Friday, 30 September 2011

4 Australian Arab Men You Should Never Date

A warning manual.

1. Moey Dw, the Fully Sick Habib 
Moey Dw is the quintessential habib and is all kinds of fully sick. Habib is a somewhat derogatory label (think bogan or chav) applied to a specific breed of young Australian males with a Middle Eastern background, usually aged 12 to 25 years old. Habibs reside in western Sydney and are highly concentrated in the lower socio-economic suburbs of Bankstown, Punchbowl, Granville and Auburn. Because they are prevalent, almost omnipresent, and because they have very distinct characteristics, I would go as far as saying that there is a habib subculture. Perhaps even a cult. A fully sick cult.

Habibs have hijacked and claimed certain clothing brands, including Lonsdale, G-Star RAW, Ed Hardy and Nike. Moey Dw, the alpha-habib, is hardly seen without his parachute track pants, a hoodie, a Nike TN cap, Nike TN running shoes and a Lonsdale – or Lebsdale, as he affectionately calls it – bum bag.

Moey Dw struggles to speak English properly, despite being born and schooled in Australia. He, like most habibs, speaks a strange cross between English and heavy gibberish. Whenever he attempts to verbally communicate, it’s almost as if he’s choking and having an impossible time articulating himself. He can’t pronounce “th”, so rather than “thinking”, he’s “finking”. If it’s 3.20pm, he will tell you that the time is “free-twenny”. In every sentence spoken, at least one of the following terms is used: bro, shu (what), cuz, ay, or an Arabic profanity.

Every couple of weeks, Moey Dw visits the barber for mullet maintenance. He drowns himself in Lynx deodorant and speeds around his neighbourhood for no particular reason.

Moey Dw is usually only interested in ‘picking up chicks’ and getting laid. He’s not really looking for a long-term relationship. He wins over naive and vulnerable high school girls with his self-inflated ego and faux confidence. Moey Dw won’t have you at “hello”. He’ll have you at “lek shu sexy, what’s ya number?”

It’s necessary to note that Moey Dw is never alone. He is normally with two or more mates or in the company of a large group of habibs. If he plans on taking you out, expect a night of snorting cocaine with ‘the boys’ in an empty car park, followed by a Maccas run in an ancient and overcrowded Corolla.

2. Bling Bling Bilal
Bling Bling Bilal lives on the dole and earns a bit of pocket money by doing shady things on the side. When he isn’t lifting weights at the gym, he’s out with friends, picking up his fortnightly cheque from Centrelink or out clubbing. He is condescending to those around him, particularly women. He’s always making sexist comments and actually laughs at kitchen jokes – “It’s funny because it’s true”. He drives a flashy car, is draped in jewellery and wears $400 sunglasses to bed. Bilal hates it when anyone touches his hair and he breaks off relationships with “It’s not me, it’s you”.

3. Fouad the Freshie 
Fouad is in Australia on a temporary Visa but he hopes to become a fully pledged citizen one day. Fouad, known as Foufou among his collective of freshie friends, is constantly looking for love. But his first priority is marriage – love grows later. He needs to secure citizenship after all. Foufou is a romantic and listens to songs by Wael Kfoury and Tamer Hosny. His English is broken and unsexy but you don’t hear much of it anyway – he’s reserved, quiet and likes to seem mysterious. It’s 2011 but Foufou likes the Greaser hairstyle. He gels his hair excessively and leaves a curl dangling across his forehead. He leaves a few buttons undone, so his chest hair can breathe, and he wears curled-up leather shoes. Foufou can be found at Lebanese sweet shops almost every night smoking the argileh and glancing up or staring at anything that looks remotely female. He only talks about politics and his mother country. He may be lovey-dovey, but he's possessive and easily jealous. 

4. Kareem, the radical Muslim
Kareem is a killjoy because he only ever talks about religion and doesn’t hear anyone out. Good luck getting a date with him though. To you, a first date might mean movies and dinner, but to him, the first date is the wedding. Movies are filled with haram content and dinner might not be halal anyway. He is overbearingly conservative and always sighs, claiming that Australia needs to be an Islamic state. Kareem is a ‘Haram policeman’ – he aims to explain the ‘forbidden’ nature in most things and he annoys many of those around him. He strokes his beard when he speaks, tries to speak with authority, and when given the opportunity, he will go on a self-righteous four-hour tirade against evolution, against homosexuality, against music and against loans and interest. He is imposing, stubborn and seeking a submissive housewife.

Additional: The original Moey Dw image was removed and has been replaced.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Coming soon: Al Jazeera Activate

Al Jazeera Activate is a new series that focuses on activists around the world fighting for social change and justice.

I've said it before. This is the beautiful face of journalism. People all over the world will have their voices heard, all kinds of campaigns will be far-reaching and more mainstreamed, efforts will be recognised by more people and activist movements will (hopefully) snowball. I really can't wait and I highly commend Al Jaz (apparently that's what the cool kids call it) for this series.

Institutionalised racism and classism

Be rich and commit corporate fraud involving three billion dollars - receive a three year prison sentence. Be black, be homeless and steal $100 - get thrown into jail for 15 years.

Why a two-state solution won't deliver any justice for Palestine

I've had this talk with many people and thought I should post some words I've shared here.
I don't advocate a two-state solution. Nobody who seeks a proper delivery of justice for Palestine would or should. A separate Palestinian state is essentially a demilitarised bantustan on 22% of Palestine. The creation of a Palestinian state on some of Palestine is the creation of a segregated enclave.
We need to focus on civil rights, equal rights and one land for all. Read here about one state and civil rights. Compromising 78% of historic Palestine will not deliver justice whatsoever. Keep in mind that there are almost seven million displaced Palestinians, and it is a fundamental human right - a right enshrined in international law - of those stateless refugees to return to their homes, towns and villages.

I also want to note that Abbas and the Palestinian Authority are leading this deal. They've been collaborating with Israel for a long time.

The Palestine leaks released this year detailed and confirmed the extent of which Abbas and the PA have been collaborating with Israel (this is something that's been known/observed/speculated/suspected etc since forever, though). With leaders who don't act in the best interests of their people and cause, there can't be justice in a 'separate' state for the Palestinians.

Abbas and the PA have been okaying settlements and have also capped the amount of Palestinians refugees that can return if they are ever actually allowed (10 000) - these are a few among many other collaborations and agreements that severely compromise Palestinian self-determination - check them out if you haven't already.

The peace process died a long time ago. (Did it ever really exist in the first place?). The two positions, the Palestinian and the Zionist positions, collide, obviously. Any actual progress toward peace would mean one party largely compromising its position. In the case of Palestinians, that would be surrendering most of their land and/or continuing to live under military occupation and a system of apartheid. In the case of Israel, a 'compromise' would be putting an end to a Zionist state and discriminatory laws, ending occupation and apartheid, and affording Palestinians equal rights they deserve as human beings, really. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out which party needs to be making the concessions for peace.

If this request is vetoed, it's a success for Israel. If it's accepted, it's a success for Israel. The conflict is about principle as much as it is about the physical land itself (perhaps more so about principle, I'd say). No one is entitled to land/more rights by virtue of their religion, ethnicity etc and, of course, vice versa - nobody is entitled to less because of those differences. Splitting and dividing land - Palestinians in one section, the rest for Jews - only reinforces the inequality that's been alive for the last 63 years. A divide serves to show that cohesion isn't possible; that people need to be enclosed by borders with their 'own', and that's simply untrue.