Egyptian blogger from Cairo.
Revolutionary Socialist.
Partner & Creative Director at ThePlanet.

El Koshary Today: Satirical News Website Built with Drupal

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After months of hard work and creative time-wasting techniques, Egypt’s first online satirical news source is finally here. El Koshary Today is a website built with Drupal CMS that brings the latest fictitious stories from Egypt and around the globe.

El Koshary Today logo

El Koshary Today logo

It is built to be light-weight, simple yet sleek. The most important aspect of the website is the content itself, therefore, any unneeded elements would inevitably backfire as the audience are searching for a pleasant experience as they browse the dynamic content from the different subject areas.

Photo by Hossam el-Hamalawy

Photo by Hossam el-Hamalawy

Inspired by Koshary, the main traditional dish that gains its popularity from it’s economical value, yet strong and engaging taste, the writers aim at springing off what is typically Egyptian and reaching out to the world. It is an approach to analyze and constructively criticize the difference aspects of the culture that gave birth to the revolutionary Koshary. You can read more at the Koshary Philosophy page.

EKT is built on the 960 Grid System framework that significantly facilitates the creation of a base/skeleton for your website. Using the traditional 12-column grid, the homepage is divided into three columns to display a lot of content, without sacrificing the simplicity of the layout and the usability aspect. The inner pages however, are two columns only (widening the right sidebar after removing the left one) to give more prominence to the main column with the article text, and to use the right sidebar to bring the the most read or any other promoted material.

Drupal was the ideal content management system for this particular project. On the one hand, using powerful modules such as Views (with the revolutionary Semantic Views) gives you complete control of where and how the content appears. One problem might be the lack of control as far as the unnecessary markup that is inevitably added to the code. Semantic Views significantly reduces the excessive code that gets in the way, and makes a substantial improvement to the arguably inefficient approach to templating in Drupal.

Drupal: Amazing CMS

Drupal: Amazing CMS

Aside from the markup issue, and the naturally aggressive image caching that could be frustrating at times, getting Drupal to do exactly as required was a breeze. One of the most impressive features is the ability to specifically customize with the different users with different roles can see and do. As a result, the editors and contributors never come across any options they will not be using, and adding/maintaining the content is a fast and easy process, with no technical knowledge required. The ability to make revisions and leave comments associated with each revision, with the option of reverting to older version, is yet another fascinating functionality as part of the open source CMS.

El Koshary Today's interface

El Koshary Today's interface

The result is a humorous website with fresh content displayed via an elegant interface using an efficient back-end built on an organized, cross-browser compatible framework. El Koshary Today is Egypt’s first satirical online news source, and it yet another example of the endless possibilities for the members of the web, thanks by large to the open-source technologies, and of course, the beautiful internet.

You can visit, become a fan via the Facebook page, or follow on Twitter @elkoshary

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November 22, 2009

Brilliant! I followed here from Hugh MIles site and then I found out you designed my favorite Egyptian website :).

Nice work on this wordpress customization too.

I do most of my customized sites in wordpress, not tried Drupal yet.

Tarek Shalaby

January 11, 2010

Thank you very much for your kind words, Glad you like it! El Koshary Today has been receiving some very encouraging feedback, so that’s great!

WordPress is very easy to customize, which is partly why it is so popular. However, for more complicated websites that require more advanced and specific features, than it actually becomes easier to use Drupal.

It might take a while before you’re completely comfortable with Drupal, and it’s definitely going to be a little frustrating at first, but it only takes you one complete website to realize how amazing it is.

As a general rule, I think if you’re building a relatively simple micro-site, then WordPress is your man. For everything else, there’s Drupal :)


January 22, 2010

Thanks very very much.

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