(note that the picture above is of a checkout girl in Michigan, USA)
"Look at the size of these olives," says the stay-at-home mother of three
and native of Yemen. Hamad, 34, has shopped at Wal-Mart before, but never one
like this. She is overcome with nostalgia as she spots Nido powdered milk and Al
Haloub Cow, canned meat she calls the "Arabic Spam." "My father loves this," she
says. "People from war-torn countries, this is what you lived on when you
couldn't go out of the house to shop." This Wal-Mart, though, isn't in a war
zone. It's in Dearborn, Mich., home to nearly a
half-million Arab-Americans, the largest concentration of Arabs
outside the Middle East.
As America changes, so does the store where America shops. In Dearborn this
week, the world's largest retailer opens a store like no other among its 3,500
U.S. outlets. Walk through the front door of the
200,000-square-foot supercenter and instead of rows of checkout counters, you
find a scene akin to a farmers market in Beirut. Twenty-two tables are stacked
high with fresh produce like kusa and batenjan, squash and eggplant used in
Middle Eastern dishes. Rimming the produce department are shelves filled with
Arab favorites like mango juice from Egypt and vine leaves from Turkey used to
make mehshi, or stuffed grape leaves. A walled-off section of the butcher case
is devoted to Halal meats, slaughtered in accordance with Islamic
law (when a Wal-Mart manager noticed the pork section
was too prominent he ordered it moved, since Muslims don't eat
pork). In the freezer case, you'll find frozen falafel. You can
also pick up a CD from Lebanese pop singer Ragheb Alama or buy Muslim greeting
Wal-Mart's Arab-American emporium provides a preview of the retail giant's
latest strategy to boost business as it reaches the saturation point in its
American expansion. Over the past two years, Wal-Mart has tested its "store of the community": it has stocked
stores in Chicago and Atlanta with products aimed at African-Americans and set
up a hitching post at an Ohio store near a large Amish
Millions of illegals, every year.
Millions of legals, every year.
Millions of reugees, every year.
The largest mass movement of people in Human history, and 99% of it is being forced upon Western Peoples who, collectively make up no more than 13% of the population of the World.
At this point even The Camp of the Saints seems optomistic...