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Special tribute to my dog .. my post 9/11 true friend

 

In Egypt, under the Islamophobic banner of “War on Terrorism”, hundreds of Egyptians are slaughtered in the streets, Mosques and soccer fields… As a Muslim American all I had to do to survive in America is getting a dog… a tribute to Oliver who just passed away:

Having a dog in an Arab/Muslim household is an exhausting proposition. Who wants to wash or take a shower every time a dog touches or licks you, as I was brought up to do back home in Egypt? In Islamic tradition, Muslims are prohibited from touching the saliva of dogs. If you do come in contact with a dog, you’re supposed to wash your hands seven times before you pray. Most Muslims will avoid dogs at all cost to stay clean for their daily prayers. There are a few closet Muslim dog lovers, but they tend to keep their dogs outdoors.
Still, after a long nagging from my daughter and a few Internet pictures of an angelic beagle puppy, I reluctantly agreed to let a dog into our home under a few conditions. The dog was to stay downstairs in what is now known in our houseas the bunker, and my praying area would be designated a “no-fly” zone for the dog.
We brought home the 6-week-old, 3-pound beagle on a cold, crisp Saturday afternoon. We named him Oliver. A few days after he had arrived at our house, I had to take Oliver with me to the supermarket. I noticed something new was happening out there, something Arab-Americans have rarely experienced since Sept. 11. People on the street, in their cars, in the parking lot, and at the supermarket were giving me a new look—a friendly one. Strangers who used to skillfully avoid eye contact now wanted to engage me in warm conversation. Patriotic national hotline tippers, who are usually more concerned about Muslim sleeper cells, now stopped me and cordially inquired about my puppy’s sleeping habits, breed, and big black eyes. Families congregated around me with their children to see the cute puppy, and they talked to him as if he should know what they were talking about.
As a hyphenated-American, I discovered that owning a dog easily accomplished what many diversity training programs have failed to do for years. Regardless of our race, color, religion, or country of origin, we were one community of civilized dog lovers.
I now take Oliver everywhere I go. He is my post 9/11 homeland-security blanket. Arab-Americans: Get a puppy, now that you need a real friend.

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Ahmed Tharwat …. in the middle Ahmed Tharwat Im a host and producer of the Arab-Muslim Americans TV show BelAhdan with Ahmed (with open arms), a weekly TV show that airs on public TV Mondays at 1030PM. As a regular speaker and contributor on Public Radio show All Thing Considered, I have shared my unique view of world and American political and social events. As a regular contributor to StarTribune, the Pioneer Press, and Twin City Planet , also he has written to national and international magazines, such Slate, Diversify Inc and Al Jazeera English. I won the Pioneer Press community columnist award in 2000. In all my work, I have been Trying to bring Arab/Muslims to mainstream Americans.. . I believe that when it comes to politics “Nobody has a monopoly on stupidity” Thanks In The Middle ... Ahmed Tharwat/ Host BelAhdan TV show Freelance Writer, Public Speaker, International Media Fixer www.ahmediatv.com

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