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Category Archives: arabia

As america votes, many people around the world are voting too.

its like global american idol, only in this reality show the one that bullshits the best gets a planet earth to play with for 4 years. but atleast on this show, we dont have to put up with hours upon hours of ryan seacrest.

unless youre an E! channel viewer, in which case i hope you enjoyed E!’s 10 best dressed candidates of all time,…

hoover had such pizzazz,… apparently.

here in the middle east, the term “stupid americans” has been used for decades to describe anything worth bitching and / or moaning about; the presidents that are chosen, the wars in the world, the price of tea in china, boys dressing like girls and vice versa, girls acting like boys and vice versa, pollution, traffic pollution, bad taste in music pollution, tv shows that are too sexy, tv shows that are too religous,…. and the list goes on.

basically, if you stubbed your toe on the coffee table it was america’s fault for inventing coffee tables and forcing the rest of us to buy them through their super-secret-mossad-CIA agents at IKEA. ( bah! the swedish, they are just americans who didnt leave to america! ).

this years campaign has been incredibly interesting in that it has managed to capture the attention of even those who would normally not give a shit in this region,…. and before, you couldnt really blame them,…

“who’s running this year?”

“some rich old white guy, and some other older richer white guy.”

“ahh,… i hope the they choose the white guy.”

it was like boxing,… only in negative.

this year the election turned techni-coloured, and techni-genitalled.

and this year the conversations were something like this:

“dude! (or arabic equivalent) they got a black guy running this year!”

“pffft he’ll never get in, the old white guys will not allow it to happen”

fast forward 21 months:

“dude! he’s gonna get in”

“oh i bloody well hope so!”

bloody foreigner: ” so youre supporting obama?”

“of course!”

bloody foreigner: “how comes? i would have thought the republican values would be closer to your traditional values.”

“because he is like us, he will understand our plight being a black in america.”

bloody foreigner: “umm but youre not a black american in america”

“he will understand our struggle better than some rich old white man”

i could have brought up the fact that he was this area’s equivalent to america’s rich old white man but that might have been a tad impolite,….

bloody foreigner: “fair enough, but what about the issues, there is alot that the democrats stand for that is against your traditional values like taxes, afghanistan, gay marriage and abortion” ( this sentence makes me sound alot more coherent than i actually am in person.)

” well the important thing is that he wants change, and that is what the world needs!”

bloody foreigner: “and,…?”

“and nothing, if i were in america i would vote for him because he wants to change the way the world is, mccain will just be another bush, and we dont need another bush”

bloody foreigner: ” and how is he going to bring about this “change” ?”

“he just will, just being a black man in the white house will change everything!”

which i found funny, cos apparently all obama has to do is just be black,…. easy enough, only hes not, being only half black,…

yeah they didnt think it was as amusing as i did, so they just stared at the foreigner who was chuckleing to himself like a madman.

but there you have it.

that is all that matters apparently.

as for the pro-mccain-ers in this region, they basically echo the pro-mccain-ers in america, plus some pretty politically incorrect racial comments, which actually arent considered that politically incorrect over here.

people the world over have overwhelmingly thrown their support behind the candidate that has bullshited the best. the one who said he will bring “change” but not really how, which is actually both of them as mccain is also calling for “change” and not saying how,…. but only after he realized that this marketting tactic did wonders for obama.

buy this can of perfume, it will make you sexually attractive to the opposite sex,… we just hope you believe us and dont ask us to prove it.

so the whole world this time around is standing up and taking sides.

and the whole world, just like america, has been suckered into the rhetoric of one party or another.

perhaps it is fitting that the rest of the world doesnt get to vote, because it seems that even tho the message being regurgitated is specifically designed for the “stupid americans” everyone else in the world is swallowing it and taking sides in equal measures.

but then again, its not all that surprising is it?

after all we eat at the same restaraunts, we wear the same clothes, we drive the same cars, we listen to the same music and we watch the same tv shows.

so apparently the “we” that is the rest of the world, have proven this year to be just as capable at making the same character based decisions as our supposedly dimmer north american friends.

if we, the world, get who we want into the white house, then who do “we” call “stupid” from now on?




this blog endorses Stephen Colbert,…

COLBERT 2012!!!

go on i dare you

go on i dare you



its good to see the religious police cracking down on pet shop owners selling “marital” and “dating” aides disguised as cats and dogs. for too long, young men and women have been getting it on while their pets are busy sniffing each others asses!

the streets will be “clean” once again,…. no more “immoral behaviour” like people walking their dogs, and definately alot less doggy poo.

once again, bravo religious police!


for all your efforts, my dear religious police,…

there is one segment of the public that continues to elude you. i am sure you are working on them and i’m sure you have agents “undercover” as i write this, but just in case you dont allow me to enlighten you:

they are cunning, they are clever, they are tenacious and relentless.

they congregate under your very noses.

they are both an integral part of your society and the sole cause of your boys and girls hooking up, as the kids call it these days.

they work by word of mouth, sometimes employing “agents” who spread their message, while the more tech savy work by mobile phone text messages, and online forums. they know no borders, and freely operate between countries without the slightest bit of scrutiny.

and like al-qaeda, there is no boss, only a network of loosely organised groups in each city, in each neighborhood and on every street. some are very sought after and demand very high prices for their expertise.

and they will never rest until their job is done.

no, they will never rest until every last boy and girl is ultimately engaged in the act of sexual procreation.

they are relentless in their pursuit of the opposite sex for their “client”, and they are constantly out looking for suitable partners at weddings, family gatherings, supermarkets, highways, airports, etc.

they are more numerous than numerously  numerous things,…

they have pressure applying techniques that are thousands of years old, and they use them liberally.

they are so cunning that one word or one look can cause you to engage a therapist for years on end.

thats right religious police, i know you know who i’m talking about, and i am sure you yourselves have your own horror stories to tell.

if you dont do something about them then every boy and girl you know will at some point be engaged in sexual acts.


the next one could be you.


thats right it could be you.


i’m afraid there is no easy way to say this, so i’ll just come out and say it :

MOTHERS must be banned!

ps: please hurry before my mother reads this.

irony is :

securities that perform well, in one of the most heavily secured securities markets in the world, which just happens to be in one of the most dangerous and unsecured cities in the world.

translation: one of the best places to invest your money right now is also one of the most dangerous.

ladies and gentlemen i give you the iraqi stock exchange:

addendum to universal truth no 15:


is being in it while everyone else is bleeding on every other market in the world.


universal truth no 15 – the alternate ending:

supreme genius and supreme stupidity both rely on the same process of thinking outside the universe that holds the galaxy, that holds the solar system, that holds the earth, that holds the continent, that holds the country, that holds the city, that holds the block, that holds the building, that holds the room that holds the box which you are thinking outside of.

exactly which i am guilty of has yet to be determined.

the scenario to come:

warplanes, most likely of israeli origin, swoop down and take out iran’s “peaceful” nuclear reactors.

pilots go “shalom!” and break out the creamcheese bagels for their flight home.

and then?

the question on everyone’s mind is not whether or not a strike will occur, but rather “when” and “what the fuck will the iranians do?”

according to one iranian commander: ” …..our finger is always on the trigger and we have hundreds and even thousands of missiles ready to be fired against predetermined targets,” Gen. Hossein Salami, commander of the Revolutionary Guard ground forces. [Link]

apparently their fingers are also busy with photoshop trying to hide missiles that dont go off [Link}

the photoshoped:

the original:

yes they suck at photoshop as much as they suck at being the biggest automobile producer in the middle east.

see,… you didnt know they made cars did you?

why bother photoshopping?

it doesnt make sense.

but then again not much coming out of tehran ever does make that much sense,… take the interview on fareed zakaria’s gps show on cnn with the iranian foreign minister,… dude said:

“before we discuss the halting of uranium enrichment, we must discuss the agenda for the meeting on the discussion of the discussion of the halting of any uranium enrichment discussion.”


just,… wow….

no wonder he’s in charge of every government’s bullshit factory,… he just does it so well.

but i digress,…

so what could iran do in the event of a strike?

not much actually, and here’s why:

1- lob firecrackers at israel:

as if israel is not prepared,… chances are there are 10 times more patriot batteries than iranian missiles. add to that the fact that the us military in the gulf will the first to hear about any launch, i reckon the israelis will have time to switch on the patriots, put the kettle on, make a kosher bacon sandwhich, hit record on the vcr for what ever israeli soap that the iranians will be rudely interupting, and head down to the bunker.

the iranians know this,… and it would be very embarassing indeed if their loyal american flag burners through out the arab/muslim world tuned in to watch the great destruction of tel aviv only to be greeted with the scene of israelis sitting in lawn chairs enjoying a “patriot n’ scud misslie” light show.

i doubt the iranians would risk this possible loss of face for a couple of measly reactors they could rebuild.

this is why we didnt hear much about the strike on the syrian facility last september?


2- block the strait of hormuz:

incase you dont know what it is, its that narrow bit of sea through which 30-40% of the world’s oil passes.

the most likely result of this would be to send oil prices sky high.

“we will scare the west into submission by making a trip to the supermarket more expensive than a high class hooker on new years eve!” they reckon.


iran already has almost no one in their corner. doing this will piss off everyone,…

more importantly they will piss off the people that matter:

joe / gunther / pierre / sven blow suburbia, mr newly middle class chan and his good friend mr surresh of new yuppie bombay, as well as many others around the world.

it has already gotten to the point that the average working man now realises that “something must be done to secure more oil” atleast, until an alternative is found. if a nation’s truck drivers and street cleaners are saying this because they are struggling to put food on their table guess how easy it will be for their governments to launch as many “necessary strikes” as possible.

pushing oil to crazy prices could actually be tehran’s downfall.

and lets not forget the iranians,… they’ve seen whats going on in the gulf, so how long before they start asking when they will see the benefits of high oil prices instead of record inflation and having their gasoline rationed cos iran cant produce enough for its own use.

ultimately, war is about who has more money and who has more gas. iran has some money, but no gas. tanks dont run on iranian rials.

blocking hormuz will force everyone to rally against them, even diehard anti-israeli/american jihadis will start to wonder if this is all worth US$10 a liter orange juice, so again not likely.


3- a retaliation strike against us military installations in their neighbours:

hitting kuwait, bahrain, iraq, afghanistan, qatar or even dubai will simply confirm america’s assertion that iran is nuts.

iran hates it when america is right, so just to piss america off it probably wont happen.

to do so would be to become the world’s new north korea,… and from recent events, even north korea doesnt want to be the world’s north korea any more.




so what could happen?

i dont know.

its not like they can do a syria and deny that there was a strike, nor can they say that it was only a military warehouse.

theres actually not much they could do.

unless they happen to have an army of big purple people eaters,…. then we’re all screwed.


one thing is certain tho,…

i get the feeling that there is a rift of some sort between the generals and the supreme council.


well the skirmishes that go unreported for one.

the british sailor hostages for another.

its as if the military is saying ” come on if you think you’re hard enough! (cos we want you to bomb tehran and kick those nutcases out)”

the generals arent stupid, and i think 30 years of ayatollah mismanagement is finally starting to piss them off.


as usual i could be wrong, so breakout your gasmasks just in case cos it could still go juuuuuust a little bit wonky.

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tower of babel

4 years ago i drove into the heart of babylon.

i went unarmed, and unprotected.

and i was welcomed with open arms.

it took 4 years to get to the central staircase of what will become the new tower of babel.

and like the old tower, the peoples of the world will converge there one day.

the common language  will unite and bind all to the new babel.

hopefully we have learned from the mistakes of the past and this new tower of babel will out last us all.

the foundations of the new babylon have been laid down.

and today i took the first of many steps up the tower.


congratulations on your new assignment to somewhere in the middle east,… or more specifically somewhere in the gulf,… in the middle east.

having grown up here,… gone away for university,…and been back for almost 7 years now,….

and since my departure from this region is imminent, i figured i might as well do a bit to pass on some of what i know and /or dont know to the unsuspecting arabian/persian gulf expat newbies.

first things first,….. exorcise any romantic notions you might have of the “exotic near east”. its more than likely that the images you have in your head belong more to the egypt-jordan-syria-turkey(ish) area of the arab world than to the gulf states. as strange as it may seem, if youve been to /lived in metropolitan and / or suburban america, you’ll find that things arent that much different here.

at least, not on the surface.

infact, within minutes of your arrival, and within 1km of where your plane landed, you will be able to grab your first arabian Big Mac and milkshake, your first arabian mocha-frappa-latte-cino, your first arabian pair of arabian levi’s, nikes, reeboks, guccis, LV’s, etc, etc, etc,….. and yes even the evil gap store is here.

its actually like you left, where ever it is you came from, and flew into one big western hemisphere themed shopping mall. if you were a mall rat in your teens you’ll love it here. infact every once in a while, when entertaining out of towners from the west i am constantly surprised at their ” omg we dont have a “insert brand” store in our town!”

anyway, any other tourist guide will tell you wonderful stories of how the skylines here can be mistaken for any other metropolis in the world, and how amazingly blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,…..

thats all well and good,… and alot of it is certainly true.

but there is a more interesting side to this region. the side that the tour guides for the tour guides who wrote the tour guides never went, and even if they did, never understood.

let me put it this way,….

you can be here for 10-20-30 years and still be a tourist.

and for most people thats just fine, since most expats that come to this region are here on short term contracts. the local news doesnt make a difference to them, so they dont read it, and yet they bitch and moan when they dont understand why people here do things or act the way that they do.

its complicated,…

but then again its not really that complicated…..

anyway, heres my first tip for you if you happen to be reading this from distant shores still:

dont listen to the expat on your plane that says hes been here forever and thinks he knows how these people think.

myself included. 😛

and definately dont listen to the guy that says ” man, theyre all loaded! all you see on the roads are mercs and beamers!”

and if you hear someone chuckling at that comment, turn around and say hi, cos it will most probably be me.

there are many great things here, and there are just as many not so great things.

i hope to cover them equally to give you a balanced view of what its like here, especially to those of you who will be dragging your families here with you.

since i’ve lived mostly in kuwait, alot of this will relate directly to kuwait,… naturally. but i have traveled around this place quite a bit, and i have met and dealt with a nice cross section of the GCC,… and since this is mostly about what its like as opposed to a definitive guide,… in many cases, the history of the peoples, and their social structures are very similar across the borders. there are, of course some differences, and i suppose it will be up to you to gauge how they are weighted.

and no, as regular readers ( hi you two!) have probably guessed, i dont have a clear idea or structure to how this is going to go,… so yeah,… if you have anything in particular that you would like me to write about, or any questions at all then do feel free to leave me a memo.

and if over time i may have forgotten about your memo,… you may then send me a threatening memo reminding me to reread you previous memo.