Month: November 2016

Orientalist Shit People Say – Part 1


Brother : Yeah. What I do in 3 hours they [native Armenians] do in a week.

Sister : You bet. They’re so lazy!

-A British Armenian man who had recently settled in Yerevan and his visiting sister


When I came [to Cairo] it was very different from what I thought because I had gone through a 19th century book expecting as such – so it was a disappointment; a lot of people, very crowded and traffic…not so poetic.

– Dutch diplomat and Orientalist Paul Marcel Kurpershoek,


Je connais bien le monde musulman. Je suis allé au Caire, à Alger, il y a quarante ou cinquante ans.

– Jean-Pierre Chevènement:


I wanna walk where Jesus walked.

– Kim Kardashian on the balcony of her Jerusalem hotel


I love history! But not so much the Romans. I prefer violent stuff. Like the Egyptians.

– A  waiter


I don’t like Egypt in general. I only like places where Greeks used to live.

– A University Professor who works on ancient Egypt


Not really. There is no real need for me to go.

– A University Professor who works on ancient Egypt yet has never been there, on whether he would like to visit the country one day


They [the Egyptians] want to build a nuclear power plant?! Forget it : They can’t even build a window that closes properly ! »

– A European scholar who lives in Cairo


I deeply hate Egypt and detest its people […] As long as they [Egyptian scholars] remain Muslim, things won’t change. For islam is the enemy of thought.

– A senior, European academic who works on ancient Egypt


Do they have cows in Egypt ?

– A Ph.D. student in Classics


See, we in the West are the ones who send our people and expertise in these countries to uncover their past.

– A waiter, reacting to his own negative assessment of Zahi Hawass


La Perse est la puissance jeune, pleine de sève, mais sur un autre continent rayonne encore un vieux pays, la terre des plus lointaines civilisations, des arts et des premières sciences, l’Égypte. C’est la nation pétrie de culture qui représente pour un Grec ce que pourrait paraître la France à un Canadien d’aujourd’hui.

– Philippe Sellier, intro to L’Orient barbare, 1966.

Pssst: You’ve heard or read some Orientalist gems lately? Feel free to send them our way! (via our contact page)