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Junior alias Mohammed Ali
* 1980, Citizen of the World alias Egyptian Citizen,
Marketing Expert for Wrigleys

We met Junior having an evening meal with friends in the Libyan Restaurant in the Hotel Medina-Jumaira. At first he was reluctant to tell us which country he was from. He did not tell us that his true name is Mohammed Ali until our interview. He feels the name is too obviously Arab and therefore a problem. Junior wanted a photograph with the Statue of Liberty of the Arab World (i.e. the Emirates Towers).

Okay, my name is Mohammed Ali, I am 24 years old. By citizenchip, I am Egyptian, by birth I am Arab and I am a global citizen of the world. I have toured the world working, studying and living. Now I am living in Dubai. I am currently working in marketing although my original fields of study were Economics and Political Sciences. I studied in a number of places from the American University in Cairo, the University Buconi Milano, the University of Los Angeles and the London School of Economics and Political Sciences.

Look, the rulers of Dubai are the smartest rulers in the world. They look at the institution of a nation state in a very special way. They look at it as something that should be operated like a business. And this the best way to operate a state in todays world, I would say. Because everybody has a reward in everything he would do. And if you look at a business there is a very important part of every business. Its called the marketing department. The responsibility of this department is to market this very product and what better way is there to market a place like Dubai than to built the highest tower and the longest bridge and the biggest function. It’s all in the name of marketing. All other states are entrenched in old stealing politics. Fighting for power while you find the overwhelming change of the masses – back again, this is my opinion – this overwhelming change of the masses who really don’t care who is in power, you know. They want to do their job, have food on the table, live happily and move on. They want to be rewarded for what they do and if the do it well they want to be elevated or promoted.

Why democracie? It confuses me. It’s a good form of government it has worked for some. You have to look at the Arab World to understand that this a very patriarchal society. The family looks up to a father the father looks up to the grand father, the grand father looks up to a wise man. Its very tribal. Kinship is very strong and if you are asking for democracie, you are asking to break everything that this society has.

What you are asking for – not you as you, but you as the West – what you are asking for is basically a mall with MacDonalds and Starbucks around every corner. This is what is happening. If this is what is easying the burden of the white man on this part of the world, okay, but don’t call this democracie. This is not democracie.

The misconception is that the West – an if I am talking about the West I mean everything that lies in the North-West were the Middle East is the center – that part of the West thinks that they have been successful with democracie and that if they have been successful with democracie than democracie is the right solution. But than again: What is democracie? Democracie is the rule of the people. But are the people able to make this decision? The American people spoke in the last election. Kerry versus Bush. Who did the Americans really want? It was a very close thing. If 51 percent of the people want x and 49 percent of the people want y - who do they really want? Does this make democracie better?

I tell you the biggest problem with the West. Some hundred years ago, or a couple of hundred years ago, when the West left their dark ages and them beeing savages and I am not saying this in the bad way. I am saying this in the true historical manner and they moved here and – how do you call mustaschrikin in English? – Orientalist! So the orientalists came here and one of the first novels that was ever translated was "1001 nights” and the novel is about a man who every night marries a girl and kills her, sleeps with her and kills her, untill he meets Sheherazade and who at the end of the night would tell him a story and than he lets her go free. And the impression that is embedded in the West is, that women are oppressed, that a man gets to marry four women and sleeps with a million and they forget about the million men that are happily married to only one woman. It’s not the cultural norm. You know – how you have selective memory – it’s a selective choice. They have selectively chosen : They beeing the West - to seek out what brings them entertainment.

You are talking about a young generation. Its what you could label as a transistorial, transistor-like generation. They are growing up watching Hollywood. There you go the American influence. Visiting Europe: There you go the European influence. Living within their moderate Islamic homes: There you go the Islamic influence. Having Christian friends there is the different religion thing. Knowing people from other countries… Islamists on the other side. So many variabels effecting their lives so the norm would be not to say they hate Usama Bin Laden because in the end of the day Usama Bin Laden is one of them. Or one of us. Because he is an Arab and Muslim. He is a bad boy but this is a different story. I as an Arab I am not in support of what he does, there is no way I am in support of what he does it goes against all religious belives. He is not considered a heroe in this region. I as an Arab, I can tell you for a fact, that walking down the streets of Europe and the States. The fact that you are an Arab let alone the fact that your name is Mohammed Ali, a lot of stereotypes arise. Its not using Bin Laden as something to scare the people off with. Its something in the line of: "Hej, you know what? He is the Dude who kicked you in the A… when he send some planes thru the epitomy of your economical standing some years ago!” So he is a man. But he is not only the man he is also the bully we look at in some different ways. So there is ….no, not a love-hate-relationship. I would say that its not even a love-hate-relationship its more that people look at him as someone who told the West: "Listen, we have the power to do this!” And this is where an Arab person would feel happy. Innocent people were killed, very true, works well in the West but you can’t come and talk about innocent people who were killed in a region which was torn apart in wars in the last 1000something years. Whether it is the Palestine war, wars in Egypt, what the French did in Algeria or Tunisian or Marokko. Everybody here has a member of his family that was killed by a Westerner. You have lived here and you have seen: We are very sentimental, very emotional but we are also very logical. Don’t play that line with me. You have been killing innocent people all the time here. You still do it. You would not think twice to do it again. You know the atrocities that happened in Iraq in the jails. You walk in in the name to liberate the people of Iraq and this is what you do. So….it’s just that Usama Bin Laden is the man who made the West stop, pause and think that these people might have the power and the ability to do something and this is the point where people would look at him with some sense of pride. But I wouldn’t say that people support him. I don’t think that people would like to have a Islamic form of governement where we would end in a situation like in Afghanistan. Our women are liberated and educated and we are happy with that we don’t want them to sit home and nag on you all day. We don’t want that to happen.



Junior alias Mohammed Ali
* 1980, Citizen of the World alias Egyptian Citizen,
Marketing Expert for Wrigleys


 

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