DalelKhalil.com http://www.dalelkhalil.com Thu, 19 Feb 2015 02:48:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.10 A SYRIAN-AMERICAN’S THOUGHTS ON SYRIA… http://www.dalelkhalil.com/a-syrian-americans-thoughts-on-syria/ http://www.dalelkhalil.com/a-syrian-americans-thoughts-on-syria/#comments Thu, 01 Mar 2012 20:52:48 +0000 http://www.dalelkhalil.com/?p=285

Souk al Hamadiya at night - Damascus Syria

I’m mourning for Syria.

It’s killing me every day.
 
As much as America is my country (born and raised in Steeler Nation) Syria is my country, too. One is my heart, the other is my soul. And I can’t function, one without the other. I’m waving a Terrible Towel in one hand, and a mesbaha (Arabic beads) in the other.
                                                                                       
Until now, I’ve stayed out of the whole Syrian conversation. I avoid politics and religion like the plague – I’d rather focus on what brings us together than what divides us. That said, I’m proudly a Syrian-American Antiochian Orthodox Christian – and my faith comes before either of my nationalities. (BTW this article is 100% my own opinion – independent of the church.)
 
Governments can be straight up evil. All governments – because no hands are completely clean. Publicly, governments say one thing, but privately, they’re in bed with each other – in one fashion or another.
 
Ever since the start of this “revolution” Syrian-American Christians have adamantly rallied around Assad – a position I found stomach turning after seeing the bloodshed on Syrian streets. How could they? What’s wrong with these people? Can’t they see the brutality of this man?
                                                                                                      
Spending the summer of 2008 in Damascus, it was evident that Syrians loved Assad. And not out of fear, either. Not like his father. You could tell they really supported him. He was young, Western-educated and all about reform. His wife, Asma, toured the country incognito to see what the needs of the people were. I was proud, too. I even took this awesome picture of Assad right outside the Souk Al Hamadiya and kept it on my website, (until eventually removing it). I was excited for a new Syria.
                                                          
But when the uprising started, I became confused and upset.  I wasn’t pro-Assad then. And I still am not pro-Assad, now. But I started thinking, “What’s really going on here?”
                                                                                      
When I returned in October 2010, just months before the uprising, I saw improvements that literally blew my mind. I was there just 2 years earlier and now could hardly recognize the place! The Old City looked amazing – like they transformed Harlem into Rodeo Drive. There were tons of European shops and modern amenities. A strong sense of pride was emerging in the city.
 
They built a brand new city garden where artists, poets, and musicians could mingle and exchange ideas. Next to it were three new theatres.  I met an actor there who told me he was doing a political satire show. I didn’t believe him. I thought he was lying until he showed me his poster on the wall. He was arrested a few times, but explained the theatre has been thriving since.
 
For those who don’t understand the Arab World…uhh…it’s real simple…In the Arab world, you don’t criticize the government, you just don’t.
 
But that was changing. Progress was being made. I witnessed it, myself.
 
Look, Assad is a dictator, and I’m not justifying his actions by any means. But, I’m sorry Bashar Assad, was no Ghadafi, nor was he a Mubarak and for damn sure, he wasn’t any Saddam Hussein. His father was, but he wasn’t – at least not until now. Prior to this, Syrians lived a descent life under him – nowhere near Western standards – but they were basically happy under Assad. They just were.  Especially Christians, because they have it good under him – generally speaking, of course. Syria has since the early part of this century, a clause in its constitution that Christians cannot become president.  Unfortunately, this past Sunday, that clause remained in the new constitution…so much for change…but that’s another story.  Nevertheless, Christians and Muslims are neighbors and get along very well. The Damascus skyline is interspersed with Blue Crosses and Green Minarets and Muslims regularly visit Christian Holy Sites, including the tomb of St. John the Baptist housed in the Omayyad Mosque. It’s the power factions, and governments, not the ordinary people who generally fuel the flames. People? They just want to get on and make a better life for themselves and their children. Most don’t have any other agendas.
 
Syria took in millions of Iraqi refugees, fed, clothed and housed them when the rest of the Arab world turned its back on them. I know, I worked with them. The truth is, many Syrians – both Christians and Muslims – are terrified of what is coming next! The world is ready to back up the opposition, but, really, who the hell is the opposition, anyway?!
 
Look, I’m not convinced that this is a genuine popular uprising. Sorry, but I’m not. Yes, Syrians wanted change. But a revolt? On this level? I’ve been Syrian all my life – I know our people. They weren’t that angry with Assad.  They just weren’t. The Arab Spring busted out, Syrians took to the streets…and well…you know where I’m going with this.
 
The fact is, I don’t know what’s up. I’m not there. And if I were, I couldn’t tell were the bullets came from, anyway. Bottom line? I’m torn.  I can’t support Assad, but I’m not convinced he’s the only one in this game, either.
 
Look, I have a big mouth. And God blessed me to have been born in a country where I can say what I want. I would never wish anything but the same for everyone. The very fact that I can write this article without fear of my life is testament of my fundamental belief in freedom of expression.
 
Without it, I am nothing.
 
God Bless America…and Syria.                                                             
 
 
]]>
http://www.dalelkhalil.com/a-syrian-americans-thoughts-on-syria/feed/ 2
On Marriage… http://www.dalelkhalil.com/on-marriage/ Wed, 01 Feb 2012 22:58:18 +0000 http://www.dalelkhalil.com/?p=241 Marriage is to Arabs what baseball is to Americans—their national pastime—except that it is much more fast-paced, even when the players are on steroids. It’s actually more like basketball–Hell, it’s March Madness! High speed, high energy, and rapid scoring!

The Tabal

The tabal is basically the bachelorette party. Again, it’s not anything like what you’re thinking. Trust me, Las Vegas, this is not. Besides, us Syrian girls know from experience that “What happens in the village—Doesn’t ever stay in the village!” You know what I mean?

The tabal starts out real girlish and then gets real rough ‘n’ tough. At the tabal, all the women gather at the bride’s father’s house. They put on music and dance in the living room. During that time, there are a variety of traditional customs that make the occasion very special. One such custom is that the maid of honor paints henna on the bride’s hands.  The bride is also showered with rose petals as she dances the beautiful Arabic dance.

And her sito—her sito (grandmother)—stands in the middle of the room and, for lack of a better term, basically raps. I’m talkin’ hooks and all. I ain’t saying she’s Kanye West or nuthin’, but it’s some tight a** s**t, especially for a 90 year old.Sito rap, for real. She’ll start bustin’ out these rhythmic fertility blessings—even without a beat.

Inshalla bit jeebee sabay! … Ou Inshalla bit shoofee ouladek! … Ou oulad-ouladek …Ou oulad-oulad-ouladek … Inshalla kil sineh bit-dulee quaisee … Aweeeeha …!

(If God wills, you will get a boy. … And if God wills you’ll get to see your kids. …And your kids’ kids. … And your kids’, kids’ kids. … If God wills, every year you will stay prosperous. … Aweeeeha …!)

Sometimes, they get a little confused and get the blessings all mixed up, but they mean well. So, MC Lil’ Sit2’s rappin’ for about ten minutes or until she can’t holler anymore and her head starts to hurt. Then she starts b**chin’ for someone to go get her a couple of aspirins. After a little while, they leave the father’s house and take the party out to the streets where the rest of the village joins in.

The women escort the bride-to-be to the center where her fiancé has been waiting. They are then carried on the shoulders of their strong male, cigarette-smoking cousins. That statement is a literal one. They physically lift both the bride and the groom up into the air as a celebratory gesture. It’s funny to watch their uneasiness. You can almost see the terror in the couple’s eyes as they try to grasp each other for safety. One bad move and they know they’re faced down on the ground. Especially if the guys have been celebrating all day with their good buddies, Johnny Walker, Jim Beam and, you know, the real rowdy one—José Cuervo.

Read more here!

]]>
On similarities between Arabs and the Aswaad (African-Americans)… http://www.dalelkhalil.com/on-similarities-between-arabs-and-the-aswaad-african-americans/ Wed, 01 Feb 2012 22:57:18 +0000 http://www.dalelkhalil.com/?p=239 We’re not exactly the first to be invited to the annual holiday office party—and neither are they

We’re both dark-complected and, some would contend, very suspicious looking.(Scoot over guys, we gotta make room for the Mexicans on this one, too.) Ultra conservative, narrow-minded, Archie Bunker types don’t particularly like us, or trust us, very much. There are those who think that all Black men are criminals, all Mexicans are illegals and all Arabs are terrorists. Somehow though, they’re very astute at being able to differentiate between 10,000 blond, blue-eyed, pale-skinned, surfer-dude looking guys. But, for some reason, we all still look alike to them.

We do look alike, actually

In all fairness to Mr. Stiff-A** and his friends, I must admit that there’s a part of me that understands his dilemma. I mean, it’s true, we actually do look alike. At least some of us do. Call the Hispanics in again(actually—keep them close by, we keep needing to use them). It’s true. I know that you have at least one Aswaad friend who looks exactly like your Arabic cousin. Right? You even catch yourself doing a double take every so often. You’re like, “Jamouli? Hey, Jamouli? Ahh damn! Jerome, sorry man, I thought you was Jamouli for a second, ya’ll two look exactly alike!”

Plus, we get even more confused now that the Aswaad are using common Arabic names more often these days. As a matter of fact, that’s really messing us up. “Yo’, Khalil, meet my cousin, Khalil.” … “Ahmed, Yo’! This is my friend Ahmed.”

We’re just the ones who are … well … profiled a lot

It kinda seems that people are interested in what we’re up to these days. They just want to know, you know, what we’re doing.

All the time.

And why we’re doing it. And with whom we’re doing it.

Around the clock.

It’s not a big deal, really.

The local and state authority’s focused on us. That’s true.

And the national authority’s, too. Yeah, you’re right, so what?

Okay, yeah, especially all the big government department agency heads. That’s fine. So, big deal.

Okay, I admit, most of the general population is and the border control guards as well. So what’s your point?

Okay! Okay! Wall Street, the Red Cross, the UN, the EU, the entire telecommunications industry, the entire transportation industry, etc.

ALL RIGHT! WE HAVE THE WHOLE DAMN INTERNATIONAL

COMMUNITY AUTHORITY’S ATTENTION!

There, I said it! Are you happy? Now leave me alone!

And let’s not forget the friendly skies…

The airlines arbitrarily call passengers up to check boarding passes—and rightfully so. It’s not a big deal. They call everyone up, randomly, you know, to verify confirmed seats and all.

“Will the following passengers please proceed to gate 17 …

Jones … Smith … Collins … Roberts … Abdullah … Mohammad … Mustafa …Yassir-Ibn-Abdul-Aziz … Sheik Ahmed-Hussein-Abdul (the third) … Hamdallahal-Hyatt-Ahmed … Ali-Rafi k-Moushtawai … Abdallah-Abdallah-Abdallah (the fourth) … Zaid Al-Ibn-Il-Halawee … Nasser-Ibn-Abdul-Halim-Hafez. …

Thank you. If you would kindly step right this way; this will just take a moment of your time.”

I’m not complaining. Oh no, I’m not. Not at all. Trust me. If there were nineteen highjackers from Asia, I’d be listening for names like Kim Hung Ho … Chan Li Sen… Hi Li Ho … Ho Chi Mihn … Kung Pow … General Tso … Beef Broccoli … Shrimp Fry Rice … Combination Special Number 1 and Number 2!!!

 

We both know how to represent

We’re always having fun … you know … when we’re not fighting or anything. Or when we’re not at war, or anything. Even our demonstrations are fun. Hell! They’re parties in and of themselves. I mean, I go to demonstrations just for the heck of it. I don’t always necessarily know what I’m protesting or anything. Sometimes, I don’t think they do, either. But, you know, sometimes you just gotta go to the town square, wave a flag, and stomp your feet a little. You just feel better afterwards.

Caucasian demonstrations are the worst! Ugh! Bor-ing! I’d rather watch paint dry. Sorry, to put it like that, but hey. No spunk, you know? Maybe a little jingle here and there but that’s it. Bor-ing! Orderly, too. BLAH! At least we have fervor. We go all out in our demonstrations. We represent! Yeah, baby! Thousands of people come out into the streets and chant. And our chants have a solid beat to them, too. It’s a slammin’ rhythm (that’s usually where the foot stomping comes in.) We gather in little circles, and we shoot off guns. Yup! Up in the air. Repeatedly. TAAT! TAAT! TAAT! TAAT!

I’m not condoning it … I’m just saying that we do it. Sometimes. Like when we’re really mad. Or sometimes when we’re really happy. Or sometimes during a funeral. And even sometimes during a wedding. It all just depends. And we make lots of zalghoutas. I’m telling you; it’s a big party!

The Aswaad? Well, they have interesting demonstrations, too, but, for some reason, they tend to be referred to as “riots.” Come to think of it, our demonstrations have a different name too; they tend to be referred to as “uprisings.” Hmmm… Interesting.But, the Aswaad represent! They sure do! And sometimes they shoot off guns too, but mostly when they get mad. Like when an entire city police department’s officers are acquitted after a video tape shows them beating the s**t out of an unarmed Black man. Those kinds of things, I don’t know, just sort of gets to them, I guess.

Disclaimer

The above example is used to demonstrate a point, not to incite any tension or violence. The author recognizes that a**holes come in all shapes, sizes and colors. And that there are good cops and bad cops and good citizens and bad citizens.

But in the spirit of discrimination (just kidding!) In the spirit of good relations, let’s continue.

Read more here!

]]>
From Veils To Thongs! http://www.dalelkhalil.com/from-veils-to-thongs/ Wed, 01 Feb 2012 00:52:22 +0000 http://www.dalelkhalil.com/?p=123 Arabic women deal with very serious issues that they often feel powerless to change.
Western women are raised to be extremely assertive and even fight for her rights. One
who is both Arab and American is very often, very confused. Her one foot is planted
firmly in a traditional world whose cultural rules haven’t changed in over 2,000 years.
Her other foot is skidding on a thin piece of ice, the mega-liberal free-for-all, called
America. And she is trying to balance walking on both.

This hilarious, lighthearted survival guide explains how to retain one’s sanity in the battle
of the ultimate culture clash, and offers hilarious explanations as to why we have absurd
cultural rules such as arranged marriages. Best of all, Westerners not only finally have a
practical tool in which to better understand us and our wacky ways, but they too, can find
answers.

Like us, many Americans are struggling in this escalating socio-political cultural war.
They are torn between conservatism and liberalism, tradition and progression, fidelity
and fun, flats and pumps! It’s hard to balance it all. It really is. Contrasting Eastern
traditions with Western ideas, V2T explains how to function when one’s conservative
ethnic side is at war with their liberal Western side.

Order the book right here!

]]>
Random Pictures http://www.dalelkhalil.com/random-pictures/ Tue, 31 Jan 2012 02:26:00 +0000 http://www.dalelkhalil.com/?p=203 “Do I have to say more? One of the most dynamic speakers and writers that I’ve ever met has honored Wellesley and was the first lecturer in our First Annual Arab Awareness Week” – Mary Kaddah, Wellesley

I am so proud of these amazing women!  So smart, intelligent, beautiful, strong and wise!  They are their own persons!  I am convinced that one of them will end up being the first woman president!

WELCOME HOME CEREMONY

Welcome Home ceremony for soldiers returning from Iraq. Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, Pittsburgh, PA. February, 2009.  Khalil’s restaurant (specifically my dad, Mikhail Khalil) was honored during the ceremony for his support of the troops and their families.

]]>
G-20 Pittsburgh — What a waste! http://www.dalelkhalil.com/g-20-pittsburgh-what-a-waste/ Tue, 31 Jan 2012 02:05:56 +0000 http://www.dalelkhalil.com/?p=200 G-20 Pittsburgh — What a waste!!! (Disclaimer: The author does not endorse any kind of violence whatsoever, and does not minimize the importance of demonstrating on behalf of injustices and serious global issues. In fact, the author supports the right to protest — and condemns all forms of violence. Real message: protest — but don’t be stupid about it.)

However, for those who do not have a sense of humor…please skip over.

Thank you,

Management (as in “me,” the author)

***********

This is sooo embarrassing! This is the WORST G-20 summit ever!

UGH! I am soooo ashamed to be a Pittsburgher right now! I can’t even show my face!

35,000 riot police, SWAT, Feds, National Guard…and no protests! No REAL protests! I mean, where’s the burning buildings? Where’s the massive arrests? Where’s the city on fire!

Where’s the ACTION?!

THERE’S NOTHING GOING ON!

BORR-ING!

I mean the most impressive thing that’s happened so far is that a couple of guys from Greenpeace hung from a downtown bridge for a few hours with a big sign pushing awareness of global warming.

That’s it! Big deal, ya know?! Jeez!

Believe me, there would be more rioting in the streets of Pittsburgh if the Steeelers got an unfair 15 yard penalty! Trust me on that. In fact, that’s when we needed all this police presence — is when the Steelers won the Super Bowl back in January. Now THAT was mayhem — as it should be!

Every 2 seconds cars were lit on fire, mattresses were burning, and police couldn’t keep up with all the 9-1-1 calls! University of Pittsburgh students even managed to pull a dumpster out, drag it in the middle of congested Forbes Avenue and light it on fire! POOF! Blazing flames right in the middle of the street! I think someone even dropped a couple of bottles of vodka on it to increase the flames. I swear you’d have thought it was a coup d’etat! A good old fashioned coup d’etat! It was GREAT!

Now…THAT’S how it’s done!

But here…not even a peep! I swear! I walked out of my house yesterday, fearing for my very life and the only demonstration I came across was about 30 pacifists walking around in t-shirts with “FREE TIBET” written on it. And they were so nice! And quiet, too. They weren’t even SAYING anything — much less chanting or shouting. Most weren’t even carrying signs. In fact, one protester, was so kind, he smiled at me and asked me if I’d like a flyer, and politely broke rank to hand it to me. But he ASKED me first, and waited for my permission!

So nice…I wanted to join the protest…and bring tea and cookies!

I swear this is the LAST massive demonstration I’m going to! I mean this is stupid! We’ve got a reputation to live up to in Pittsburgh! We’re hard working, steel mill town, blue collar, union people. We built our reputation on rolling up our sleeves and getting down to work! And this is what we come up with?

Unbelievable!

The world is watching us!

Pittsburgh Pride?

It’s Pathetic.

Seattle not only beat us — but they blew us away! We may have won the Super Bowl title — but damn! They know how to riot! Now they’re real pro’s! We look like wimps compared to them! Afraid to cross the line! Afraid to instigate. Afraid to even organize! They’re not even organized! There’s too many groups out there — all disorganized! I was walking around all day yesterday and couldn’t figure out which one to join!

Look, I’ll be honest, I go to protests just so I can meet guys…”Hey…what are you here for? Free Tibet? Free Palestine? Free the Whales?” But you gotta know which group to join, so you can get the greatest compatibility. I mean, what am I gonna do with someone from PETA? I’m an Arab — I LOVE lamb!

I swear, after this, I can’t show my face outside of this town again! What am I gonna tell my international friends? They’ll laugh in my face. And forget my friends from France! Oh, the humiliation. They riot in the streets if they don’t like a proposed new ingredient in traditional French croissants. Those people are gods at rioting!

Last night the police were out in full force. There were literally thousands of SWAT team, riot police, even National Guardsman — and there were about 30 protesters — and about 1,000 curious naïve college kids coming down and wondering what all the fuss was about. Babies. So young, they still have Similac on their mouths. I don’t even think half of them know what the G-20 is all about. It was just a chance to take pictures, and try to sneak in beer and maybe chant something. I swear I heard someone chant “Here We Go Steelers! Here We Go – in a protest line!!!

I kinda felt bad for the police standing there all decked out in riot gear with nothing to do. I kinda wanted to grab a couple of college freshmen and start something, just so these guys would have something to do…you know, it gets kinda silly with 3,000 police officers ready for combat, when all you’ve got are a bunch of kids twittering and facebooking their friends telling them about how excited they are to be in the middle of history.

The police just didn’t look so scary after that. In fact, about 11pm, when they advanced forward for the final time, the kids ran away – very obediently, I might add. I was just sitting back just laughing at the whole thing. After that, I just walked a couple of blocks up the street, went home, had a beer and went to sleep.

Some protests!

You have to understand, for the past 5 months, local talk show hosts and media have done nothing but pound the fear into everyone’s head about the infamous anarchists. Pound fear.

And they have every right to…all joking aside, based on history, I understand. But there’s a difference between warning and issuing caution, and creating crazy fear. These people had me wanting to board up windows in my own house.

Look, this is all just a big waste of my time. I mean, you’d better live up to the standards of anarchy before I rearrange my schedule to protest — especially for something so “GRANDE” as the big, prestigious G-20 Summit! Get over yourself, already!

We’re never gonna live this down! Our reputation is completely ruined!!! This G-20 stinks, big time!

What a disgrace!!!

WHAT-EVER!!!

You know, next time, they really should think about bring in some Arab groups…at least our demonstrations are fun!

Guns, flags, zalghoutas, stomping feet, chanting with cool beats…and fervor! Passion, baby! I’m sure you’ll even find a guy selling shawarma and felafel on the side…you know, to help with the economy…after all it is the G-20 summit!

We know how to do it right!

I’m headed out the door right now – all the “action” is just down the street. I’m gonna put on my sexy, strapless sandals, fix my make-up real nice, spray on some perfume and find the right group this time — and try to make the best of this stupid, stupid, stupid thing!

It just goes to show…this town won’t budge unless its for sports some championship ring.

Pittsburgh’s G-20!

UGH!!!

]]>
Girl Auctions Off Her Virginity – Online! http://www.dalelkhalil.com/girl-auctions-off-her-virginity-online/ Tue, 31 Jan 2012 02:03:09 +0000 http://www.dalelkhalil.com/?p=198 UNABLE TO PAY FOR COLLEGE …WHAT’S A GIRL TO DO?

And the winner is….

 

“We got 11,000….Do I hear 12,000? … 12 for the pretty little Romanian! ….12? ….12 for a once in a lifetime fantasy… Folks, ya can’t beat the price! … 12 IT IS to the man with the white polyester pants and obnoxious gold chain! …

 

Do I hear 13? … 13,000? … She’s a beauty, folks…look at ‘er…Untouched and pure! … She’s a young one, only 18 fellas!  Only 18!  PURE, RIPE AND READY TO GO! … 13? …13? …13 IT IS for the man with the sleazy turned up collar and bad cologne!…

 

Do I hear 14? …14,000? …14,000? …

 

Folks, come on, you can’t get any purer than this beauty right here…Look at those eyes!  … Innocent, never touched before — GUARANTEED! …  It’s like opening your very own brand new package …14,000? …Folks, $14,000 … Oh, she’s a rarity…Not too many virgins around these days…And certainly not for this price! …. This deal is a steal! ….

 

Come on, 14,000? … Do I hear 14,000? … $14,000? ….14,000?  … SOLD!!! … SOLD TO THE ITALIAN BUSINESSMAN FROM BOLOGNA!  EXCELLENT CHOICE SIR, CONGRATULATIONS!”

 

 

Internet marketing— a whole new way of commerce! 

According to news reports, Alina Percea, an 18 year old Romanian born college student studying in Germany auctioned off her virginity for $14,000 on a website so she could afford to pay for her computer degree.

Woe, these truly are wretched economic times! …Woe is me!

Now she faces losing half of her virginity earnings to the Tax Man.

HALF!

That’s like getting f—– twice.

Sorry, but it is.

 

UNBELIEVABLE!

Stupid Girl!

$14,000 for your virginity?

 

What on earth was she thinking?

 

Oh, she must feel just horrible about herself!

 

Just horrible!

 

She must really hate herself now!

 

What has the world come to?

 

Selling your virginity?

Online?

For $14,000?

 

Is that what virginity has been reduced to?  A mere $14,000 lousy, stinking dollars?  You can’t even buy a decent car with $14,000, let alone with any non-standard features.  This girl is just stupid!  No wonder she’s studying computers, she’d never make it in business.

 

She could have gotten more—way more—especially because virginity is so extremely rare in this day and age.  I mean, come on, doesn’t she even know that?  Supply and demand, baby, its basic econ!  And now, on top of everything, she has to give half of it to the German government.  Why?  Because German authorities declared that it was no different than prostitution.  And prostitution in Germany is legal—and taxable.

 

Learn baby, learn.  Learn from history, honey.  Learn from those “wise” business people who made the same mistakes before you.  Leona Helmsley. Al Capone.  No matter what you do—or in this case, who you do—they’ll always get you on taxes.

 

And now they’re talking about a VAT tax (whatever that is) but it’s likely to eat up an additional 19% of her earnings.  So after all is said and done, she just might come out with only like less than $6,000 bucks in the end.

 

UNBELIEVEABLE!

 

She ain’t no Arab girl, either, that’s for sure!  No way!  $14,000?  Are you kidding me? That would be an insult!  A HUGE insult!  An Arab chick knows how to bargain (we’ve already gone through this lesson before with my other blog Restaurants, Real Estate and Retail).  An Arab chick would have easily gotten a couple of million for that!  At least.  No question!  Doesn’t this girl even know how sacred virginity is these days?  Plus, you only get one shot!  Literally.  I mean, come on, you gotta set your price high from the door!

 

You know, one time, me and my siblings wanted to sell off my sister, you know, just to make a buck or two.  We were thinking of some rich Gulf guys, of course, hers would be for life-long marriage, but still, it was a solid business plan.  We didn’t tell my parents or anything, we just conspired amongst ourselves.  But even as young entrepreneurial, ghetto-fabulous immigrant kids, we were looking at least a couple million—and that was like 20 years ago!

 

Alina reportedly said that she was inspired by 22 year old Natalie Dylan from San Diego, who put her own virginity up for sale.  Natalie’s highest bidder was 3.7 million dollars.

 

Now that’s capitalism!  Learn from us Americans how to make a buck (and a bailout)!  3.7 million!  That’s impressive—and she’s not even a slick bargaining ethnic chick!  Way to go, Natalie!  Maybe it’s because Alina is from Eastern Europe and all, and actually thought that $14,000 was a really good price.  No disrespect, but those former communist bloc nations haven’t really caught up economically, yet.

 

And the icing on the cake?

 

The sex was performed without a condom.

 

Honey, I say, if you’re bargaining that low, what’s a couple thousand bucks less, right?  A smart decision would have been to lower the price a little in exchange for the use of a condom.  They’re only a couple of bucks, ya know?  Besides the fact of putting your very life at risk, the price of those AIDS cocktails can really add up.

 

Makes you just wish you could do it all over again, doesn’t it?…uhhh…butcha can’t. (Ouch…I’m sorry…I know that hurt.)

 

The winner was a 45 year old Italian businessman who flew Alina to Venice for the romantic rendezvous.  They stayed in a luxury hotel…wait a minute…hold on a second…Venice?…Wasn’t that where Madonna shot her “Like a Virgin” video?   

 

Hmmm…interesting.

 

Anyway, they apparently, made a business agreement: she provided medical certificates proving that she was a virgin, and he supplied documentation which stated he was free from SDTs.

 

FYI guys…uhhh…in case you didn’t know, doctors routinely perform reconstructive surgeries to restore women’s hymens.  And honey, it certain circles, believe me, it’s all the rage.  And on the other hand, there are plenty of doctors who will gladly provide any kind of certificate you wish…Clean Bill of Health…no STDs….you name it.  Hell, I can get antibiotics just for telling them I sneezed last Thursday.

 

For both of their sakes, I just hope it was an ethical business deal.

 

I’m just confused about one little thing, though: How could a person who is so careless and carefree with her sexuality and virginity, have lost it so late in life?  I mean, if she can casually send it off with a stranger for a buck, then clearly, it couldn’t have been so sacred to her to hold onto for so long.  (And trust me, in this day and age, 18 is long.)  And if it wasn’t so sacred, then why did it take her so long to give it up in the first place?

 

And if it was so sacred, then why put a price on it?

 

I’m confused.

 

I know a girl’s gotta make a living, and she really wanted the experience to be special. But she met a strange man, in a strange country, making a strange business deal—and  yet she completely trusted him NOT to be, or to act, strange.  Moral arguments aside, wouldn’t that be kinda dangerous?  Or am I just being old fashioned here?

 

This girl seems like a really nice person.  Apparently, she is a romantic.  She said she wanted to “meet a nice man, like in the film Pretty Woman.” Sweetheart, it’s a film.  Richard Gere was acting.

 

I admire her romanticism.  And I give her credit for believing in love, and for sending off her virginity with a bang—pardon the pun.  I have no issue with two consenting adults, and the choices they make.  Live and let live.  Your business is your business, babe, not mine.  And I try not to cast the first stone.

 

As a matter of fact, in all fairness, one must acknowledge the truth, which is, regardless of whether you agree or disagree with their choices, the fact remains that there are plenty of women who give up their virginities to strangers—to men who become their new husbands—and they experience nothing special.  In fact, the truth is that sometimes they even experience the horrific, the sad, the lonely—and are completely devastated by the whole ordeal.  At least this girl planned to lose her virginity her way, on her terms, and tried to make her first time special.  So, I give her credit for that.  She said she enjoyed it.  It’s her life—and her decision.

 

But, sorry, I just don’t get it.

 

Not for that price, anyway.

 

Every girl deserves that kind of fairy tale.  I hope this man comes back for you, and you find true love.

]]>
Fort Hood Tragedy http://www.dalelkhalil.com/fort-hood-tragedy/ Tue, 31 Jan 2012 02:00:18 +0000 http://www.dalelkhalil.com/?p=195 And finally—sorry, I hate to say it, but—we both cringe in front of the TV set during a national tragedy. We’re hoping and praying. Praying, “Dear God,please,please don’t let it be one of us!”

– Excerpt from FROM VEILS TO THONGS An Arab Chick’s Survival Guide to Balancing One’s Ethnic Identity in America. p. 102

When I wrote this 2 years ago, I was only joking.

But only half joking.

Whatever’s going on…gotta stop.

Seems like everyone’s losing their minds.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder — I think we’re all getting it.

Time to start…

Time to start…stopping.

My prayers go out to everyone affected by this horrific, insane tragedy.

]]>
Valentine’s Day Warning! http://www.dalelkhalil.com/valentines-day-warning/ Tue, 31 Jan 2012 01:57:17 +0000 http://www.dalelkhalil.com/?p=192 Be careful.

Be very careful.

They all fell for it.

Romeo and Julliet.

Kais and Leila.

Cleopatra and Mark Antony

And now, you.

Yes, you!

Listen up. Ms.-Independent-I-don’t-need-a-man-to-take-care-of-me!Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and if you’re not careful, you could end up just like one of those infamous couples I just mentioned. Ruined forever! I’m serious! Do you hear me? You could, literally, in just a matter of moments, alter the entire direction of your life. Listen, I know what I’m talking about, and as an Arabic woman, it’s my duty to warn you of the dangers — but even more importantly than that — you know what I’m talking about.

Arab men and sweet talk.

Chocolate? Roses? Diamonds?

They have nothing on Arab men and sweet talk.

Look, Arab men are professionals. They know what works. They could take the most stubborn, marriage-resistant, independent female and turn her into a bowl of mushy jelly — bright eyed, and all gooey inside, emphatically proclaiming “YES!” to marriage — even if she’s not even sure she even likes the guy! The Arab man is full of passion, fire, and can create the most poetic verses that even Khalil Gibran would envy.

Mr. Arab Man will look straight into your eyes and tell you that his life began the moment he laid eyes on you, or that you are the very reason for his existence.

Blame it on Olm Kalthoum.

Seriously.

I mean, what do you expect with love song lyrics like, “…With your light the dawn of my life started…!” I mean, come on! Resist? Are you kidding me? What girl out there wouldn’t melt hearing those words?

And if he has an accent, then that pushes his sexy, cool points up by at least 70% – no kidding! Actually, this rule applies for most ethnic men — especially the French. In fact, the French just might have a slight advantage over the rest.

Romeo = Tarek = Pierre = Miguel…it’s all the same.

Trust me. I know what I’m talking about.

After being hounded by some half-Arab, half-European guy, I finally agreed to go out with him, figuring he’ll leave me alone. I was strong. Really strong. I looked right into his eyes and said, “Listen up, pal, I know what you guys are all about, you can’t flatter me thinking I’m gonna fall for you! I’m no demure, delicate princess, batting my eyelashes waiting for your attention! I know your game! Can’t play a playa’, bro — got it?!”

Within 10 minutes I was picking out the names of our 10 children. Thinking of my dark skin, combined with his blue eyes, and where we would build our summer home…would it be in Syria, Italy or somewhere in between?

So, here’s my fair warning to you…before you allow yourself to get swept off your feet this Valentine’s Day and drown in all the romance — just remember my words.

Sweet talk.

It’s so sweet…it’s dangerous.

]]>
HAFLI WARS! http://www.dalelkhalil.com/hafli-wars/ Tue, 31 Jan 2012 01:56:20 +0000 http://www.dalelkhalil.com/?p=189 It happens every year.

Hafli Wars!

Yes — Hafli Wars! The intensity begins in the beginning of the holiday season, escalates around mid-December and culminates to the high breaking point on the night of Dec. 31st

The burning question…?

Who’s gonna have the most SLAMMIN’ Hafli on New Year’s Eve?!

It’s a mistake you can’t afford to make!

You’ve got to make the right decision! It’s the one night you wait all year round for — it’s THE night! To see — and more importantly, ladies — to BE seen! There’s a lot of stressful preparation that goes into that magical night! How will you wear your hair? What dress will you wear? Your make-up? How much gold can you drench on yourself to be just slightly showy enough – without being overtly obnoxious? And just how many eligible doctors will actually show up, anyway?

You know, those sorts of questions.

But it all boils down to one crucial decision…

Which party do I go to?!

You’ve gotta make your decision quick! In my city there were 2 separate parties going on. People were confused for weeks. Walking around in a daze — making reservations, then quickly cancelling them. Usually there’s one sure winner but every so often — just like the rarity of the Blue Moon — there’ll be more than one to choose from.

And when that happens…

The Hafli Wars begin!

Different “factions” compete to attract the bulk of the community. Some pre-empt — announcing their party as early as September! Thereby, claiming their territorial New Year’s Eve Hafli Rights before anyone has a chance!

Oh…the Drama.

Because the last thing you want is to go to a bad party — not so much because it was a bad party, but only to wake up the next day and hear about how great the other one was. Now that would really set off the year on the bad foot! Then all next year, all you’ll do is blame everything that goes wrong, on starting off the New Year at the wrong hafli. For every bad thing that happens — no matter how irrelevant — all that will come out of your mouth is: “You know why this year was bad? Because we went to that bad hafli! If we went to that other hafli, it would have been good, and we would have had a good year!”

Then the cursing begins.

Oh…the Pressure.

I went to neither.

I took my favorite wine, and spent the day enjoying every moment, cherishing the present, reflecting on the past, hoping for the future — and being grateful for this simple, yet beautiful, life God has blessed me with.

I really felt the Old Year change into the New Year…quietly…stunningly…beautifully.

I wish the most beautiful year, peace with each other, and God’s blessing in 2010.

Kil aam wa intay bakheer!

]]>