The Real GoodFellas

Posted on December 23, 2013


Mural on a New York City subway train - depicting the diversity of the city.

Mural on a New York City subway train – depicting the diversity of the city.

Disclaimer: By posting this, in no way do I intend to invalidate/dilute the increasing stream of incidents reflecting anti-Muslim hate.  I do believe however, that Islamophobic sentiment is also inadvertently creating a reverse bias, where Muslims (especially in the Arab World) are beginning to generically hate on the West and the people who represent it – which is also unfair, and as uncalled for as the former.

A few ‘thank yous’ I’ve been meaning to express after a very memorable trip last year to the US and Canada:

–          Thank you to the young, black gent in urban clothing who stepped out of his friends’ circle to volunteer to help me lug my luggage up the subway stairs.

–          Hat-tip to the sales lady at Bergdorf Goodman on 5th Avenue for leaving her post to find me an inconspicuous spot to pray. “You’re Muslim, I’m Christian. See, we’re cool right?”

–          Bless the maître d’ at the incredibly posh Jean Georges for the near-cinematic , slow motion, mad-dash to our table just so the waitress serving us from the dessert cart wouldn’t plate us their seemingly-scrumptious marshmallows made out of pork gelatine.

–          Much respect to the teacher at the Islamic Cultural Centre of New York who without chiding his now-dubbed ‘ghetto sisters’ for accidentally straying into the men’s section, instead shared with them (after asking their opinion) his plans for retirement in Qatar.

–          And finally, truly overwhelmed by the chef at Buca in Toronto, for offering to prepare a special serving of Muslim-palatable tiramisu after noticing our forlorn faces on hearing that the original contained alcohol.

Good times.