Dubai Consumer Mirror

Friday, July 07, 2006

The "Khawaga" Complex

At a business event during a 10-minutes coffee break

Big Boss: Hey Mory, could you call the guests to get back to the halls? We are about to resume our session

I started to roam around the room telling everyone to get back to the hall. All but few scattered guests stayed behind. The ones I can tell are in serious business discussions, I usually leave

One group attracted my attention. A bunch of 4 to 5 lower-mid management staff yapping away. No mega business deals taking place, only smoking and nibbling on free F&B.

Me: Excuse me gentlemen, we are about to start the session.
Lower-mid management staff : Yes ... we'll just finish the cigarettes

5 mins later

Me: er...gentlemen, session started … if could kindly go back in.
LMMS: Yeah yeah .. in a minute. (they start a fresh round of smokes)

5 more minutes go by and I decided to send my blond, blue eyed male Khawaga friend who has an extremely strong English accent..

Khawaga friend: Guys ..
LMMS: (putting down cigarettes, cups, plates and rushing back to the hall)


  • Sometimes you gotta send in the big guns! :-)

    By Blogger nzm, at July 7, 2006 at 10:58 PM  

  • it was a male blond friend ..

    By Blogger moryarti, at July 7, 2006 at 11:50 PM  

  • What is a Khawaga?

    By Blogger secretdubai, at July 8, 2006 at 1:51 AM  

  • Khawaga (Adj.): Kha-wä-ja 19th century description of western feudal colonial expatriate. Typical European features and perceived with authority and influence.

    By Blogger moryarti, at July 8, 2006 at 8:28 AM  

  • ok, why do Arabs, usually egyptians (I dont know where moryarti is from) pronounce, write 'g' for 'j' and vice versa?

    By Blogger Harsha, at July 8, 2006 at 10:06 AM  

  • Are you sure it's a racial thing? Or something about the approach each of you made?

    Maybe, he was more demanding with his, "Guys?", than you had been with everything you said... often, being polite is seen as a weakness, a request and a single word, can come off like a demand...

    By Blogger Tainted Female, at July 8, 2006 at 11:45 AM  

  • sounds racial to me..

    By Blogger Harsha, at July 8, 2006 at 12:11 PM  

  • That’s what i thought at first. Then I started observing it in following events.

    Some people don't move unless instructions are coming from a white/blond/blue-eyed person... its very pathetic i know, but its true.

    By Blogger moryarti, at July 8, 2006 at 12:48 PM  

  • Trust me..its racial. Alot of people still carry around with them this colonial mentality, even amongst us arabs. :-(

    By Blogger A Yahya, at July 8, 2006 at 5:01 PM  

  • Just goes to show you that whole blue eyed blonde complex is still all the rage.

    By Blogger inmotion, at July 8, 2006 at 11:03 PM  

  • so thats why blondes have more fun???


    By Blogger hannibal, at July 9, 2006 at 9:15 AM  

  • Not sure I agree it's a race thing. I find that Arabs are generally too polite in these situations. They come across as -- in general -- shy and obsequious. Whereas most expats come across as bossy, rude, and thus more effective in some situations. I have been told this time and again by Arabs.

    Harsha: In Egyptian Arabic, the letter is a 'geem.' The same letter in all other Arabic-speaking countries is called a 'jeem.' So all Egyptians will pronouce with a hard 'g' sound as opposed to a 'j' sound. In Egypt, it's Gamal; everywhere else it's Jamal, etc. It's just one of those tricky Arabic language things. That's just one of the myriad reasons why the language is so difficult to learn.

    By Blogger LizzieD, at July 9, 2006 at 1:21 PM  

  • where r u from?

    By Blogger Herlock Sholmes, at July 9, 2006 at 3:55 PM  

  • Moryarti, you're not gonna get blond streaks now are you?

    By Blogger Shaykhspeara Sha'ira, at July 10, 2006 at 4:09 AM  

  • HS - who moi or LizzieD?

    SS - yeah, and might get a boob job while am at it as well

    By Blogger moryarti, at July 10, 2006 at 10:46 AM  

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