It's True! (Sort of)
When my wife and I taught in Syria, we occasionally found it easier to claim we hailed from Canada, rather than the United States, especially once George W. Bush invaded Iraq . . . though I occasionally tried to be patriotic and explain U.S. policy, sometimes it was just more convenient to avoid the controversy generated by mentioning America . . . and, of course, mentioning Canada was always safe, because Canada doesn't symbolize anything except back-bacon, tuques, Pamela Anderson, poutine, John Candy, and Celine Dion -- none of which is hated enough to incite violence, and the best thing about saying I was from Canada, was that I could follow this lie with the following technically true (but specious) piece of information: "Yes . . . I grew up just outside of New Brunswick."