Tag Archives: war

BelAhdan, Who is telling the Palestinian Story in America?

Alexandra Halaby is a journalist and public speaker who has covered the occupation of Palestine for over a decade. Prepare yourself to be shocked and outraged at the dangerous and radical lengths that the Israeli Zionist propagandists go to in order to foment a positive image for Israel in the Western world while subjecting Palestinians to the harshest and most inhumane occupation of our time. In Alexandra’s lectures she exposes the subversive and psychological means in which the Zionists use language to cover up their crimes against the Palestinian people. As an example, the Israeli military spokesperson, Lt. Peter Lerner, has frequently been interviewed on English-language news channels explaining the tired phrase, “Israel has a right to defend itself.” The truth is that Israel is an occupying force and the occupied (Palestinians) have a legal right under international law to resist the occupation.


The Falafel War

egyptian eating brekfast

The Falafel War

In my last flight to Paris, I was fortunate of sitting next to a young man who seemed cautious; with an excessive head turning motion. He seems like he is waiting for something to come or to happen. We avoided each other for a few thousand miles until I started playing an Arab movie on my laptop. It is dangerous behavior nowadays especially on airplanes. I was told not to bring anything hard or ethnic on the plane. I stopped ordering the special meal made for Muslim “hellal meal” with no pork. I will even eat pork if I have to.


The young man introduced himself as “I’m from Israel and we love to listen to Arabic music there.”  We both started talking and we agreed on lots of things; and in the most part we kept politics out, you could say, we weren’t in our usual combative argumentative mood. Yes, the Jews had a rotten deal in history and they deserved a break. The Palestinians happened to be the victims of that break, and most Arabs would agree that: the Israelis are there and they need to live together with the Palestinians in peace side by side as long as they don’t take or bomb the Arab side.


We talked about families, living in the US and football (soccer;) and we started talking about food, “my favorite food is the Jewish Falafel” he swaggered. This is the first time that I heard of food having faith. As an Arab who grew up in Egypt, I have been eating falafel all my life, believing that falafel is just a Mediterranean food.  Through history the Zionist founder fathers, knew it early on, to acquire the land of Palestine, you need also to appropriate its cultural; by claiming its food, music, and arts. All I’m saying is that Falafel is a regional food: Mediterranean food, made by the people who live there. Like Pizza is an Italian food not a Catholic food, Ooze is a Greek drink and not an Orthodoxy drink. So if you were an Arab Jew or a Jew who happened to live in the Mediterranean area along with Arabs and you made or ate Falafel; it is still a Mediterranean food, an ethnic food not a religious food. The problem I have nowadays with some fundamentalists Jews that they vehemently think that everything a Jew does, hears, or says is inherently Jewish. So if a few Jews had lived in Jerusalem 2000 years ago, now it is the promise land for millions of Jews around the world, mostly European Jews. Muslims around the world don’t claim Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of the prophet Muhammad as their promise land.  We all know now what happened when some Muslims claim an Islamic state, the whole world is bombing the shit out of them even Muslims themselves.


Now, my defensive reflexive mechanism is gearing up. Hey, here is the deal my Israeli friend; I don’t care if you claim Palestinian land, water, or even olive trees: but you can’t claim my beloved falafel. Welcome to the falafel war. Everyone in the Middle East claims an authentic purity in their Falafel. Now the Israelis got into the falafel fray and as Min Liao’s stated in his piece Middle East Crisis, “Jews say that ancient Jews ate falafel in Egypt and Syria; and tourist brochures proclaim falafel to be “Israel’s national snack”. Arabs feel as if an important cultural recipe has been stolen and bastardized, and insist on falafel’s romantic Arab “roots”.


Even now, McDonalds is making falafel its own and is offering McFalafel in Egypt. Egyptians however will add a twist to Falafel, they call it Taamiah and make it with fava beans pronounced “foul”; and not from Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas) as all other Arabs will make falafel. Food reflects the cultural and the values of the people making it and eating it. Falafel is the most democratic food in Egypt; it is eaten daily by all the Egyptians cutting through the rich and poor, young and old, women and men, Sisi supporters along with Brotherhood’s. I still believe, if there is any hope to put Egypt back together, Egyptians need to start a falafel conversation.  Falafel breaks through all socio-economic classes, and for most Egyptians falafel along with foul, is the most reliable meal of the day; falafel shields Egyptians from the harsh daily life, or from any culinary assault like the one on that flight to Paris.  Falafel is how Egyptians start their day. It is mostly eaten at breakfast where you can see people congregated around small street food cart enjoying communal meals in a harmony in the mist of street chaos and noises.


Falafel is a ethnic food, eaten mostly at breakfast where people want to start their day with familiar food. An Egyptian breakfast is typically a combination of Falafel, or Fava beans, feta cheese, and some kind of green, tomatoes, fresh onions, or cucumber; unlike the American breakfast, an Egyptian breakfast is a peaceful meal; where you don’t have to kill for bacon, or crack eggs to get your omelet.   


My fellow Jews let my falafel go”


Ahmed Tharwat

Host/Producer of Arab American TV show Bel Ahdan with Ahmed

He Blogs at Notes from America WWW.ahmediatv.com

His articles appeared in national and international publications

You can follow him on

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Why iPhone users are more likely to join ISIS than those who eat Falafel…

Dropping his first iPhone6 in a TV interview 

why iphone users more likely to join ISIS than those who

eat falafel


“like hansel and gretel hoping to follow their breadcrumbs out of the forest, the fbi sifted through customer data collected by san francisco-area grocery stores in 2005 and 2006, hoping that sales records of middle eastern food, would lead to iranian terrorists.” reported jeff stein foreign policy magazine, what is next? falafel  breath detector at the airport?

Terror factoryTrevor Aaronson’s (whom i had on my show) in his book, the terror factory, Aaronson poured through the court records of every terrorism- related prosecution in the us in the ten years following 9/11. a staggering list of 508 defendants, according to u.s government, are considered terrorists.. Aaronson determined that he “could count only on one hand “the  number of actual terrorists who posed a direct and immediate threat to the united states, but this was the first time the  FBI use ethnic food as a culture informant. what is amazing with advanced technologies and intelligence apparatus, in this one nation under google, we still resort to this falafel squad mentality.

 iphone 6 waiting In the age of iphone, ipod, imac, where seeing is believing, and everything at a touch of a finger, shouldn’t the FBI get over iraq iran mentality and paranoia?

History showed us, people join terrorist organization for so many different reasons beyond their ethnicity and ideology. Frustrated, delusional British and so called western jihadists, may join ISIS not because they are Muslims, but because each one of them is a frustrated individual, alienated in a western country with no clear identity. The same is true in the case of Arabs from courtiers such as Tunis and Saudi Arabia. the emptiness of their lives, their diminished sense of a wholesome cohesive identity pushes them to look for a cause bigger than themselves.

Iphone bodies So instead of doing ethnic food profiling as a means of tracing terrorists, the FBI should possibly take a look, not at delusional alienated individuals, who are driven by religious ideology to join ISIS or the Islamic state, but rather at secular jihadists, who are driven by a consumerist identity, like the apple cult members, who waited days for the new apple iphone 6. those are more alike than a regular Muslim falafel consumer. iPhone 6 cult members and ISIS fanatics have a similar profile and are motivated by similar cultish beliefs to those that motivate people to join ISIS. Millions of people waited eagerly for the second coming of the iphone6.   www.syracuse.com/news listed some of the iPhones 6 users’ explanations of why they waited all night so they can be the first to get their culture icon iphone.

iphone store 4 It’s tradition (values): jerry coe and bob kriesel, first line at the apple store around 6 p.m. Thursday, said they come every year and trade in their old iphones.

It’s apple (sense of belonging): “nobody does what apple does,” mary fishlock, first in line at the at&t store in destiny usa around 10 p.m. thursday, said. “it has an apple logo on it,” another person said. “what more do you need?”

It’s new (nuances): many customers said they simply didn’t want to wait for technology that can get outdated very quick. “[if you] don’t get it now, you could be waiting a line,” one man said.

For love (thank you Jesus): a Cornell university student who only identified himself at James said he arrived at 9:30 p.m. Thursday to buy an iphone 6 plus for his girlfriend, as a surprise for her birthday. moral support (camaraderie): some people in line weren’t even waiting to buy an the device, they were merely hanging out with friends or loved ones that wanted the new iphone and they have to have it now:  George Parra, from Albany, said he drove from the apple store at Crossgates mall because they were already sold out. he arrived in Syracuse at 4 a.m. and went home happy four hours later.  These are very much similar characteristics to

those individuals who are joining isis , they want tradition, they want a sense of camaraderie,

belonging, , , , time magazine reporter September 5th , took a stab at this question with a headline “a growing number of westerners are joining the

Islamist militant group— but why?

iphone6 2 “the biggest reason for this ISIS philosophically has welcomed all Muslims as equals, as it’s building an Islamic state which does not have particular Syrian angle,” landis says. “also, ISIS’s leadership is made of people with very prominent roles that are foreigners so you’re not going to be discriminated against philosophically if you’re foreign.” “for many people who are lacking a strong sense of identity and purpose, their violent radical global narrative provides easy answers and solutions: it can be very powerful message for people who are looking for answers,” says Matthew Levitt, the director of counterterrorism and intelligence at the Washington institute for near east policy. as ISIS has create a utopia for the disenfranchised  people of the Muslim world,  iphone and apple products create a utopia for the disenfranchised of the secular consumer world. Professor Brett Robinson, whom I had  on my tv show coined it in his book by the same name   Appletopia for everyone, regardless of your socioeconomics. in his book Appletopia: media technology and the religious imagination of steve jobs which he explains the cultish culture of apple. mr Robinson observed that in 2011 by one estimate the most photographed landmark in new york city was not Rockefeller center or times square; it was  the apple store on fifth avenue. The shimmering glass cube is otherworldly. the $7 million structure stands thirty- two feet high and features a glass spiral staircase wrapped around a glass elevator. a glowing apple logo floats in the center of the cube. Inside the store, there are no shelves or boxes, just wooden tables with apple’s glowing products on display. faithful consumers wander the cavernous interior admiring apple devices in a virtual “cathedral of consumption.” those apple jihadists following the apple Daesh in his crusade to establish, the Appletopia state of digital caliphate with the new apple OS sharia. here again professor Robinson explaining more succinctly how consumerism fundamentalism is taken over religion fundamentalism, ,  “the cultural authority of the cathedral was giving way to the revolution of ideas unleashed by the printing press and books. ….. the authority of the printed page is now giving way to the universality of glass screens” that is the iphones culture.

American sociologist Philip Rieff has called the spiritual and religious aspect of technology “the triumph of the therapeutic.” under these conditions, the moral ideal is a person of leisure, “released by technology from the regimental discipline of work so as to secure his sense of well-being in highly refined alloplastic ways.” the high priests of the Appletopia; the technology ISIS with their iphone, ipod, imac, Daesh . each of these cultural icons explained professor Robinson… “supports the cult of the individual by offering psychological and technological salvation to a disenchanted world who could find a refugee and identity, in either joining the Islamic state of ISIS cult or the Appletopia state of iphones cult!

iphone store “Disenchantment and nihilism is one point of similarity between modern day consumerism and jihadists. Much dissimilarity also has to be noted. Consumerists are pleasure hungry, and their pleasure still revolves around bodily needs; their preferred pleasure is certainly distorted because it involves humans via machines, not via normal personal interaction. The ISIS people renounce normal pleasure altogether and are attached to what is considered sadist pleasure” explained Professor Ahmad Atif Ahmad, Professor of religious Studies, UCSB but the machine cant replace human interaction, and the brand never deliver its promises when Apple/iPhone6 state don’t deliver its utopia to their followers jihadists, as wit is happening now already, the Independents Newspaper reported, “In what’s already being dubbed ‘bend gate’, owners of Apple’s new iPhone 6 Plus are reporting that their new smartphones are being bent out of shape – just from being carried in their pockets.”  The disappointed of this  bending problem of their culture icon, then the likes of ISIS utopia may deliver the moral one, like KKK, far rights organization, Blackwater mercenaries in Iraq or  O’ Reilly global militias .

#bendgate is going Banana

ahmed tharwat/ host producer of public tv belahdan

public speaker, blogger

his blog,” in the middle” can be found at  www.ahmediatv.com

lives, minneapolis, mn

email: ahmediatv.com/