AMERICAN IN ARABIA sighs on Feb 14: Arabs Do Valentine's the “Debbie Al-Downer” Way
The Arab “Debbie Al-Downer”: Puts a Political Dampener on Valentines Day
I know the strife and history in the region. Not well, but enough to know it’s tough to get a break. But here comes Valentine’s Day-- a fluffy holiday without any sharp edges, this day should be fun for all. Right? Wrong! Well, leave it to the Arabs to be the Debbie Downer (for the uninitiated, an American popular culture reference for ‘big downer’) - for even Cupid’s visit. Apparently assassinations in Lebanon and coups in Bahrain are memorialized this Feb. Fourteen. Wet blanket bedouins and a crappy Valentine’s Day for the Levant?
Cue the bagpipes and start the dirge. I guess I won’t be wearing my pink tuxedo and serenading my wife after all. Thanks, ya Debbie! You always have to bring politics into everything. Beirutis – well the full nation of Mount Lebanon - even have a whole political alliance named after the love affair just to stamp out all traces of romance! Another holiday tainted by political Arab drama. Thanks, my lovely, complex and sensitive comrades. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a tuxedo I need to return.
Over to the Syrian neighbor, and "Stand by Your Man"
When it comes to commitment, Asma Assad has raised the bar. Via an email defence of her husband’s anti-people stance, she is taking the ‘Until Death Do We Part’ to a whole other level. I know it’s important to maintain a public face of unity with one’s mate but this has to make the dinner table conversation a little awkward.
“Bashar, dear, can you pass the ketchup? And, sweetheart, I’m not sure I can do any more interviews”
“Oh really? Why not sugar?”
“Well darling, this thing’s gotten a little out of control. I may go stay with mother”
By Brett Weer
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