Downtown Arabic Politics
I took Arabic for a year in college, and even though I forgot most of what I learned, I can still sound out words and recognize a few of them.
So the [Arab immigrant] shopkeeper came over and told me that it's an Arabic newspaper, and then I said that I knew that already, and can read a little of it. He was sort of surprised that people study Arabic in college, but also asked me if I've ever been to Israel. I told him that I studied there for two years, and then he asked me whether I thought there are problems there. So I said "yeah, definitely — everyone keeps on fighting each other." I also told him that knowing Arabic didn't help me so much in Israel, except to know when the street-signs were misspelled.
He then started to give me his take on Middle-Eastern politics:
Sometimes the Falastinians are very stupid. It doesn't matter whether you're Falastinian or Israeeli, or Muslim or Jewish* — all that matters is that you are straight [=honest]. But the main reason they hate Israeel is because they're jealous* of the standard of living. That's why people in the Arab world hate Amreeka, too — they're jealous*. Even when I go there, they give me nasty looks because I even though I'm also Arab, I live in Amreeka and they're jealous* of me too.
*he actually pronounced these words Gooish and gealous, with a /g/ sound, seemingly because he was 'hypercorrecting' the fact that English /g/ sounds are usually borrowed into Arabic as "zh" or "dj" (since most Arabic dialects lack a "g" sound).