"Just Because I'm an American Woman Doesn't Mean I Will Have Sex With You" and Other Things I Wish I Could Say to the Shabaab


Al-shabaab ("young boys") is a term in the Middle East which refers to the seemingly endless throngs of obnoxious teenage boys who hang out on street corners, at malls, and in parks. They gawk at female passers-by, smoke cigarettes, harass stray cats, and generally rouse up all sorts of tomfoolery. While the vast majority of them are harmless (as are most human beings who weigh less than 120 pounds), I have to admit that their antics do get old.

Hence, this list.

  1. Get a life.
  2. If every one of your 16 calls today hasn't gotten through, it's because I'M SCREENING THEM.
  3. Hey, Mr. Hanging Out the Passenger Side of His Best Friend's Ride, Tryin' to Holler at Me: Don't.
  4. I'm fully aware that my Arabic pronunciation is imperfect, but is has to sound better than your English cursing. "Folk ewe dome batch!" just doesn't quite deliver the sting you're hoping for.
  5. Deodorant. For the love of Allah.
  6. Even if I was single, I would never be ready to mingle with you.
  7. A Lexus convertible does not blind me to the fact that my grandmother--and I say this literally--has more muscle tone than you do.
  8. I think you'd have a better chance at seducing me if you smoked more cigarettes.
  9. My husband's is bigger.
  10. The reason you're acting out is because you're sexually frustrated? Sad. I wonder how that feels.


  1. You never cease to make me laugh.

  2. Kristi, I'm going to have to agree with you that the shabab (in Jordan especially!) are out of control. And although I have found that the Palestinian shabab aren't quite so extreme (I guess they have other troubles to think about), the other day I was walking by myself and this 14 year old boy started walking beside me. No problem, right? He was 14!! But no. All he wanted to talk about was sex. Unfortunately for him, I didn't oblige him. I just asked if he was planning to go to college and what he wanted to study. He was like, "College? What's that? Don't you know about sex?"

    It was really sad and I just wanted to shake him. "Grow up!" I wanted to shout. "Get an education! Learn some English, or French, or even Hebrew! Just do something with your time besides harass women!"

    But I didn't. He was only 14, after all. But still. I wonder what would happen if I shouted back at all the people that harassed me, "Stop harassing women and get a life!"

    It's something to think about, anyway...

  3. ...exactly. Which is why I blog these things instead of saying them outloud :)


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