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  1. 19 Aug '15 00:45 / 3 edits
    "Learning to Speak Lingerie" by Peter Hessler in 'The New Yorker' (August 10-17, 2015, pp. 56-65)

    Some Chinese merchants are succeeding in selling racy lingerie in the
    most conservative parts of Egypt. The Chinese are successful notwithstanding their
    general weakness in speaking and writing Arabic (they tend to learn it by ear).
    In contrast to many Westerners, however, the Chinese tend *not* to arrive in Egypt
    assuming they are superior to the natives and already know how to solve all Egypt's problems.
    And the Egyptians appreciate that the Chinese don't attempt to change them.

    'Here in Egypt, home to eighty-five million people, where Western development
    workers and billions of dollars of foreign aid have poured in for decades,
    the *first plastic-recycling center* in the south is a thriving business that employs thirty
    people, reimburses others for reducing landfill waste, and earns a significant profit.
    So why was it established by two...Chinese migrants, one of them illiterate and the
    other with a fifth-grade education?"
    --Peter Hessler (p. 62)

    These Chinese entrepeneurs may have little formal education, but they
    work very hard and seem better than many Westerners at relating to Egyptians.

    "...she (young Egyptian woman) told me that she would never accept
    employment from an Egyptian. In her opinion, the Chinese are direct
    and honest, and she appreciates their remove from local gossip networks.
    'They (Chinese) keep their secrets', she said. ... 'And with the Chinese
    (men) their brains don't go thinking about (Egyptian) women's bodies.'"
    --Peter Hessler (pp. 59-60)

    Many young Egyptian women prefer to work for the Chinese because
    they will not risk being exposed to sexual harassment as much as they
    would be from Egyptian male bosses.

    Nonetheless, the Chinese are perceptive enough to know that Egypt's not utopia.
    "...when I asked casually what he (Chinese entrepeneur) considered to be
    the biggest problem in Egypt, the forcefulness of his response surprised me.
    'Inequality between men and women', he said immediately. 'Here the women
    just stay home and sleep. If they (Egyptians) want to develop, the first
    thing they need to to is solve this problem. That's what China did after
    the revolution. It's a waste of talent here."
    --Peter Hessler (p. 61)

    Indeed, Chinese entrepeneurs have complained about their difficulties in
    hiring and retaining women workers (who are pressured to quit after marriage).

    "But in certain ways the perspective of the Chinese may be clearer,
    because they see Egypt for what it is, not for what they hope it might become."
    --Peter Hessler (p. 65)

    While many Westerners are bickering about Egypt, the Chinese are quietly building there.
  2. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    19 Aug '15 00:53
    Lingerie sales in an Islamist region...lotta Chinese gonna get exploded

    But China has a lotta Chinese so np
  3. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    19 Aug '15 08:50
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Lingerie sales in an Islamist region...lotta Chinese gonna get exploded

    But China has a lotta Chinese so np
    That stupid post sort of illustrates the contrast between an American racist perspective and that of the Chinese entrepreneurs in the OP. You just can't get past the labels, can you? There is the fkg great monolithic block of humanity to be labelled Chinese and another fkg great monolithic block to be labelled Islamic, and for each block you need very little information to know all there is for you to know about all of the members of those blocks. No wonder we see a fkg great monolithic block of humanity labelled American and abandon all hope.
  4. Subscriber Sleepyguy
    Reepy Rastardly Guy
    19 Aug '15 13:46 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by finnegan
    No wonder we see a fkg great monolithic block of humanity labelled American and abandon all hope.
    Which makes your high horse as tall as the others.
  5. 19 Aug '15 14:09 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    "Learning to Speak Lingerie" by Peter Hessler in 'The New Yorker' (August 10-17, 2015, pp. 56-65)

    Some Chinese merchants are succeeding in selling racy lingerie in the
    most conservative parts of Egypt. The Chinese are successful notwithstanding their
    general weakness in speaking and writing Arabic (they tend to learn it by ear).
    In contrast to many ...[text shortened]... 65)

    While many Westerners are bickering about Egypt, the Chinese are quietly building there.
    U.S. fear of Islam along with measuring profits on a quarterly basis with a dim eye to the future has, I think (I am sure some here will find a way to show I am totally misguided and stupid) kept major U.S. investment out of Africa. I believe many in the U.S. see all African countries as corrupt and/or infested with Ebola and/or HIV. I recently spent a week in Rwanda traveling alone with days split between Kigali, the capital, and the countryside bordering Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kigali is safe and booming with a huge influx of money, much, if not most, from China which is heavily investing in the continent. The Rwandan parliament has the highest percentage of women of any nation on the planet. Apparently a chunk of foreign investment must be devoted to helping Rwandans start businesses. Rwanda has the lowest level of government corruption of any country in Africa. Kegame, the current president, is very popular. There is a strong movement to change the constitution to let him run a third term. I found the energy, growth and positive attitude of those I met just 21 years after the genocide truly amazing. The border between Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and the DRC is unsafe as many who supported the genocide fled to these countries and are apparently agitating for another war.
  6. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    19 Aug '15 17:40
    Originally posted by finnegan
    That stupid post sort of illustrates the contrast between an American racist perspective and that of the Chinese entrepreneurs in the OP. You just can't get past the labels, can you? There is the fkg great monolithic block of humanity to be labelled Chinese and another fkg great monolithic block to be labelled Islamic, and for each block you need very li ...[text shortened]... wonder we see a fkg great monolithic block of humanity labelled American and abandon all hope.
    You are such a condescending douchebag. Standard empty criticisms. Yes, I know Islamics are diverse, to use Duchess' favorite word. But I said Islamists. But that's a minor point.

    What is it about this particular area that is unique among Islamic regions? How does the fact that Dar al Islam is not monolithic affect what I had to say? Since you apparently don't have any specific insights, let me help.

    Egypt is the largest Arab country in the world, but it is not in Arabia. There are many factions vying for control there but at the moment the dominant power is the Egyptian Army, which unlike most Arab armies, seems to be fairly competent. Under the Aegis of the Egyptian Army, these Chinese can do business safely. This is particularly so since the Egyptian Army actually directly controls and operates a HUGE chunk of the Egyptian economy, using conscript labor to produce consumer goods which are sold for profit.

    But lurking under the surface in Egypt are the radical Islamists. The Muslim Brotherhood is the most visible group but ISIS would LOVE to take over Egypt. And people like that don't appreciate infidels selling clothes for whores in the center of the Arab world.

    Now go ahead and carpet bomb the forum with your venom and spam, you pompous son of an elderberry.
  7. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    19 Aug '15 19:00
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    You are such a condescending douchebag. Standard empty criticisms. Yes, I know Islamics are diverse, to use Duchess' favorite word. But I said Islamists. But that's a minor point.

    What is it about this particular area that is unique among Islamic regions? How does the fact that Dar al Islam is not monolithic affect what I had to say? Since you ...[text shortened]... w go ahead and carpet bomb the forum with your venom and spam, you pompous son of an elderberry.
    So you can raise your game when provoked. That makes it worth provoking you.

    With posts like your previous one, it is not hard to condescend. You cannot go a whole lot lower after all.
  8. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    19 Aug '15 22:15
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    "Learning to Speak Lingerie" by Peter Hessler in 'The New Yorker' (August 10-17, 2015, pp. 56-65)

    Some Chinese merchants are succeeding in selling racy lingerie in the
    most conservative parts of Egypt. The Chinese are successful notwithstanding their
    general weakness in speaking and writing Arabic (they tend to learn it by ear).
    In contrast to many ...[text shortened]... 65)

    While many Westerners are bickering about Egypt, the Chinese are quietly building there.
    Egypt is a military dictatorship which overthrew an elected President.

    Westerners shouldn't be doing business there at all.
  9. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    19 Aug '15 22:33
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Egypt is a military dictatorship which overthrew an elected President.

    Westerners shouldn't be doing business there at all.
    Apart from US military aid of course.

    On April 1, US President Barack Obama restored US military aid to Egypt. It is a stunning volte-face for the United States government, which rightly withdrew military assistance following the overthrow of Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, in 2013.

    As the tap of military aid flows once more, $1.3bn is now available to the regime of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. New F-16 fighter jets, Abrams tanks and harpoon missiles will soon be at the disposal of Egypt's armed forces. The country will be the second largest recipient of foreign military financing from the US, after Israel.

    Nothing could better symbolise the restoration of the status quo of US-Egyptian relations going back decades - where the real politik of supporting Middle Eastern strongmen that serve the interests of the United States rode roughshod over democracy and human rights.
    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/04/military-aid-strangle-egypt-democracy-150406072449677.html
  10. 19 Aug '15 22:36
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung to Finnegan
    You are such a condescending douchebag. Standard empty criticisms. Yes, I know Islamics are diverse, to use Duchess' favorite word. But I said Islamists. But that's a minor point.

    What is it about this particular area that is unique among Islamic regions? How does the fact that Dar al Islam is not monolithic affect what I had to say ...[text shortened]... w go ahead and carpet bomb the forum with your venom and spam, you pompous son of an elderberry.
    "Under the Aegis of the Egyptian Army, these Chinese can do business safely."
    --AThousandYoung

    It's wrong to assume that Chinese merchants need Egyptian soldiers to protect them
    while selling lingerie in 'Upper Egypt...the most conservative part of the country'.
    In fact, the article described some Chinese merchants living unarmed and with no
    particular police protection alongside very conservative Egyptian Muslims.

    It's also wrong to assume that Islam (though there may be an extremist sect to the contrary)
    forbids Muslim women from wearing racy lingerie. Women are not supposed to wear revealing
    attire in public, but it's acceptable and even encouraged by their husbands at home.
    Most Egyptian men apparently enjoy having their wives in sexy attire in the bedroom.
    Egyptian women acquire two separate wardrobes for their public and private lives.
    According to one Chinese merchant, some individual Egyptian women and men (buying
    for their women) have purchased more than one hundred pieces of racy lingerie.

    The Chinese merchants are nearly all secular, taking little or no interest in Egypt's religious differences.
    The Chinese employ Coptic Christians, who encounter widespread prejudices elsewhere.
    Even most conservative Muslims accept and respect the Chinese because the Chinese
    have made it clear that they have no interest in interfering in Egypt's religious or political issues.
    Given that the Chinese don't lecture the Egyptians about what they must do to change
    their beliefs, practices, or lives, nearly all Egyptians consider the Chinese non-threatening.

    It's interesting that Chinese entrepeneurs have perceived that Egypt's economic and social
    development depends heavily upon empowering Egyptian women. The Chinese would
    like to offer more jobs (with no sexual harassment) to young Egyptian women, giving
    them some independence from traditional family life. But the Chinese say that young
    Egyptian women tend to have a different cultural mindset from young Chinese women.
    Young Chinese women tend to have higher expectations or ambitions in life, whereas fewer
    young Egyptian women truly believe they can be equal to men or make new lives for themselves.
    After some young Egyptian women have worked for Chinese employers (who don't care
    about their religious beliefs or sexually harass them), they no longer want to work for
    Egyptian men who practice religious discrimination or often sexually harass them.

    "They (Chinese) rarely talk about politics or the Muslim Brotherhood, but the issue of
    women's status often comes up, because it profoundly affects any activity in Egypt. ...
    And from the Chinese perspective, the fundamental issue in Egypt is not politics or religion
    or militarism--it's family."
    --Peter Hessler (p. 65)
  11. 19 Aug '15 22:39 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Egypt is a military dictatorship which overthrew an elected President.
    Westerners shouldn't be doing business there at all.
    "During the revolution of 2011, Westerners usually believed that they were witnessing
    the rise of a powerful social movement (the Arab Spring), whereas the Chinese in Egypt
    tended to perceive the collapse of a weak state (under President Mubarak)."
    --Peter Hessler (p. 65)
  12. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    19 Aug '15 22:44
    Originally posted by finnegan
    Apart from US military aid of course.

    [quote]On April 1, US President Barack Obama restored US military aid to Egypt. It is a stunning volte-face for the United States government, which rightly withdrew military assistance following the overthrow of Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, in 2013.

    As the tap of military aid flo ...[text shortened]... aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/04/military-aid-strangle-egypt-democracy-150406072449677.html
    Would it surprise you that I find such aid morally reprehensible?

    It is also illegal.
  13. 19 Aug '15 23:04
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    "Learning to Speak Lingerie" by Peter Hessler in 'The New Yorker' (August 10-17, 2015, pp. 56-65)

    Some Chinese merchants are succeeding in selling racy lingerie in the
    most conservative parts of Egypt. The Chinese are successful notwithstanding their
    general weakness in speaking and writing Arabic (they tend to learn it by ear).
    In contrast to many ...[text shortened]... 65)

    While many Westerners are bickering about Egypt, the Chinese are quietly building there.
    Chinese in eastern Asia and the Islands have long been entrepreneurs. Probably more so as foreigners than at home.
  14. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    19 Aug '15 23:09
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    "Learning to Speak Lingerie" by Peter Hessler in 'The New Yorker' (August 10-17, 2015, pp. 56-65)

    Some Chinese merchants are succeeding in selling racy lingerie in the
    most conservative parts of Egypt. The Chinese are successful notwithstanding their
    general weakness in speaking and writing Arabic (they tend to learn it by ear).
    In contrast to many ...[text shortened]... 65)

    While many Westerners are bickering about Egypt, the Chinese are quietly building there.
    Apparently female workers in China would be surprised to learn that Chinese male employers present little risk of sexual harassment:

    Seventy percent of female factory workers who answered a survey the center conducted in fall 2013 said they had experienced some form of workplace sexual harassment.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2013-12-10/chinas-young-factory-workers-face-widespread-sexual-harassment
  15. 19 Aug '15 23:12
    Originally posted by Phranny
    U.S. fear of Islam along with measuring profits on a quarterly basis with a dim eye to the future has, I think (I am sure some here will find a way to show I am totally misguided and stupid) kept major U.S. investment out of Africa. I believe many in the U.S. see all African countries as corrupt and/or infested with Ebola and/or HIV. I recently spent a wee ...[text shortened]... who supported the genocide fled to these countries and are apparently agitating for another war.
    I am genuinely curious, because you speak so highly of the security of Rwanda, and then at the end of your post you bring up the border problems, and the agitating for another war, kind of typical of that region.

    Clearly, some people aren't pleased by peace and prosperity, as their fortunes are grown through war.