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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Monday, March 07, 2005


The following are snippets of conversations that I’ve had over the past 2 weeks while I was in the states. Here is a small description of the characters involved in those conversations with me: Sam: me, read blog for a better idea of who I am. Dad: my father. Womanizer, flirt, serial monogamist. N: my ultra liberal and incredibly intelligent friend from Boston. A huge feminist, huge Bush hater, but hates kerry and will concede defeats in debates when she actually loses (usually against me), which makes her all right in my book. Plus she is cute! L: A Lebanese Christian woman my mom made friends with at the hospital. A: A half Palestinian, half Egyptian woman my dad made friends with at the hospital. Aunt: My mother’s sister, my aunt, my total shame. The woman is an idiot who loves hearing herself speak, usually about the evil jews and how they use the kabala to control the world, and how if you look next to you very quickly you can see the jinn( I wish I was joking). Here are the conversations in the order at which they took place: N: I keep watching the news and everything is all about Bush and his freedom on the march crap. Everyone is talking about how his policy is a successes and yada yada yada. Sam: But you kinda have to agree that there is some truth to it. That it’s not all hype. I mean look at Lebanon now, telling the Syrians to fuck of. That wouldn’t have happened if there wasn’t American troops right next door. N: I know, I know. But I still don’t like him. ********************************************************* L: I am so happy about what’s happening back home. It’s abut time those Syrians left. They have been leeching off of us for years now. You know, the average Syrian can work for 10 dollars ( I am assuming she meant a week) and he sends it all home, while a Lebanese would need at least 50 dollars to live. Living in Lebanon is expensive and they cause so much unemployment. Sam: But some people keep saying that if they left there would be a civil war. Do you think that’s a possibility? L: No. No way. There isn’t one sane Lebanese person who would ever want those days to return no matter what happens. ********************************* A:I have this friend, she is Coptic Egyptian- we are all muslims here right? Anyway- and she was telling me how she is afraid of that whole elected democracy in Egypt deal. She is afraid the islamists would take over. She hopes that Mubarak is only joking about the democratic reforms thing. ********************************* Dad: The Copts are really uppity in Egypt these days though. A: really? How so? Dad: Every time a Coptic Christian converts to Islam they make such a huge fuss over it. They start demonstrations, they surround the church, they block streets and chant about being persecuted. It’s becoming such a headache for us if one of them chooses to turn muslim and wants to have freedom of religion. A: ahh, I didn’t know that happens. I haven’t been in Egypt for a while. Sam: Ok, but dad, why is that such a big deal? It’s not like we really have freedom of religion in Egypt anyway. I mean, can you imagine what would happen if a muslim wanted to become a Christian? Dad: He would die! A: it’s not even a comparison Sam. Dad: his family would just kill him. It’s Islamic law. A: I kinda see your point though. ****************************** Aunt: Do you see what’s happening these days in the world, with Bush ordering Syria to get out of Lebanon. I feel as if this man wakes up every morning and is like “ how can I further humiliate muslims and arabs today?” Talking about how he wants to spread freedom and democracy in the world. What a bunch of bullshit. It’s not like all of us want democracy. Shouldn’t he ask us first? God I hate him. I pray everyday that someone kills him so we would be relieved from his miserable presence in our lives. Sam:( no response, just got up and left the room) Aunt: what? where are you going? ************************ Sigh..


At 3/07/2005 07:10:00 AM, Blogger Tina said...

LOL, ah the joys of family life!

At 3/07/2005 07:36:00 AM, Blogger Josie said...

Yay! You're blogging again! :) Very interesting post.

At 3/07/2005 07:38:00 AM, Anonymous Highlander said...

Curte conversation sandmonkey, glad your mum is well.
Anyway I think my comments on your post The Hariri effect still apply here with regards to Syria so I will repost them again below:
"Well I'm surprised sandmonkey for once you are a little bit on the correct side with your evaluation of the syrian society. So this time I'll give you 7 out of 10 for this comment :). I would like to correct you on a tiny detail as well because like you I do have my Syrian and Lebanese friends and perhaps the fact that I lived in these 2 countries for a while can vouch for my knowledge. The 2 million Syrian workers in Lebanon are not creating unemployment among the Lebanese because they are doing the menial jobs that the Lebanese have grown too big headed to do. It's not like if these 2 million workers go then all Lebanese will have jobs! come on sandmonkey we know they won't , most Lebanese like to show off and street cleaning, maids, labourers etc.. are made up of what ? well Srilankan maids and nannys, Egyptian illegal labourers who sweep the streets,Syrian cleaners, and some Sudanese and Philipinos thrown in for good measure. So when Lebanon's sons and daughters emigrate and leave their farms who will work in them ? their old parents do you think? It's a fashion status to have your Srilankan maid even if you have to pay her half your salary.. Please sandmonkey don't totally denigrate people's worth it's not like these were vampires. The economy works both ways have you seen the number of Lebanese who come to Damascus every weekend for shopping because food and clothes and goods are 'made in syria' and incredibly cheap and good tasting, they even stock up on Syrian bread. The Lebanese cannot afford these items in their own country so they profit from the currency exchange difference in Syria. Don't make it sound like Syrians are leeches on poor sweet Lebanon, just go stand at the border and see the traffic both ways. Then the non-Arab readers will get a fuller picture.

Kat I hope you got an answer to your questions now, Syria is not just a shabby country as sandmonkey has implied, so what if the infrastructure is not that modern at least they've worked hard on it for decades on their own with no need to import stuff.I just revisited Egypt in December 2004 and the infrastructure there is not much better and Egypt gets all this US aid ? where does all that money go ? I love all my Arab countries but I hate stereotyping and bashing just because it is now the plat du jour. Yes Syria should leave Lebanon pronto but that is all, no speculation about it's democratic readiness /or not, pls let the Syrians have their own awakening."

At 3/07/2005 09:55:00 AM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

Hey Highlander,

Last time you left me comments that in so many words called me kind of a liar or a fabricater, i let it slide,mainly because i was planning my trip to the US and i didn;t have time to respond, and also because your posts did have some truths in them to which i agreed with and i didn;t feel like splitting heirs.

The comments that came regarding lebanon in the above post came from a lebanese woman. Anything that i post here either comes from what i saw or from the mouths of lebanese people. Now, i don;t know what your nationality is Highlander, but u seem to be just a little too biased towards syria. Mind you, the same could be said about me,but i am just not fond of dictatotorship like regimes. Call me crazy.

As for the remark concerning egypt's infratsurcture, again it seems like you are taking it a bit personal. The thing is, i never claimed egypt had a great infratsurcture. this isn't " my country is better then your country". Let's face it, with the exception of Dubai, the infratsruycture sucks all over the middle-east. Thanks for the remark regarding the US aid, trust me, me and 70 million other egyptians wonder about that as well.

and finally, i am not bashing, i am just being honest. we have problems highlander, ones that won't get solved unless we get honest about them and cut the bullshit. because i do that, i am called a self-hater and an arab basher.

Oh well.

At 3/07/2005 10:58:00 AM, Anonymous Highlander said...

Thank you for replying sandmonkey, please do not be paranoid/defensive: no one called you a liar -least of all me.
Like you I get my information from personal experience, and I wanted to suggest that there are other opinions to the ones you hold (I think that is fine between educated people to acknowledge differences otherwise we would be a boring homogenous mass;)). Yes, I agree with you that we Arabs (I assume you consider yourself one) need to face our problems and these forums and blogs help us do so constructively. You should not be offended if I add a piece of information which is not exactly conforming to your theory. I hope that I learn from you and the others here and that you too could learn something from me. None of us holds all the answers. I' ve mentioned several times on your blog that I was Libyan, maybe you just were busy with other things & I don't expect you to remmember that. I personally make the effort to read all your posts, what can you draw from that? that I'm interested in your views, those of your guest and most of all in DEBATE viz. being objective as well.

At 3/07/2005 10:12:00 PM, Blogger Twosret said...


For your eyes only I came back to post. Welcome back and many healthy returns to your dear mom. Where would I start with your Dad LOL naaaah :)

Higlander, congratulations on a gread blog. I visited your blog a while ago and can pretty much agree with your line of thinking.

Josie I missed you bunch check your e-mail.


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