July 24, 2006

The Struggle

With all the difficulties going on in the world today, I thought it was time to be a bit nostalgic.

In October 2001, with tensions still high after the attacks in New York and Washington a month earlier, I was riding on Bus 97 towards Bayshore with one of my closest friends. We were both wearing Saudi "thobes" on the bus, and were likely under suspicion already. Regardless, I was in a good mood, and things were soon to become brighter.

While still in downtown, a familiar face walked on to the bus. At first, I didn't recognize him, but then I recalled him as one of my close friends in my CEGEP days; I hadn't seen him in at least two years, and seeing him in Ottawa after knowing him only in Montreal was quite a strange coincidence. His name was Jihad, he was of Lebanese origin. Jihad is a common name meaning "struggle", but is often misinterpreted as an evil word in the traditional Western lexicon.

So when I realized who it was, I burst with enthusiasm, jumped out of my seat, and yelled out on the crowded bus, “JIHAD!!!

It wasn't until the next day that I realized that I must have freaked out dozens of terrified passengers with an open declaration of holy war.


  1. That's hilarious. Now that I think about it, what a name Jihad is!

    "Hi, I'm Bob, and you are..?"
    "I am Jihad."

    Awkward situation - which reminds me of Mrs. Doubtfire when Robin Williams calls his ex-wife and is like "I am job." Okay, I'll stop now.

  2. Hilarious! It's like a movie scene!

    Who knows? There might be people bragging to their kids/grandchildren how they came that close to Jihadis (aka Godzilla) and lived to tell the tale!


  3. lol

    Faraz, that's a really funny story.

    You probably scared the heck out of a lot of people.


  4. Ameera: Yes, those poor passengers were lucky I "spared" them, so they can live to tell the tale for generations to come!

    Charlie: Yep, that ranks as one of my top university stories. Maybe I'll make these types of stories a recurring feature of Irrelevant Opinions. "Chronicles of Academia", maybe. My university years were a lot of fun, with so many great stories to tell.