Time to ripe off the 'micey' colour attitude and adopt a flowery look. What's wrong with being a flower or even at tree for fitna
reasons? In all cases, better than mice!
What is your colour today? Ish lounak?! Will I stil hear a squeak!