If you recognize these cultural references, you definitely grew up in the 80s and 90s

Published September 27th, 2015 - 12:23 GMT

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Remember the old bells your teacher used to ring when class was over? How'd you run home and play "El Wawi" with your friends, or (better) Duck Hunt on Atari -- or you'd gather around the TV on a hot summer afternoon and watch telenovelas like "Rosalinda" or "Kassandra"? (We already know how much Arab girls just love foreign soap operas.) It's time to indulge nostalgia: if you recognize these cultural references, you definitely grew up in the Middle East in the eighties and nineties...

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Remember these little hand-held bells? Our teachers used them every day -- they were SO noisy, but we loved the sound because it meant class was over.
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Image 1 of 19:  1 / 19Remember these little hand-held bells? Our teachers used them every day -- they were SO noisy, but we loved the sound because it meant class was over.

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Cops rolled in fancy cars -- even back then. Mercedes Benz!
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Image 2 of 19:  2 / 19Cops rolled in fancy cars -- even back then. Mercedes Benz!

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The game “El Wawi.” Everyone chooses a color & El Wawi says: “Knock knock!” You answer: “Who's there?” El Wawi says “I'm El Wawi, and I want an egg!” You ask “What color is it?” El Wawi has to guess colors. If he gets one right, that person says “Me!” & El Wawi chases him. If he gets caught, he becomes the next El Wawi.
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Image 3 of 19:  3 / 19The game “El Wawi.” Everyone chooses a color & El Wawi says: “Knock knock!” You answer: “Who's there?” El Wawi says “I'm El Wawi, and I want an egg!” You ask “What color is it?” El Wawi has to guess colors. If he gets one right, that person says “Me!” & El Wawi chases him. If he gets caught, he becomes the next El Wawi.

Enlarge
 The old Pepsi and Shani logos -- SO much cooler than the new ones.
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Image 4 of 19:  4 / 19 The old Pepsi and Shani logos -- SO much cooler than the new ones.

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Ramek -- the cheese that started it all! Before it got big, salty white cheese was pretty much all we had. The introduction of the creamy yellow Ramek to the Arab world was a very welcome change.
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Image 5 of 19:  5 / 19Ramek -- the cheese that started it all! Before it got big, salty white cheese was pretty much all we had. The introduction of the creamy yellow Ramek to the Arab world was a very welcome change.

Enlarge
The cruel but popular song that was the soundtrack for much of our childhoods: “Pepsi, Cola, Seven Up, your sis is cross-eyed and nobody loves her!” (It rhymes in Arabic: “Pepsi, Cola, Seven Up, okhtak 7ola ma bten7ab!').
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Image 6 of 19:  6 / 19The cruel but popular song that was the soundtrack for much of our childhoods: “Pepsi, Cola, Seven Up, your sis is cross-eyed and nobody loves her!” (It rhymes in Arabic: “Pepsi, Cola, Seven Up, okhtak 7ola ma bten7ab!").

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The old electric switches and fan regulators...
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Image 7 of 19:  7 / 19The old electric switches and fan regulators...

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Remember when Hardee’s gave away branded cartoon video tapes with their meals?
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Image 8 of 19:  8 / 19Remember when Hardee’s gave away branded cartoon video tapes with their meals?

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The telenovela “Kassandra,” about a gypsy woman who marries into a wealthy family, was a big deal in the Middle East of the 90s... even though the show was produced in Venezuela. Kassandra and Luis David made the perfect couple -- men fantasized about Kassandra, and women fantasized about him!
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Image 9 of 19:  9 / 19The telenovela “Kassandra,” about a gypsy woman who marries into a wealthy family, was a big deal in the Middle East of the 90s... even though the show was produced in Venezuela. Kassandra and Luis David made the perfect couple -- men fantasized about Kassandra, and women fantasized about him!

Enlarge
Sambo! The branding on these chocolate-covered spongy-creamy goodies certainly wasn’t politically-correct, but boy were they tasty (and cheap). You couldn’t go to the supermarket as  a kid without buying one of these.
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Image 10 of 19:  10 / 19Sambo! The branding on these chocolate-covered spongy-creamy goodies certainly wasn’t politically-correct, but boy were they tasty (and cheap). You couldn’t go to the supermarket as a kid without buying one of these.

Enlarge
The old phone cards, that made holes for the different denominations. Before the days of WhatsApp, this was how we made cheap long-distance calls.
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Image 11 of 19:  11 / 19The old phone cards, that made holes for the different denominations. Before the days of WhatsApp, this was how we made cheap long-distance calls.

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Kentucky Fried Chicken… which in those days was still called “Kentucky Fried Chicken”...
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Image 12 of 19:  12 / 19Kentucky Fried Chicken… which in those days was still called “Kentucky Fried Chicken”...

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Pizza Hut’s first logo. Just the sight of it takes us back...
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Image 13 of 19:  13 / 19Pizza Hut’s first logo. Just the sight of it takes us back...

Enlarge
A typical home-theater set-up. Later, the Betamax paved the way for the Atari game system.
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Image 14 of 19:  14 / 19A typical home-theater set-up. Later, the Betamax paved the way for the Atari game system.

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Speaking of Atari… remember THESE?! And how you had to blow into the cartridges to get ‘em to work? Or how you’d actually wake up early to play? Mario and Duck Hunt were the best games.
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Image 15 of 19:  15 / 19Speaking of Atari… remember THESE?! And how you had to blow into the cartridges to get ‘em to work? Or how you’d actually wake up early to play? Mario and Duck Hunt were the best games.

Enlarge
The first mobile phone… and yes, you had to carry the bag around because that’s where the antenna was.
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Image 16 of 19:  16 / 19The first mobile phone… and yes, you had to carry the bag around because that’s where the antenna was.

Enlarge
The soapy series Rosalinda -- about a working-class woman who falls in love with an aristocratic man only to become the victim of his conniving stepmother -- was basically our babysitter in the late 1990’s. It seemed like all Arab girls were obsessed with this show...
Reduce

Image 17 of 19:  17 / 19The soapy series Rosalinda -- about a working-class woman who falls in love with an aristocratic man only to become the victim of his conniving stepmother -- was basically our babysitter in the late 1990’s. It seemed like all Arab girls were obsessed with this show...

Enlarge
“Sally,” the cartoon about a little girl who lives a hard life in an orphanage, was unbearably sad at times, but more often than not cheered our little hearts on hot Middle Eastern afternoons.
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Image 18 of 19:  18 / 19“Sally,” the cartoon about a little girl who lives a hard life in an orphanage, was unbearably sad at times, but more often than not cheered our little hearts on hot Middle Eastern afternoons.

Enlarge
If you had one of these, you were considered quite tech-savvy. Boy have times changed…
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Image 19 of 19:  19 / 19If you had one of these, you were considered quite tech-savvy. Boy have times changed…

Enlarge

1

Remember these little hand-held bells? Our teachers used them every day -- they were SO noisy, but we loved the sound because it meant class was over.

Image 1 of 19Remember these little hand-held bells? Our teachers used them every day -- they were SO noisy, but we loved the sound because it meant class was over.

2

Cops rolled in fancy cars -- even back then. Mercedes Benz!

Image 2 of 19Cops rolled in fancy cars -- even back then. Mercedes Benz!

3

The game “El Wawi.” Everyone chooses a color & El Wawi says: “Knock knock!” You answer: “Who's there?” El Wawi says “I'm El Wawi, and I want an egg!” You ask “What color is it?” El Wawi has to guess colors. If he gets one right, that person says “Me!” & El Wawi chases him. If he gets caught, he becomes the next El Wawi.

Image 3 of 19The game “El Wawi.” Everyone chooses a color & El Wawi says: “Knock knock!” You answer: “Who's there?” El Wawi says “I'm El Wawi, and I want an egg!” You ask “What color is it?” El Wawi has to guess colors. If he gets one right, that person says “Me!” & El Wawi chases him. If he gets caught, he becomes the next El Wawi.

4

 The old Pepsi and Shani logos -- SO much cooler than the new ones.

Image 4 of 19 The old Pepsi and Shani logos -- SO much cooler than the new ones.

5

Ramek -- the cheese that started it all! Before it got big, salty white cheese was pretty much all we had. The introduction of the creamy yellow Ramek to the Arab world was a very welcome change.

Image 5 of 19Ramek -- the cheese that started it all! Before it got big, salty white cheese was pretty much all we had. The introduction of the creamy yellow Ramek to the Arab world was a very welcome change.

6

The cruel but popular song that was the soundtrack for much of our childhoods: “Pepsi, Cola, Seven Up, your sis is cross-eyed and nobody loves her!” (It rhymes in Arabic: “Pepsi, Cola, Seven Up, okhtak 7ola ma bten7ab!').

Image 6 of 19The cruel but popular song that was the soundtrack for much of our childhoods: “Pepsi, Cola, Seven Up, your sis is cross-eyed and nobody loves her!” (It rhymes in Arabic: “Pepsi, Cola, Seven Up, okhtak 7ola ma bten7ab!").

7

The old electric switches and fan regulators...

Image 7 of 19The old electric switches and fan regulators...

8

Remember when Hardee’s gave away branded cartoon video tapes with their meals?

Image 8 of 19Remember when Hardee’s gave away branded cartoon video tapes with their meals?

9

The telenovela “Kassandra,” about a gypsy woman who marries into a wealthy family, was a big deal in the Middle East of the 90s... even though the show was produced in Venezuela. Kassandra and Luis David made the perfect couple -- men fantasized about Kassandra, and women fantasized about him!

Image 9 of 19The telenovela “Kassandra,” about a gypsy woman who marries into a wealthy family, was a big deal in the Middle East of the 90s... even though the show was produced in Venezuela. Kassandra and Luis David made the perfect couple -- men fantasized about Kassandra, and women fantasized about him!

10

Sambo! The branding on these chocolate-covered spongy-creamy goodies certainly wasn’t politically-correct, but boy were they tasty (and cheap). You couldn’t go to the supermarket as  a kid without buying one of these.

Image 10 of 19Sambo! The branding on these chocolate-covered spongy-creamy goodies certainly wasn’t politically-correct, but boy were they tasty (and cheap). You couldn’t go to the supermarket as a kid without buying one of these.

11

The old phone cards, that made holes for the different denominations. Before the days of WhatsApp, this was how we made cheap long-distance calls.

Image 11 of 19The old phone cards, that made holes for the different denominations. Before the days of WhatsApp, this was how we made cheap long-distance calls.

12

Kentucky Fried Chicken… which in those days was still called “Kentucky Fried Chicken”...

Image 12 of 19Kentucky Fried Chicken… which in those days was still called “Kentucky Fried Chicken”...

13

Pizza Hut’s first logo. Just the sight of it takes us back...

Image 13 of 19Pizza Hut’s first logo. Just the sight of it takes us back...

14

A typical home-theater set-up. Later, the Betamax paved the way for the Atari game system.

Image 14 of 19A typical home-theater set-up. Later, the Betamax paved the way for the Atari game system.

15

Speaking of Atari… remember THESE?! And how you had to blow into the cartridges to get ‘em to work? Or how you’d actually wake up early to play? Mario and Duck Hunt were the best games.

Image 15 of 19Speaking of Atari… remember THESE?! And how you had to blow into the cartridges to get ‘em to work? Or how you’d actually wake up early to play? Mario and Duck Hunt were the best games.

16

The first mobile phone… and yes, you had to carry the bag around because that’s where the antenna was.

Image 16 of 19The first mobile phone… and yes, you had to carry the bag around because that’s where the antenna was.

17

The soapy series Rosalinda -- about a working-class woman who falls in love with an aristocratic man only to become the victim of his conniving stepmother -- was basically our babysitter in the late 1990’s. It seemed like all Arab girls were obsessed with this show...

Image 17 of 19The soapy series Rosalinda -- about a working-class woman who falls in love with an aristocratic man only to become the victim of his conniving stepmother -- was basically our babysitter in the late 1990’s. It seemed like all Arab girls were obsessed with this show...

18

“Sally,” the cartoon about a little girl who lives a hard life in an orphanage, was unbearably sad at times, but more often than not cheered our little hearts on hot Middle Eastern afternoons.

Image 18 of 19“Sally,” the cartoon about a little girl who lives a hard life in an orphanage, was unbearably sad at times, but more often than not cheered our little hearts on hot Middle Eastern afternoons.

19

If you had one of these, you were considered quite tech-savvy. Boy have times changed…

Image 19 of 19If you had one of these, you were considered quite tech-savvy. Boy have times changed…

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