Sunday, February 8, 2009

Conversations with Zeyad

I introduced Zeyad before in a previous post. He is from Syria and he's my crew chief for jobs in the Buhasa oilfield. I'm technically his boss, but he's old enough to by my father... So we work together.

We were eating dinner one night, and out of no where he asked me "Guess where the first sky scraper in history was?"

Me: "Hmm... I’m gunna have say somewhere in Syria."

Zeyad: "No."

Me: "Baghdad? Or Mesopotamia"

Zeyad: "No"

Me: "hmm… Beirut?"

Zeyad: "No. Give up?"

Me: "Yeah"

Zeyad: "In Syria."

Me: "What!? That was my first guess!"

Zeyad: "Oh Really?? Well when you say it, American Devil, its wrong. When I say it, its right."


Zeyad: "Also, the correct answer was Yemen."

He continued, "We'd have more skyscrapers too, but every time we build one you Americans keep bombing and knocking it down!

Me: "Well if we ever build a bomb that builds rather than destroys, we’ll drop those on you instead. You’ll be saying 'Damn! America just dropped a 50 story tower in Damascus!'”

Zeyad: "Fantastic, you have a deal."


We had a magazine with a picture that appeared to be a large Bush family gathering.

Zeyad: That boy looks looks just like George. I suppose he’ll be your 3rd George Bush President.

Me: George Bush Jr. doesn’t have a son, only daughters.

Zeyad: Hamdullah (In Arabic it means: Thank God).

We all have our names written on our Coveralls. When I first started working with him, I asked him if he could do something for me. He asked me, “what does this say?” and pointed to his name. I read it out loud, “Zeyad F”.

“That’s right, and it stands for Zeyad the modda-fucka. I can do anything. And don’t you forget about it”

Now, anytime I ask him if somethings possible, he just taps his name on his coveralls and doesn't say a word.


Zeyad: I really like your pen, it writes very well.
Me: Me too.
Zeyad: You know, in our culture when someone tells you they like something you should offer it to him.
Me: Oh sorry. Would you like my pen?
Zeyad: No, no. I couldn’t take your pen.
Me: Well then why the hell did you make me offer it to you?
Zeyad: Its courteous.
Me: Oh, ok... Hey, by the way, I really like your car.
Zeyad: Thanks. Me too, American Devil.

In December, 5 US gunships crossed the Iraqi border into Syria and killed a Syrian family. I was unaware of this as I met Zeyad the following morning.

He shook my hand and pulled me down to sit next to him. He said “I’m mad at your for two things. First, you broke my chair. And you didn’t fix it. Second, why the fuck did you kill my people yesterday!!”

Me: Why was that not the first complaint??

(If you never read my previous post, he blames me personally for all the screwed up foreign policies America has)