Culture Magazine

Mohammed and Me

By Sedulia @Sedulia

Dominiqueb-flickr"No lait frais?" I must have made a face. I don't like the boxed UHT milk that most French people still seem to prefer, and I drink fresh milk with my coffee every morning. 

Mohammed, the store owner, looked up from his cash register and said, "Oh, there's none left?"

I shook my head. "Never mind," I said, "I'll just get it later."

"Amid!" Mohammed called, and his younger brother appeared from the spiral steps down to the basement storage room. "Va chercher deux bouteilles de lait frais chez Hassan." Amid disappeared down the street to the other little grocery store run by Moroccans in the neighborhood.

A few minutes later he arrived, smiling, and put the milk on the counter in front of me. "Voilà, madame!"

I think of these guys when American friends and relatives send me scary videos about how Muslim extremists are taking over Europe. Muslim does not mean extremist, guys. Extremists exist, yes, but there are a lot more people like Mohammed and Amid and Hassan. At least in France, insha'allah!

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