By Hanadi Dairy
The Emperor of Nowheristan Michel Elefteriades stands aristocratically in Utopia Now, headquarters of the Empire. Dressed majestically, he smiles at camera lenses and welcomes those arriving at Starco to share in the celebration of the Empire of Nowheristan’s fifth anniversary when Elefteriades proclaimed himself first Emperor of this concept nation now counting 100,000 citizens from around the globe. Some are standing hesitatingly at the entrance. The Emperor then “royally” asks them to come closer and then invites them to head towards the MusicHall where they would await the beginning of the ceremony.
A guest leafs through a brochure highlighting the ideal political and social system of which Elefteriades had set the foundations, in a bid to change the world so it is filled with more refinement, beauty and arts. In the long hall, people are chatting and “snacking” on appetizers. Velvet seats are installed on both sides and transparent banners with the letter “N” drop from ceiling. A red carpet lays on the steps leading to the stage decorated with gold. The Imperial band of Nowheristan starts playing behind the huge flag installed on stage for the occasion. Thunderous applauses and relaxed smiles set the loud celebration mood. A lady shouts pointing at Elefteriades’ two kids running in the crowd: “I saw his kids! God bless them! They grew a lot!” The music of Nowheristan suggests the impossible dreams and unreserved swaying to the free rhythm. One man asks his friend: “Did Michel give you the Nowheristan passport?”
Suddenly the humming stops and music becomes louder and more rhythmic. Another roaring round of applause and those seated stand up. “Michel the first and last” (as Elefteriades calls himself) enters the hall with a very serious look. He stands at the top of the long steps leading to the stage. One musician gets close to him striking his snare drum harder, and together they head to the podium. People are laughing happily filled with awe. The Emperor takes slow and well studied steps. He stands on the platform. He is quiet for a few seconds and then suddenly starts telling stories of leaders who before him dreamed of change, faced sarcasm and disappointment, but nevertheless did not relinquish their dreams, acting “foolishly” sometimes and persevering until they made their unrealistic wishes come true. This draws stronger applauses from the crowd and loud happy laughing making Michel pause for a few seconds. Elefteriades ends his speech on musical notes and joins the audience who honors him by a toast. One man whispers to another: “Michel’s frenzy really gets close to genius.”