Saturday, November 10, 2007

i'm pretty famous in Saudi Arabia

A few quick vignettes before i head out on the town with a friend (museums! monuments! bars!). First of all, i'm going to be on al-Arabiyya news network tonight, because at a local mosque i and my friend going to Jeddah next summer were interviewed about King Abdullah's visit to the Vatican. Pretty sweet all around... my first appearance on international television!

Also, earlier this week we got a presentation from the Defense Intelligence Agency about military capacities in the Middle East. Obviously, they didn't give us any unclassified information, and so they had to rely on publicly available figures, which led to interesting phrases like "According to Wikipedia, the al-Qods force has between 3,000 and 50,000 members..." Ahh, if Wikipedia says it's true, it must be, right?

Finally, one of our presenters this week was a professor who immigrated from Lebanon several years ago and still has a slight accent. He was telling us (among many other tangential stories and a supposed presentation on Syria and Lebanon) about how he's always randomly selected for the extra searches at airports. However, he decided to have fun with it rather than be angry. He says that now, when he goes through a metal detector without a single beep, he jumps up and down in exhilaration and glee just to see the uncomfortable looks on the guards' faces. i would love to see this, but i think i'd prefer not to travel with him - i get enough crap at airports as it is!

1 comment:

  1. hehe - thats pretty funny.

    Also - not to be nit-picky but did you mean, "they didn't tell us any classified information" ?

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