Online Since 2004.

Author: Roba

Harry Potter Mania!

I read the first Harry Potter book back in 1998, before it was “all the rage”. One of the boys had “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” assigned for his English class, and I, by nature, can’t let any available book escape my hands.

Naturally, I absolutely loved it, and as the years went by, you would find us discussing the long-awaited release date of the following book!

Next week marks the release of the 6th book in the series, “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince”, and at 12:00 AM of the 16th of July at Prime Megastore, we will participate in the world’s biggest-ever brand events- in thousands of retail outlets all over the world, millions of people will gather with the same purpose: to buy the new Harry Potter book. The cool thing is that we will get the book several hours before the stateside counterparts! (and if that’s not cool, I don’t know what is :P)

Anyhow, while on the subject of Potter, I found a really fascinating article about the brand power of “Harry Potter”. The article poses the question “What defines a brand?”, and can “Harry Potter” be considered a brand? You can read the whole article here, here are some highlights though:

“In less than 10 years, Harry Potter has become one of the world’s most widely recognised names. A brand name indeed. In terms of books sold, Harry Potter stands third in the all-time literary charts behind the Bible and the thoughts of Chairman Mao. And, I suspect, read rather more avidly over the past 10 years than either of those other literary heavyweights.

Rowling has created Harry Potter using branding techniques and the books themselves are full of brilliantly invented brands, corporate strategies, advertising campaigns and every element of the marketing mix. In effect, they make a textbook case for marketing.

Harry Potter’s lightning flash is becoming as recognisable as Nike’s swoosh or the golden arches of McDonald’s, and he has many other distinctive brand elements such as ownable words. ‘Quidditch’, for example, was recently voted one of the nation’s favourite words, even though it has yet to find its way into most dictionaries.”

The Msa7arati

Every night during Jordan’s Ramadan at around 2:30 AM, I wake up feeling like a giant is about to step on me, thanks to the “Boom! Boom! Boom!” of the msa7arati’s set of drums. It’s irritating of course, for several reasons. I wake up panicked for one thing, and it takes me a while to figure out that I am not about to be squished. It also takes me a couple of hours to be able to go back to sleep, and I still have to wake up at 7 every day.
Yet, my irritation does not equal my fascination with the mystifying “msa7arati”. Every night after his booming wakes me up, I scuttle out of bed, scramble for my glasses, and dash to the window, only to find that booming has already drifted away, taking the “msa7arati” with it. I run to another window, but his booming is also trailing off. It’s almost as if he moves around in a paranormal device that is much too fast for sleepy feet.
And so, this hide-and-seek game between me and the “msa7arati” has been going on since last years Ramadan.
Until last night. Last night, I scuttled out of bed fast enough, scrambled for my glasses swiftly, and dashed to the window in a flash.
I finally got a glimpse of the “msa7arati”.
Unfortunately, he looks nothing like what I imagined him to look. Here’s a quick sketch of what my over-active Disney-run imagination thought he would look like (never mind my drawing, I want to go nap to make up the lost sleep):

In reality, the “msa7arati” looks exactly the opposite :) He’s very tiny; it’s almost as if his set of drums is carrying him. He also wasn’t wearing a fez, and he was wearing khakis and a shirt.
Well… at least I got the drums part right :)
For those of you who grew up in Jordan, my fascination with the “msa7arati” will seem silly. To me though, this is a part of a culture I didn’t grow up in, but that I was told about by my parents and cousins.

I love our culture.

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