So many countries, so many problems. Here's a quick primer on the Middle East without worrying about pesky facts!

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written by Lauren Palmigiano

Stats & Data

August 23, 2011

Even if you don’t watch the news (Bachelor Pad episodes are 2 hours long, I don’t have time to watch the news too!) you must be aware that the Middle East is a violent shit show right now. (I guess pretty much like always?) There are a lot of horrifying injustices happening which is why it’s important to pay attention and also very difficult for me to stomach. With so much going on, it’s hard to sort out. First thing I think of when I hear Middle East is…well actually their food. They have great food. I could really go for a falafal right now. After this can we all go for falafal? In the mean time, here is all you need to know* about the Middle Eastern conflicts.

*You don’t need to know any of this. In fact, a lot of it may be incorrect.


This is the big one lately. You probably know about Libya from BACK TO THE FUTURE. They were the guys who tried to kill Doc and Marty over stolen plutonium. In real life, their leader, Gadafi (there’s like 100 different spellings of his name so I pick that one) has totally been a dick for like 40 years. A good way to remember this guy is with Fred Armisen’s impression on SNL. Lately, Gadafi has been shooting at citizens and killed a ton of them for protesting him. The rebels are doing well though and I think they will win. The reason I think that? Because their chant for liberty is “It’s over frizz head.” Right on.


Home of the pyramids! Something here about their leader who’s name was Mubarak and he was being a jerk like Gadafi – the “don’t listen to me or I’ll kill you” kind of leader. Egyptians started a revolt and then the government tried to shut down Twitter. (!) I’m 80% sure that he’s not in charge anymore so that’s good. Fred Armisen does an impression of this guy too, but he wears a suit.


We’ve been at war with them for like 10 years because Bush Jr. thought they had nuclear weapons and/or helped with 9/11. Turns out neither was true, but we scared Saddam Hussein into hiding and found him in a hole. Like a baby that fell into a well. His hair was all messed up and he hadn't shaved.

Guess who played him on SNL? Horatio Sanz, but I bet Fred Armisen would be great.


Iran has a crazy leader named Ahmadinejad, which is just fun to say once you learn how to say it. Don’t you guys think that he probably does have the weapons of mass destruction that we thought Saddam had? Right? He one time said basically that God gave him atomic weapons as a gift. For Ramadan? Do Muslims give each other gifts for that? A good way to keep him straight with the others is that Fred Armisen plays him on SNL. This time with a beard!

Sidenote: how great is Fred Armisen? Reminder: PORTLANDIA


Syria is in the middle of their own possible overthrow – Uprising 3! They have a coo coo leader who is not learning anything from Egypt or Libya. His name is something like Mr. Saad. I’ll tell ya what’s saad, it’s saad that everyone doesn’t have freedom! (Forced Pun!) My advice – apologize to your people and give everyone free Netflix.


All I know about this country is that it is full of princes and oil.


This is where Osama Bin Laden was hiding! In a house with really high walls so no one would see him. And I heard he never left and just watched porn all day. Then the kick ass Navy Seals came in and shot that mother fucker in the head. Sorry to curse, but that’s really the only way to talk about that. Watch this for proof. Anyway, I guess Pakistan is pissed at us because we didn’t tell them we were gonna come in there and kill that mother fucker Osama. But guess what, we were pissed at him first so, too bad so sad.


Whoops, we’ve totally overstayed our welcome there. This is the country some people thought Osama was hiding in. He wasn’t. We shot that mother fucker in Pakistan!


Only for rich people. For real. They have an indoor ski resort. Not kidding.


I see tourism commercials for Turkey all the time on television. Eh, I don't think so Turkey. You're guilty by association for bordering Iran and Syria. Pass. Go straight to Cabo.


I got nothin.


I think whatever my Jewish friends think.