Ray Hanania’s best humor is always unintentional. During his Radio Show today, November 11, he misunderstood a reference to Nancy Ajram, a popular Arab singer, and the Arab world’s version of a talentless, cultural “pop-tart”. His gaffe occurred during a discussion of a local election in Michigan and Arab-American political apathy. A caller into the show wanted to express his view that Arab-Americans are not politically active, and would be more interested in coming out to see a concert than to come out and vote in elections (44:25).
Caller: “if it was Nancy Ajram is here they would come and stand in line”
Ray obviously has never heard of Ajram and thought the caller was stating another candidate (the candidate was a Muslim convert) would have brought out more Arab-American voters to which he responded:
“What is the difference? Is it because she’s a convert to Islam?…But you said they would come out for another candidate.”
After the caller explained his reference to the singer Ray said:
“Oh I got it, we love Huff-Lezs.” The Arabic word for party is “Hafleh” and the plural would be “Haflat.”
The point of mentioning Ray’s latest unintended comedy is not to nitpick on the latest gaffe by this less than mediocre, local radio talk show host, but to offer another example of just how far removed many Arab-American “commentators” and “activists” are from the Arab world. Far too many Arab-Americans appoint themselves spokespersons not only for Arab-Americans, but for the Arab world which they know very little about. With two lines of unintended humor, Ray showed his ignorance of Arabic, Arab culture, and Arab politics. It is not the role of Arab-Americans to speak for the Arab world, nor does their ethnic heritage justify their implied claims to any advanced level of knowledge or expertise on the Arab world.
A few moments later (47:55) into his babbling the Palestinian-American Zionist said:
“I debated Abba Eban…and I out did him, I “bettered” than him.” Ray should place Arabic aside and work on his English.