Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Observations On Arabs

An amazing piece. Arabs really don't think like us. Say it slowly and let it sink in, then click here and read the piece. This man spent several years living among Arabs and has some interesting observations on the differences between us and them.


Blogger linearthinker said...

Good post and link. Thanks.

My exposure to Middle East culture is limited to a semester long ago when I had an Iranian roommate. Some things are still vivid after 40 years. Regarding the Persians, don't underestimate their intelligence. Linguistically they're very talented. At that time they were taught French as a mandatory second language, and many students here mastered English with only a short intro course before plunging into college level studies. They're extremely competitive and will wager on anything. There's no dishonor in lying...only in being caught out in a lie. Watch out for Armani-Dinnerjacket on that point. It was often embarrassing to play cards in the coop where we lived. If my roommate was holding a losing hand, he'd cheat overtly to throw the advantage to me over the other two or three players. "Tribalism" there, as Simon might say. I was at that moment part of his tribe.

It got to rankling me after a while to hear him offer up Christian blasphemy when he was frustrated. I remember him struggling with an integral equation problem and blurting out "Jeesus Chrites!" I waited a few moments, and feigning my own frustration, threw down my pencil and bellered, "Allah!" He turned to me wide eyed and horrified. "You must not say that!" he said. I smiled and told him what goes around comes around, or words to that effect.

1:14 AM  

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