26 October, 2006

free hugs a la telaviv style..

the movement apparently began in australia.. i think its pretty cool.. just randomly giving someone some warmth.. then again i recall reading about a hugging guru in india..

how would this fly in the uae? in any event.. how huggable does she look?!?! :D


Free hugs
Uploaded by Lisang

37 comments:

poo said...

Ahh I can already see the headline on 7days - "Bolice arrest person at Bur Juman for giving out free hugs"

Woke said...

It depends on the Emirate and who you are hugging, Lirun.

RAK might give you only 4 years in jail while you may not be that lucky in Sharjah.

Anonymous said...

i think we're too paranoid to be accepting hugs from total strangers... and for free!! no way!!

Lirun said...

once in london a young lady asked me for a cigarette outside a tube station.. i told her i hadnt any (im a non smoker) and so she asked for a hug instead..

i quickly slid my wallet into my front pocket where i thought it would be safe and paid a lo of attention to any suspicious movement as i obliged - mind you somewhat confused..

when she finally released me i checked my pockets..

and..

what do you think i found..

yes this is a test you each person who reads this..

i found..

wait for it..

my wallet had been..

totally and entirely undisturbed by the experience.. but i had been robbed.. i was robbed by my own suspicions and denied the opportunity to so thoroughly enjoy the chance to make someone feel good without any effort..

i forgot about it until i saw this short video on a blog today.. taken by lisa - the telavivian blogging guru..

HL&H said...

Hugging in the UAE? LOL nooooo never, not with strangers..
With all due respect, what is this to do with the UAE, I thought this blog is for people who live in the UAE.

Lirun said...

just testing an idea..

it entertained me this morning and i thought i'd share

:)

trailingspouse said...

With all due respect, what is this to do with the UAE, I thought this blog is for people who live in the UAE.

With all the comments this has generated about PDAs (public displays of affection) in the UAE, I think Lirun has demonstrated that this is a relevant topic.

HL&H said...

Hmmmm Lirun doesn't live in the UAE.
And the culture in Israel is different to the UAE one, so still don't see why is this post relevant.

secretdubai said...

Hmmmm Lirun doesn't live in the UAE.

Yes, but Lirun has a proven and positive interest in the UAE blogging scene, and he is a member here.

Anonymous said...

Lol, lirun still stirring up thins, innocently, just coz were u originate is a point of controversy. just put up with is pal, will u..
and since ur always so interested in the uae and its culture, why not come down oneday and see how things are like in reality...

Anonymous said...

Lirun: From what you said about the London experience, I guess in today's age it happens to us all. Because of all these suspicions & fear we have within us about others, we lose the opportunity to cherish what comes unexpectedly with no strings attached.

Some may think of such people as weirdos but the kinky part is, not others, but us that're weirdos.

HL&H said...

"Yes, but Lirun has a proven and positive interest in the UAE blogging scene, and he is a member here."
and the blog is called UAE community blog?

blogrosh said...

"and the blog is called UAE community blog?"

awww come on HL&H - it's the internet, we debate about all sorts of issues on this blog.


Infact you share your experiences whilst at school in Toronto, perhaps stuff which may not much to do with the UAE - at the community blog (I agree you don't cross post to the community blog)

I am here in NYC and I love reading the community blog and Lirun's posts here - perhaps these could be tiny pebbles to bridge gaps in the ME region eh : )

Lirun said...

i would love to visit.. i need to have my foreign passport renewed..

watch out.. surfing soon at a beach near you..

:D

secretdubai said...

HL&H - as far as I can work out, you are not only not a member of UAE community blog (correct me if I'm wrong) but you also posted a special request for your blog to be removed from the blogrolls.

So I'm finding it rather difficult to understand why you of all people here have this issue with Lirun.

ali said...

you would either get killed\beaten up OR arrested for hugging a GIRL (while you were\are a guy) AND if ur a girl seen with a guy = arrest for being something else... AND also remember lol - howd you explain this to the court? :P giving free hugs out to people u dont know...

all in all - NOT possible :P and yeh ud be on the frontpage going MAN\WOMAN arrested for giving out free hugs - and blabla... u catch my drift lol

HL&H said...

I am a UAE local, so I am a part of the UAE community, I asked to be removed from the blog roll because I didn't want to be listed on this blog for my own personal reasons.
I recall somebody posting something about Islam on this same blog and alot of the "UAE community blog" members went on and on about it not being relevant, when the person who posted it is a UAE national and is living in the UAE and a member.
Lirun isn't from the UAE,never been here. I can understand him making comments, but putting posts???
I wonder why you and the others didn't defend that guy (I wish I remember who it was, either Ahmad or DG) when he posted something about Islam and was attacked. Thats making me raise the issue.
Blogrosh, I am in Canada, so If they have a blog called the canadian community blog I can write in it and post in it, so there is absolutely no comparison, you have lived here, grew up here, you can know alot about the country so you still have a case. Lirun on the other hand is not living here, is not Arabic, and keeps signing his post with Shalom and other religious greetings.

SD, Poo, Wos, Blogrosh, I gather non of you are Arabic, maybe thats why you seemed to feel its ok to "welcome" Lirun to our country, they havn't invaded your country, they havn't killed your people, they havn't killed your grandfather, they havn't made them homeless, so I don't blame you for being all mushy mushy about this "peaceful" invitation to the blog and our country.

secretdubai said...

SD, Poo, Wos, Blogrosh, I gather non of you are Arabic, maybe thats why you seemed to feel its ok to "welcome" Lirun to our country, they havn't invaded your country, they havn't killed your people, they havn't killed your grandfather, they havn't made them homeless, so I don't blame you for being all mushy mushy about this "peaceful" invitation to the blog and our country.

It's people like Lirun and the Arab members here who have welcomed him that give us a glimmer of hope for peace in the future.

At some point, everyone has to grow up and stop with the endless hatred and blame.

blogrosh said...

"SD, Poo, Wos, Blogrosh, I gather non of you are Arabic, maybe thats why you seemed to feel its ok to "welcome" Lirun to our country, they havn't invaded your country, they havn't killed your people, they havn't killed your grandfather, they havn't made them homeless, so I don't blame you for being all mushy mushy about this "peaceful" invitation to the blog and our country. "

HL&H - with all due respect, I respect your views, however YOU of all people should know there are bad apples in every basket. How could you hold one individual responsible for an entire nation and race?

Why the hostility inspite having studied/lived/worked in a multicultural city like Toronto ( I am having some difficulty believing this are your sentiments, especially after reading your blog)?

"SD, Poo, Wos, Blogrosh, I gather non of you are Arabic, maybe thats why you seemed to feel its ok to "welcome" Lirun to our country, they havn't invaded your country, they havn't killed your people, they havn't killed your grandfather, they havn't made them homeless, so I don't blame you for being all mushy mushy about this "peaceful" invitation to the blog and our country. "

This comment is more unproductive & silly, than the former. You do not have to be an "Arab" (I resent that) to realize who has done more harm. My brother's fiance is Palestinian, I have several Arab friends and acquaintances - we are aware and fully support Arab causes - be it Lebanon or Palestine, however this does not stop most of us from extending a hand for peace and getting to know each other - how long do you want to live in the dark in contempt?

Growing up in the UAE (and given my parents backgrounds) I've always reminded myself, that we are people first, born into different homes & cultures, but created by the same heavenly power. Perhaps, prior to drawing up barriers, boundaries and cultural differences - you can enlighten us on what the Quran says?

Anonymous said...

HL&H, I'm sorry if I'm sound naive but if you say you're UAE Local then how were your forefathers harmed in any way? Dialog or exchanging comments on a blog is not a crime, is it? That's what 'free-speech' is all about, isn't it?

MooDy said...

got some on my blog too ...
http://zainal.wordpress.com/2006/09/28/free-hugs/
lawls :D

i, Bobo said...

how would this fly in the uae?

There it is, right there. He asked the question specifically about the UAE. So why are people slagging on him?

Tim Newman said...

So I'm finding it rather difficult to understand why you of all people here have this issue with Lirun.

I think the answer as to why one or two people dislike Lirun is staring us all straight in the face, but nobody dares say it out loud. We wouldn't want to "silence legitimate criticism" now, would we?

BD said...

If I may comment on the original post, if anyone is bold enough to try it here, I'd say more power to them. It is because of being in a repressed culture that people would read a lot of negativity into a free hug. It reminds me of the practice in Catholic churches--maybe it happens in other context I'm not aware of... That is, of a moment in the service when the priest says "peace unto you" and everyone else is to greet everyone around them likewise. Often it's a handshake, sometimes a hug, but that gesture which happens by command seems to relax and warm up an otherwise rather staid gathering.

It is my guess too that the volunteer gets just as much out of it as each person he/she hugs--a moment of warmth and humanity.

blogrosh said...

True BD - I agree with your views, an honest positive intended hug may be misinterpreted in the UAE, and the reasons you've cited are valid re: repressed or conservative culture etc.

Guess I swayed off topic a bit there (my bad - HL&H if I seemed to be ranting)

Lirun said...

certainly received a decent amount of attention for this one hehehe

hl&h - matey - no intention to offend anyone.. i guess the beauty of the internet is that you can call your sites what you like but you cannot architect your audience if you truly want to enjoy the fluidity of the net..

when i think of the UAE community i think of a community of onliners who have an interest in the uae..

i have a very strong interest.. starting from the fact that i have considered working there - have had friends work there - have had friends grow up there and most importantly am fascinated by this modernist arabic world..

whether you like it or not we all get judged.. we all get criticised.. i am not seeking to do either with respect to the uae.. i am merely intrigued by how a modern arabic society thinks and functions.. i am not wise enough to know how representative this community is of society at large - but the mere fact that such a community can exist and can tolerate the pestering posts of a good jewish boy like me.. demonstrates some fascinating traits..

i am by no means trying to take over the blog or convert it into an israel-uae relations forum.. however.. generally the purpose of my posts is either illustrate peaceful contrast or - even better - manifest similarities and common values.. i reckon its harmless stuff.. maybe even interesting ;) (sometimes)

through this blog i surfed to the ramadankareem blog and after one comment had one of its founders approach me directly and invite me to join the author roll which back then had only 5 authors..

yes.. i agree.. in our challenging world it will seem weird to some people.. perhaps even distasteful.. i come without apologies.. and i am not begging for forgiveness.. i am merely coming as an interested individual with a message of his own that you are welcome to read and respond to at your leisure.. and yes i happen to be a national of a state that you dont have diplomatic relations with..

but such is the beauty of the blogosphere..

it can create extraordinary connections where ordinarily they would not be found..

enjoy.. my friend.. it is somewhere between reality and fantasy that you read this very message.. for were it not for a couple of servers and some cables this very discussion thread could not have been woven..

i guess i'm kind of extending a hand and reaching out - you are at perfect liberty not to reach back.. but there is no point punishing yourself with aggrevation.. on the contrary i would encourage you to extract what little benefit there may be in gaining a key hole size window into a world you probably have never visited (and not necessary because of the liberty not to)..

and by the way - shalom is not a religious slogan.. it means peace.. and it is customary for people in israel to greet eachother with the word shalom instead of saying hi and bye..

shabbat shalom to all - may you your families and friends have a restful peaceful and enjoyable weekend..

surf's expected to be high today.. im off to catch a few sets ;)

BD said...

Just out of curiosity, Lirun. Is there anything like the UAE Community Blog in Israel--where you can find both Israelis and Palestinians offering comment? (Mind you I am aware that the luxury of the Internet would not be so available to Palestinians.)

i, Bobo said...

surf's expected to be high today.. im off to catch a few sets ;)

Dude.

How high?

It's all baked out beach-break here...

blogrosh said...

"i guess i'm kind of extending a hand and reaching out - you are at perfect liberty not to reach back.. "

Lirun - it's not that easy for many of us you know. I read & re-read HL&H's comments, and I can sense where she is coming from.

There is a part of me that does try and reach out, and have gotten to know some wonderful people. Then something to the extent of Lebanon happens (not to mention Palestine) - it's hard.

But yes we should keep trying for a peaceful tomorrow.

Lirun said...

bd: depends how you define palestinians.. my blog www.emspeace.blogspot.com is frequented by people who define themselves as palestinians and israelis.. im not sure why but a lot of the commentary is issued as emails to me rather than posted.. but the readership is wide and all inclusive..

i dont really know what happens on other blogs..

there mind you some very successful businesses that are owned by people who would probably define themselves as palestinian that are internet based.. but you are right that israeli net usage would be much higher than average and palestinian lower - both for many reasons.. remembering of course that technology is to israel what oil is to the many other places in the middle east..

ibobo: the surf was a disgrace heheheh

we had about 1.3-2m and it was sooo messy but any wave that lets me ride it is a good wave as far as i am concerned.. so while the kite surfers were out in abundance and the wave riders were not be seen - i held my board valiantly and battled the fierce wind for a good hour or two..

:)

blogrosh: i am the first to empathise with hl&l.. if everything was so natural i probably wouldnt bother.. im not a golf player but they say that when you learn a new grip in golf - you know its not new if its comfortable..

discomfort is a sign of true of learning.. because it requires reckoning..

the blog administrators have no binding contract to keep me on board hehe.. if one day i am deemed overly offensive and by popular demand i am removed then there is nothing i can do.. i hope that never happens.. to my own blog i have added a lebanese girl and one of my first posts was called tunnels of defiance which can be found at http://emspeace.blogspot.com/2006_07_01_emspeace_archive.html it was my lesson learned from the bunkers and weapons tunnels in lebanon and gaza.. i decided that i wanted to learn from their ingenius diregard of borders and similarly create tunnels of friendship.. that sow our borders with a different thread..

until im removed i will continue to sow.. (and surf of course hehe)

:)

palo-girl said...

lirun, i seriously envy you. you publish one post and you get crazy, friendly, funny, and open-minded bloggers all on one comment page?! lol. free hugs in the UAE? if it's anything like Kuwait, then, if you're a guy hugging a girl, you will get beaten up by one or more of the girl's relatives. if you'fre a guy hugging a guy, you will be reported gay, and everyone will know. if you're a girl hugging a guy, you're reputation will go down the drain as everyone claims you to be promiscuous, and therefore unfit for marriage. if you're a girl hugging a girl, you just might be forgiven by the public :p

lol, good luck to whoever tries that here!

Lirun said...

gday palo..

havent heard from you in a while..

miss your thoughts..

;)

Harsha said...

I'm surprised, given the subject she studies and occupation she comes from, holding such thoughts for HL&L doesnt seem productive.

HL&H said...

Harsha and Blogrosh.
Please.
DONT bring my job into this. My personal thoughts and opinions are mine and I am entitled to them. Being in my profession doesn't make me more or less human than the rest of you. I leave my job in the office. None of you are patients.
To think being a psychiatrist is being a person of no strong emotions or affiliations is wrong, please don't go to any psychiatrist thinking that.
Keep that in mind next time you read any of my comments.

DG said...

HLH, freedom of speech is allowed as long as you agree with the west. Otherwise, you are considered a brain washed individual from a "Third World" country. Thats why I simply adore this 'Freedom of Speech' thing :-)

blogrosh said...

HL&H -"DONT bring my job into this. My personal thoughts and opinions are mine and I am entitled to them."


Yes you are correct, and ofcourse you are (entitled to your personal thoughts and opinions.

I did say, I can partly sense where you are coming from.

DG: "HLH, freedom of speech is allowed as long as you agree with the west"

We both know that's not true.

carmel said...

hi, i'm a free hugger from tel aviv. recently friends from lebanon sent me hugs in beirut as well:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=vVsbrsuW-Lc
i think in the UAE you can have it quite easily! just try.

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