Monday, January 30, 2006

Religion and Politics, Never Gets Old

The two "taboo" topics are two of my favorites, so here we go with another round. Much more "politics" than "religion" this time. Once again, "In The Axis" gets is right. A worthwhile and brief read for all.

And BTW, the hot spot when I was in Cairo was the Pizza Hut across the street from the AUC. And yes, it was about as nice as Brian's description of the McDonalds--more of a sit down atmosphere than fast food. Of course, nothing in Egypt is better than a big bowl of koshari with hot sauce, lemon sauce, and water from the communal pitcher on the table (bring your own Immodium).


Political Tremor

The McDonald's in Cairo's upscale Mohandiseen area (upscale for Cairo anyway) attracted the rich, the Westernized, the youth. This fast-food outlet was complete with a uniformed doorman who would rush to light cigarettes dangling from customers' lips. It was the place to be seen.

I visited there during my stay in Egypt a few years ago with my friend and roommate Muhammed Heiko Moss, a tall and thoroughly aryan-looking fellow, who had a Tunisian step-father and a German mother who loved all things Japanese. He had a charisma that enabled him to strike up a chat with anyone, and I met such interesting people when he was around. One afternoon we came across eight Palestinian guys who were enjoying coffee while being seen at McDonald's. They were students at a Cairo technical school, and in the course of the conversation we spoke about life back in the Occupied Territories. After listening to their litany of complaints, I asked if any of them had lost any family members in the conflict.

They laughed and shrugged their shoulders. Every one of them had at least one family member killed in gunfights, bombings, prison 'accidents' and other forms of Israeli-Palestinian violence. During my time in the Middle East, I have met countless Palestinians in nearly every country I have visited and heard story after story of unmitigated violence and humiliation. Syria hosts over 2 million Palestinian refugees, victims of ethnic cleansing.

Ethnic cleansing -- there is no other way to put it than that.

(read the rest here:


Blogger huma said...

interesting and depressing

3:22 AM  

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