BBC: 25TV’s Ghalia Mahmoud

Ghalia Alia Mahmoud

Is the world topsy-turvy compared to the US?

Poets in other countries are thrown in prison for what they write, and in Egypt, a maid-turned-TV cooking show host is being considered for political office.

The BBC recently reported on the phenomenon of Ghalia Mahmoud. She has been swept up in the Tahrir Square revolution, bringing ordinary struggling Egyptians some real presence on TV.

Her employer’s brother gave his sister’s cook and maid a TV show about how to cook on a few dollars a day.

In the words of 25TV owner Mohamed Gohar, Set Ghalia allows Egyptians – and other Arabs too – to see themselves as they really are – poor, struggling to make ends meet. Her budget runs to $4 (£2.50) a day. Her haggling skills have become a Cairo legend.

She is the Rachael Ray of the Middle East with a 90-minute prime time show that is a huge hit. Now, there is a call for her to run for political office. That’s like Rachael or Paula running for senator.

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