Here's how the New York Times' Thomas Friedman began his column on April 12, 2011:
When I was in Cairo during the Egyptian uprising, I wanted to change hotels one day to be closer to the action and called the Marriott to see if it had any openings. The young-sounding Egyptian woman who spoke with me from the reservations department offered me a room and then asked: “Do you have a corporate rate?” I said, “I don’t know. I work for The New York Times.” There was a silence on the phone for a few moments, and then she said: “ Can I ask you something?” Sure. “Are we going to be O.K.? I’m worried.”Here's his column from this Sunday's paper:
Is Friedman just being constantly accosted by anxious young Egyptian women seeking his sage advice about the future of their country? Isn't there anyone else they could talk to?I HAD just finished a panel discussion on Turkey and the Arab Spring at a regional conference here, and, as I was leaving, a young Egyptian woman approached me. “Mr. Friedman, could I ask you a question? Who should I vote for?”I thought: “Why is she asking me about Obama and Romney?” No, no, she explained. It was her Egyptian election next week that she was asking about. Should she vote for Mohamed Morsi, the candidate of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, or Ahmed Shafiq, a retired general who served as Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister and was running as a secular law-and-order candidate?
Update: Writer Kiera Feldman has taken this meme to the next level by creating a new "ladies' questions for Tom Friedman" Tumblr.
[here's a sampler from the website:]
Mr. Friedman, I have a date tonight in East Jerusalem. Would you find it advisable to use Petrodollars? I have so many they are falling out of my pants.
- Nadia, Beit Hanina
Mr. Friedman, I’m about to marry my childhood sweetheart and couldn’t be happier. Any idea what color wedding dress will attract the fewest Predator drones?
- Amina, Wadpagga
Mr. Friedman, my olive tree grove was destroyed by settlers. How do I start a Lexus dealership?
- Rawda, Beit Ummar
Are you there, Friedman? It’s me, Margaret.
-Margaret, New Jersey