A Conversation in Arabic about “America” with Ahmed, an Egyptian Expert in “American-ism”
(who does not read or speak English and has never had an American friend nor ever visited America, but who keeps up daily with the latest news in Arabic about American organized crime)
(cf. My other piece “A Conversation with an American Expert on
John: So, I was watching this documentary on Pittsburgh the other day...
Ahmed: Pittsburgh! MS13 is moving in on the Latin Kings' turf on the west side. In fact, there was a hit last night near the Warhol Museum.
John: Yeah, Warhol—what you think about him?
Ahmed: Miloslav Warhol the Russian? The Butcher of Fresno in the early 1990s? What are you talking about?
John: No, Andy Warhol...
Ahmed: Little Ukraine in Chicago, 1930s?
John: 20th century American visual artist, from Pittsburgh.
Ahmed: Right, got it! Makes sense why they would name a museum for him. Let's see... Studio 54, drugs, partying in New York. Probable connection to the Gambinos.
John: But what about Warhol? What do you think of his legacy?
Ahmed: Well, his second cousin's grandson just got picked up in Cleveland with 2 kilos of coke. Some “legacy...”
John: But do you like Pop art? Marilyn Monroe? Campbell Soup cans?
Ahmed: Who is Marilyn? What is Campbell Soup? What are you talking about?
John: You're an expert in American culture?
Ahmed: No, that's American-ist culture.