A few years ago, I read this book called Crescent by Iraqi-Irish-American author Diana Abu-Jaber. It takes place in Los Angeles and it is a kind of like reading the script of an Arab channel soap opera. This very beautiful and sensual (Abu-Jaber’s words- not mine) Arab woman has a restaurant in LA and lots of students come and go. They gather to fuel and foam. It’s a fun book to read if you are into food books. It’s such a foodie book that it has a recipe chapter in the end.
Two neat things about this book are 1. Iranians are mentioned over and over as coming to the restaurant. Fascinating because the book was written right after the Iraqi invasion of Iran ended. 2. The book wasn’t published when she submitted it for consideration because Gulf War 1 was under way. Hooray. So when that war ended and a decade and half went by and George Hussein Bandar Bush invaded Iraq and people were happy that the Iraqis were cooperating with flowers and candy, Diana Abu-Jaber got published.
Now it is post double wars in Iraq and Iranians are very anti-Arab world wide because we blame Arabs (among other tribes) for all of our problems, especially Islam. But in Abu-Jaber’s novel, Iranians and Arabs came together shekam be shekam to enjoy dolmeh and kabobs.
Then this octuplet thing exploded in LA and it turns out the mother is Iraqi-American. Her father looks like Mr. Zoorehezafeh if he shaved his head and he went on Oprah Winfrey and was both funny and sad. He laughed and cried. When a Middle Eastern man cries, in front of millions, you have to feel sorry for him. I do.
But imagine if this insane and selfish young woman who can’t bother to let her parents enjoy a retirement was IRANIAN instead. Also imagine if her greedy doctor were Iraqi instead of IRANIAN. I bet you would have gotten lots and lots of nice anti-Arab blogs. Hissing about Arabs and how they want Iranian families to be submerged in poopy diapers and baby vomit aka Islam.