Arts & Culture

Egyptian Song Tackles Harassment And Other Issues In Creative Music Video

Egyptian Song Tackles Harassment And Other Issues In Creative Music Video


By Nessma Zakaria and Enas El Masry

Egypt is a country that isn’t foreign to the growing spaces between the rich and poor, with Egyptian millionaires estimated at 0.04 percent of the population of adults in Egypt, and Egyptians living in poverty estimated at 26 percent of the total population.

Under such light, it seems rather odd to find that a great majority of Egyptian songs are romanticized with a slim variation in the choice of topics other than break-ups or make-ups.

Nevertheless, some songwriters tend to venture away from romance to speak the voice of the everyday man who struggles with life.

While the common man has plenty to say about life and the difficulties it throws at him, why does no one sing about the exclusive life of the wealth minority?


Similar to many bands dubbed as underground, Cairokee have had their fair share of singing about politics, romance, and daily life issues. In their latest album ‘Nas w Nas’ which was released earlier in May, one song takes a creative twist to magnify a scene from the lavish lives of the wealthy youth.

Entitled ‘Marbout Be Astek’ (Tied with a Rubber Band), the song takes a leap of creativity primarily for its music video which plays out as scenes from a comic book, giving the artist a spacious room for metaphors which were put to elaborate use.

Set in what seems to be a futuristic night club, the concept of ‘party animals’ was taken a step away from metaphors where humans are nowhere to be seen, replaced instead with male hyenas and female cats. The choice of hyenas was rather interesting reflecting greed, maliciousness and deception, whereas cats posed as playful, spoiled and sexually appealing.

As the song unfolds, we see hyenas physically harassing cats and slurping at alcoholics in one scene and at cats the other.

Amid the images of excessive partying, Amir Eid, the lead vocalists, sings out the chorus saying: “Tied with a rubber band amid people made of plastic,” an image of hollow pretense that grows clearer as the song proceeds.

Despite the setting, issues of harassment, dumbing down of the youth, and the pursuit of wealth that opens up the gates for more evil than good is not solely exclusive to the wealthy.

Cairokee whose popularity took its first leap in 2011 have significantly grown a wider and more diverse fan base since then. Similar to many underground bands, they have for long hoped to expose more people to music and ideas different from those constantly mainstreamed.


Intrigued to see how the bigger, more diverse fan base reacted to the video, the responses weren’t quite diverse but rather polarized. Some gave the band a round of applause for their new approach, with a few even trying to analyze the concept and ponder its depth, while others expressed their grave dismay for the video and the song all the same, calling it shallow and even disgusting.

Art, however it is expressed or labeled, is never meant to be interpreted similarly, but from where I stand, I praise Cairokee and the team behind the song for their undeniable effort in bringing forth a norm-breaking song.

Seven Not Quite Translatable Words in Egyptian Arabic
Egyptian Girls Fight Taboos Through Music

Subscribe to our newsletter

Arts & Culture

Quick clicks. Making it lighter.

More in Arts & Culture

Ati Metwaly after receiving an award for her story 'Music against all odds' published in Al Ahram Weekly in November 2015. (Photo: CNN African Journalist Award's website)

Egyptian Journalist Wins CNN African Journalist Award

Aya NaderOctober 17, 2016

French-Egyptian Citizen Returns Golden Mummy Mask to Egypt

Egyptian StreetsOctober 6, 2016
mohamed khan

Art-House Theater Zawya to Honor Late Egyptian Filmmaker Mohamed Khan in Six-Day Film Screening

Egyptian StreetsOctober 3, 2016
Malawi Museum after being looted in August 2013.

Egypt’s Malawi Museum Reopened Three Years After Being Torched

Egyptian StreetsSeptember 23, 2016

Egypt Requires Approval from Antiquities, Culture Ministries for Building, Renovating Statues

Egyptian StreetsSeptember 8, 2016
Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 12.59.36 PM

Google Doodle Commemorates Iconic Egyptian Actor Fouad El-Mohandes

Egyptian StreetsSeptember 6, 2016
Part of a panel from a version of the Book of the Dead. Photo: Dalya Alberge

Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts Translated into English for the First Time in a Book

Egyptian StreetsAugust 25, 2016
Photos: Paul Burston

Ancient Egyptian Mummified Head ‘Brought Back to Life’ in Australia

Egyptian StreetsAugust 23, 2016
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2016 ES Media UG. All Rights Reserved.