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Writing here from Amman, Jordan where violent clashes over modernity are a bit too close to home, I missed the backpacks entirely, but from an overexposure to the "normalcy" of it here in Amman. I drive by Chili's, KFC, and Mickey D's everyday on my way to work at an international school. Here the streets are filled with young Muslim's wearing American pop culture backpacks, tee shirts, designer shoes and purses along with their head scarves and will do their prayers right there on the road side. The thing that strikes me as odd and why I'm commenting is that I don't find these things to be normal or comforting. I cringe at the thought of one of these sweet Muslim girls "twerking" for her friends in private, even for a laugh.
I grew up in Accra, Ghana in the early 80's only to return in the late 90's to find an exponentially growing demographic of seemingly East/West Coast Gangster African youth that have since put Ghana's crime rates through the roof. What once was a majority of fun loving and astoundingly hospitable people were starting to believe that they needed to be angry, violent and degrade women in order to be like their cool brothers on TV in the west.
I'm no conservative fundy, but I'm quite concerned that my girls are going to have a similar experience when they grow up. Will they're experience of honorable and hospitable Muslim's turn into one of grief for a culture so rich and thrilling that got traded for something kitsch. Will these countries wake up like Iceland did to find out that they desperately desired to recover their cultural identity?
I'm probably being a bit over dramatic and a bit of a kill-joy purist, but I sure do miss the Africa I knew without Snoop Dogg.