James Zogby on Rahm Emanuel

December 10, 2008

I just happened upon this post from a blog called Khaldoun which comments on Middle East politics, culture, and media. It is a letter which was supposedly sent out by Dr. James Zogby, president and founder of the Arab-American Instistute.

From the blog: “It’s a thoughtful article by James Zogby about how the Arab world should interpret Obama’s appointment of Rahm Emanuel.”

Patriotism For the First Time

November 20, 2008

This is a bit of a late post, but I never got a chance to publish it.

I have heard a lot of people say (and seen a lot of Facebook status messages) that they are “proud to be American for the first time” now that Barack Obama has been elected President of the United States. I understand that people have been incredibly unhappy the past eight years under the Bush administration, but does that mean one still cannot be proud to be American? I was proud when firefighters rushed into the burning World Trade Centers, knowingly giving their lives for their country and their countrymen. I was proud of the US olympic team while watching from a restaurant in Morocco. And I was proud to see Americans stand up and make their voices heard, regardless of the result.

Op-ed "Obama’s Message Resonates in Egypt – To a Point"

November 14, 2008

Thanks again to Claude Salhani at the Middle East Times for publishing my piece “Obama’s Message Resonates in Egypt – To a Point”

McCain and Obama at the Alfred E Smith Memorial Dinner

October 19, 2008

Putting all politics aside for a minute, I highly recommend watching the videos of McCain and Obama at the Alfred E Smith Memorial Dinner if you haven’t already seen them. I found both candidates to be very funny and at the same time truly respectful of one another. I would just like to say that it is things like this, despite all of our problems, that really makes me love my country. Enjoy.

McCain 1

McCain 2


Clinton, Monica, and Israel

October 7, 2008

I have a lot of things I still need to post and a lot of work to do, but I have to write this down while it is still fresh in my mind.

We are reading a book in class called Taxi, by Khaled Khamisi. Khamisi recorded his conversations with taxi drivers in Egypt over the span of about two years and compiled them into short stories in this book. It is very interesting and fun to read. Depending on how tired I am and how confident I am feeling with my Arabic, I like to talk with taxi drivers, too, as they really get around Cairo and usually have a lot to say. Sometimes I think I should write my own version of Taxi.

This conversation started with the usual pleasantries and when I told the driver, Ahmed, that I was from America, he was very happy and said “ah, Bush, Bush.” I asked him whether he likes Obama or McCain, as Bush’s term is almost up. He told me he liked Clinton. I asked him why, and he said because he was a good guy. I reminded him of what happened with Monica Lewinsky and he told me that it wasn’t Clinton’s fault. “What would you do if there was an attractive woman dressing and acting that way in front of you?” Anyway, he said, Israel put her in the White House to sabotage Clinton and his administration. I asked him to explain, and he said that the White House and American businesses are controlled by Israel. “People think that the US controls Israel, but it is actually Israel that controls the US,” he said. He told me that because Clinton was not kowtowing to Israel enough they brought him down, and that Bush is not good because he is controlled by Israel.

Ahmed actually mentioned that Israel and the Jews control the White House and America’s economy, which is important to note. Many people here do not make a distinction between Israelis and Jews. However, Ahmed also told me that no matter what you are, Christian, Jew, or Muslim, as long as you are a “just” person, he doesn’t have a problem.

When I pressed him on who he likes in November, he said McCain, because he is a good guy. He didn’t seem to have any interest in Obama.