Friday, April 07, 2006

Edgware Road - Refuge of the Damned!

If you're a Muslim and you live in and around London, the likelihood is that you would have had the unfortunate pleasure of visiting the morally bankrupt cesspool of sleaze and corruption that is Edgware road. For the uninitiated, Edgware road (well, part of it anyway) is a place where young hip/cool Muslims hang out, smoke sheesha, chew khat and eat outrageously priced, sub par chicken shwarmas, served by rude arrogant Arab bus-boys who believe that their job title as "Head Waiter" gives them some sort of intellectual and/or moral authority over you.

It started of as a place popular for rich, lonely Arabs from abroad, who would bring their white girlfriends to ridiculously overpriced restaurants and show her off to their fellow pervert friends, while, of course, hitting on any remotely good looking girl who happened to walk in. Causing a scene in the process and eventually being thrown out by an overzealous, pissed off "Head Waiter". E-Road (as it is referred to by regulars) soon became popular with Pakistani's, and, more recently, P-Diddy clones (aka Somalis).

Over time, something quite remarkable happened. The non-Arabs had slowly begun (for want of a better word) to metamorphosise into Arabs - This spread of Arab culture amongst non-Arabs was nothing short of astonishing. Pakistani's were using words like "yalla", "akhi" and "habibi" in their regular conversations. The tea towel scarf was now being worn with the shalwar kameez...the song "habibi dah" was on everyone’s' play list... men fantasized about one day marrying a fair skinned Arab girl and made plans on how they would take up residence in Dubai once they graduate.

The trend continues today, and has gotten to the stage where many have deluded themselves into believing that they actually ARE of Arab extraction, making up some outlandish story about how his/her great-grandfather was of one eighth Syrian. Or, that their "Ahmed" surname somehow proves their Arabian heritage. Morons.

You see, normally you have to be careful when making gross generalisations about people en mass, but in this case, the generalisations are completely justified. Take, for example, the now famous E-Road rude boys. They normally hang around in groups of about 300, making the already overcrowded road an absolute chore to get around. They adorn, almost without exception, the standard chavistani attire. Hoody's, baseball caps, low riders and Persil white Adidas trainers… fake silver chains are also common. Their sole purpose (in life?) is to roam the streets looking for their female counterparts (hojabi's) who they will invariably greet with the words "whagwan sister" before proceeding to one of the multitude of classless Arab cafe's where they will practise smoking near perfect rings and indulge themselves in groundbreaking conversational topics such as"why biggie is better than tupac" or "the latest Nokia hand set which has, get this, 512mb space for MP3’s, wicked!"

But Edgware road isn’t all rude Arabs, and Pakistani chavs. You also get the more distinguished crowd. The well educated stiff upper lip types. Normally in their mid-to-late 20's, they turn up dressed like metrosexuals models and can usually be found clutching a copy of today's Financial Times. The groups are a lot smaller, not more than 4..a pot of herbal tea can always be found on their table. The topic of choice is usually work (oh yes, I went to see a client in Singapore last week...went to this fab must go) although sometimes marriage (depending on their relationship status) is discussed. For the most part, their manner is a refreshing change from the usual redneck types mentioned above. Although obnoxious at times, the elder crowd tend to be pretty decent folk.

Finally, we move on to the elderly. The 60 something Arab men who, rather than spend their precious time with grandchildren, prefer instead, to sit in a sleazy underground cafe with equally sleazy men discussing god knows what up into small hours of the morning. I’m not sure whether they are hard of hearing, but their discussion seems to be more like a shouting contest than an actual conversation. "I CAN SHOUT LOUDER THAN YOU" said one "NO YOU CANT, I CAN SHOUT LOUDER THAN YOU" said the other, using the most gutter form of Slang Arabic known to man. I actually find this particular group quite amusing, especially when they turn the local Mc D's into a social hang out reminiscent of a cafe in downtown Beirut - believe me, there is nothing, NOTHING, funnier than seeing a congregation of about 10 elderly Arab men sitting in McDonalds, eating bismillah hamburgers. You can only shudder at the thought of what the god-forsaken employees at Mc D's must go through - round the clock requests for shisha instead of milkshake, filet-o-fish running out of stock, aggressive men complaining about the lack of salt in their French fries. May god have mercy.

Yet, despite all this. Despite the idiots. Despite the atmosphere, despite the distinct lack of class shown by about, say, 80% of the regulars and about 100% of those moron waiters....I still go there, every week. Without Fail...and I'm not sure why. Am I compelled by idiots? Am I just another e-road stereotype?


  • Thankyou! We read your rant with much amusement, thinking you were a grumpy little red-neck, when it turned out you're not particularly grumpy at all!

    By Blogger Bobby, at 3:10 pm  

  • I don't remember the last time i had agreed with something 100%!

    Thanks - you've made me laugh so much.. i think a bit of pee came out!

    By Anonymous cheb, at 10:22 am  

  • true, so true, but what about the rich saudi's with their private plates and half a dozen ninjas walking behind them. i've always been unsure whether they are their wives or daughters???

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:33 am  

  • Great article!!

    By Blogger Eye Raki, at 5:29 pm  

  • yeh man, I'm extremely disturbed by pakis morphing into yani suddenly becomes Ya3ni (no no no no!!!!) i laughed myself stupid at P diddys are the tellin you watch out for somalis theyre the next big thoi thoiya thang

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:31 pm  

  • The thing with E-road is, its full of chavistani/arab/somali trash. It's become your typical hoodlum hangout.

    By Blogger TAT, at 1:28 pm  

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  • lol. nice article. i am circulating this article to my mates and don't worry your identity is safe with me.(i mean your real identity)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:11 am  

  • haha....i love the 'hojabi' tru tru!

    By Blogger london_muslimah, at 8:49 pm  

  • P diddy looks about as Somali as Chris Eubank does..(I'll leave u to work out the facial geometry) Somalis have been in E road since the beginning - it's just that more recently you get a few rude boy wannabeaz hanging around looking for their 7abiba's.

    Khat is no longer consumed in shisha cafés but is sold to the somalis & yemenis in various locations on E road, known only to yemenis,somalis and the odd saudi.

    You fail to mention the IRAQI, MOROCCAN & LEBANESE rudeboy wannabeaz who are often worse than the communties you chose to mention. Let us not forget our friends from Kurdistan.....
    Secondly, E road was established in the 70's by sudanese, followed by gulf arabs....then along came the business minded Lebanese.. and the birth of the chicken shawarma 3ala edgeware road.

    Apart from a few minor mistakes and the odd generalisation here or there - your blog made me laugh.

    Dont forget that the shisha culture has exploded all over Europe - and E road has become a hub for shisha smokers in London.. Gone are they days of taking your 7abiba out for a meal on the first date, shisha is IN!!

    By the way whats the story about smoking ban and shisha? Last I heard, shisha was considered tobacco and was subject to the ban..?

    I hope they close-down Al Shishawi.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:52 am  

  • No, you are a racist you twat

    By Blogger jenny, at 10:45 am  


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  • lol your post made me laugh! I don't get why Pakistani's, Bengali's and Indians come over to Edgeware road and completely murder the Arabic language. They said 'yani' instead of 'ya3ni' and 'akz' instead of 'akhi', I want to just put them all on a bus back to Whitechapel.

    Somali's are cool, they've been around Edgeware road for many years, I always come across Somali uncles chewing khat with the Yemeni uncles, it's a funny sight. But, the past 3 years, I keep seeing little Somali kids around 16 and 17 years old who do nothing but hang outside of McDonald's on Eid. But at least the Somalis have the same culture and language as us unlike these Asians.

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