Nur al-Cubicle

A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press. Daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut) and occasionally from El Mundo (Madrid).

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Conversations

I flew to Paris in late winter for a few days of shopping and leisure. That, and, disgusted with Arab fear-mongering in the good 'ole USA, to see a female Moroccan standup comedienne performing near the Porte St. Denis.

One of my favorite places to visit is the sprawling FNAC book and media store on the mezzanine level at Metro stop Le Châtelet-Les Halles. The young after-work crowd was shoulder to shoulder browsing the stacks and bustling about the underground mall. Transported down a river of Parisiens, I searched for an eddy to eavesdrop and take the pulse of the citoyens. I began to notice tall Francophone Africans buttonholing people or hi-fiving shoppers. Curiosity spured me to sidle up close to one of these encounters. Islam, mon frère! Islam, yahwu'allah! On est solidaire--Islam! Islam les amis! Ma soeur, n'oublie pas que l'Islam te protège. I was floored! The Base in fine form right there at FNAC!

Last week I took some time off and flew to north Florida to log a few days of summer beachtime. As you might think, there were a number of white Anglo-Saxon southern American types--guys with white shirts and briefcases and willowy, well-heeled southern blondes hailing from burgs like Knoxville or Savannah. As I relaxed, I found myself within earshot of the pair in front of me.

He. twang/ Hello! /twang
She. twang/Why, hello! Hawr yew t'day? /twang

The pair note their common patois and acknowledge their shared Dixie-ness, so they can get right down to the nitty-gritty after some short, preliminary banter. Time to test the waters!

He: I send my kids to a Christian academy.
She: Oh, me too! Knoxville has some great Christian schools!
He: I thank the Lord; I'm blessed.
She: The Lord has been good to me...I'm a mother of three! And my husband is a blessing, too!

Then they get into some righteous preacher-family-Christian
-evangelical-megachurchin', blessin' and back-pattin'. Not at all unlike...the French-speaking Muslims at Les Halles.

Hmmm.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Mark from Ireland said...

Yup peas out of the same pod.

Terrifying isn't it?

I recently had an "encounter" myself. It terrified me damn near witless:

"if we save even one soul then everything in Iraq will be worth it."

He's a full Colonel in the USMC.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Nur-al-Cubicle said...

Yeah. Not like Irish catholicism. Everyone's a worthless damned sinner (except your mother) until St. Peter determines otherwise.

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Mark from Ireland said...

Especially if you're a middle-aged nun faced with me (admittedly being very naughty) aged four :-)

"Yah dirty little English protestant yah"

(My Anglo-Irish mother converted to marry my father. None of her family ever spoke to her again.)

2:28 PM  
Blogger programmer craig said...

Wow, Nur. You start the post with a complaint of "Arab fear-mongering" and end it with a blatantly racist comment. Or was it Christian bashing? Both? Yes, both, I think. And that bit implying they are ignorant backwards southerners was cute too!

Er... nice!?

Nevermind. You won't see the irony in that. I saw a woman blogger who was ranting about how poorly she gets treated in the veil, in the west, and I felt bad for her. But when I scrolled back through some of her old posts, I saw racist rants, gay bashing, christian bashing and a bunch of other over-the-top unclalled for crap.

She seems to feel she is entitled to acceptance and tolerance, but is unwilling to accept and tolerate others. You seem to feel the same way.

Well, you single handedly changed my opinions about Arabs, now I have to go visit some Arab blogs where people aren't a bunch of self-rightous hateful bigots to undue the damage!

Or would you rather I now engage in the Arab hate-mongering? You've certainly given me reason, but then I'd be like you :)

7:27 PM  
Blogger Nur-al-Cubicle said...

do while craig complains {

shrug;

}

9:07 PM  

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