[Eye contact with a fellow who looks Middle Eastern in the gym while he is on the captain’s chair. 2 nods]
1: min ‘ayna ‘anta?
1. Oh mashallah.
2: Oh massri.
[1 smiles] 1: na’am. See you speak Arabic.
2: I wish.
1: We are from al-Sham. You know that region right?
1: Iraq, Syria and so on.
[Some banter about working out]
2: So you like the gym hanh?
1: Yes it’s good. I come for this. [He points to his belly].
2: You need to run man.
1: I’m too old.
2: Then walk. That will take this down. Everyday.
1: I’m okay. It’s going.
2: Anta Muslim right?
1: Alhumdolillah. I was selected.
2: Back in the day, I lived in Saudia.
1: Lahowa watakuwatah illah billah.
2: Moved there when I was a little kid. It was a culture shock for sure. I remember getting slapped by my Arabic teacher.
1: See that’s the problem. There is no kindness.
1: Where’s the kindness? When you do that to a kid, I won’t blame them even if they become kaffir.
2: So you sent your kids for Qur’an lessons then?
1: Too many issues. Molestation, hitting, I can’t deal with that.
2: There are some good people.
1: Very few.
2: Yallah, it was good meeting you.