Written by Mostafa Hanno
Edited By Ahmed Ashry
Look at Egypt, the center of the world. Time and time again we’re reminded of what a magical place Egypt is. These experiences Egypt can prescribe to the people of the world are nothing less than astounding. Perfect! You might say exactly that as an avid Egyptian patriot, but where are these eyes that want to see us going? Not everyone can just book a plane ticket to catch a taste of our illustrious heritage. Why isn’t Egypt the face of media or music? Why isn’t Egypt amazingly documented? Boy, do I have a newsflash for you.
To a foreigner, Egypt is enticing; it’s this bustling place with all its ins and outs filled with intriguing ideas; its history stands vast, one of the longest standing ,in fact. The foreigner would love to make the trip and perhaps even make it the focal point of their work. Whether their work is amateur, professional, personal, or studio work — they just want to make it happen.
But coming into Egypt wanting to shoot, you run into a wall: the chain of people to get approval makes it beyond difficult. The hoops and hurdles you have to jump to shoot a production in Egypt with professional equipment are immense. All the way from airport customs seizing your equipment, to permit offices throwing you from one person to the next (all steps of the expecting money of course), paper after paper the foreigner is left stumped. Just like the food blogger William Sonbuchner -Best Ever Food Review Show on YouTube- who documents his journey with our permit system quite honestly.
This extends to big studio work, where when they are capable and ready to pay exorbitant amounts of money, they find Egypt unwilling. Thus, missing out on not only the finance of international production studios but also the exposure and eyes of the world to promote tourism and stimulate our economy.
You’ve heard of Moon Knight, right? If not, get Disney + and catch on to this trend. Mohamed Diab and Marvel Studios have masterfully crafted this image of Egypt, faithfully capturing its spirit. This show, due to difficulty with the aforementioned permits, was shot in another country! Using visual affects to stimulate the Egyptian scenery in Hungary. And with the money going to Hungary Egypt missed out on a total of 3 billion dollars from the studio, yes with a B.
We’re not saying that Egypt needs nothing but loosen its tight ship; some regulation is definitely needed. However, is the decision of leaving interested people and media out the right call? Why not build proper systems for the productions that are willing to do the work properly and jump through those hoops. Let’s make it possible and not leave a sour taste in people’s mouths.
If this interests you, spread the word! Tell your friends, family. Delve into this topic and let’s get eyes on it. Let us catch a glimpse of our untapped potential!