Friends & Lovers
An old college friend was in Abu Dhabi for 3 days. Me & him used to take a lot of classes together, always end up as lab partners, working together on most of our projects basically we spent a lot of time together. He's an American. We used to get into the most horrible arguments about Islam & Middle Eastern politics. He really used to upset me. Used to get really obssessive about trying to convince him, giving him books, articles etc...& everytime there was a new event from the Middle East in the headlines it would start the argument again.
As luck would have it his work after college had nothing to do with what we studied. He went on to grad school in a different field altogether & now he works for UNHCR - the UN Refugee Agency. So he's visited some Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan & the West Bank.
This time though we found that we didn't argue as much. Our views on most Middle Eastern issues were more or less the same. We've both come a long way. Back then I think I still had the Arab victim/conspiracy theory mentality. Wasn't willing to consider any criticism of Arab, Palestinians or their leadership, saw Israel as the cause of the problem & the obstacle to peace. Am so over that. Had my eyes opened big-time. And he now has a better understanding of what it means to be a refugee. He was telling me that Palestinians are unique among refugees worldwide. Other refugees were displaced by war or famine or whatever but they do have a homeland to return to. Palestinian still don't.
Didn't tell him this but another reason why I didn't want to argue as intensely & call him a fascist etc... like I used to is that I maybe an Arab but he's the one who is actually doing something to help the Palestinians - occasionally even risking his life to do it. We Arabs like to talk a lot but who is the biggest contributor to UNRWA?The US. Who's the second biggest contributor?The EU. Who are the biggest 2 contributors to the Palestinian Authority?Same 2 answers. Support for Israel notwithstanding, the fact is Palestinians in the diaspora & in the occupied territories today depend on the US & the EU for their survival - not on their so-called Arab brothers. And when I think of the way Palestinian refugees are treated in some Arab countries well so much for patriotism.
He still has negative ideas about Islam but I didn't bother to challenge those. Religion is a private matter. Am not a missionary. Not my thing to try to convert people. Am ok with people not liking Islam as long as it doesn't cause them to become opposed to the human rights of Muslims as individuals. My friends did give him a hard time. Was happy just to watch.
Had a feeling he enjoyed it though. Think he's like me. We both enjoy a good debate/argument.
All in all I enjoyed his visit. K. didn't though. Think that answers my question about whether K. has a jealous/possessive streak without having to resort to Mohamed's suggestion about that top. He does. He thinks that I shouldn't spend so much time alone with another man. And that I talk about my friend too much. Too much time?The guy only had 3 days in town & am the only person he knows here. I mean hello. Was I supposed to offer to see him once a week?Besides I asked K. to come along & he didn't want to. And when my friends could make it I took them along.
And the talking too much comment made me laugh. All my friends are practically screaming & tearing out their hair from hearing me talk about K. so much. Look at my blog. Three quarters of it is about him. And am not allowed to have one or two discussions with him about a male friend - especially when said discussions are infact about the male friend's POLITICAL opinions?
Of course K. denies absolutely that he is in the least bit jealous, insists that he trusts me but says that he just didn't think I behaved appropriately. So we had a debate about this concept of appropriate behavior & I found out that apparently if I spend too much time with guys & talk to them on the phone for a long time they might get the wrong idea etc...Well who cares if they get the wrong idea?That's their problem.
He's chosen to go into a bad mood about this. My friends think that he probably just missed me because we used to spend so much time together & all of a sudden we didn't because I was busy with this friend. Which puzzles me even more because I did ask him to come along every single time & he was the one who said no. When it was HIS female friend who was coming from overseas & he told me he was going all the way to Dubai to pick her up I didn't tell him he was behaving inappropriately. And when he asked me to go along I did & was very friendly to her.
He says I always think in this tit-for-tat, feminist way. Don't really think of myself as a feminist but I do have a problem accepting things that don't seem fair. Just like he feels it's ok for him to kiss other women who are friends but when I asked him he said that it would make him extremely uncomfortable if I started doing the same. I mean I don't feel any overwhelming desire to start kissing all my male friends. Not used to it. But if I can give him the benefit of the doubt & assume he doesn't have bad intentions why can't he do the same for me in a similar hypothetical situation?
I asked him if he would stop doing it if it did make me feel uncomfortable he said yes & immediately asked me if that was what I wanted. I said no. First because am not really uncomfortable with it. And second because I know he only offered to stop because he wants me to promise what exactly?That I'll never go out alone with another man?That I'll never talk for more than (20?25?30?min) with any other man?That I'll never talk about or seem to give another man more attention than him?
Always thought that if you show your partner how much you care & that they're a priority with you they'll be secure enough so you don't have to deal with this kind of situation. And God knows I've done my best to make it clear to him just how important he is to me. Am not into playing games or playing hard to get at all. But am also a lot more social than him. Have a lot of friends. Travel. And can't really make promises I might not be able to keep.
So this is my decision: I didn't promise anything. K. is going to Egypt on Tues for 10 days. From now til Tuesday am going to give him lots of TLC & dala3 & 7inya & see if it's not enough to make him forget this & get out of the bad mood.