From :
Sent : Sunday, June 27, 2004 4:39 AM
To :
Subject : hello

i would like first to thank you so much and second to say something about an article published earlier and a reply to it later on. it is 'do arabs wear
shoes?' thank you.

hello everybody,
I am faysal jasem, an Arab guy who lives in the UK since last year. Sami Dib and Muna al-dakheel have mentioned certain examples and questions asked to them by people of different nationalities related to them as Arabs. I agree that they are really embarrassing and shocking because I have also been asked about some similar issues.

I personally do believe that one reason behind this is the media including the TV, the journals, the magazines and so on, you can find in them such scary perspectives about Arabs in general and Muslims in specific. So, are the public to be blamed here? What is their fault if WE have such a weak media that can hardly even exist? The second reason for such a shock is THE ARABS themselves. I really have other examples of Arabs who go abroad and confirm this deformed view. And again, how to convince the others that we believe in such and such while hundreds of other Arabs are affirming the opposite? How to convince them, for example, that we do not have the concept of boyfriend and girlfriend while you can see that the Arabs here do have such a concept? What I wanted to say is that people here are really not to be blamed and when they ask you such questions, it is because they are really puzzled.

Concerning the idea of wearing shoes instead of sandals, I think that Arabs who are abroad are so faithful to their sandals and do not want to change them. You know why? It is not because they carry their traditional customs wherever they go without being ashamed of it, but because the British girls often wear sandals in the summer, so it is the custom here and again Arab people must keep themselves as up-to-date as possible and wear sandals in order to prevent western people from accusing them of backwardness and primitivism, do you agree? Really cynical.

Thus, a last word to say is that such a situation is so hard to change and even useless to change. Why to? Just to stop their enquiries? Let them ask, we have the answer and they should believe because the sample is in front of them. If they do not believe, it is better because this will let them upset and eager to investigate more and more about our ''shoes''. isn't it nice to feel thatsomebody is busy with our SHOES......