A Sameer has emailed me this.. and I don't know how to respond to him because replying to his hate and bias towards Gulf Arabs is beneath me. Also, I wrote my feelings and the way I felt after I was lied to by Air Canada staff and ridiculed by the TSA people, raising a legitimate objection to why I find being called "secondary" - which I am not - derogatory. 

As I said before and will repeat again: I am willing to voluntarily go thru secondary and more inspections at each and every border I cross provided I fully understand and am told directly that I am being subjected to this special treatment because I am an Arab and Muslim, and am being prejudiced against and automatically placed in a 'suspect' category because of that. I don't have a criminal record, follow the rules and feel deeply insulted when lied to, ridiculed and called 'secondary.' Also, if having any pride and dignity is a Gulf Arab trait, than I am proud of all the Gulf Arabs from Kuwait, to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain to Oman, Qatar to the United ARab Emirates, who object to being rubberstamped as terrorists wherever we go and travel. 

And NO thanks, I will not stop travelling because the world is my stage, and I go and come as I please, as a law abiding citizen, but will not tolerate being called 'secondary' or ridiculed or stereotyped or prejudiced against and also lied to. 

Here's his email, which starts with a lie, accusing me of posting my blog entries on Global Voices, which I did not: 

Name: sameer
Email: (I removed it out of courtesy - to someone who has no manners)

i read your post on global voices about your so called 'horrific' and 'humiliating' treatment by air canada---with all due respect, now you arrogant gulf arabs understand how it feels to be treated like shit---i have been to your country as well as other gulf countries, and have seen firsthand how third world nationals are treated much much more worse than you were. i live here in the US and travel a lot, both domestically and internationally, and unless you are totally oblivious to security precautions in place after 9/11, we both know well that there is a chance that you can get selected for secondary inspection. after all, many americans faced arab terrorism on 9/11 and it is obvious and of common sense, that people of arab ethniticity and muslim religion (that includes me)can possibly face secondary inspection. i personally dont like it any more than you, but its a price that i and other muslims have to pay thanks to the arab terrorists dispatched to america who sowed death and destruction here. and then you say that you were crying---o plz save those crocodile tears, it aint that you were stripped naked in front of anyone, just normal seconday inspection so why so much moaning and bitching??!! you know what the rules are, and if you didnt like them, then who put a gun to your head and forced you to stay in america and canada??!! DONT COME TO AMERICA AND CANADA IF YOU DONT LIKE THE RULES OK. after all, thats what you say to third world nationals when they complain of maltreatment, dont you??!!
p.s.=in the last four yrs of travelling i havenot been told to come for secondary inspection except once last year while visiting canada from atlanta. and while it was a bit inconvenient, but it wasnt humiliating at all and also selected were a couple of white north americans just for your kind information!!:)


Esra'a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Esra'a said...

Some seriously hypocritical remarks in that e-mail. Suddenly we are not allowed to express outrage at how we are being treated by an airline company simply because of our identity? Please.


How ironic that you say this right after claiming that you have been supposedly mistreated in the Gulf, showering that claim with stereotypical insults. I'm a proud Bahraini citizen and I don't deny there are issues against migrant workers in this region, but that doesn't mean we get to be labeled and stigmatized wherever we go. Many of us here are actually fighting against such issues here.

I run Migrant-Rights.org which exposes what migrant workers in the Middle East go through, something I know Amira is supportive of and has helped with throughout her own work. We stand firmly against racism and a quick look through the archives of Amira's blog will immediately verify that.

Finally, Amira made a complaint against Air Canada. She didn't blame all Canadians. Criticizing a company for stereotypical mistreatment is not racist. The complaints are valid and legitimate and must be investigated by the company's staff, and as a customer she has an absolute right to demand respect.

In summary, you, Sir, need to cut us some slack and get yourself a life. Your apparent hatred and intolerance of Gulf Arabs discredits your claim that others are "racist." I mean seriously, what do we have to do to make you see the painful irony in your petty remarks? Write a song?

mab3oos said...

although I object to the language and manner of the email, it is very much substantiated. I've been through airports in Kuwait, UAE, KSA, and Bahrain. To tell you the truth, I would rather be pulled out by the TSA 10 times than to be talked down to by an uneducated, ignorant, and ill mannered low grade Arab airport security personnel.

It might be because you are used to the Gulf's airports way of dealing with people and it does not register with you as outrageous and disrespectful. May be because you're a local. But, I don't know you and you don't know me, I don't mean any disrespect, Gulf airport security staff have too much power and they show it.

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