It is apparent that the Arab cinema industry has no qualms about practising Arab-washing, following in the footsteps of Hollywood and its penchant for whitewashing stories and characters.
But while in the US the use of blackface has been largely phased out, in Arab cinema it is constantly used in order to have non-black Arabs cast in black roles. They often don blackface, put on exaggerated fake buttocks, thick Afro curly hair and bright-red lipstick.
It is also indicative that for decades the first and only dark-skinned actor who played leading roles in Egyptian cinema was Ahmed Zaki (1949- 2005). But even he did not escape racial characterisation: He was nicknamed the “Bronze Star” and the “Black Tiger”.
However, as the long process of compulsory purchase, eviction and demolition was under way, between 1890 and 1895, it became clear that no philanthropic company was willing to come forward. And so, very reluctantly, the home secretary permitted the LCC to construct the dwellings, on the understanding that these would quickly be sold on to the charitable sector. The LCC was not to act as a landlord. Antipathy towards state intervention in housing was put most colourfully in Parliament by the member for Portsmouth, who told the house that such a thing was “monstrous”, and that “if such a principle were admitted, I do not know where it will stop. The next demand made of Parliament might be to provide clothing, if not carriages and horses, for the poor”.
When I was in [country in question] last [week/month/August], I was amazed by the [people’s basic desire for a stable life/level of Westernization for such a closed society/variety of the local cuisine], and that tells me two things. It tells me that the citizens of [country in question] have no shortage of [courage/potential entrepreneurs/root vegetables], and that is a good beginning to grow from. Second, it tells me that people in [country in question] are just like people anywhere else on this great globe of ours.