1) In a scene focusing on a professor going into the department head's office, the following question: "Ustaaza, is that an ashtray on the table?"
2) In another scene, showing two friends in a cafe: "Ustaaza, are they smoking indoors?"
To me, these references to smoking were unremarkable, not so much because I have lived in Egypt (the scene of the videos, but where smoking spaces have also changed dramatically in recent years) but because I remember a time in which it was not unusual to smoke indoors, or have an ashtray on a table.
Yet I do remember, my first time in Egypt, being surprised to see people smoking in elevators (this is much less common now). I told my mother, and she was not surprised, telling me how students and professors used to smoke in class when she was in college. I remember thinking this was unimaginable, as classrooms, like elevators, were spaces in which I could not imagine smoking. Eleven years later, it seems that offices and cafes are just as unimaginable spaces for my students.