“Yes, I’d be happy to help you,” replied the striking Mediterranean skin toned woman at Wells Fargo Bank in Georgetown, a community a short distance from the White House and Congress.
(My wife needed a document notarized.)
Med Woman: What a beautiful necklace.
Cheri: Yes, my husband bought it in Dubai as a present.
MW: Do you know what it says?
MW: Are you Muslim?
C: No, are you?
C: Where are you from?
MW: Morocco. I’m Berber
MW: Yes, and a little Jewish, but mostly Berber.
MW: Is Dubai beautiful?
MW: Have you been to Abu Dhabi?
MW: What’s it like?
C: A series of small islands. It’s the richest city in the world. It’s just down the road from Dubai.
MW: What takes you there?
C: Business. My husband is a management consultant. With our son, we also own Green Tea HP.
MW: Do you know any Arabs there?
MW: What do you think?
C: They’re shy, generous. They never say no, but it’s hard to know if yes is really yes. They’re Bedouins. Bedouins are the originals on the Sinai Peninsula.
MW: Are they all rich?
C: Not all of them.
MW: Do they all drive Maseratis?
C: I can’t tell one car from another. Roger. Do you know?
Roger: They love their cars.
(MW finished notarizing the documents. She gave us her card. It indicated she also speaks French.)
C: So nice meeting you. Where in Morocco were you born?
MW: I wasn’t. I was born here (Georgetown). I visit Morocco twice a year. My parents left Morocco and moved to Washington DC before I was born.
C: Do you speak Arabic?
C. Wow, I’m impressed.
MW: I’m a single mom. I can’t do everything I want to.
C. I’m more impressed.
(As we walked outside, my wife leaned over and said, “That’s why we spend time in Georgetown. Beautiful, curious. She asked questions. What’s a Berber?”)
Roger: The native population of northern Africa. Morocco is in the North West corner of Africa. Berbers are our equivalent of the American Indian.
(We know nothing until we become curious and ask a question.)