View Full Version : For all Middle East Based Expatriates

Dropp the Pilot
17th Sep 2001, 14:23
If you want to take the first steps in the 'war against terrorism', may I suggest the following.

The people who carried out this atrocity were insane with hatred and they hope to transfer the virus to us all.

It is urgent in the extreme that we demonstrate to our Muslim colleagues that these lunatics have failed dismally to get to us. Can I suggest that over the next weeks or months that every time you meet someone local that you look them in the eye, greet them in the traditional manner, and make absolutely certain they know we from the West feel that all SANE people are in this together, no matter what their faith or race.

17th Sep 2001, 15:20
Slightly off topic, but so is my reply :)

USA Today polls suggest that 49% of Americans want ALL Arab/Americans to be forced to carry around ID cards permanantly.

79% want all Arabs (whether American or not) to go through special checks at airports.

Now THATS scary.

17th Sep 2001, 15:49
And smart.

19th Sep 2001, 00:15
Bunch of scungey-looking arabs here were all upset our company banned all M.E. pax on our flights as a security measure for US offices. The ban was to be lifted today. When all the godless infidel name-calling and allah-akbarring stopped, the commies slapped on another 7 day ban!

Conky Joe
19th Sep 2001, 13:10
How do you confirm if they are ME pax? Many of our brethren here may be called Ali bin Flip Flop but they carry American or Canadian passports - colonization 21st century style.

I'd rather
19th Sep 2001, 18:16
Dropp, sorry your thread got hijacked by

... what I was going to say was probably too offensive, maybe I won't.

Just want to say I completely support the sentiments in your post.

19th Sep 2001, 21:29
Living in the Middle East too, all I can say is that there are some unpleasant under currents, and some veiled threats have been made. I avoid looking anybody who I don't know in the eye.
It's obvious where most of the locals sympathies lie and it isn't with the US.

[ 19 September 2001: Message edited by: FFFlyer ]

Conky Joe
20th Sep 2001, 01:18
I'd rather- don't be shy, you can be as offensive as you like, you're in Jet Blast. Let me guess - you don't like the perceived anti-Muslim sentiments.

I don't think anything said here contradicted or even hijacked Dropp's thread (except perhaps those two words from Loc-out). Slash's adjective 'scungey-looking' could be accurate, neither you nor I saw the people to whom he referred. Arabs are not the only ones capable of creating such an impression - I do a great one after a night on the 'tea' and you're lucky if you never do.

I support Dropp's ideals in this instance, but not quite the way he advocates doing it. If I look a local in the eye I'm liable to be in a spot of bother - they don't like ladies looking at them, particularly not whiteys.

Dropp doesn't say where he is from but I would hazard a guess it is not from the Middle East. Anyone living anywhere other than Dubai and possibly Oman is not in a position to reassure the Muslims that they don't think they are all as mad, bad and dangerous as the lunatics extraordinaire that have made the headlines - living in their country they don't give two hoots whether we think they're OK or not. Even the most Westernised and highly educated of the guttra'd ones would much prefer that they could run the infrastructure and most of the major companies in their countries themselves without outside interference - as would any patriot. It doesn't mean they want to do away with us but the average Joe, sorry, Muhammed isn't as educated - again, like any other country in the world. The people in power here tolerate our presence under duress and will be happier when we are gone. Call me colonial or worse if you like but unfortunately they are not quite ready to do without us and so it goes on, generally smoothly. Nothing to do with me I hasten to add, I have no value here at all!!

On a more serious note - unfortunately, there is a section of society that is educated but abhors the West and everything that it stands for. They can incite the man on the street to follow their call because he doesn't see the benefits of Western assistance, only the tarnishing of their holy ground and I think it is this sector that FFFlyer refers to - prepared to be corrected - it is certainly a backlash from that quarter that our community is fearing at present.

Undercurrents bubble all the time - in many countries in the Middle East, although not verbally apparent, there is a definite feeling that Westerners are seen as one rung in the eco-chain above parasites - and who's to say their wrong. Some of us are here for the experience but the extra bit of dosh we earn here goes a long way to make the 'experience' that bit more comfortable. In defence I would say that we are only doing what the transplanted Muslims have done - be they 2nd or 3rd or however many generations down the line - seeking out somewhere in the world to make a living.

Back to the point ... I fully agree that in the UK and America and anywhere else innocents are being harrassed, it is VERY important to make the local Muslim population aware that it is NOT a battle between Christians and Muslims but simply a battle against 'evil folks' as Dubya would say - although I have to say that conjures up a bizarre image. Wherever these people are is their home and to feel that the majority of the country is after your blood because an unspeakable atrocity was carried out in the faith you honestly follow must be distressing in the extreme and for those that have physically suffered at the hands of no doubt self-proclaimed vigilantes, I can only say I am appalled at the double standards applied.

Bush and Blair can whitter on ad nauseum that it is a battle against terrorism but those who feel the brunt of Western military might in Afghanistan, and all others elsewhere without access to the debate, will believe what they are told by their leaders - those bullies are throwing their weight around again.

I'd rather - one more thing - if we are so politically correct nowadays that it is impossible to highlight differences in culture and belief systems without being labelled racist then I'll have to stand up and be counted as one. I would say for what it's worth that there is a lot that I admire about Islam and there is also a fair amount that makes absolutely no sense to me and never will. I admire their strength of faith, as I do anyone's, but that is only because I'm too much of a coward to settle on atheism or the whole Hail Mary. I think it has to be a basic human right to point out differences between people - doesn't mean I can't be friends with them - if you tell me that you agree with everything your best bud says then I will show you a boring relationship!

Here endeth the lesson, in shallah!

I'd rather
20th Sep 2001, 18:55
Thanks for your posts, Conky - some interesting points.

I'm not PC - just a bit over-sensitive sometimes ;)

[edited for computer illiteracy]

[ 20 September 2001: Message edited by: I'd rather ]

21st Sep 2001, 01:43
Conky Jo, I read elsewhere that you say you are not as eloquent as others - I have to disagree for you are extremely eloquent and poignant too.

I think that many western liberals, and there are some on here, have only experienced Islam and moslems living in a free and democratic society, one in which it is easy to be tolerant and practice peaceful co-existence with other faiths. I doubt they have lived in Islamic nations (maybe visited for a short visit or stop-over), but never lived there.

They assume because they have read the Koran and met a relatively few moderate moslems that they understand the Islamic faith. Yes, it proclaims its virtues and peaceful nature, but it is the practice that defines a religion, not empty words written hundreds of years ago.

Some have stated that maybe it takes two thousand years for a religion to settle into a more tolerant nature, and that since they have only been at this for nearly 1500 years we should look on them as we now do medieval Christianity. However, this is not the 15thC for the rest of the world and they use technology and all the accoutrements of modern living.

It might be well to remind them that without the western need for their oil, they would still be an itinerant and nomadic peoples for the most part - for they have little else that they could trade.

Yes, there is much to admire in Islam and many moslems are no different to the rest of us, wishing only to live in peace and safety and raise a family. But there are too many (and an increasing number) extremists and fundamentalists, who now think that it would be either fun or holy to bring the world to the wonderful levels of civilised living that Afghanistan enjoys.

What is it that is causing these young men, mostly who consider themselves extremely religious, to turn to violent expressions of their frustration or devotion. What makes them willing to coldly and cruelly plan well in advance the most brutal acts, and know that they too would be blown to pieces. Doesn't matter if we think they are sub-human, insane or evil - they are not listening to us.

So what is to do,

blow them all to kingdom come - well that's an option - but might end up backfiring and we'll all end up there too.

be tolerant and understanding and accept these are only a minority (albeit several thousand) and that we can somehow eliminate or control these - but put up with the constant sporadic outbreaks of violent acts.

will a prolonged siege eventually win the battle, or will it just be another futile but expensive exercise (Afghanistan has already defeated two great warrior nations), for what are the objectives - to capture one man will not end global terrorism.

21st Sep 2001, 13:48
I think you summed it up pretty well Conky Joe. I like to think I do my job pretty well and that I give value for money. However, standing back and looking at the big picture many of the work we do is totally uneconomic and in the West would be regarded as a scandalous waste of public funds. This makes working here very unsatisfying overall, plus the amount of my time wasted by the inefficiency and bureacracy of most of the bodies you have to deal with.
It's just the cash that keeps many of us here.
Word is bookings in the hotels in the region are well down and many cancellations as far ahead as Christmas. That's going to impact on many of the non-oil sectors of the economy.

21st Sep 2001, 16:11
Third time, Angel. I keep taking up points you raise, but you don't ever seem to be able to raise the courage to argue your points. You seem far more comfortable just sniping from the sidelines.

Stop being such a coward. Stand up for yourself. Debate from what you know, from your experience, from your own intelligence. Don't just ride on what others say.

22nd Sep 2001, 15:28
s**t and derision HM, surely Angles posting was an opinion, not just a simple snipe from the sidelines.
On a much lighter note, my day was truly made yesterday morning, while preparing for work I had CNN on. A chanting screaming mob of bearded wonders is long baggy pants and big flowing shirts led by a big fat fella were preparing to immolate an effigy of Bush in a Pakistani town near the Afghan border.
Said bearded one sprays some liquid over the figure then lights it, flames shoot up and he then jumps around and howls some more. It was however rapidly obvious that he was not intending to give himself as a suicide sacrifice to the cause, by the anguished and vigorous self flaggelation being carried out on his person in an attempt to put out the flames spreading all over his clothes. The stupid pratt had set himself on fire!
I really owe this man big time for affording me the first really good long hard laugh I have had since the 11th. I laughed so much I nearly cried.
It was a tonic to my soul, a balm to my spirit. Now if only a few more would get themselves in a crowd and do a bit more of that to themselves instead of innocent strangers the world would be a much better place

[ 22 September 2001: Message edited by: Paterbrat ]

24th Sep 2001, 00:25
I have read all of your posts with interest, I have family in Dubia, Yes they are Honky's. I do fear for them at times, especially when I look at the religious ferver on TV and talk to them about how attitudes have changed.
I have spent a great deal of time in the region and have a good idea of the attitudes towards westerners. I agree whole heartedly that they believe that they can run the nations for themselves. We only need to be in the area for OIL. So how long is it before it turns from a fight against terrorism to a war to protect the oil? I am sure many of you who know ARAMCO, remember the stories of Western engineers devloping the company and then being sacked, or not having contracts renewed only to be replaced by locals. After 5 years of successive fires and loss, the company got the infidels back to strighten things out. Pretty similar case throughout the region.

Although I fear for westerners in the M.E. In the UK on Friday a 17yr old boy was walking home from the pub, where he had a part time job, with his girlfriend. When he was set upon by about ten asian youths. He was stabbed to death.

His girlfriend was also assaulted, she managed to escape. Local Asian leaders in Peterborough have asked for calm, and have offered 1000.00 for the conviction of the perpitrators. I have a feeling that the more this scenario continues there is going to be more social unrest across Europe and CONUS. We may all be asked to take a bite out of this sandwich.

I do hope that you all stay safe out there, and remember that there is more military hardware off the coast than in the whole of the M.E. The British Army have a Battlegroup in OMAN, so stand by, the most successful Army in History is in Arabia.

Will Al Fayed get his Passport now?

24th Sep 2001, 03:27
Arguing determines nothing except that each side has a position to defend.

I think someone said it elsewhere, if you cant answer the posts - attack the person.

[ 24 September 2001: Message edited by: ANGELONE ]