What in tarnation is wrong with you? Forget the whole Clinton marriage thing that you just “covered”. Forget even the earth-shaking headline today, “Terror Fears Hamper U.S. Muslims’ Travel”. No Duh! Just explain to me this piece by Katherine Zoepf which is so over-the-top with inanities that the only response I have is a blogrant:
Look at the opening lines: “There was a time, not long ago, when the idea of jet travel in the Persian Gulf countries conjured up images of white-robed sheiks accompanied by cages full of squawking falcons and of European oil executives lounging in first-class luxury ‚Äî of a frequent-flier population more at home with a large entourage than a humble rolling suitcase.”
Dear Ms. Zoepf, when was that magical time? During the Abbasid Caliphate? On Aladdin’s flying carpet? Because I have flown in and out of the Persian Gulf since 1975 and I don’t -EVER- recall any abundantly garbed sheikhs with falcons. Have you been watching one too many re-runs of Lawrence of Arabia? And then you go on and find a quote from someone who, supposedly, does travel in Arabia.
David Bender, a graduate student in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University who often travels throughout the Arab world, said that while in Damascus during Ramadan last fall, he had been surprised to see billboards over the Syrian capital’s main traffic circles advertising special fares to the United Arab Emirates for Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that marks the end of the Islamic fasting month.
“It’s been interesting to see advertisements encouraging people to spend the Eid in Dubai, on vacation; this suggests that there must be a middle class who can afford that kind of thing,” Mr. Bender said.”
It suggests to Mr. Bender that there might be some kind of middle class that might, you know, need/enjoy/desire/consume that kind of thing. Because, lord knows that Mr. Bender in his travels throughout the Arab world has not seen anyone besides sheikhs, their falcons, and Mr. Hammond from Exxon.
WHERE do they find these people!??
Yeah. I stopped reading after that. Do let me know if the parade of Orient’s indelible imagery ever stopped.