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Sunday, January 8

Welcome America!!!

The first US fast-food franchise in Syria has started with the opening of “KFC” Kentucky Fried Chicken in Damascus / Abu Rummaneh.
It has been said that “the countries where you can find KFC, Coca-Cola and McDonald's will never go to war with the US."!!!!


  • I hope that theory is true!
    Although if you ask me, I would rather have shawarma, or falafel any day over KFC..

    sa7ten :)

    By Blogger Omar, at 8/1/06 2:26 AM  

  • مازلت أذكر عندما تمّ الافتتاح منذ عدة سنوات في محل الـ KFC بالمزة ، و لكنه أغلق فيما بعد ..
    و أذكر الأسعار الخيالية التي وضعت ثمن تلك الوجبات التي ( بالنسبة لي ) لا تسمن ولا تغني من جوع ...
    المهم أنا مع عمر بأنني لأفضل أن أتغدى شاورما ( عند الربيع بالمزة ) أو في أي محل آخر و أن أتعشى فلافل من عند " على كيفك " على أن آكل من عندهم ...

    By Blogger Linux Juggler, at 8/1/06 10:46 AM  

  • Yes i still remeber that KFC, and i recall they used the name Kawiti food company.....as to what KFC stands for.

    i never liked it, not the syrian one nor any other KFC.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/1/06 12:58 PM  

  • I don't know what people like about KFC. Tastes like crap, and u end up soaked in oil without satisfying your hunger. its one of those things where people buy and eat the label rather than the actual meal.

    like the rest of u guys i prefer shawrma. even thinkings about is making my stomach crave.
    Amr A.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/1/06 12:53 AM  

  • What do u mean by the picutre?
    As always Ghalia clever posts!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/1/06 12:59 AM  

  • I doubt it will compete with Popey's chicken! I miss the half chicken I used to order a couple of times a week! :(

    The shot is great Ghalia: American food place in Damascus and a poor Syrian kid who is curious and most liley hungry, sitting outside and wondering about what on earth these people are eating inside, and most likely, wishing if he could get some! But still, he'd rather get the money of a KFC meal than the meal itself!

    Viva Syrian Popay's chicken or as the staff of the Canadian Embassy call it "Jajat Jay".

    By Blogger Ihsan, at 9/1/06 1:26 AM  

  • someday I'm going to smash this place, I don't want this globalization simbol to enter my country.
    I passed nearby today, I felt so angry, people here are so silly, they like to feel they're westerns by going to these places.

    By Blogger Amr Faham, at 9/1/06 9:31 PM  

  • Exactly as Ihsan stated it, it’s just this pic brings a lot of ideas to me, maybe this poor kid represents the majority of the people in Syria, and certainly KFC stands for US.
    I agree with Amr A. people comes here just to eat the label, they think KFC is a great thing!

    By Blogger Ghalia, at 10/1/06 1:10 PM  

  • To hell with USA n' it's KFC...Viv Shawerma & Falafel...

    By Blogger Sharks, at 10/1/06 2:51 PM  

  • I join my voices to yours.

    Shawarma is a hundred times better.

    ALso, I will take Syrian rather than American culture any day of the week.

    Steliano Ponticos

    By Blogger Steliano Ponticos, at 11/1/06 2:17 AM  

  • Ghalia,

    Nice work, your blog is excellent. awesome pictures, and touchy subjects.

    Thanks for your effort.


    By Blogger Amr T, at 11/1/06 10:40 AM  

  • yksro 2deeho
    who told these stupid to open this stupid thing in syr????????
    ya allah one of the things i used to be proud about is that we don't have these things at home... now i can't say it any more

    By Blogger no one, at 11/1/06 6:13 PM  

  • one friend has told me...(they found the american's kentucky is better than the american's yntako)

    sorry but couldn't stop myself from writing it

    By Blogger no one, at 11/1/06 6:58 PM  

  • well right... KFC is not the best but still people are going there ...
    why ??!! i wonder

    By Blogger GraY FoX, at 12/1/06 2:36 AM  

  • KFC is just like any other fast food place in Syria, It does symbol USA's somewhat control over Syria, which for alot means "evil", but I can name places, retsurants and people here in Syria that define the true pure meaning of EVIL, I think we have to worry about what we have here walking amongs us.

    By Blogger Zena, at 12/1/06 8:24 PM  

  • I think the photo doesn't need any comment!
    it describes itself!!!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13/1/06 7:10 AM  

  • I really wanted to see a label I am recognize when I was in Syria, but I dont know why it hurts to see KFC opening now..

    -Happy Eid.

    By Blogger Fo0f, at 14/1/06 2:08 AM  

  • I don't believe I'm the same yaman.

    Is this really the first KFC? I thought there used to be one in Mezzeh but it lost the license and became Kuwaiti Food Company

    By Blogger yaman, at 14/1/06 3:18 AM  

  • Smart shot as usual, Ghalia. I just hoped if it showed the face of the hungry boy :(

    I have heard an American, through a documentary on Al-Arabiya TV, soldiers in Iraq complains saying "I miss McDonald's ... I do not know why US invades countries that do not have McDonald's!"

    By Anonymous Abdulhadi, at 18/1/06 12:10 AM  

  • I honeslty dont like their chicken at all, but i was suprised though, that a kfc has opened up in syria.(didnt one open up then close in mezzah?) but all in all, its not a big deal, fast food is fast food, thats that! i prefer time out in sha3lan or anyother fast food store. but one question.. do they have poutines? i have been craving one for months and i hope they do have them, in canada i think kfc sells more poutines than the actual chicken...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 21/1/06 1:01 PM  

  • I don't eat KFC ... i don't eat is becuse i don't like the taste of its chicken. Not because i see it as a symbol for American domination..

    The KFC franchise in the Middle East is owned and managed by Kuwait Food Company (Americana) a company wholly owned by Al Khrafi family in Kuwait and is reponsible for creating tens of thousands of jobs in the GCC, Levant and North Africa.

    When do you really think you can overlook that 70s ideology of capitalism and colonization and start actually thinking of what opening up the economy means to the Syrian busienss environment and the people?

    Do you still want to be isolated while the rest of the world is moving into economic integration and you guys are still calling upon further detachment from the world .. ?

    On a side note, i highly doubt this KFC (in the photo) is an actual legitimate franchise of the real KFC for a number of reasons. Primarily because US business organization are forbidden to do any kind of business with Syria (as well as Iran, Sudan ..etc)..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 21/1/06 10:34 PM  

  • Dear Anonymous,

    It isn’t a matter of detachment and more isolation, the problem we are facing that modernity is measured now due to American standards! Most of Syrian young are trying to be American, even imitating them blindly, taking them to the heart!
    Well, it is a fact now that we are receiving the American modern culture (more than ever now), but we should not deny our culture and our beliefs.
    We are so weak for example to open a Syrian restaurants chain like “La Noisette” in USA and other parts of the world, but it would be a nice dream!

    Finally I would like to drew a comparison between KFC sandwich prices and other sandwich prices:
    Falafel sandwich: between 15 to 35 S.P
    Shawrma sandwich: between 25 to 50 S.P
    Any other sandwiches like Hamburger, nugget , etc: between 50 to 85 S.P
    While KFC chicken sandwich: between 125 to 175 S.P, NO COMMENT!
    That was actually what I meant by the photo I put up there!

    BTW, it is a legitimate KFC! We already have some international clothe companies like United Color of Benetton for example.

    By Blogger Ghalia, at 22/1/06 11:29 AM  

  • You guys are annoying the hell out of me ..

    Ghalia .. anon's arguments are quite valid and I am afraid yours are as thin and weak as the bread that wraps a KFC Zinger roll.

    Let me elaborate:

    "It isn’t a matter of detachment and more isolation, the problem we are facing that modernity is measured now due to American standards!"

    We have to suck it up here. As sad as it is, it is the truth: The US is a major economic power and they didn't became so out of nothing. Years of research, investment in education, knowledge and experience. Their horrible politics in the last few years is a different story. But NO ONE can deny that they do rule the economic/business world... for the coming few decades atleast.

    "Most of Syrian young are trying to be American, even imitating them blindly, taking them to the heart!

    Thats a very subjective argument and is based on emotional observation. You really should give Syrian youth a bit more credit than that..

    "Well, it is a fact now that we are receiving the American modern culture (more than ever now), but we should not deny our culture and our beliefs."

    You don't travel much .. do you?

    Why do you think a rich culture and civilization like the Syrian one, which is thousands of years old, could be compromised by a couple of burger joints?

    والله عيب

    "We are so weak for example to open a Syrian restaurants chain like “La Noisette” in USA and other parts of the world, but it would be a nice dream!"

    Yes we are.. show me ONE Syrian company that is decent enough to be recognized on a regional level (i won't even think global).

    Why can't you accept the fact that we can learn from others, even if we do not agree with them?

    "Finally I would like to drew a comparison between KFC sandwich prices and other sandwich prices:
    Falafel sandwich: between 15 to 35 S.P
    Shawrma sandwich: between 25 to 50 S.P
    Any other sandwiches like Hamburger, nugget , etc: between 50 to 85 S.P
    While KFC chicken sandwich: between 125 to 175 S.P, NO COMMENT!
    That was actually what I meant by the photo I put up there!"

    What was that all about? The purpose of starting a business is to make profits (Business 101). The shop is not open for charity.. you need to learn a but more on the restaurant business

    "BTW, it is a legitimate KFC! We already have some international clothe companies like United Color of Benetton for example."

    Wallahi kher we barakeh .. my friend works in Americana, i will give him a buzz later to find out if it is a legit KFC or not. Nonetheless, I really hope it is and i also hope we attract even MORE foreign direct investments, learn from them, enhance the quality of Syrian businesses, attract our educated youth from abroad and claim the county's rank within the international community..

    Syria is a great nation with so much potential: education people, amazing business acumen, unique location and lots of wealth and resources ... what are the syrians waiting for?!

    By Blogger moryarti, at 22/1/06 2:01 PM  

  • I like your images and the view I get of Damascus...I think that you worry a bit about places like KFC coming in...obviously people want it there...I personally do not enjoy KFC (except the coleslaw)...and I am more often the type to eat a falafel or souvlaki, or a curry chicken...These are not indigenous foods of the United States...but I am glad someone didn't stop them from opening because they don't go with the theme of an area...selection being greater always makes life better...
    Now I do think that Damascus could stop the damage places like KFC does to the skyline and street views...Places like Cape Cod in Massachusetts have such zoning laws that a fast food place has to dishuise itself to blend in more...

    By Blogger dustywood, at 22/1/06 6:25 PM  

  • hello,

    Here is a letter given to a foreigner journalist who visited Syria, after visiting Post-Syria Lebanon, Iran and others. I think it rejoins many points approached here (mostly in the second part).

    Here it is:

    Dear Mr. *****,

    It is today more and more common, to receive foreigners in Syria, you are indeed welcome and I think you will notice about this warm welcome, the Syrians offer you. Many years of closure has made Syrians thirsty to see the stranger, it also gave opportunity to proud Syrians to show what their true face is. So here you are, you are most welcome.


    I need to ask you, what did you think about Syria, before your visit? Did you discern Syria from the widespread generalized vision of western media? Did you apprehend it, from far away? Did you fear it? What was your representation (image) of Syria? I surely do not necessarily mean to ask you personally all these questions, nor I need the answers. They are intended to make you ask these questions to yourself and to answer them, playing the role of those who will read your articles. A kind of a hint, about what should your mission be aimed at.

    Indeed, living in the west, I can submit my own gathered answers. The west regrettably fears Syria; they fear its people, its simplicity, its poverty, its culture, its religions.... Unfortunately, it’s clearly the image produced by the mass media, which surely reflects in their answers. In fact, it’s more like a preconception. A preconception that has been built over disinformation and negative political agendas.

    Since you visited Syria as a reporter and know about its culture, its beauty, its richness... how do you think you can change the preconceived picture of the Syrian people through your article, what is the "before" and what is the "after" you are looking for? How can you change the current representation made of Syria? The picture must not be changed; it must be cleared and estranged from politics.

    Syrian culture is unique. It is unique because it is rooted to its thousands years of history, it has progressed, it has changed, but its deepness is as existent as it was decades ago. We are not refusing the western culture, we shall exchange with west, we shall exhibit our cultural profundity and we must accept receiving western “modern culture”, but we are not ready denying our own culture and our beliefs for anything else.

    Due to globalization, Syria is today open more than ever. Indeed it is good for Syria, but it demands us to be prudent (there is a price to pay). Refusing acculturation to the Western model is our everyday struggle. The struggle must peacefully be achieved and maintained, but as it goes, frustration grows and becomes unmanageable.

    The problem is that the exchange is not bidirectional, it is one sided. Syria senses acculturation as raging force. We need you to show to the world that we are here, our message must not be kept hidden, it must not be marginalized, it must also not be omitted because of politics.

    In fact, we as bloggers do the same as you, we try informing about our reality and how does our emotions deal with it. We try to show, through our daily exertion, that Syria has thoughts, has pride, has strength, has spirit …

    Intersubjectivity, you will meet Syrians, young, old, veiled, not veiled, educated, not educated, you will share, they will share. They have the opportunity to have an equal relationship with you, a bilateral one, they have the opportunity to say, you will have the opportunity to receive. You will receive reality, an unbiased one, an impartial one. Through holism (ethnological), you will be able to define what Syria is.

    Best regards,
    Elie Kaso (nabusold@yahoo.com)

    By Blogger Sharrukin, at 22/1/06 8:57 PM  

  • By Anonymous Ahmed, at 23/1/06 3:45 PM  

  • Dear consumer watch!

    Your way of criticizing is completely unacceptable. maybe you should appear some respect to the other view points.

    The problem is not with KFC or any other French or English restaurant, it's a society problem, people has hours of free time and waste them doing silly things. far away for education and far away even from there social habits, adopting some habits from Rotana, Haifaa wahbee.

    Me and Ghalia's concern is having new generation far away from any cultural stream, and being affected just by the media which is exporting bad habits.

    "It's not a matter of FALAFEL, or SHAWIRMA". no problem whatever and wherever you eat, the matter is neglecting those starving people who or living a passive life, and having generations has nothing to do with anything.

    By Blogger Majd, at 23/1/06 7:49 PM  

  • Dear Mr. Majd-to-the-rescue:

    Its none of your business. My comment was in Ghalia's blog not yours..

    Ghalia dear .. if any of my comments offended you, please do say so... i will gladly apologize

    By Blogger moryarti, at 23/1/06 10:03 PM  

  • Dear Moryarti:

    First you owe an apologize to Majd, as he only expressed his opinion as you did.
    We are all commenting here to share, discuses and learn, but the most important thing is to show respect!

    Concerning your profound comment!

    We have to suck it up here. As sad as it is, it is the truth: The US is a major economic power and they didn't became so out of nothing. Years of research, investment in education, knowledge and experience. Their horrible politics in the last few years is a different story. But NO ONE can deny that they do rule the economic/business world... for the coming few decades atleast.

    No one can deny US economic power nor its dominance, but what do we get from US?? Nothing but the crap! Its rooten crust what I call it “Kushoor”, we Arabs like only to eat and fill our tummies, but why not to invest a medication company, a hospital, universities, to make use of its advanced sience? A lot of Syrian youngs travel to study out there in US, while non go there simply to eat a freid chicken!!

    Thats a very subjective argument and is based on emotional observation. You really should give Syrian youth a bit more credit than that..

    This is my blog where I present my personal views and my subjective opinon!
    And yeah I notice that it is happening and a lot do agree with me.

    You don't travel much .. do you?

    What is this for?? Is it you criteria when evaluating a person? You are so wrong!

    Yes we are.. show me ONE Syrian company that is decent enough to be recognized on a regional level (i won't even think global).

    Why can't you accept the fact that we can learn from others, even if we do not agree with them?

    I said it would be a nice dream, it is our duty to work for it to accomplish it to make it real!

    What was that all about? The purpose of starting a business is to make profits (Business 101). The shop is not open for charity.. you need to learn a but more on the restaurant business

    How told you that Falafel and Sahwrma and other sandwich sellers are loosing and not making any profit?
    Shouldn’t be an economic study before opening it to solve such a problem taking into account the local income! It is very expensive compered to the local income.

    I’m not going to comment more, but u do look to me that kind of Arabic that he feel shy identifying him self as Arab!

    By Blogger Ghalia, at 25/1/06 12:12 AM  

  • It was on the Al Raai newspaper here in Jordan this week

    By Blogger Sabri Hakim, at 26/1/06 2:31 PM  

  • Wow, that's a lot to talk about for some fried chicken!

    Hmmm, I, too, don't evaluate KFC based on anything other then the quality!! I don't like it because the fried chicken is not the way I like it!

    Let's us seperate between US policies and other US trends! It's not about some food! All of you are using Microsoft and so many other stuff that are made in USA! so, let's not just oppose the poor oily fried chicken!

    As for the prices. Well, nobody is forcing anybody to go and buy expensive KFC meals!

    By Blogger Ihsan, at 27/1/06 4:56 AM  

  • I wrote this one VERY long comment... and before I posted it I saw Ihsan's last comment... and it seems he did a better job sayin what I wanted to say in VERY short words... but hell, I wrote it, I'm gonna post it!

    I totally love the photo, and what it stands for... the way Ihsan put it.
    I love the social aspect of the photo.

    But reading through the comments.. I gotta say [Personal Opinion] this post has drifted from social problems..

    first, I do think moryarti owes Majd an appology! I do think moryarti needs to tone it down a bit. no need for personal showdowns!

    Nonetheless... I can't deny that I can totally understand where he's coming from.

    Syrian economy needs [at least] $4 billion worth of investments every year to actually Rebuild. [According to Mr. Abdallah Dardari]. now u tell me how r ya gonna get these $4bns?

    Any investment is more than welcome for me!

    Let's go past our ideologies for a second, Let's go past our own personal feelings towards the world monster and think about our COUNTRY.
    They will invest where it's more profitable! that's a rule... it's a win-win situation for a crumbling economy like Syria's.. it's not fair. I know.. but Fuck, Who said life's fair?!

    Globalization is about interaction. It's about consumers. it's about Humans as INDIVIDUALS. It's about Quality!!
    I know that Globalizations seems like an equivalant to "Americanization" and probably it is... but it's only because we're such a passive ppl. because we're frustrated or we have so little self-esteem.
    I don't see Americans demostrating against Falafel shops there! or Japanese food chains there.
    KFC, McDonalds are everywhere... but Japanese still prefer Sushi, and Americans still go to French restaurants.
    Living in a cocoon is devastating. The more u live in that denial the more ur culture actually vanishes off the map. and the more u accept other cultures the more u get ppl accepting urs.
    Why do u think Arabic language is falling back everyday?! It's not because of Evil America. NO. It's because Arabs DO NOT read!! that's a fact. Arabs are a population of non-readers.. the best selling book gets a 5000 prints. It's not because Globalization is atacking the language.. it's because Arabs DO NOT support their language!!

    Ghalia, whether u like it or not, This is the History. This is the Present. Democracy, Modernity, globalization.. Liberalism... etc. are Western vocabulary, They've been evolving for the last 400yrs that we've been sleeping, they've been developing these concepts... learning them is not an insult [The only other way is to actually LIVE that developing process all over again... and that is NOT an actual option]... just like learning Newton's law is NOT an insult!

    It's a world where quality and individual rights comes first.
    This is How europe developed... When 18th century France didn't mind Julio Mazarini the Italian to be the prime minister because he had more to offer to that nation and when Russia didn't mind a German czar to rule them. And the only bright spot in our history is when Egypt didn't mind the Albanian Muhammed-Ali Pasha. for me, in arabs modern History this was their high point.

    My point in short, PEPSI does not stand for Pay Every Penny to Save Israel!!
    Globalization is what we make of it.
    Facts are there to deal with them, not ignore them.
    Our economic problems are OUR problems. WE need to solve them. Poverty is a PURE Syrian problem. because Ghalia, in 1953 we were a "Founder Member" of the WTO [World Trade Oragization, look into its charters to see what it means to be a WTO member... back then WE MET EVERY detailed conditon], while we turned our back to the world.. Now, Saudi Arabia is still years of negotiations away from entering it...
    Don't tell me that 40years of isolation wasn't enough to learn our lessons?!

    By Blogger Yazan, at 27/1/06 12:27 PM  

  • Ihsan and Front Bumper

    I thank you for understanding what i was trying to say..

    Ghalia, Majd ... Before anything, I want you to know that i have nothing but respect to both of you.

    But i also ask you to revisit what i wrote because I did not make any offensive remarks to any of you nor insulted your characters. The tone of the arguments did come across strong and assertive; but isn't debating all about making strong points?

    I don't see telling someone 'not traveling much' as an insult. Because there is nothing wrong in not traveling much.

    On the other hand ... "but u do look to me that kind of Arabic that he feel shy identifying him self as Arab!"

    And Majd - i was actually addressing someone other than you in a blog thats not related, in any visible way, to your kindself.

    There is nothing offensive in saying "its non of your business" because, with all respect, i didn't involve you in the conversation in anyway.

    Put yourself in my shoes for a split second and i am sure you will understand. :)

    Nonetheless, if an apology is in order because of sensitivity issues.. then an apology is gladly granted.. وسامحونا

    أتمنى أن لا يفسد الخلاف للود قضية

    And thank you for hosting me in this fine blog..

    By Blogger moryarti, at 28/1/06 6:47 AM  

  • The picture does have a profound message but,sadly it is a message than can be found almost anywhere. Including the US. The focus shouldn't be on the fact that there is a KFC it should always have been about the hungry child.

    I wish that instead of blaming the US for the changes in your country you would look at the people around you and realize maybe they want some change.

    Also, it would be nice (for once) for people in other countries to do the same that you ask: Look at people for who they are. All American's are not bad people and we don't always agree with our policies. How can anyone ask American's to look at them without judgement when we are not given the same courtesy.

    It doesn't matter where you find it, the food from KFC is gross. And starving people are everywhere. Perhaps we all need to stop pointing fingers and help one another. By unity and peace and love and understanding we would all be better off.

    Your pictures really are very lovely, well done.

    By Anonymous scorpio, at 31/1/06 4:59 AM  

  • Am I the only person on Earth that likes KFC? hahaha
    As an American I know very little about Syria. Sorry. All KFC's in America are franchises. Locally owned and operated, usually by someone in the community but can be a chain of 5 or 10. They just pay a licensing fee for the recipes and such.
    Anyway, just my ranting..
    Best wishes.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 5:35 AM  

  • I do not like KFC because it is greasy and unhealthy. The brand name is successful because of good business practices. I reject most American culture, and am myself an American in America, and proud to be one. I will seek out stores run by people of religious faith to show solidarity with them, but good business practices are a must. You can keep your culture and provide better for your families through reform.

    By Blogger jrog1, at 31/1/06 6:05 AM  

  • KFC is nasty - it's full of grease - sometimes I'll eat their red beans & rice if I'm in a huge hurry - but alot of them don't even have it on the menu

    Yeah give me Shawarma or falafel any day


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 6:14 AM  

  • jrog1 - how can you say you're proud to be an american at a time when George Bush and his oil sucking croonies are wreaking havoc in the middle east and embarassing all of us - I would like to see him tried for terrorism in an international court

    check out the movie Syrianna

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 6:22 AM  

  • I hope I offend no one by posting a comment here. I am an American and thought to make a comment that was not from the media, the goverment or some big company but from just a regular person.

    I can understand the anger Syrians might feel at having a KFC in Syria because in many ways it is the same anger that many Americans in smaller communities feel when a large corporation builds a store here and puts local stores out of business. (minus the politial atmosphere, however)

    It doesn't matter if the world is a global economy and the cheaper something can be made the more money the owners can get and build their stores in more and more places.

    What matters to each individual person is that what they loved about where they live is slowly being lost.

    Even as an American I don't want my town to look like every other American town with it's McDonald's and Wal*Marts and super malls.

    I want my little town to stay my little town.

    Unfortunately, I think posters like Front Bumper are right. It's inevitable in today's world. It will happen whether we want it or not it seems.

    But even though I have to drive down my town's roads and see Wal*Mart and KFC and Taco Bell and Fred Meyers and every other big chain store here, that doesn't mean I ever have to give them my money and buy their products.

    I can't help but stand up and applaud anyone who doesn't want to end up just another little 'American town'.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 8:03 AM  

  • It's not a theory but a fact that America has neer gone to war with a country that has a McDonald's.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 10:32 AM  

  • hey I am an American and I hate KFC! I think Bush is a corrupt moron who only wants to further his oil agenda. Here is some history that is not in the American school textbooks; during the United States westward expansion the U.S. government arranged and carried out the systemmatic decimation of the Native poupulation. This message is not fake, infact I am a white male American

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 10:36 AM  

  • Assalamu alaikum ya Ghalia,

    Hello from California! Man, I miss Dimashq. Haven't been there in almost two years. However, I still find a little bit of Sham here in Sacramento (the capital city of California, if you didn't already know) with a few restaurants here and there. I find it funny that although America is everywhere in the world, now even in what used to be the untainted city of Damascus, you can still find Sham everywhere too! Well, just figured I would drop a line saying hello to those lucky enough to live in the second greatest city in the world (sorry, but al-Quds will always be al-Kursi lillahi).

    Inshallah, I'll hear from you all soon. Allahu ma3akum.

    al-Almani min Amrika ma3 qalb liBilad ash-Sham,
    -Carl Abdulqawi

    By Blogger Palestine-Rules, at 31/1/06 10:47 AM  

  • Trust me, if you don't like Kentucky Fried Chicken, I am sure we can find another chicken restaurant to send to Syria. We have Popeye's Chicken, El Pollo Loco, Kenny Rogers Roasters, Koo Koo Roo, and don't forget Wendy's make a great chicken fillet sandwich. If none of these is too your liking, we have the Mad Greek and Falafel King.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 11:04 AM  

  • Fast food restaraunts were never meant to be considered "fine dining' or to replace the local street vendors. Fast food is exactly what it means. Food prepared fast. It is meant to offer the opportunity for someone to eat while they are on the road WITHOUT the inconvenience of getting out of the car. There may be no reason for a KFC in Syria without a drive-thru, except to test the area for continued expansion. This expansion will undoubtedly bring more revenue to the local area and, in the long run, increase the standard of living for all. Say hello to CAPTIALISM!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 11:12 AM  

  • As an American, all I can say is, PLEASE don't eat this crap! PLEASE think of your health first. I hate the fact that we seem to like to export out garbage. This is not what America should be about.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 11:40 AM  

  • Just because you have a KFC in your country, doesn't mean that our leaders wouldn't put troops in your back yard.

    By Blogger Lord Fool, at 31/1/06 12:22 PM  

  • KFC and Mc Donalds is NOT real food. Watch Supersize me, or better yet read Fast Food Nation. Don't eat that crap. In any country
    I'm also proud to be an American, but am discusted with Bush, and the present governments imperialistic ways.
    Americans aren't one voice. We are made up of all the cultures in the word. Including Syrians.
    It a shame we are all, in all countries, gudged by the the incompetence of our "leaders".
    An American

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 12:27 PM  

  • I saw your url in a article i read on line. I thought I'd drop by and see what you had to say and I read through your "welcome America"since I live in Alaska I decided to read it. The picture was a biting comentary. If I may say KFC is just calories. My country is a powerful one but sometimes so stupid. I would like to say that we may have something for you, but you must pick carefully. Pick from our best like universal education, health care, & hope among many others. HOPE:y nation has always had hope that we could make things better, Perhaps not for me, but for my children & their children. Education: someone earlier said that Arabic was losing ground because people couldn't read. We have a program here in Alaska called the Literacy Project that teaches volunteers how to teach others who can't to read(yes we do have failures too) but it is also for people who came here from abroad who can't read english. Health care:Our health care is very good for the wealthier among us, but there is some that does get down to the poor, but health care goes beyond the doctors & hospitals, it simple things like being able to keep your self & your neighborhood clean, to do this you need water,& sewage treatment.
    I hope you stay on the netas I would like to come back & read more of your & others thoughts in a place so far away and yet in todays world, so very close. Take care & be well

    By Anonymous marbil, at 31/1/06 1:05 PM  

  • KFC stands for Kentucky Fried Chicken, not Kuaiti Food Company.

    To say that you would not eat there because it shows the dominance that USA has over Syria is foolish.

    THese are franchises, not company owned businesses.

    The Colonel (the man on the logo) lived his last few years up teh street from whre I grew up. He was a quiet man who started his first restaurant when he was already 60+ years old. He woned a small gas station and wanted to have food for his customers that wouls stop in for gas and to stretch their legs (the gas station was in the country).

    Stop being so paranoid about a chicken restaurant. If you don't like it, don't visit it. There is no need to invoke the name of allah and call for a holy war. It's just chicken.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 4:40 PM  

  • Anyone that views a KFC as a symbol of American Domination needs to get a life and a huge supply of Prozac 20mg. Good grief, it's Chicken for God's sake. I am American and I have also eaten at American restaurants overseas and there is NO COMPARISON- You guys just don't know how to cook it or something- it is totally different. If you don't like it, don't eat it. My point is that if a chicken joint is going to piss you guys off, then you need to invest in some psychological evaluations... So many people on this blog's link seem so paranoid and insecure (Amr Faham)- and what are you paranoid about? Chicken-
    I don't buy the world domination theory. Utterly ridiculous.
    If you want to be pissed off about something, I would be pissed about the fact that there isn't modern plumbing in many places and you guys have to poop in a hole... Now, there's something to complain about.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 5:02 PM  

  • Hey everyone. I am an American Jewish man living in New York and I would like to say that it's unfortunate that all of what we ever hear about Syria is horrible.
    It's true that our leadership is pretty pathetic right now. I voted for George Bush thinking he was the lesser of 2 evils. In this last election, we really didn't have a choice!
    It seems to be the media's job to just report on the news that will get a reaction out of people. We hardly ever see news reported that makes you feel good. It doesnt matter if it's Reuters, AP, AL Jazeera or the NY Times. They all practice the same thing. In our world today, everything seems closer to home because of faster planes, communication services and of course, the internet. What was once the ideals of a small group of people, now can easily become the negativity of a whole society. The morals/values of governments and religions instantly become a reflection of those particular societies.
    I grew up with 3 of my best friends being Iranian. People used to question us all the time. How could I be friends with a Muslim being a Jew and Vice Versa? The thing is, we are all people and have the ability to reason. This is what differentiates us from animals.
    Some people in this blog have such anger over the fact that this may be an American company in Syria. I invite you to America to see for your self what is accepted here. We have Syrian restaurants, Iranian, Israeli, Chinese, Thai, Italian, you name it! People are encouraged and allowed to keep their cultures and values here. We are what many call a "melting pot of cultures."
    There are bad people in every society and religion. It's unfortunate that the media and goverments try to brainwash us as a whole to believe that an entire country is evil.
    I didnt want to make this a political blog but just wanted to say a few words. By the way, I hate KFC too. I refuse to eat there. Check out www.kfccruelty.com to see why.

    Thats all for now. May there be Peace in 2006!!!!!

    By Blogger craig, at 31/1/06 5:19 PM  

  • أول شي أنا مالح احكي كتير لأنوا الموضوع تشعّب و أخد أكثر من حقوا ..
    الفكرة كانت هي بالمقارنة أو هيك حسب ما فهمت ، بالنسبة للشخص يلي عم يقول أنو نحنا عم نستخدم ويندوز فيني قلوا استخدم لينوكس ما حدا ضاربك على ايدك لحتى تستخدم ويندوز ، أما الخناق و الحكي يلي صار هو عبارة عن وجهات نظر ، و صراحة يعني كل واحد بينام على الجنب يلي بيعجبو ، و أنا بكتب بالعربي :-) ...
    طبعاً غالية أثارت نقطة مهمة و هي ليش عم ناخد فقط المطاعم ، خليني يا غالية خبرك عن الجامعة الافتراضية السورية ، يلي نسبة كبيرة من الجامعات يلي كانت متعاقدة معون تركوها نتيجة التهديد بالمقاطعة ، لكن طبعاً المقاطعة في بعض الأحيان لا تشمل المحلات مثل كنتاكي أو غيرها ، و حتى لو كانت شركات عربية التي تملك هذا الفرع ، فهي بالنهاية عم تدفع للشركة الأم حق الاسم ...
    هنن ما عندون مشكلة أنكون تاكلو بس ما تفهمو ولا تتعلمو ...
    بدليل بسيط أمريكا عندها مفاعل نووي بينما مافي دولة عربية عندها مفاعل نووي ، و ...الخ
    القائمة تطول ، و الموضوع عادي و هو تجاري بحت ، لكن القاعدة تقول : " ليزداد الغني غنى و يزداد الفقير تعاسة "
    المشكلة في عندي بيت شعر بي صعب إني اكتبو هون لح ابعتوا ايميل أحسن شي ..

    By Blogger Linux Juggler, at 31/1/06 5:22 PM  

  • The presence of KFC may prevent war - never heard that before. If people in Damascus eat there, then the business will survive, although I suspect the prices there will be much higher than they are at local restaurants. I hope the Syrian people realize how incredibly unhealthy the food served at KFC is. Something like 2/3 of Americans are obese, partially because they eat rubbish like KFC. I would hate to see the rest of the world fall into this trap.

    Today I will walk from my office to a small Syrian-owned restaurant and have a lamb schwarma roll-up and some lentil soup. I love it.

    - Michael (A 32 year old American)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 6:44 PM  

  • This issue has went quite a ways. Anyway I find it a bit ironic decrying the youth of Syria mimicing Americans as such a terrible thing. I was wondering when talking about the dreaded mimicing of American society, do you also decry Syrian youth who have followed in the Americans steps by establishing their own blogs? Just wondering.

    By Anonymous Antonio, at 31/1/06 7:00 PM  

  • I live in Boston. I enjoy eating food (yes, fast food too) from all nations and nationalities. Indian, Thai, Russian. We have fast food Indian restaurants here. America is a diverse country now of so many nationalities. My surrounding city is actually a majority of asians (70,000 in a city of 100,000). It's just ridiculous to map a restaurant chain to political ideaoligies.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 7:57 PM  

  • China hates America but loves KFC. Yall been brainwashed.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 8:00 PM  

  • I live in California, where we have KFC franchises too, but most of us don't want to eat there.

    My opinion is that we need to seperate what are seen as symbols of imperialism from what actually is imperialism. After all, KFC never bombed Baghdad. To us here in America, KFC is just another annoying and poor quality food restaurant. I'm sure your national dishes are far better.

    My mother was recently in Damascus, and she found the people very warm and hospitable. Hopefully people in Syria will come to understand the American people--despite the failings of our government.

    By Blogger marin_explorer, at 31/1/06 8:14 PM  

  • I agree with Dave, and I also enjoy all kinds of foods (even an occasional fast-food entre!) "Love it or leave it" is what we say here - many of us do that is, because we have choice. Hating the USA is like hating yourself, but no one expects you to like everything abour yourself either...

    Cheer from Boston, MA - USA!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 8:17 PM  

  • The reason why those countries will never go to war with the U.S. is that the food from those places will make you too fat to fight!

    I guess you've been getting visitors from the Yahoo article..It really is amazing that people can communicate this way now. I think Syria could become the next major tourist destination, judging from all the photographs I have seen..

    Good luck in this small way of changing the world...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 8:20 PM  

  • First time viewer. I simply thought it was good that you have another choice in you life. Whether to eat there. or work there, or simply to ignore it.

    I would hope that more choice would be of advantage to us all. Restricting choice is becoming all too popular, with someone else wanting to impose their view or belief on you. In many ways, we all live in a less free society than than we think we do.

    It may provide greater stability, but at the cost of individual liberty.

    By Blogger JayMagic, at 31/1/06 8:24 PM  

  • Ghalia - I love this blog. Thank you for writing it. I hope to learn more about Syria and Syrians here. I already know that all Arabs are not bomb throwing, xenophobic America haters...just as I hope you and hopefully Syrians know that all Americans are not imperialistic oil barons looking destroy Islam. I think that this KFC and the comments surrounding it are a microcosm of these mischaracterizations. A KFC is seen as America projecting its power in a historic and proud country like Syria, which some may find offensive. Protecting your culture is important...understood. But to quote Freud, "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar". This KFC, as most of American business is really just an attempt to make money by an entrepreneur, just as the local Syrian Restaurant here in Denver, CO, USA is seen as the same. I would hope that Syrians would not judge American culture based on a KFC...that would be horrible!!! Bottom line, if you don't like KFC (as I do not), base it on the product, not just because its American. I didn't boycott Arab business or stop enjoying Chicken Shawarma because of 9/11, Iraq, or Afghanistan. You may disagree with American politics from time to time (many do) but please do not condemn Americans or the American culture just for being tied to poor policy decisions...thats just as guilty as if I were to condemn all Syrians because of the Lebanon issue.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 8:28 PM  

  • Great blog! I, too, saw the URL in an article on an American web page (do web pages, in fact, have nationalities anymore?) I looked for this picture and discussion specifically because of the caption. Although there is a great deal here I would love to comment on, I will not. Thomas Friedman, the New York Times editorialist, first advanced the theory that country's with McDonald's don't fight each other. It is a spin on the liberal international relations theory that two democracies will never go to war, which stems from the fact that no two democracies ever have gone to war (with each other). This is part of the Bush administration's Neoconservative approach to foreign policy and international relations (along with a healthy dose of Wilsonian idealism!) --Sorry, that may be esoteric, Wilson was a US President during and after WWI who is largely credited with founding the League of Nations, the precursor to today's UN. And who thought the role of American power should be spreading democracy. The "no two countries with McDonald's will go to war" theory is an analogy for the fact that no two politically democratic and economically capitalist countries will fight. Maybe, maybe not, but the former Czechoslovakia had a McDonald's and the US bombed that country in the late 1990s.

    By Blogger Jim, at 31/1/06 8:53 PM  

  • You don't need a KFC. You need a Starbucks. We have them in America on every corner. Sometimes two to a corner.

    I agree with the majority - shawarma & falafel beat store-bought chicken any day.

    By Blogger Derek, at 31/1/06 9:01 PM  

  • As an American, I just want to say we are all human beings, and we all share the same dreams and goals of having a home, a job, a decent mode of transportation, etc., etc. The only difference between our hungry children and Syria's hungry children is the borders between them. The issue isn't, or shouldn't be about the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant or the "Americanization" of Syria, but what is going to be done to feed the hungry, not just in Syria or in America, but around the world.
    Peace in 2006 :)
    Texas USA

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 9:20 PM  

  • I'm an American and just wanted to make a couple of comments here. Seems like a lot of good discussion going on
    1) Perception is a two way street - just as Syrians, Iraqi's, Iranian's, etc. don't like being portrayed as all terrorist, so too westerners don't appreciate being portrayed as "greedy" and the "great satan"
    2) speaking of "greedy" - It's no accident that the west is THE economic powerhouse of the world - with the world's highest standard of living. Capatalism and free market economies foster mutually beneficial cooperation. Study "game theory" to see why - for example "Non Zero" by Robert Wright. I race cars and when somebody else is winning you look at what they're doing to see what they've got figured out so you can do it too. And yes, you have to watch for cheating too.
    3) "America has never gone to war with a country with a McDonalds" Duh - when two countries have mutual business interests, war is counter productive to those interests. Why do you think Russia and China are always against sanctions against some of the "bad apple" governments? Ideology? I think not - it's business interests they have.
    4) The west is portrayed as greedy theives. Do you think it is better business to steal from you once or to have you wealthy so that you can buy more of our stuff - or crappy KFC.
    5) KFC is crap and so is McDonalds. I'll take shawarma and falafel any day.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 9:36 PM  

  • Hi. I'm an American. I think the world is all screwed up and I don't like it. On behalf of America I apologize for my nations evil doings.
    I wish we could all become friends and eat some delicious KFC hot wings together!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 9:44 PM  

  • Hey, don't apologize for America. We're not the bad guys. Whenever bad things happen, like tsunamis and earthquakes and such, who is first on the scene to help? And for the record, if America hates Muslims so much why was America THE country to lead the mission to save the Muslims in that whole Bosnia/Serbia mess when no one else wanted to? And if we hate Palestinians then why is there even the existence of economic aid to the Palestinians to be questioned now with Hamas' win? For whatever mistakes have been made there is a whole lot of aid and contribution to the world by America that goes unrecognized. I'll hold my apologies until we get more gratitude for the good we have done.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 10:14 PM  

  • Hello all,

    I, too, am an American that probably would never have come across this blog without having been introduced through the article on Yahoo. It boggles the mind: fifteen or twenty years ago, this type of direct communication between "average citizens" of countries on opposite sides of the world would have been unimaginable!

    You're right: the media tends to report on national-level governmental concerns (such as border conflicts and political ideologies), but that is only a tiny piece of the whole picture, regardless of the country you're talking about! Blogs like this allow us "normal people" to communicate directly with each other about more everyday concerns. There is a Chinese saying that goes, "Governments are not the people." Please keep in mind that nearly half of all voting Americans did not vote for the current president, and are horrified at the way he interacts with other countries.

    This is getting long, but I wanted to relate one more thing. In the 1990s, I lived in Japan for two years. One day while I was in a Tokyo laundromat, I struck up a conversation with an 85 year old Japanese woman. She was reminiscing about travelling to the US with her family as a child, and then noted, "Of course, that was before the war. I wasn't able to visit again until the 1950s." This hit me like a lightning bolt--this woman, in the span of a human life, had experienced good relations between Japan and the U.S.; a world war between them; and finally, renewed friendship.

    Politics and ideologies change over time; people, for the most part, are people everywhere.


    P.S. I love fried chicken, but think the way KFC makes it is disgusting.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31/1/06 10:15 PM  

  • Yes, please don't apologize on behalf of America... I don't want you to speak for me-period. That's my right, remember? Evil doesn't have boundaries- evil is everywhere- quit attaching it solely to the U.S.A. If you think it is so evil here, then why don't you go and move to a lesser evil place, say... Iran.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/2/06 12:58 AM  

  • Not all Americans like KFC or fast food. Personally I avoid them unless I am absolutely starving and must eat. I wish someone would open a fast -food falafel place though! Thanks for your excellent blog too.

    Steve Haweeli

    By Anonymous Steve Haweeli, at 1/2/06 1:33 AM  

  • Sorry the North American giant has come to roost, hopefully it won't last and your children won't be working for mininium wage.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/2/06 2:21 AM  

  • Minimum wage? I case you missed it in the Yahoo article that probably led you here like a lot of us here, a lot of Syrians don't make much more than $80 a month! I think they would love to make America's minimum wage. Last time I checked it was far more than $80 a month.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/2/06 4:08 AM  

  • Unfortunately many people in the world see U.S. Americans through the eyes of the news media, or worse through advertizing or worse yet through the entertainment industry. So they don't really know what the heart of America is like. Also many Americans, including me, don't know much about the rest of the world. So blogging is good.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/2/06 5:39 AM  

  • I have lived in the USA all of my life (64 years) and have seen how the family does not eat at home as a family, but eat alone at the local fast food joint. That is why so many Americans are so fat. Being overweight makes you dumb.
    Watch out, they are now after you.
    Stay with shawarma and falafel and stay healthy and smart.

    Peace and no war,

    William Estay

    By Anonymous William Estay, at 1/2/06 6:32 AM  

  • Obviously the chicken at KFC is pretty good, or it wouldn't be so prolific around the world! I know Falafel House and Shawarma Hut are a close second, but they don't have those restaraunts in Russia or South America. Embrace the chicken and DEMOCRACY. Soon you will have your own fast food restaurant and you can emport your cuisine here, to the US. We welcome you with open arms and mouths.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/2/06 8:23 AM  

  • It seems to me the thing to do is to:

    1) stop propping up police states like Saudi Arabia,

    2) withdraw support for Israel until they stop keeping the Palestinians in Nazi-style ghettos,

    3) stop insisting that the countries of the Middle East become democracies (or face the consequences)

    4) spend more money on alternative energy sources so we're not so dependent on the Middle East for oil

    If we can do these things, as well as to help alleviate some of the poverty & joblessness in the Middle East, I believe a lot of the problems we (and they) are having will evaporate

    By Blogger Derek, at 1/2/06 5:39 PM  

  • You are so right that improving the quality of life in the Middle East will bring peace, but you are also so wrong about democracy. If you look at all countries in the world as experiments in government, the inescapable conclusion is that democracy is the key to the highest quality of life measured in terms of personal wealth, personal freedoms (freedoms of speech, religion, pursuit of happiness and all of that), and security and safety. The countries with the highest quality of life in the worlkd are, without exception, democracies. That is not to say democracy is a guarantee to quality of life. Just look at some central and south American "democracies". But the point is that without democracy, you simply cannot have world class quality of life. Many people fear democracy as destroying culture, but democracy knows no culture - it is not about culture. In fact if anything, democracy is pro-culture. The singular greatest fear I have for the Middle East is that they have not yet learned the importance of sepparation of church/mosque and state. Again, the leading nations of the world are secular governemts. This is not to say that the people of those countries are not very religious, in fact many are very religious and from many differing faiths. America is protrayed as a "Christian" nation in the Middle East but that just illustrates that it is not understood that many Americans are Christians (as well as many other religions) but Christianity is not a state religion. People are completely free to be what ever religion or sect they choose. Religion based governments simply cannot bring peace. Look at Christians versus Protestants in Ireland. Shiites and Sunnis seemingly cannot agree on anything without comming to blows either. How can there possibly be an "Islamic state"? Which interpretation of Islam gets to rule? What happens to the other sects? I don't know if there is a corresponding theme in Islam, but in Christianity it is said "give to God what is God's and give to Ceasar what is Ceasar's" or something to that effect. If I could convey two messages to the Middle East - that is that democracy is the key to a better life and that government is of man, by man, for man and should not be confused with the rule of God.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/2/06 8:02 PM  

  • It sounds like a lot of you are forgetting, the Middle East does not have a choice on what religion they can practice. There is NO democracy! They are born into the same government and religion they have had for 2000 years.

    Now you want to improve their standard of living? So has every other country for hundreds of years. The Turks, Germans, Russians, British and French have all lost many lives trying to better the lives of those in the area. Change does NOT come easy to those whose religious beliefs discourage and prohibit change. The very nature of our Western beliefs challenge the very existence of Islam. When the West is no longer dependant on foreign oil, as seems to be the plan, the Middle East will no longer be a focus of attention any more than Somalia or Congo. Look at how much the standard of living was increased in those countries? Why would you ever complain about how bad the chicken is when so many in that area are starving???

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/2/06 8:23 PM  

  • Oops, clarification: I meant to refer to CATHOLICs and Protestants in Ireland.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/2/06 8:28 PM  

  • I think you have miscontrued my comment. I didn't say democracy = bad. I said let's not show the world how great democracy is by trying to force it on others.

    Anyway, democratic countries do have a higher standard of living, etc.

    I just think it's great we can all communicate freely like this. Maybe such communication itself will lead to change in oppressive countries.

    By Blogger Derek, at 1/2/06 8:31 PM  

  • These comments below are both funny and sad at the same time, there is obviously ignorance everywhere, maybe through blogs like this people everywhere can become more knowledgeable.

    "Ghalia - It isn’t a matter of detachment and more isolation, the problem we are facing that modernity is measured now due to American standards! Most of Syrian young are trying to be American, even imitating them blindly, taking them to the heart!
    Well, it is a fact now that we are receiving the American modern culture (more than ever now), but we should not deny our culture and our beliefs.
    We are so weak for example to open a Syrian restaurants chain like “La Noisette” in USA and other parts of the world, but it would be a nice dream! "

    I think many people around the world simply don't understand what America is and how it was founded. America was founded to allow both religious freedoms, and cultural freedoms.

    Culture is definately not lost in the US, you can drive around in any large US cities and see many cultures everywhere, from buildings (architecture), food, languages, etc. I'm a proud american, yet I understand my culture very well, being of Spanish decent. Here in New Mexico, there are many cultures and with that many have blended over the years. There are native Indians, Mexicans, Spanish, White, Black, Oriental, Mid Eastern, etc.. It's a melting pot, and everyone is free and usually encouraged to express their cultures and beliefs.

    KFC is simply another fast food chain, there is no evil about them, that's just capitalism in action. Restaurant chains are a great thing for the economies of towns, they employ many people and give the masses options of foods to eat. Either you like the offered service or you don't, if you don't then don't support it by purchasing it's product, pretty simple huh. I see many people on this blog speaking highly of shawarma or falafel, maybe these restaurant owners should study KFC and other large restaurant chains and make these dishes available by expanding their product in muliple restaurants. If they could succeed in a chain like McDonalds or KFC, it would make a huge difference for the Syrian economy being Syrian owned.

    More ignorance
    "Amr-Faham: someday I'm going to smash this place, I don't want this globalization simbol to enter my country.
    I passed nearby today, I felt so angry, people here are so silly, they like to feel they're westerns by going to these places. "

    Globalization symbol? How does someone act like a westerner? Your a hypocrite, do you use a telephone, computers, light-bulbs, a vehicle, dang it you're acting like a westerner stop it. Inventions are a good thing, and they enhance life, who cares if a Euro, American, Canadian, Frenchie, Egyptian, Chinese, or a Syrian was the person to invent it. Good ideas should be embraced and utilized.

    "ALso, I will take Syrian rather than American culture any day of the week.

    Steliano Ponticos"

    That's great and that's your perogative, but again you have no clue what "American Culture" is. That's what makes America great, there are multiple cultures. My culture in Albuquerque is completely different then the culture of Los Angeles, New York, or Chicago. Even in those individual cities there are mutiple cultures in different neighborhoods. In fact, i'd bet you could find Syrian Culture in all of those large cities.

    If any of you have ever heard the phrase "Living the American Dream", that is universal to every american being that we have the ability to do anything we want as long as we are willing to put the work and dedication into doing it, the democracy allows us those freedoms. Theocracy's, Socialist, and many other non-democratic countries take that freedom away of living your dream. Americans simply wish all humans to have that opportunity.

    Albuquerque, New Mexico - USA

    By Blogger NMSportster, at 2/2/06 1:15 AM  

  • "Americans simply wish all humans to have that opportunity."
    This is so true yet so misunderstood by so many. People talk about America attempting to force democracy on others. To me this seems an oxymoron - how do you force someone to be free and have control over their life? As was stated elsewhere in this blog, "democracies don't go to war with democracies". It is an oversimplification, but if every government in the world was a democracy then there would be no one going to war. There is a lot more underlying study in philosophy, humanity, and sociology (all of the aspects of freedom, qualitity of life, culture, etc. that have already been touched upon) than can be covered in this post as to why this should be. But suffice it to say that the importance of democracy and free and open societies in acheiving world peace cannot be underestimated.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/2/06 1:39 AM  

  • As a open minded American who wasn't raised to judge others by where they are from, I would like to say that I would much rather eat the traditional syrian food than KFC any day. It's more economical and healthful.

    I would also like to add a comment about the hungry child. Where I live at in the United States there are children that are not only hungry but also homeless. I feel that this is a global issue that needs to be addressed and hopefully someday no longer an issue. No one should have to starve ever.

    Another thing to add on my part, I made friends with a very kind gentleman here who is a native of Iraq. I met this man in a university area here...I had to ask where he was from because of his accent and my own curiosity. He was very quick to tell me that I wouldn't like him if he told me where he was from. I told him that just because your nation's leader is doing one thing, it doesn't always reflect what you are doing. This is when he opened up to tell me where he was from.

    The middle east has a lot of culture to it that I think should be preserved. As an educated american, I feel that the people of teh middle eastern countries have the right to be angry at us. I am angry at my own country for doing foolish things.

    By Anonymous firecat87, at 2/2/06 5:28 AM  

  • I've eaten falafel (a favorite), gyro, sushi, and tamales all my life. Living in Los Angeles, we have many opportunities to dine on and learn about different cultures. Never have I felt they were 'trying to take over'. Don't be threatened, you can choose to eat there or not....but this is hardly world domination.
    p.s.- I'd love to have some of the fast food chains mentioned here opened in the U.S. They must be good to provoke such passion!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/2/06 11:05 PM  

  • erzpigWhy does the Middle East fear fried chicken? You can just ask for potatoes if you like, you DON'T need to eat chicken. I don't think the chicken from your part of the world is the same as chicken is here. Maybe you should ask KFC to serve squab? They seem to be more healthy out there.

    Bird Flu can't be transmitted by ingestion. In fact, it is much safer if it is fried, killing off the virus in boiling coconut oil.

    Please don't fear the chicken. The chicken loves you no matter what country you are from.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/2/06 11:28 PM  

  • Not much of a blogger, but this caught my interest. There are many views on this blog. Some closed minded, and some not. Some based on facts, some just opinion. Bottomline, none of it matters. Until the fine line between compromise and culture is found. America is made up of so many cultures that there is no way to count. That has forced us to accept change. Is it perfect, hell no. But it works. Does it make everyone happy? Never will. You can tell it works by the success of our economy and our world influence as a nation. I am a very well traveled person. I have been all Europe, the Balkans and the Middle East and can honestly say I would rather be nowhere else than where I am now. But, in saying that I have seen many things that I believe would make the U.S. a better place. Whether is was an idea or an action. In the same way, I have seen places where the U.S. effected change in an area for the better. This is the way true success will eventually be brought to the world. And with success will come peace.

    By Anonymous Reno, at 3/2/06 12:59 AM  

  • I am not really anonymous, I just didn't want to get a blogger account and immediately forget the password.
    Hi, my name is Alison.
    I am completely flabbergasted by some of the responses here. Firstly, I'll say that I live in the United States. I am not "Proud to be an American" for a couple of reasons. The first one is that I just happened to be born here. It doesn't make a lot of sense for me to be proud to be an American if I know that if I was born in France, I'd be proud to be French, or if I was born in Syria, I would be proud to be Syrian. Pretty much people are "proud to be" wherever they happen to be. The second reason is that when people say they are proud to be an American, they don't really mean it. They mean they are proud to be a resident of the United States, since America is actually also Canada, Mexico, and all of Central and South America, too.
    I guess I'm flabbergasted because I have absolutely no opinion of Syria or its people, having never been there myself. I must be blind, because I watch the news (well, some nights) and read the paper, and have never seen a word about why I should dislike anything or anyone. Sometimes there are reporters who seem biased, but I usually KNOW that they are being biased, and don't take it to heart.
    Some of the responses I have seen are strange to me because they say things about how horrible it is that the United States is creeping into the culture, or not wanting to eat at the KFC because it represents the influence of the United States. This is very strange and different for me, because I have never boycotted anything based on who created it. Isn't there a little demonization of the United States going on in some of the responses? Pretty much what I mean is: I am me. A country, any country, could invade the United States tomorrow, and I would still be me. Sad things would probably happen, but sad things happen everywhere. People kill their own countrymen, not just people from other countries. There has never, ever been a group of people I hated because of the actions of a portion of that group. Ever. I don't think there ever will be, and the idea that people really think that way is just crazy to me.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/2/06 8:59 AM  

  • Allison,
    You sound like an incredible woman! Are you married????

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/2/06 10:47 PM  

  • Frederick,

    No, I'm not married, but it may be a little bit early in our relationship for an engagement. :)

    I also think it's entirely possible that I just have a very childish way of looking at things. I mean, nearly everyone I know has strong political beliefs. I don't mean moral political beliefs, like a sense of right and wrong, and designing a government that adheres to those standards. I mean that they have bumper stickers professing their love for whatever political leader they are into. And I never got that either. The world, unfortunately, is not divided into good people and bad people, so to make a decision to support someone no matter what never made sense to me. When there is a war, there will be good people and bad people on both sides. Politicians will do both right things and wrong things. And to stand behind anyone because of a summary of what they intend to do is nonsense. Demonizing and glorifying are not the answers.

    At least not to me. Like I said, I may just have a childish way of looking at things.

    -- Alison

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/2/06 5:52 AM  

  • Alison, clever sense of humor there. Although, understand I didn't say I was proud to be an American, I said I was a proud American. Also, it's pretty universally accepted that people from the USA are referred to as Americans, and nearly all of the other courntries in the Americas are referred to as their countries names, ie: Canadians, Mexicans, Guatamalens, Brazilians, Chileans, Panamanians, etc, etc, etc.

    Also, pretty impressive that you were able to make someone fall in love after only one post LOL. I guess that's a good picture of why so many "Americans" divorce so quickly huh :)? After all, he could have at least waited til your second or third post before he offered his hand err heart err whatever. Dang, sorry, i'm making this blog a mockery after this post, sorry bout that Ghalia.

    By Blogger NMSportster, at 4/2/06 10:29 AM  

  • nmsportster,

    You're being a little paranoid there. I actually wasn't referring to you when I said I wasn't "Proud to be an American". I was just using terminology that is frequently used "in America". The second part, where I said they don't mean America really, was a reference to people saying things like "in America we do this, in America we have this, or don't do that". I was thinking that maybe this had shades of "American" egocentricity.

    There is no reason to play down what I have to say as though I'm stupid. I'm not stupid. I did not write my post intending for anyone to write back and ask if I was married, nor have I ever been married. So I'm not contributing to the divorce rate, either.

    I do not understand why you responded in such a combative manner to a post that didn't have anything in it to be combative about. If you read it as though I was insulting you, I'm sorry, I wasn't. Your post did not even stick out in my mind.

    I know that the typed word is different from the spoken word in that you can't always tell someone's exact meaning, and I'm glad that we could use this opportunity to clear it up.

    Hope to type again,


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/2/06 7:33 AM  

  • Hey guys,

    the so called McDonald theory is based on the observation that countris with economic ties don't go to war with each other. so far it has proven to be true.

    By Anonymous illyrianboy, at 5/2/06 9:21 AM  

  • Allison: Go back to pre-school. It's time for your milk break.

    Fool. Get your head out of the sand and grow up.

    Life outside the USA is NOT a bowl of cherries and people are actually POOR outside of the USA compared to Americans.

    Also, if you feel the need to differentiate yourself as a person from teh United States of America, instead of an American, you have a long was to go to change the entire world to the way you want to be called. Every country around teh world calls USA'ers Americans. Get of the farm once and a while, will ya?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/2/06 10:55 PM  

  • There are no poor people in the US?
    I think hurricane Katryna showed us the reality.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/2/06 7:26 AM  

  • Alison,
    It's all good, I wasn't trying to be combative, in fact I thought your post was good that's why I responded to begin with. Actually I was trying to be funny, I guess that failed. You are right though, funny and sarcasm just don't come out right when typing it. Oh well in any event I apologize if you were offended.

    By Blogger NMSportster, at 7/2/06 8:54 AM  

  • I didn't know kfc could stir up so many emotions. This was good. Personally I do not like kfc chicken. I would take my grandmother's or my mother's fried chicken any day of the week. I am not going to add much to this for I think everybody pretty much stated very good arguments on both sides. One thing that did stick out to me was Alison saying she looked at things in a childish way. I don't think that is wrong. Being in my 50's when I was honored to raise two small grandkids for a few years, I am not to sure that they didn't teach me more than what I tried to teach them. They knew that there were bad in people but yet they were quick to point out the good in people. They preferred to believe in people. Maybe we could learn from looking through a childs eyes. Just a thought.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/2/06 1:27 PM  

  • one anonymous poster said "how can you proud to be an american?" its easy, i was born here, its what i am, so i might as well be proud of it. ask anyone from syria if they are proud to be syrian, or ask someone from canada, or india, i bet they are proud of who they are. hell, i am left handed and proud of that too! hey, i know bush is an idiot... but its called democracy. you dont always like who get into the office. but he is limited to two terms, (thanks to democracy).
    by the way, KFC should only be eaten in moderation, too much of that shit is nasty! besides, chipotle is better.

    By Blogger ohioguy, at 22/2/06 4:21 AM  

  • Broasted with Battata...Mmmm.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 27/2/06 12:43 AM  

  • Amazing pic, it says it all!

    By Anonymous yazan, at 23/3/06 11:30 AM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 20/10/06 5:21 AM  

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