"Sudan is not really a country at all, but many.
A composite layers, like a genetic fingerprint of memories that were once fluid, but have since crystallized out from the crucible of possibility"
Jamal Mahjoub, a Sudanese novelist
It was about 1 pm when Brooke called me. My friend was sleeping over and I was making her breakfast. Yes, we slept in, guiltlessly. The conversation was short and to the point.
"Samuel L Jackson is here for the Cairo international film festival, he is giving a lecture at Sofitel Sheraton at 4, I have a press pass, you can come with me if you want. Can you?"
I was flabbergasted. I've yet to meet any hollywood celebrities. I was a building away from George Clooney when he came to Cairo! Yeah.... I did say hi to John Prendergast ( he is not part of Hollywood, but he is a celebrity and he is good friends with Don Cheadle, so it counts!) .
Me:- Brooke, I will get back to you in less than 10 minutes.
"Yes, I can make it, I will be there at 3:30, we can meet in the lobby!"
So I dress up, formal, but not too formal. Funky formal. Jeans (the new ones from Mango), formal white shirt from Bhs, brown boots and my long-champ, the medium-sized one.
I took money from my emergency wallet ( in case he agrees to have coffee with us , I'm sure we are gonna go somewhere expensive! ( always be prepared if you want my advice!).
Then, I started panicking. What am I gonna do with my hair? It was oily as hell and thanks to this new oil I'm using (it really works with my Sudanese hair:d), it smells funny.
So, I had to think fast. Damage control 101! If I washed it, it's gonna be all over the place in exactly an hour.
Despite the oil and "funky" smell, I loved the curls!
So, I compromised. I let it down and used loads of perfume (Channel No.5, to add some class), I'm meeting Samuel L Jackson after all.
We are inside the hall, the sheraton room, and it looks like he is gonna be late. I run into a few people I know. Cairo is a big city with loads of familiar faces!
He enters the room, completely ignoring the photographers swarming around him like bees. He looks cool, no wonder he is called the king of cool..... He is so collected and confident. Standing at 6'3, it's hard to miss him.
He sat down between this other guy and Ezzat Abu-Ouf (Egypt's Harrison Ford).
Hemade a few jokes, we laughed.
I smiled at him.
I was sitting in the third row, but I was right in front of him. We made sure we sit in the exact middle! We made great eye-contact a few times and I kept nodding at him for no apparent reason.
He seemed nice, not as star-struck and arrogant.
Question 4:- what do you think about Egypt and do you feel safe here?
King of Cool:- I feel safe anywhere if there are people of color.
Awkward silence followed the awkward reply.
First of all- Egyptians don't think of themselves as people of color. This is a very American term and concept.
Second of all-Do you or do you not feel safe in Uncle Sam, Sam?
Third of all- That was just inappropriate and confusing to the audience.
It sure was a miss!
Then, an Algerian film-maker asked him if he would like to be in one of her movie( she is a film-maker). He said yes, write me a cheque for $ 2 M and we will talk.
(No independent movie for you Mr.cool :)
I have to admit, he was funny and he gave me a sweet smile:)
PS:- can you give me $2 M before I do anything because I'm me?:D