I encountered an article about an American of Egyptian origin who speaks with an accent, who was regularly invited to make commentaries on politics, in Arabic – Literary Arabic, on Egyptian news channels, state and private. Of course Literary Arabic because you can say non-sense, as long as it’s in Literary Arabic, easterners – Arabists – would love you.
His story is noteworthy for many reasons:
Politics and academia are primarily very elitist, while Hatem’s job has a very low prestige, but that didn’t stop him from speaking his mind about politics.
He owns a supermarket where he cooks snacks for buyers. He also has a small space where he hangs two American maps on its background, where he often Skypes on TV commenting on current affairs.
He entered the field of political analysis by means of beautifying his image, creating a halo of sophistication to satisfy people’s intellectual arrogance. The easterners (Egyptians) fell for him because they are more likely to be elitist than Americans.
I wished he actually said useful analyses. It all started with him when he wrote an opinion article about his coincidental expectation for Trump to win the American elections. All of his opinions are much loved by the eastern media, because they are very conservative, painting the stereotypical image of a west and an America which antagonize Muslims, Islam and Islamic culture, echoing what the eastern regimes beg to feed their populations with. Telling people what they want to hear doesn’t make one an analyst.
Hatem entered the field for the love of fame and being on TV! He hid his real origins which would have denied him his appearances on TV. I’m very angry that he hid the truth about him because that reiterates the arrogance and exclusion of the media personnel and academics, rather than promoting inclusion for all, regardless of origins, and as he claims to ask for!
Hatem is a living proof that the media, especially the eastern media, never really check who the person is before hosting him. It only takes a few outlets to host you and the rest would keep asking for you, like a snowball. The east is naturally elitist and would have rejected to host him.
I wonder why didn’t he try to learn something related to his hobby, rather than immersing himself even more by buying his supermarket after just working in one, or does he just like the halo of fame and eloquence?
By the way, Hatem deliberately accepted to expose himself as the media was about to expose him anyway and he wanted to save his credibility.
* A BBC news article in Arabic for Arabic consumption which holds the exclusionary elitist view
* A video report about Hatem’s life
* An article about his story