I fear that I may have limited my column to discussing only the stereotypes about Arabs, overlooking the stereotypes we have made about Westerners in return.
Our stereotypes are mostly derived from, arguably, the best promoted product of the century, the American dream, which has become an undying global fantasy. Even Taliban fighters want to give their flowers to Justin Bieber while he sings “Baby” and have Cap’n Crunch for breakfast.
That’s why many shortsighted, fed-up Arabs try their luck cannoning to North America.
Almost everyone I know wants to, at least, visit the United States once. And their sole purpose in the world is the pursuit of “a better life,” the same storyline as a typical family drama or romantic comedy. The Arab twist just makes things a little different. It’s like When Harry Met Sally, only imagine Sally is fully covered, so Harry never gets to see her. Or, You’ve Got Mail, except Meg Ryan won’t end up with Tom Hanks because her brother, Abdul-Rahaman, disapproved of their email correspondences because they took place in the absence of a mihram (a blood-related male companion, that’s more like a supervisor, for women).
So without further ado, here’s a list of the most prominent Arab stereotypes regarding America and Americans:
1. High school is so cool
Thanks to Hollywood movies, we’ve concluded that high school starts with bullying, severe boredom and depression but ends with the finding of one’s passion and purpose in life, along with one’s soul-mate and, sometimes, an aborted child and/or long lost parents.
Your lives are readily supplied with musical backgrounds that suit your moods. Your football teams consists of quarterbacks only and angry coaches who wanted to go pro, but didn’t due to a knee injury and so they dedicated their lives to coaching a small-time, small-town team whose players have daddy/trust issues (which he’ll cure) on the hope that they’ll win an iconic, but entirely insignificant match, that may or may not happen, with a long rivaled team.Your prom is always a lamentable, heart-rending, yet magical night where acne-infested teenage faces are buried under layers of makeup. Upon this night depends the future of at least one young couple. Throughout the course of the evening someone gets egged, someone unexpectedly wins homecoming queen, someone gets soaked with pig blood, someone murders a hobo, and a condom breaks… not necessarily in that order.
2. There’s no such thing as an ugly non-Arab
You western women are all smooth-skinned, tall, with beautiful features and the hair of a fallen angel. You are effortlessly attractive and successful. Nature has gifted you with your own cloud to shield you from the sun’s rays and your own mild breeze to gently tease your hair.
Western men, on the other hand, are ruggedly handsome, with sun-kissed skin, sculpted abs and a head full of wavy locks of blond hair. And if Twilight is any indication, they don’t believe in wearing shirts outside the office and chop wood when angry.
Oh, and no one ever grows old.
3. You have rock-solid marriages
You all live in big wooden houses, with a white picket fence and a backyard pool. You make a lot of money and three babies that are to be conceived, developed and delivered in half an hour without any apparent change to the mother’s mood or body.
You watch Dr. Phil and you talk about your feelings. You live on pizza and beer. You may almost have an affair, but then that “Just the Way You Look Tonight” song would play and save your marriage.
Also, you people never get divorced.
4. Black people aren’t “real” Westerners, right?
You’re either African or a Westerner; you can’t be both, buddy.
Surprisingly enough, a decent chunk of us still can’t fathom how an African can be American or European, when they look nothing at all like Captain America or Jesus.
But then Obama waltzed into the White House, and you’d think that would change our minds, but we just assumed voodoo was involved.
5. You are infiltrating our society
with spies and loose morals
(The following narrative is derived from Arab states’ propaganda.)
You prey on Arabs who just arrived in your countries, feed the tempted souls even more junk food than they used to consume back home, and try to replace their addiction to tea with one to alcohol.
You have them shave their beards, and then you steal their prayer mats, which makes praying five times a day harder on a bare floor.
Slowly, they slip away from Allah’s fingers and into your hands. Now that you’ve stuffed them with food like poultry preparing for slaughter, you convert them to Christianity and/or Satanism.
Then you send them back as stiff-faced, inadequately trained spies, disguised with too dark glasses, a handlebar mustache and a tilted red beret, who monitor things via squinting their eyes through tomato-sized holes in a newspaper.
6. Your favorite drink is a bloody Mariam,
with a dash of infant tears
Western states have been in so many major wars within themselves and with so many other countries, namely ones who look different than you, that Arabs look almost peaceful by comparison.
If Western governments aren’t actively killing people, they’re endorsing it or turning the other cheek to it… unless it suits them. (cough "Libya"… cough “Iraq”)
This is rather ironic since all the world-leading countries supposedly put so much faith in diplomacy, but never miss a chance to blow some people up.
This ticks off the majority of Arabs who feel very strongly about Palestine, for instance, and hate the U.S. government for supporting Israel, despite the fact that we’re not helping Palestinians out either. Because when Arab governments aren’t actively killing people, they are endorsing it or turning the other cheek to it… unless it suits them. (cough "Libya"… cough “Iraq”)
Either way, we like to blur the distinctive line between Western nations and governments. This way we get to accuse you of apathy and cruelty, which is not really… but sorta… kinda… like exactly how we act.
7. You can’t control your hoes, bros
Did you know that your women think they’re people?
They don’t just think it; they act like it. Such gross violation of natural order is anathema to our culture.
Truckloads of Arab men loathe nothing more than the sight of a liberated, strong woman. The only thing worse would be her company. Arab women are a different story, they’re either jealous of your women and thus want you to “tame” them, because if they can’t be happy, no one should.
Or they believe in what I like to call “Oppress a woman, save the world.”
They refer to women as flowers and nothing beats a flower that does as it is told. Because they obviously can’t fight with their petals, flowers require protection from the outside world. Also they might get smudged.
Then comes the absurd subjects of thoughts, opinions rhyme with onions for a reason people, for both their smells taint the scent of the flowers’ sweet, ignorant nectar. Flowers are to be picked by men naturally, because only men can handle the sharp thorns of life. And they get to sniff the flowers whichever way they like. No one likes a working flower, for if she leaves the soil she’ll wind up being sniffed by a whole lot of men, and her scent will wear off.
This is where the roots come in. They trap the flower in the soil, constricting her movements to the mere act of bending over (because no one likes a flower that doesn’t).
This is why they think you’re disgracing your penis, and the penises in your life by having a relationship with a woman, where she is not a delicate, highly irritating flower, oppress-, err—I mean, “protected and cared for” by you, the gardener. If you refuse to comply, then you might as well wear skinny jeans, cry when a loved one dies and wave all rights to your balls. A large form drops on your desk. Sign here, here and here.