Tuesday, April 2, 2013

ما حديش فاهم حاجة Nobody Understands a Thing

Breezy lunch, the other day at Tawleh.

A friend at another table pokes me,“No writings these days?” I volley softly back, “T’s the season to be snoozing.” So, he proceeds to tell me a chuckle of a story.

A few weeks back, he was sitting next to a somebody in one Gulf Shiekdom’s Majlis, where somebodies and nobodies and everybody in between congregate to conduct business and ask for and/or dispense favors. My friend noticed beautiful calligraphy on the screen of this somebody’s cell and asked to see it up close.

There it was, that most magnificent of Egyptian sayings: ما حديش فاهم حاجة.  

Revolutions and other such like assortments of trouble will confuse the hell out of you every single time. But, truth be told, making fun of feeling put upon is a tradition with deep roots in these parts, borne out of the tedium of being kept in the dark for excruciatingly long periods. Dungeon humor!

Back in the old pre-WWWeb days, ما حديش فاهم حاجة was a symptom of either information malnourishment or too much conniving behind closed doors; oftentimes both: rummage through the state news all you liked, you had to content yourself with crumbs while waiting for history’s tellers, or some of those deep policy papers, to set the record(s) straight.

You’d think that  ما حديش فاهم حاجة  had finally met its match in this beast of a wild web. What’s that new buzzword? Yes, empowering that push of the button. Breaking news when it’s just about to, stats galore, a scent of Burma this very second should I want it, the marvelous sight of a creeping trend, the discovery of wisdom strewn all over an obscure post, a new great tweep friend.

But barely two years into the uprisings, ما هديش فاهم حاجة is back, aptly enough, swimming  on the surface of an Arab’s cell.

Nifty that: knowing so much until you know nothing. Pendulums will swing faster than the clock ticks when the times are a changing. We all get that, but it does beggar that most profound of questions in this age of cyber abundance: What for, this verbal diarrhea? 

I mean, how many different ways do we need to describe, as if for the first time, President Mursi’s screw-ups? How silly is it to keep repeating that Lebanon’s mess, aside from being messy all by itself, can be dumped on Syria’s? Or that it’s just shocking that sexual harassment is so shocking, shockingly in Tahrir Square? Or that King Abdullah of Jordan talks the walk, but he sure don’t walk it?

And try poking holes in the suckers, all impregnated with enough caveats for that dreaded moment lurking around the corner when they all turn out to be—wrongy!

Seriously now, what kind of friggin ride is this? It could be this or it could be that. Or a bit of this and a whole lot that. Or is it the other way around? Oh, shit! It’s none of the above. 

Pick’em at random, in fact!

The Islamists have arrived. Are here. Are it… Er, Not quite.

Not in a thousand years—maybe less but it could be more--will they rise up in Bashar’s Syria.  

Bashar has packed up the chandeliers and Asma the kids…could be next week…next month…but most likely in 2013; if not, then probably 2014.

Moaz AlKhatib is definitely Qatar’s man... Not! kind of! Ditto for the US.

And, where, where, in the million and one renditions on the Syrian opposition, had anyone, anywhere, mentioned just once the man from nowhere Ghassan Hitto Bitto before he showed up as interim prime minister?

Own up! How many of the pensives saw it coming, when Tunisia’s ex-PM Hamadi Jebali rebelled against the Ennahda Party, which he heads, and slapped Rachid Ghannoushi’s hand which he daily kisses?  Or when the SCAF’s Mohammad Hussein Tantawi and Sami Annan fell out on their ass, booted out by the lower brass?

Which takes me back to that part about the runs. Why all the blabbering heads if they can’t blabber their way to the truth every once in a while? Mind you, quieter types have, from the start, been carefully picking all of those for us. Meows in a circus, though.

Then again, what’s the fun in a sea of change if you’re not flapping idiotically in it? Migraine? Just shut down the popcorn machines (borrowed this one from a novelist friend). Which brings me back to the beginning. The bit about seasons and snoozing.


1 comment:

Maya said...

As rhythmic and fun and fantastical a read as any Dr Seuss story!