In the 1990’s I was the Medical Officer for the Peace Corps in China. During the orientation of a new batch of volunteers, I was teaching about vaccine requirements when one nervous volunteer asked me if the vaccines would hurt. In a mischievous joking way I said, “I think so.” The rest of the volunteers laughed, but apparently that volunteer wrote his mother that evening saying, “I think our doctor is Satan.” Thereafter, the other volunteers jokingly nicknamed me “Shaytan” (Arabic for “Satan”) — a name I enthusiastically embraced with good humor as a counter strategy for the ways we take ourselves too seriously.
My son just turned me on to Spotify where I looked up a childhood favorite: Cat Stevens. There I found his Islamic record with the song “Shaytan”. In light of the above story, perhaps this should be my new theme song? I imagine many of my detractors would agree.
Pic credit: Logo for French death metal band here