Monthly Archives: August 2013

Why so fucking loud? On Cairene mosques

Why so fucking loud? On Cairene mosques

There is a penis measuring contest that takes place five times a day—everyday—between the imams running the three mosques near my building in central Cairo. The criteria seems to be that the louder, more distorted and whiny their call to prayer is, the larger their penis is.

It’s an unfortunate contest because it’s the people living around these mosques that have to suffer these penises battling around them in a scriptural cocktail of cacophony. And it’s the same all over Cairo.

While this may sound like a childish attempt to insult figures in a society that deems them beyond insult, it’s nevertheless true that when you witness a phenomenon that is so utterly mystifying in its unwarranted assault on peace of mind, you are tempted to settle on some pseudo-Freudian explanation for it: in this case, a pathetic show of “my penis is bigger than yours.”