Russkiy is a regular reader and occasional commenter here at Gates of Vienna. He lives in New Zealand, and sent this account of the cultural differences he recently encountered among Arab immigrants:
You can’t make this stuff up…
About a year and a half ago, on the streets of Auckland (New Zealand’s biggest city), I started seeing “strange” looking people, kind of like Indians but different. They had dark skin complexions, but their facial features were distinct, and another noticeable feature of many of these youths was their rather large bottoms, much like a female body type, but males.
I later found out that they were actually Arabs from Saudi Arabia. Most of the other Arabs I knew were different from them, more Caucasian looking.
After I learned that they were Saudis, I started talking to them, practising my Arabic (I have been learning Arabic for about four years). All this time I was hoping to get them talking about their views. For about six months I didn’t get anywhere, until yesterday…
Yesterday I was on my way from work. When I passed a Turkish café, I saw a Saudi man of about 40. I found an excuse to sit down and chat with him. He first said that he was a tourist, but after finding out that my girlfriend is a lawyer, he told me that he had a problem. He had come to NZ to give assistance to his nephew, who has been charged by the police.
– – – – – – – – –
His nephew was walking down the street and saw some girl looking at him, so he came over and hit her (not sure how hard), so police came and charged him.
This man came and paid money to the girl to get her to drop the complaint, which she did, but the police are not dropping the charges.
What amazed me is that there was no shame apparent in the behaviour of his nephew, as if it is such a natural thing to do, and how dare they prosecute his poor nephew! His nephew is a victim of this cruel society…
I don’t know whether my knowledge of Arabic made him think that I am sympathetic in my views towards them or that I am a Muslim, I am always vague about that subject when they ask me.