12

Growing up next to a Syrian community

Posted by wiggys 2 years, 5 months ago to Culture
24 comments | Share | Best of... | Flag

As per Khallings request.

I grew up in Brooklyn during and after WW2. Brooklyn was more of a melting pot than any other borough in NYC. As a result one was exposed to all faiths and colors. Three blocks from me was a black neighborhood. All lived in houses, the men worked, and the children dressed as we white kids did. I also had the pleasure of seeing Jackie Robinson play at Ebbett's and blacks and whites sat side by side and cheered him on.

When I lived in the Carolina's in the late 70's until the late 80's I really saw what prejudice is as I didn't grow up with it. When it came to the Christmas Holidays saying Merry Christmas to my friends or anyone was common place and they would offer greetings to the Jews. There were other groups such as the Syrians that I went to school with from grade one to high school. All during grade school we were a mixture of friends as you would expect of kids. Remember we had hundreds and when I got to high school we had thousands. My graduating class was 1200.

Anyway during high school I noted a very obvious change in the arabs as we called them, and they did not want to really be friends beyond school hours. I did get to be very good friends with one guy and spent time with his family. He had a younger sister that if I had a romantic interest would have been a no, no. All the girls had been promised at birth to some family. I remember 16 year old girls marrying 30 year old guys and that ended their school days.

They did believe they were better than the rest of us which did not help but I had my friend so I didn't pay that much attention to it. However, I did note when one of them did something negative as in the case of a guy throwing ink on a white shirt I was wearing and when I grabbed him to teach him a lesson he panicked because the ink turned white very quickly. What I saw was a group that would pound their chests but otherwise run.

Years later when we went into Kuwait employees of mine who had son's in the military were concerned and I told them the worst that would happen is what to do with all of the muslims who would surrender as it happened.

I learned that when ever the president sent some one to the middle east to broker a deal between the arabs and Israelis it would never happen, so I laughed. They the arabs do not want piece except on their terms, that is to give your life. This is what I saw in my neighborhood. Once they got to a certain age they became their parents.

For those who think I am to radical so be it, in my 73 years I have yet to see the first ounce of logical thinking on their part. Mothers don't care about their children so when a child is allowed to blow himself up they say he died for the cause. I ask what cause?

I hope I haven't jumped around to much so it is clear.


Add Comment

FORMATTING HELP

All Comments Hide marked as read Mark all as read

  • Posted by  $  edweaver 2 years, 5 months ago
    Great story! Nice to hear form someone with direct experience. I always struggle with believing what I read without knowing if it is real or not. This makes some of the things I have read more believable. Thanks for sharing the experience.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 2 years, 5 months ago
      the part I liked remembering was seeing Jackie Robinson. I have always been sorry I didn't stop him when I would see him at the Empire State building where he worked to tell him I was a fan.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by rbunce 2 years, 5 months ago
    Are you claiming this behavior is biological or cultural? Are you claiming that ALL "arabs" exhibit the same behavior?
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 2 years, 5 months ago
      In my experience my friends from Egypt how are arabs but Christian exhibit the same behavior that is prevalent in the USA. They are not liked in Egypt because they are successful business people. That does not appear to carry over to the arabs who are muslim. I do recall that the muslims would come to the USA on private jets and go to night clubs like Ondine and had an attitude of being better than the rest of us. They have a culture that I personally cannot explain and biologically I think they are lacking. My view is now and has been for a great while that they are closer to the missing link as I have said in the past.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by khalling 2 years, 5 months ago
    thanks for your observations and story. why did the ink turn white? I have a friend whose daughter graduated from the american University in Beirut. She married a muslim man and they set up house with his parents, which is common. She repects the religion but has not converted. They welcomed her into the family openly. However, it is very dangerous where she lives.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 2 years, 5 months ago
      the ink was a chemical that lost its color when exposed to air if I remember correctly. the look on his face was priceless when I grabbed his throat.
      they do accept women since they have no regard for them anyway.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by  $  allosaur 2 years, 5 months ago
    Piece instead peace is something a spellchecker won't catch. Aggravating when I catch such typos made by yours truly..
    Two or three or slightly more years ago, I saw on TV some happy Arab mother celebrating that her son blew himself up with somebody.
    She claimed that meant her whole family would be allowed into heaven.
    That may be cause enough for the ignorantly deluded.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by Herb7734 2 years, 5 months ago
    Wiggy:
    I get you. I don't exactly know when it happened, but my world in relation to Muslims changed somewhere along the line. One of my best friends was Lebanese. We used to tease him with, "What do you call someone from Lebanon? A Lesbian!" A prominent Egyptian family that was in the same business as me, "adopted" me and treated me as a cousin. We attended trade shows together and attended family events together. We moved from the Detroit area to San Diego, but when we came back for a visit, (a funeral, actually) everything was different. It was all polarized. Hard lines were drawn between different peoples, and the intermingling I had known was gone. That was from 1989 to 1994. A mere five years and everything was different. Very, very, sad.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by Herb7734 2 years, 5 months ago
    Dear wiggys:
    I found a recipe for kibbe. Only problem is that amounts vary depending on the taste of the cook, so if things seem a little vague, you gotta keep tasting until you get it the way you like it.
    Using olive oil make a paste of equal amounts of bulgur wheat and ground lamb. Season with allspice (sweet pepper). You may vary the amounts of bulgur to lamb. You can add cinnamon, cumin, salt and pepper to taste. That's it. Seems simple, but it all depends on the cook's taste. Good luck.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  

FORMATTING HELP

  • Comment hidden. Undo