Thursday, August 12, 2004

Googling in Cairo

The intersection of the Google brand and a Cairo cybercafe (alternate view)...


  • On one level, it's just plain funny that an Internet café in Cairo promotes its business with a large Google logo above the doorway and the word "Internet" merely tilted off to the side in much smaller, apparently non-bold lettering.

    On another, albeit similar level, the second picture is an interesting juxtaposition -- with the Google logo featured so prominently amidst the sheer poverty and malnourished, barefoot children forced to play in the alley ways that are made up entirely of sand.

    I don't think Google will sue the café owner for trademark infringement (assuming Google has a trademark registration in Egypt ... and that Egypt even allows registered trademarks, for that matter). The owner is clearly trying to make an honest and decent living in a region with an uncertain economic future and one that is prone to geopolitical instability. I'm sure, or at least I hope, the Google powers that be realize that.

    In fact, that could be something the Google Foundation could take up -- sort of a "pet project". Not only could it arrange for small businesses in third world and developing countries to perpetually license the Google trademark royalty free, the Foundation could also provide seed money for businesses such as that café to grow, and maybe (eventually), prosper.

    Speaking of the Google Foundation, I'm wondering if you're allowed to comment on whether or not an official Web site is being developed. If so, do you know when it might be ready for a public launch? As well, is the Foundation that is being set up actually owned by Google or is it completely independent, set up by Larry and Sergey to manage (what will be soon) the charitable contributions of their extraordinary wealth? Basically, is it like the Foundation or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation? Not really a big deal, just a minor detail I was curious about.


    By Blogger Doug, at 12:41 AM  

  • I think it's worth noting that I really didn't see anything like malnourishment when taking the picture. Investing in Africa is certainly a noble goal. Yet, children went barefoot mostly because of the ridiculous Cairo temperature. Agreed, the area is not the richest, but this is no slums of Bogota.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:57 PM  

  • Someone mentionned having hard time tracking the source for this pic. Here's the full gallery:


    By Anonymous dB., at 9:56 AM  

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