Out of the Cab

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Hisht. The origin of this Arabic word comes from the heart of the mountains, where the shepherd drives his sheep to graze, calling out, “Hisht.” It’s also used to calm down a donkey or horse that gets agitated. But with humans, I wonder…

Which brings me to my story for today.

Down from work in Gemayze, carrying heaps of stuff, I decide to take a cab. I sit in the back; there’s a gentleman in the front, or that’s what the tie tells you. The taxi drives. I can see in the distance two black migrant workers talking in the street, minding their own business. “Hissssht!” the gentleman in the front yells, sticking his head out of the window, as the taxi drives past them.

Hisht! Hissssht! My head throbbed. My anger raged. My blood pressure shot up to 1,000. There was literally smoke coming out of my ears. And so the conversation went like this:

The asshole: Hisht
Me: You look like a nice gentleman.
The asshole: Well, don’t let the suit fool you
Me: I can see that, but that’s not a decent way of talking to people. What did they do to you? Were they in any way bothering you? Who do you think you are to address them like that?
The asshole: What’s your problem?
Me: Well, that’s a word for donkeys and animals not a fellow human, like you and me.
The asshole: Well, I just felt like saying “hisht” to them.
Me: And I just felt like arguing with you about it.
The asshole: Baddik tkabriya menkabbera.1
Me: Leish ma fina nehke bi 7adara metel el nes.2
The cab driver: PLEASE, MISS, GET OUT OF MY CAR!

At least he didn’t “hisht” at me!

I got kicked out of the cab, not the asshole who just “hishted” at the migrant workers, as if they were animals in the street. In one small word, he summed up all the discrimination we fight against everyday!

I got out, thinking of this country and how we are raised to discriminate against different people, just so we feel important, or in control.

But as the asshole in the suit said: Don’t let the suit fool you!

- Contributed by Crimson Curls

1-    You want to make this a big deal? We will.
2 –   Why can’t we talk like civilized people?

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