A fictional meeting between Hosni Mubarak and Geroge W. Bush.
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“George showed me a manuscript of his rejected 'Finnish Cuisine in the 16th Century'. It was the result of a conversation preceded by the ultimate act of swallowing Laura’s exquisite peanut butter & banana sandwich. Naturally, I’ve requested my sandwich to be bacon-free.
‘Monkeys must have their own gourmets when it comes to musaceous dainties’ he said, only a minute before heading to his study to get me one of his many copies. He told me I was the third head of state after Hugo Chavez and Yoweri Museveni to have received a copy of his text. He gave one to Yoweri because he was an African, as was I. He told me he had already known that Uganda was the foremost African exporter of banana. He handed Chavez a copy mistaking Venezuela for Colombia (or Ecuador). He’d realized he made a mistake in Air Force One. Dick told him. However, he acknowledged that there was no cause of embarrassment at all, for Chavez was an intellectual and never questioned the “type” of any text he’d ever read. He realized that Hugo was an intellectual years later when he handed Obama a copy of Open Veins of Latin America. Neither George nor I have read the book.
The visit was not announced, of course, because of tedious reasons. It was quick and nightly. During his incumbency he visited both Colombia and Ecuador but never introduced his writings.
His English was profoundly flawed; more than mine. However, I had to look up the word ‘musaceous’ when I came home. Thankfully, I hadn’t known what it meant back then. Had I known, I would’ve argued that monkeys don’t eat plantains. I would’ve also mentioned that the Arabic name for plantains is “The Lamb’s Tongue”, which would’ve been a fatal mistake. He would’ve gone on and on about the Lamb of God.
He did, briefly. When I asked why he’d write about bananas, he said he’d lead a most charming life, trying to transcend his reckless youth with the Lord by his side.
‘George, your intellectual prowess shouldn’t be overlooked’, I protested, ‘you must publish all of your treatises. Get a ghost writer. Everybody has one’.
‘Moby…’ he serenely replied, looking through the pigeon-excrement-covered pane of his country homestead, sipping his cucumber juice, ‘Transcendence! It’s all about transcendence, Moby … when as a child you realize for the first time what’s the difference between lightning and thunder … when you fall in love with your bodily fluids, your nasal hair and your dandruff .. only then, you come a long way to embrace the insignificance of fame … how the glories of our deepest expeditions amount to nothing when faced with this delicious aroma of transience; a transience on whose incidence we will never mourn, for it is a change, and change is a part of who we are. It MUST be. That’s why the Lord has confined in me the onus of liberating Mesopotamia.’ Then he faced me, ‘By your side, my friend, we shall make the world a better place’
Somewhere above the Egyptian Mediterranean, on my way home, I was assured that George was not only the man to pull this through, but also a man – to my amazement – capable of topping the list of all the politicians who have visited my beloved Egypt. I was already thinking of our conversation when he would arrive for the first time in Cairo, to tackle the issue of our dear Palestineans.”
- Hosni Mubarak on George W. Bush. An excerpt from his unpublished book “The Egyptian Connection”.
Translated into English by George W. Bush. (Also unpublished).