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20 February, 2004

Mahmoud row the dhow ashore

Dinner with the Second Highest sees every last conspiracy theory gleaned from the latest round of coffeehouse intelligence dismissed, debunked and destroyed. The succession was drawn up water-tight in Geneva, no coups are on the agenda, and the two Mos "get on like a house on fire."

Arab mothers fret and whinge about their children becoming westernised. What would their complaints be - drugs, drink, prostitution?

No. Rather, saying "hi" instead of "Salam-o-Alaikum", eating fast food, not bothering to mention Allah before and after eating, wearing a cap the wrong way round, having US marine-style hair-cuts, and sitting on a chair the wrong way round.

Apparently Arab youths tragically no longer shake hands to greet each one other, instead "clapping or snapping fingers." Is this what western children do? Surely the only clapping and snapping of fingers by pale-faced youngsters occurs round a Bible campfire singing Kum-by-yah accompanied by a weedy young reverend on a cheap orange guitar.

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