A cousin of mine in Jordan sent me this video via Facebook. At first, I found it very charming—this toothless old Egyptian man entertaining his friends with a song. It reminded me of the summer I spent living in my uncle’s house in Amman. (Every night after dinner, the whole family would sit in a circle in a big room, telling stories, etc.)
In the video, the old man starts to sing, and you hear commentary from the group. There are lots of fingers snapping in time to the beat and vocal encouragement (“Aywah!”). After a minute, the photographer pans around to show the room. A man in the foreground is playing cards. A few listeners are clapping to the beat. Isn’t this nice? These people don’t need television or video games or YouTube for entertainment! They interact directly with each other for fun! Then the camera pans more… What’s this? Half of the old man’s audience is engrossed in texting on their cellphones! Aaaugh!