November 14, 2018

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  • Arab in NYC: Thomas Friedman spoofed

    A typical Cairo taxi.

    BY ALI HAZZAH I was on my way from Tahrir Square — where I was searching for the Egyptian Nelson Mandela — to catch the next flight to JFK, when I suddenly realized I’d left my new iPhone5 behind in my luxury suite at the Nile Hotel. Normally, this would not have disturbed me in the least, since the NY Times buys me these iPhones like they’re going out of style, not to mention the sleek American Express Black Card I use to pay for my outrageous international roaming charges. But this particular iPhone was a special one given to…

    Arab in NYC: So many lines, so little time

    Cartoon by Carlos Latuff.

    BY ALI HAZZAH A few days ago, I was sitting with some friends in my favorite qahwa, somewhere in Little Egypt, Astoria, NY, watching TV. Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu was giving his now famous Wile E. Coyote speech.  It was clear that Bibi wanted to either scare the pants off his audience — or have them die laughing, as we say in Egypt — from his latest presentation of the coming Armageddon. Frankly, the volume was a bit low, so it was impossible to hear everything he was saying in that almost, but not quite American accent of his,…

    Arab in NYC: Yom Kippur

    Yitzhak Rabin Way in Manhattan, NYC.

    BY ALI HAZZAH New Yorkers have always accepted that there will be a certain amount of rough-elbowing between the various races, ethnicities and sometimes even competing religions that underlie the complicated social fabric of their city. Christmas is still big, for example. Ditto Yom Kippur, the Jewish Holy Day of atonement. Ramadan is not officially observed, nor are any of the other holidays in Islam (but then again, neither is, say, the Chinese New Year). No big deal, except perhaps when raw pork was found strewn on the grounds of a public park where New York City Muslims this year…

    Arab in NYC: Morsi comes to town

    File photo of President Mohamed Morsi giving a speech in Tahrir Square after winning the elections in June 2012..

    BY ALI HAZZAH The other day, I was smoking shisha and sipping ahwa at my favorite ersatz Middle Eastern café on Steinway Street, NY. Due to my advancing years, I must confess that I was quite exhausted from all the excitement in the last day or so, namely, the news that President Morsi was coming to NY, where he would be meeting with several world leaders at the UN, including French President Francois Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron, but not, alas, President Obama, who was going to be too busy doing other things to have time for him….

    Arab in NYC: On ‘Muslim Rage’

    The controversial Newsweek cover headlined "Muslim Rage".

    BY ALI HAZZAH The other day, I was sitting around in an ersatz Middle Eastern coffee shop in Little Egypt, Astoria, NY, with my good friend Mo. We were of course combing each others’ gray beards, smoking nargil, and eyeballing the undercover NYPD agents, who were taking pictures of us with their new super secure iPhone 5s. “Ya Ali,” said Mo, as his face turned into a barely concealed mask of twisted rage. “Did you see this new story in Newsweek on the Internet, by that strange woman whose last name is the same as your first?” “It’s not her…

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