10 October, 2006

Miss Emirates

Cultural tensions in the UAE?

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Posters announcing the "Miss Emirates 2007" beauty pageant in the liberal emirate of Dubai have raised anger in its conservative neighbor Sharjah, where the ads have sprung up all along the streets, media reports said Tuesday.

Dubai and Sharjah are two of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The contest, organized by a private company in Dubai, is open to "Emiratis and foreign residents in the Emirates," according to a poster reprinted by the daily Al Khaleej newspaper. The name of the company was not given.

Entrants must be "between 18 and 28, have a university diploma, and possess a sufficient level of cultural knowledge." The posters contain two mobile phone numbers "for more information," and an e-mail address. However, the mobile numbers were not functioning when a correspondent attempted to call them Tuesday.

The announcements have raised anger among residents of Sharjah, who believe that such a competition is contrary to the values of Islam and against the emirate's religious heritage, the newspaper said. Some residents have urged officials to ban such advertisements in the media and discourage similar contests in the future.

This kind of advertising "is socially unacceptable and is against custom," said Sharjah town hall director Abdullah Al Ameri, who promised to take steps to have the posters removed from Sharjah's streets.

The booming emirate of Dubai is by far the most liberal of the seven UAE members, and has also become an advertising hub due to its rapid commercial expansion.


Taken from HERE

49 comments:

Fahad Al Mahmood said...

It's unbelievable! I tried looking for any other source of this news, but I only found an article in (Khaleej Times). I couldn't find the "official" site of this contest or the organizer of this pageant.

If this beauty pageant takes place, then Dubai has really gone too far ... I don't blame Sharjah for being so upset.

Balushi said...

well i dont know to laugh or to cry!



what about you guys?

secretdubai said...

Dammit - I'm a few decades too old.

Do we have anyone young and winsome around here who could enter as Miss UAE Comm? Male or female, seeing as the ad doesn't specify gender.

Harsha said...

Isnt 'Miss' specifying a gender already?

Whats the uproar about. Just replace the bikini round with an abaya round.

Anonymous said...

"If this beauty pageant takes place, then Dubai has really gone too far ... I don't blame Sharjah for being so upset."

Umm, Dude?

An informal survey this afternoon determined that quite a few people in Sharjah are more upset about moronic regulations preventing them from wearing shorts than they are about whether or not Dubai wants to hold a beauty pageant.

You don't want to watch a beauty pageant, then don't watch it. Don't want your six year old kids to watch? Then monitor what they do instead of letting run around malls until 11 PM.

Take some responsibility for yourself and stop dictating your morality to other people.

It's silly and quite frankly you look rather stupid doing it.

Al-Republican said...

It's silly and quite frankly you look rather stupid doing it.

How do you know I look like a stupids?

Anonymous said...

It's an idiom, you moron...

Anonymous said...

Not only it against our religous and culture beliefs...these contests devalues women and are degrading.
To anonymous, there are things that we just don't want our country to be "known" for, things that are shameful like this, we have enough to fix why add another flaw.
what you think about Sharjah's restriction to dress codes that doesn't suits your taste is simply irrelevant.
Every country has its cultural norms, you as a foreigner should obide to it and respect it, after all you are a guest, a guest doesn't put the rules to the house do they now.
So lets try to presever our beautiful culture here, I don' think not having this "beauty thing" is going to impede our progress to being a "first world country"

Tim Newman said...

...these contests devalues women and are degrading.

Whereas refusing women equality under the law does neither of these things, of course.

DG said...

Tim Newman, can you mention one real benefit of such "beauty" contests?

And what do you mean by "equality under the law" for women?

Keefieboy said...

Good grief. It's definitely a sign that I've been here too long when I actually feel shocked to hear that someone was trying to organise a beauty contest here. For ladies. Now camels...that's another story.

samuraisam said...

fahad al mahmood:
"If this beauty pageant takes place, then Dubai has really gone too far ... I don't blame Sharjah for being so upset."
Too far?
So what you're saying there is sex tourism is ok,
but a beauty pageant?
HELL NO.

hot lemon and honey
"these contests devalues women and are degrading"
How do they devalue women? They parade around in clothes and feel pretty and then they rage on about trivial issues like world peace. Sounds fine to me.

"what you think about Sharjah's restriction to dress codes that doesn't suits your taste is simply irrelevant"
Yes. I agree the Taliban was a brilliant organisation too; I would love to visit Saudi some time of the year and get beaten on my legs with a cane by some 50 year old man with a raging hard on for whitefolks Christmas cards.

There is a fine line between modesty and Saudi-ness; trying to 'uprise' against a beauty pageant is in that Saudi area.

"To anonymous, there are things that we just don't want our country to be "known" for, things that are shameful like this, we have enough to fix why add another flaw."
How is this a flaw?

"Every country has its cultural norms, you as a foreigner should obide to it and respect it, after all you are a guest, a guest doesn't put the rules to the house do they now."
Well, from a legalese-type standpoint, this type of competition would need a license and permission from the government; unless it is illegal, i'd say this competition has come from the house.

"So lets try to presever our beautiful culture here, I don' think not having this "beauty thing" is going to impede our progress to being a "first world country"
The entry requirements do state "possess a sufficient level of cultural knowledge"; otherwise, no, not having this pageant would not impede the progress of the country, nor would having it further the progress of the country, however, having it, and then having a bunch of people go psycho and having it shut down, yes, that would impede the progress of the country.

keefie:
"Now camels...that's another story."
haha, I remember that competition

Harsha said...

after all you are a guest, a guest doesn't put the rules to the house do they now.

Sick... sick mentality

ahmed said...

Sick... sick mentality

Why sick?? Do you want to rule over the locals??

Anonymous said...

First: Harsha, I am sorry you think it is "sick sick mentality"..but its will repeat what I said and sorry to offend but
You just can't go to other countries and keep on saying over and over and over how you think the religion and the culture of that country suck! Does't sound right..and its NOT OK with us.
Tim: "Whereas refusing women equality under the law does neither of these things" There is no comparison between the two, to make a woman a product that is exhibited like this is what women's right would freak out about.

And Sam you know these contests is more than walking around in beautiful dresses and answering stupid questios with stupid asnwers. I laughed at the "cultural knowledge" bit, year right!
Flaw, it is, when we start having people here becoming even more shallow and think of their values in terms of their looks its a BIG flaw.

Please you guys, don't make this another country that is a "copy and paste" of north america, its shouldn't loose its identity and culture.

Anonymous said...

And to "i'd say this competition has come from the house." What house, what memeber of the house.
Anyways, why should I even waste my time talking to people who can't see things through the Locals's eyes.

I just hope this doesn't go through.

samuraisam said...

hot lemon and honey:
"Flaw, it is, when we start having people here becoming even more shallow and think of their values in terms of their looks its a BIG flaw."
You're right.
Its absolutely different when local women are walking around in their 50 grand abayas with their latest nokias and jumping into fully-makhfee mercedes that can fly.
Of course, if you're a man, you can't go around this city without applying a good gallon or two of some 50 grand perfume and sixteen pounds of gel in your hair while driving your Porsche Gemballa with solid ti-gold-plati-freaking-ninium rims and an inbuilt gas barbeque on 2 wheels.

Yes. I can totally see what you're saying there.

This competition makes precisely 0 difference to the mentality of people here.

Anonymous said...

[...]there are things that we just don't want our country to be "known" for, things that are shameful like this[...]

Hookers ?
Labour exploitation ?
Underage camel jockeys ?

and the list goes on . . .

Anonymous said...

Sam, I see your point, but notice I said " becoming even more shallow", so I clearly realize all the points you mention. What I hate to see is this to become something that is further reinforced.
To anon: yes, there is a long list, not longer than other countries that I have been to beleive me. Again, in my response (if you read it well) I said "we have enough to fix why add another flaw."
So stop assuming we are blind to the problems that exist here..thats what you want to believe that we are just oblivious and clueless. WE ARE NOT.

grasshopping said...

"Give me chastity and continence, but not yet." -- St. Augustine.

beauty pageant threatens the moral fabric of a culture... Hmmm. Makes me cry.

There are no moral issues with being entertained by scantily clad belly dancers.

What morality? It is the convenience of hypocrisy.

The man who pays for sex has to be the real prostitute.

The East European / Chinese women in Dubai are businesswomen. They are here because the rich prostitutes are willing to pay.

Anonymous said...

"Every country has its cultural norms, you as a foreigner should obide to it and respect it, after all you are a guest, a guest doesn't put the rules to the house do they now."

There is a difference between respecting a culture and being legally required to observe a cultural tradition which has been codified into law. It's been a rather dry and hungry past two weeks in Sharjah, at least for us unbelievers during daytime hours...

The argument here is not that beauty pageants don't objectify women. Clearly they do. You sound somewhat ludicrous here, almost as if you've embraced Naomi Wolf or Catherine Mackinnon while defending a system that affords women little or no rights.

Most of these events are broadcast and there's a business model to the television industry. If people aren't watching, then there is no reason for a broadcast network to keep something on the air. I think what you are more concerned with, what you actually FEAR, is that people will watch a beauty pageant instead of turning off their television sets.

Tim Newman is correct: women here do not have equal status under the law, particularly in relation to property ownership, inheritance, and child custody.

And please, let's stop all this condescending talk about being gracious guests. Because following that notion to its logical conclusion implies that you've been an accomodating host.

marwan said...

Debate, schmmate. Bring on the beautiful women! But not Miss Israel, obviously.

I'm formally declaring my availability, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as a non-celebrity judge.

Anonymous said...

First of all, nobody is advertising men who pay prostititues, these are individual acts.
Women's right, tell me a place where women rights is practiced...its objective and subjective. As an Arab studying in North America. I think womens right here is over stated and is not the kind of rights that most Muslim women would seek after.
all sorts of things are hopping into this arguement that are not relevant, bellydancing!!!who said we advocate for that or we cheer for it?! its another thing that degrades a woman, but I will argue against it if Sam's post was about "miss Dubai bellydancing".
"I think what you are more concerned with, what you actually FEAR, is that people will watch a beauty pageant instead of turning off their television sets." don't speak on my behalf. Why would that be a fear, I am not against cable/satellite t.v, let the broadcast whatever they want, but for Dubai to be luring our women into things that does not diginify them is what I am against,what is next?

I still think you are all guests here, you are leaving one day and we don't want to clear up the mess after you leave. We are hosting you ,I am sure this country is offering you what you couldn't find somewhere else, thats why you are bearing with all the nonesnes...so yes stay here, develop it scientifically, technologically, economically and leave our religion and culture alone.

Anna said...

DG: By stating that the country does not have "equality under the law for women", Tim Newman, I believe, is saying that women do not have the same rights as men do.

If a husband and wife are divorced, who gets unquestioned custody to the children? Is it not the man?

Why should the government modify my name to include my father/husband's name on government documentation? Are women property belonging to a man?

Why can't I as a woman, sponsor my children unless my husband is dead?

"Every country has its cultural norms, you as a foreigner should obide to it and respect it, after all you are a guest, a guest doesn't put the rules to the house do they now."

Is that your culture as well... to not make your guest's stay comfortable... interesting. I really need to find a country that will treat me like a human being not a slave.

What you call cultural norms, is a gross violation of basic human rights.

To anyone, before asking me to leave the country, please let it be known - that a local of the great UAE cheated my father of his business and ruined a lot of things for my family. I am here because we are still trying to clear my father's name. As a woman fighting the system I found out how much women are treated equally - not.

secretdubai said...

Women's right, tell me a place where women rights is practiced...its objective and subjective.

No it's not. Either men and women have equal rights under the law, or they don't. There are still some discrepancies in certain western countries (particularly relating to heritage migration, where maternal links are often disqualified, with only paternal heritage counted - high time that someone contested this in the European courts, frankly).

But generally speaking our sexual equality laws shit on this region's.

Keefieboy said...

HL & H: I think you've hit the nail on the head there 'you are all guests here, you are leaving one day...'. But here's the thing. It's not actually true. Sure, most of us will leave when we are ready or when the job runs out. But new people will come to work in the UAE to replace the ones that leave because there quite simply are not enough Emiratis with the right skills to do all the work that needs to be done. And I'm not talking about managers, I'm talking about working in a shop or driving a truck or anything like that which in the real world is done by 'locals'.

But the thing that has got expats jumping up and down is that now you can buy real estate here. Except it does not come with any permanent right of residency!

As things stand, the entire economy would collapse overnight if all the expats left. It will take many, many years to grow and train enough Emiratis to handle all the jobs that need to be done. (Sorry if that sounds a bit agricultural, but you know what I mean).

I am sure we all feel very sorry that we are messing up your beautiful, pure culture, but I don't see how it can be helped. There is absolutely no incentive for any foreigner to show any interest in or respect for Emirati culture - expats can never get permanent residence or even become naturalised. But they are still human beings with rights and with cultural ideas of their own.

I said I was shocked when I read about the Beauty Contest, and I was. The very idea is so far beyond the pale of what is considered respectable in this country. But then, so is prostitution and all the other bad stuff that goes on here without anybody seeming to care much about it.

By the way, do you have a Canadian passport?

samuraisam said...

Ok, I think I might add that it may have been a tad inappropriate to start a beauty pageant during the middle of Ramadan.

Apparantly the UAE's "top cop" has something to say about it all too... UAE top cop says beauty pageant “encourages nudity”

Anonymous said...

"so yes stay here, develop it scientifically, technologically, economically and leave our religion and culture alone."

That's an oxymoron: you can't develop a country scientifically, technologically, or economically without effecting a culture.

taylor from manitoba,36 DD said...

oh no!i can;t show my beautiful 36 DD boobs!!!

Anonymous said...

Anna, clearly you have personal issues that you are dragging here on a totally unrelated topic. Sorry to hear about your father, but again he is not the topic here, and whatever happened to him here could have happened else where.
"Is that your culture as well... to not make your guest's stay comfortable... interesting. I really need to find a country that will treat me like a human being not a slave." I must laugh at this because what is making you uncomfortable about my arguement here, my objection about the beauty contest? if that will make you uncomfortable, the you are a spoilt little anna.
I hope things worked out for you so you can find a place that will treat you better.
Keefieboy, no I dont have the Canadian passport, I am fully funded by the UAE government for my postgrad studies, I provide free services to Canadians and pay for my education and pay tax. I work as hard as the Canadians, perhaps worked more weekends than many. We as residents from the gulf are charged triple the amount for some courses provided here than other residenst who are else where from the world! What do you think of that? Oh I forgot to mention, they make us sign a paper that states we will leave as soon as our training is done. Expats are treated the same almost everywhere, and yes they do take advantage of us here. But I always remember, I am getting something in return, THATS why I am here. So i don't complain and whine about it.
yes you will leave one day and someone else will replace you, but that doesn't mean we should erase the identity of this culture to keep you coming back.
"There is absolutely no incentive for any foreigner to show any interest in or respect for Emirati culture - expats can never get permanent residence or even become naturalised. But they are still human beings with rights and with cultural ideas of their own."
First of all Keefie, it doesn't work like that "if I dont give you what you want, I will mess you up"??? what rights when you know coming into this country that your chance of getting permanent residence is not an option (its no secret), I am not going to aruge whats right or wrong in that respect, but what is alarming about your statement is the fact that you are saying if things don't go your way, you disrespect the culture? or will make you not interested in it? did you really think before you wrote this senstence? or where you just reacting to your own pathetic frustration?

You keep on going on and on about prostitution, what makes you think that nobody protested against it, people went to the sheikhs and it was addressed partially.

SD "But generally speaking our sexual equality laws shit on this region's." I can't respond to such a low class statement.


Anon: I'm sorry you think that developing scientifically and technologically means a change in religion and culture, sorry mate, not where I come from.

In summary to all you unfortunate, unhappy miserable expats who still despite all the misery and pain we have put you through, we have a religion we follow a culture that we love and want to keep, yes it has some faults, but its up to us fix it according what WE think is more appropriate to us not to your moral standards (which I have mixed feelings about).

Keefieboy said...

HL & H:First of all Keefie, it doesn't work like that "if I dont give you what you want, I will mess you up"? That is absolutely not what I wrote. That is how you choose to interpret it. In some ways I agree with your stance - I've been here twelve years and never questioned the local culture or Islam or any of that. What's started to happen in the last 3-4 years is that huge numbers of workers are coming into Dubai and diluted the percentage of locals in the population even further. This does pose a very real threat to the local culture, and you are right to be concerned about it. However, I must reiterate that this is a two-way process. You cannot expect subservience and respect from all expats. The best you can hope for is that they will not break too many laws. And they will bring their own ideas of how to behave.

yes you will leave one day and someone else will replace you, but that doesn't mean we should erase the identity of this culture to keep you coming back. Did I say you should? But you cannot keep it 'pure' - the UAE will be reliant on immigrant labour for many, many years to come, and it is inevitable that they will influence your culture. It's one of the things that makes the place interesting.

You keep on going on and on about prostitution . I mentioned it once

Anyway - getting back to the beauty contest - it's a bad idea.

Anonymous said...

"I'm sorry you think that developing scientifically and technologically means a change in religion and culture"

Are you are saying that technical advances do not effect culture or religion?

Because they do. Positive or negative, the introduction of any outside concept most surely has impact on a society.

Are you saying that the internet has had no impact on society here?

Because it clearly has. This discussion we're having is prima facie evidence of that fact. The recent unblocking of previously banned sites is evidence of that. This culture is moving toward modernity (oh no, not the "M" word!) and as such will be significantly changed.

Are you saying that the application of objective scientific method does not effect the way people examine their culture, their society, or their spiritual beliefs?

Because the introduction of Rational Thought and Scientific Method have had significant impact on societies for almost a thousand years. Not some societies. All societies.

"sorry mate, not where I come from."

Do you come from Mars? Because here on the planet Earth it is generally understood that these factors have significant impact upon being introduced to cultures attempting to embrace modernity.

Keefieboy said...

HL & H: almost forgot: you told us how your tuition fees are 3x what a Canadian would pay. And asked if I'm surprised by that. Well, no I'm not. My wife started a postgrad course in Dublin 2 years ago. She has to attend three 8-week summer sessions. She didn't do it this past summer because the University changed the rules: non-EU residents have to pay 3x the basic fee (even though we are EU citizens). And there's no Government funding for us for that. Completely irrelevant, but I thought you might like to know.

mr virgil lobanovcski said...

isn't it kind of being hyporcritical whaen u have whores running around in dubai?

Anonymous said...

Keefieboy. Thanks for the clarification. Re: the tution fee's, its worse here. My friend who signed up for a course in medical education, had to pay 3 times more that another international resident! who paid double what the Canadians would have. I would have been ok with it if we all paid the same, but that wasn't the case.

Anonymous said...

Miss V ...boring ...keep to the topic.
Anon...who has cultural issues with technology ...I am afraid, I can't agree with you...believe what you want for now...hope it does you good.

blogrosh said...

I don't know what's the big fuss about a beauty Pageant being held in Dubai - and even more amused to read - "Dubai is pushing the envelope" - do you think, "THIS" of all things is pushing the envelope??? Can't wait to see reactions when Dubai gets even more progressive.

blogrosh said...

"Sick... sick mentality" "why sick?? Do you want to rule over the locals??"

Ahemd - nobody wants to rule over locals, least of all over your head!

For folks like Harsha (and I) are so sick and tired of this ancient tribal mentality - "you've got to leave one day"!! Grow up and move with the times!

DG said...

UAE indeed has progressed alot. The governmet should hire all "liberal expat bloggers" to rewrite our culture & traditions. Come on locals & muslims, stop complaining & keep your mouth shut. Nothing is wrong in encouraging your sisters & daugters to parade in front of lustful eyes. It is "cool", we are in the 21st century stupids. Westerners are never wrong. We should blindly follow them if we want progress. Our religion is backward, our culture is backward. Thank you dear expats for being our saviours.

Long live Hollywood, long live Uncle Sam.

blogrosh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
blogrosh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
blogrosh said...

DG said - "Come on locals & Muslims, stop complaining & keep your mouth shut. Nothing is wrong in encouraging your sisters & daughters to parade in front of lustful eyes. It is "cool", we are in the 21st century stupid’s. Westerners are never wrong. We should blindly follow them if we want progress. Our religion is backward, our culture is backward. Thank you dear expats for being our saviours.

Long live Hollywood, long live Uncle Sam"

I do not think anyone said Emiratis or anyone should "blindly" follow anyone? Nobody thinks ALL of UAE or Emirati culture is backward - (and if someone said that, I personally take offence)

However, given, most of what I hear day in/day out re: "expat visitors" "expat guests" -"respect our culture or leave" - is nothing but – backward, closed and pure insecure mentality.

Do you honestly think - if the visionaries of the UAE embedded such crap mentality in their heads 24/7 - the UAE would have become the success story it's today? This also just further goes to prove, NOT all of UAE or Emirati’s are backward and "21st century stupid’s"

PS: what's with the Uncle Sam blame game - beauty Pageants are held in almost all non Muslim nations across the globe, and no, it does not mean women are paraded for lust and flesh if they aren't dressed head to toe in an Abaya.

Instead why don’t you look at the success story of Uncle Sam’s United States – perhaps the most successful, if not perfect, nation on this planet (and most other successful nations)- where often visitors and immigrants are told –“this nation was built by immigrants” – a critical nation building sentiment, sadly missing in the UAE.

blogrosh said...

DG said... " UAE indeed has progressed alot. The governmet should hire all "liberal expat bloggers" to rewrite our culture & traditions"

Yes - perhaps they should for a change. Seriously - who do you think "drives" if not writes or implements a large portion of the country's laws today - Saudi Arabia?

blogrosh said...

Hot Lemon& Honey said - "Flaw, it is, when we start having people here becoming even more shallow and think of their values in terms of their looks it’s a BIG flaw"

I am sorry to say - however, your comment is as "shallow" as they come. I am curious to know - what is of "substance" to you in the Emirati culture today?

Perhaps you should compare, the lazy - no talent - dim witted - self fish - self centered - materialistic - twisted - deluded – likes of Paris Hiltons/Nicole Richie's to quite a few (if not the slight majority) of your fellow citizens in the UAE today (including open racism & down right discrimination) to measure the depth of "shallowness" in the UAE today - compared to 15 years ago?

I was born and raised in Sharjah, and sadly, Sharjah in the past decade or so has become an extension of Saudi Arabia, when it comes to treating women, and building infrastructure - however, men (local men, that is) are almost free to get away with anything. I will always love this place, inspite of it’s flaws – yes I miss the UAE of the 70’s and 80’s, however, having said that, I do not think a beauty Pageant – where women willingly participate and is given a chance to make something off their lives and careers is not progressive, restrictive or creates more harm than good? Instead, I strongly feel the way Saudi’s and some Muslim nations dehumanize and treat women, using Islam as a pretext to do so - is the depth of twisted logic, hypocrisy and dehumanization of another human being.

If you don’t like beauty pageants, you don’t have to participate or watch it and is free to protest - however, please do not thrust your perceptions, (I say this because your comments read rather forced onto others) likes & dislikes onto others – live and let live – which is one of several factors, which makes this wonderful nation a fantastic place to live – perhaps, the world can learn from us too, and become a more tolerant & a better place for all humans – Muslims, beauty pageant contestants or otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Blogrosh..."sadly, Sharjah in the past decade or so has become an extension of Saudi Arabia, when it comes to treating women," what are you basing this on? the fact that you can't drink there or the fact that you can't be skimpy? women in Sharjah are educated, work and live a good life in general, unfortunatly they don't go clubbing or sit in bars, but thats only because there are no bars there. See no comparison to Saudi.
I agree our men sadly do live a double standard life, they do, I won't deny that, but if they are going around sleeping with women and paying prostitutes thats a problem that should be delt with somehow (I don't know how) but in return women shouldn't get even by doing the same , because its not the solution.
Many of the practices that you are frowning on is not a product of the religion, these men who wear kandoras yet hang out in bars and pubs picking up prostitutes don't reflect our religion in any bit. They are just lustful men who have nothing more important in their lives. Women who parade the shopping malls wearing these fancy abayas, the designer bags with their mask like faces full of make up and all the other things you mentioned don't represnt the culture or the religion either? they are just shallow and have lots of time on their hands.
They are not the majority of the population though.If you speak Arabic, you will hear all the disaproving comments about these groups of people everywhere.
I never claimed we have a perfect society, but at the same time, I don't see the solution is in living the "american dream" or the "liberal western woman life", I see the price they pay for that and for the "equality" they were given.
Our culture is a conservative one, our religion is a modest one, so anything outside of that, to us Emirati's is foreign and unecessary. A beauty contest will not add to this country, if anything it will take what I consider nice qualities.

In this post however, we are talking about the beauty contset, so don't let your pesronal experience of "injustice and dehumanisation" get into the way of this discussion, keep your frustrations in other areas of your life at bay and focus on the subject of discussion.

Again stop assuming that we keep a blind eye to whats happening from corruption in the country, we identify it all, and dislike it and believe it or not are not quiet about it. Not everything hits te news you know.
The arguement that you are a visitor is a valid one, cause thats a fact, I just can't see why you and others are offended by it. We don't have and never claimed to give away citizenship based on your loyalty to this country or the lack of it. So for now you are a visitor, you work here and you came knowing the conditions and the nature of this culture (good or bad) so bare with it and act like and adult rather than having a temper tantrum and stop claiming the respect you have for this country that I could not read through your post. Obviously you've learnt nothing from the culture despite living here for so long.
Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

"Anon...who has cultural issues with technology ...I am afraid, I can't agree with you...believe what you want for now...hope it does you good."

Oh, please.

Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato. Check 'em out.

Kepler, Copernicus and Galileo. Check 'em out.

Columbus, Vespucci, and De Gama. Check 'em out.

Einstein, Oppenheimer, and Teller.
Check 'em out.

Tsiolkovsky, Goddard, and Von Braun.
Check 'em out.

Berners-Lee, Kurzweil, and Negroponte. Check 'em out.

These are all people who took their contemporary technology to an extreme limit and altered the course of their culture, if not the course of human civilization.

Look, you may not like the rather brusque manner in which I'm shoving this down your throat, but it is an incontrovertible fact that technology impacts culture and religion.

AM said...

Well, I guess what is missing in many of the comments here (with the exception of very few including keefieboy), is the ability or will to step into the other's shoe and have a look at the situation from there.

My 2 cents on this. I think Dubai progressed way too much in such a small period of time. Hence, the locals did go through a lot of culture shaking or adaptation to what the expats brought in with them. I think it is fair to say that they had to deal with a lot very quickly and this is not always easy especially when the changes do not really comply with your religion and culture.

Attitude did change towards many imported things and issues regardless whether it is by will or by choice. Point is, if they do not think at this stage that a beauty pageant is not appropriate, so be it, their country, their call. They may reconsider or be ready few years or decades down the road and they may never be comfortable with the idea. We cannot blame them for being rigid or hypocrits or racist or anything. Change of attitude will happen if ever when they're comfortable with it. We as expats cannot force it, we already did force many things whether we like to believe it or not indirectly just by being present here.

Moving on to the 'guests' issue, well, let's be very honest about it. Our governments in our own countries are no better than the UAE's dealing with expats. Every expat around the world faces a hard time wherever he/she chooses to live, just with a different set of problems, that's all. Why should it be any different here? Let's face it, it is not gonna be any different in this country! We can choose to rant, ramble, bitch about it and it is our right but isn't there a reason why some of us are still here and/or are planning to stay for a while? And this reason has something to do with what is good for us. Let's not be hypocrit to believe and make others believe that we're staying for the sake of Emiratis and not ours.

Anonymous said...

it is really pathetic that some compare Sharjah with Saudi Arabia or linking mistreating women with Islam

You should know that Sharjah has the highest percentage of female high rank governmental employees. It is also that only Emirati which had over 25% females of its electroial college members.

Ignorance in its finest form

btw, we are better without this pathetic Miss Emirates. It is time to force a dress code for the whole country and start closing all the night clubs.

fanissa said...

hi, why not a beauty contest? the girls dont have to go on bikini, i think the contest can be done respecting the culture. it would be beautiful to show the world the beauty that we have and also to show the world that we dont need to be half naked to make a spectacular contest where the gifts and talents of the ladys are presented :) I think it would be very pretty! MISS UAE i a
can picture it :D very classi and conservative beauty qween

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