Not long ago in Impromptus, I talked about Omar Sharif, who, on Egyptian television, went off on Americans (off of whom he has made a fortune). (There is nothing wrong with going off on Americans – but he did so stupidly and nastily.) How did we know about Sharif’s appearance? From the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute, of course. Well, now we have another appearance by another Egyptian actor – and we’ve learned of it from the same source. The actor is Khaled Saleh, and he was speaking on Lebanese television. He said that it would be impossible for him to fall in love with an American woman.
Let me tell you something. I traveled there once and lived among this people. The great problem that happened in America September 11 was not a good thing, but the panic I saw in the eyes of the Americans that day . . . I hoped it would make these people a little more focused just a little so that they would feel that there is such a thing as fear in the world, things like terror, oppression, and so on. I am against anything that is American nowadays, because I feel they are phony. When I talk to an Arab, I feel I am talking to someone who knows what is going on in the world. With an American, I feel I’m talking to a Nazi, who sees nothing but himself.
(To see this clip, go here.) Well, I guess there’s a little good news: He apparently regards “Nazi” as negative.
And if you want to talk with people who have a grasp of what’s going on in the world – who are really grounded in reality: well, in my experience, the Middle East is not your best regional bet.