Weird Universe

Middle East

Musical Celebration of Innocent Verdict

After being deemed innocent on charges of attempted terrorism while trying to smuggle 20,000 euros out of the UK in her underwear, Nawal Msaad gave her unique public reaction to the verdict in the form of the video above.

Many more odd and fascinating details (Chanel-enhanced ankle monitor) at the link.

An American Hippie in Israel

Caution: brief flashes of uncovered upper female chest area and two swears.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Jul 29, 2014 | Comments (7)
Category: Movies, Stereotypes and Cliches, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1970's, Middle East, Butt

This Land Is Mine

This Land Is Mine from Nina Paley on Vimeo.

So very very timely......
Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Jul 23, 2014 | Comments (12)
Category: Death, Destruction, Patriotism, Regionalism, Cartoons, Middle East

Soosan Khanoom

Described as the biggest home-grown pop hit in Iran's history.

The band's homepage. Warning: autolaunches pleasant music.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Jan 13, 2014 | Comments (4)
Category: Music, Middle East


Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Dec 20, 2013 | Comments (4)
Category: Body Modifications, Surrealism, Cartoons, Middle East

Egyptian Deities Cigarettes



image image

[Click on any image to enlarge]

After our look at Murad cigarettes, here's another brand of the period. I wonder how well they would sell in today's geopolitical climate? And isn't there something sacrilegious about naming your product after another religion's sacred gods?
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Aug 25, 2013 | Comments (6)
Category: Art, Business, Advertising, Products, Tobacco and Smoking, 1920's, Middle East

Murad Cigarette Ads



[Click either to enlarge]

Surely one of the most gorgeously over-the-top ad campaigns for any cigarette was the long-running series for Murad brand. What a realm of fantasy!

Read a small history of the brand and see a large gallery of images here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Aug 12, 2013 | Comments (6)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Fantasy, Smoking and Tobacco, Middle East, Twentieth Century

Johnson Smith Catalog Item #30

[From the 1950 catalog. Click to enlarge.]

I can see this prank being really popular in the Middle East nowadays. "Gotcha, Ahmed [Isaac]! You really thought the Israelis [al Qaeda] had rigged your car!"
Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Aug 07, 2013 | Comments (4)
Category: Death, Destruction, Explosives, Fireworks and Pyrotechnics, Johnson Smith Catalog, 1950's, Pranks, Middle East

The Smallest Sheikh in Islam

Ahmed Salem was known as the "smallest sheikh in Islam." He made it into international news in June 1955 when he was able to walk into the office of Egyptian Prime Minister Nasser undetected because of his size. The AP ran this blurb, with the accompanying photos:

Egyptian Prime Minister Gamal Abdel Nasser lends an ear to the complaints of 62-year-old midget Ahmed Salem who was able to enter the premier's office without being seen because he's so little. He asked for help when his relatives stole his savings. Nasser promised to investigate.

Four months later, Salem was back in the news, but this time for taking other people's money. He tricked three U.S. senators into giving him a donation to help buy Russian weapons for the Egyptian army. (NY Times, Oct 19 1955). Senator Saltonstall, one of the senators deceived, later offered this explanation:

"When we went to see Premier Nasser yesterday there were twenty or thirty people crowded onto the front steps. Among them was this dwarf pestering us, talking a blue streak in Arabic and jingling this tin box.
What were we going to do? The thought went through my mind that it was an Egyptian charity and that a polite way to get out of this difficulty was to drop some coins in the box. I did not have any coins but Senator Stennis had three coins in his hand.
Like a good Yankee, I did not take the biggest one and I did not take the littlest one. I took one plaster, worth 3 cents, and put it into the box and we went on in to see the Prime Minister.
When we came out, there must have been forty or fifty people crowding around and this dwarf was trying to get us to give some more and pushing into every picture. By then we knew what the dwarf wanted and none of us dropped a penny into the box."
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Mar 15, 2013 | Comments (1)
Category: 1950's, Middle East

Camel or Horse?

One of these things is not like the other. The more exotic moves come past the halfway mark.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Jul 28, 2011 | Comments (4)
Category: Animals, Contests, Races and Other Competitions, Europe, Middle East
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.