Ghalia Mahmoud has become an unlikely celebrity chef in Egypt with her 90-minute television show broadcast on the 25 January satellite channel, and created in the wake of the 2011 uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak.
"Under the previous regime, you wouldn't see anyone like me on television," she says. "The chefs on TV were bigger than movie stars and spoke English and French. - who would appreciate me?"
Reports have it that the Mubarak regime preferred only to present a veneer of sophistication, to gloss over the hardships to which it subjected so many of its people. But reality, Cairo is said to be immense, overcrowded, and mired in poverty, and Mahmoud hails from an area that exemplifies all these things. But with her newfound TV popularity these days, this has all changed.
Like I said, picture Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee, or any other TV food show star becoming so influential, that people begin calling on them -- to run for Secretary of State.
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