Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Closing Time

All over Iran, businesses are closing early again today for a chance to say farewell to the world cup team. Keivan predicts a 3-0 loss for Iran. “Don’t say that,” Mohamad protests. “Everything you’ve said has come true.”

“It’s all Keivan’s fault,” I respond.


Was in a meeting with some Iranian businessmen. One was telling us that he went to Dubai to buy some hardware for his business. “They didn’t sell it to me. They won’t sell to Iranians.”


“No, it’s not sanctions. They just won’t sell to Iran. The Arabs do not want to sell to Iran.”

“You’re sure it wasn’t sanctions?”

“I’m sure. They said to me: we won’t sell to Jews. I said, hey, I’m a muslim. My name is Mohamad, how can I be Jewish? They kept telling me they don’t sell to Jews.”

All of the men laughed. That was the end of that.

I was left thinking of the Brooklyn Mullah. He appears on Iranian tv every once in awhile and lectures on scripture. He has a really thick Brooklyn accent that shifts into what sounds to me like perfect Arabic when he needs to quote something. Last time I saw him he was speaking of the sheitan (devil) and identifying his works. It’s all so disorienting for me: the accent, the sermon, the black turban: I keep thinking he is a rabbi, but then what’s all this about hadith?

I think it was Lenny Bruce who said that all New Yorkers are Jewish. I guess the Brooklyn Mullah is no exception.

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