CAIRO: The summer heat of the city drives most people out of the city to the Mediterranean beaches, turning the otherwise quiet area into the liveliest place in Egypt. It’s not only private citizens that head for the beach, as even the media tends to join the migration, providing summer entertainment.
Marina, an immensely popular city by the beach on the North Coast, attracts many of Cairo and Alexandria’s well-off citizens and many Egyptian celebrities, thus making it the prime location for parties and concerts.
This summer producer Tamer Abou El-Enin decided to document the fun days of summer as a sort of reality show for people to enjoy. So even if you’re stuck in Cairo for the weekend you can switch it on and get a feel for the weekend on the coast.
The show Marina Rayih Ge (Marina Coming and Going) is an unscripted portrayal of daily life aired on the weekend on Melody hits, an Egyptian 24-hour music channel available on Nile Sat.
The five hosts, who look like ordinary young Marina goers, walk around town listening to the buzz both day and night.
“Our subject is Marina . we are here! Everything we see, everything we do … It’s a place we love so we wanted to reflect this, says Abou El-Enin.
Each episode is between 30-50 minutes long, and is an edited version of weekend events. The hosts never know what to expect and thus neither does the viewer. Sometimes they find celebrities and interview them on camera. Just like anyone else in Marina, they are not searching for them, but if they happen to bump into them they will include them in the show. Sometimes they are lucky enough to run into several celebrities a day.
Many people enjoy the show because of its liberal feel. The show captures girls in bikinis, people dancing on the beach and so on – sights not often shown on national TV.
Sherine El-Meligi, director of programming and production, says that although they do sometimes face problems, they manage to deal with them, “We don’t go over board but we show what it’s like with certain limitations, of course, from the country, she says.
The five hosts are fun and good-humored and ask playful questions like, “What would you do if you like this guy? to a girl at a party. When Abou El-Enin was choosing the hosts he says he was looking for “people that don’t look too professional so it looks real and natural, not like other programs, he says.
Within the episode, some segments focus on food or cars, which are main components of Marina life. Sometimes they focus on a certain dish or test-drive a car but every episode is different, because, after all, the point is not to predefine what will take place.
The show is not live or on real time and filming takes place one weekend and is released the following one, after being edited down to the highlights of the weekend.
Catch the show on Friday night on Melody Hits at 10 p.m., or the rerun the following day at 4 p.m.