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.