INGULFED

In Shanghai

اسبوع مرحبا — Marhaba Week

الجزء الثالث — Part Three

In my job, I wear many ghutra. “I’m a Program Coordinator,” I tried to explain to an Egyptian security guard, Hasan. “I… coordinate programs.”

“What kind of programs?” he asked.

Going from here to there, that’s a program. Gotta be coordinated. Setting up rooms: program. Staffing an event: program. Telling people things: program.

Just then a parent of one of the students rushed in holding empty boxed lunches, looking around for a place to throw them out.

“Where’s a trash can? I should’ve just left this on the bus.”

I told her she could just leave it with me, no worries. And there I was, business casual and holding (oddly warm) trash.

Hasan smiled. “Welcome to your new job!”

محل غترة

A store full of ghutras, as worn by many Emiratis and the mannikin on the right.

Ghutra

Known elsewhere as a keffiyeh, this plastic man is wearing a ghutra (white) and iqal (black).

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2 Comments»

  Ari wrote @

I figured it out! This job with an American company in the Middle East which you never seem to be able to describe in more than the vaguest terms…

You got work for the CIA, don’t you? Don’t bother denying it.

And don’t bother admitting it to prove that you don’t work for them either. I know that trick.

  Chase wrote @

It’s funny how you write the situations that your in. I can imagine your reaction when Hasan said “Welcome to Your New Job” Hehe 😉


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