31 March, 2006
Summary: Nadia Aamer's ©Vlogumentary; is a “personal point of view” on the social, cultural and political issues that we face in a multicultural city like London today. This is a narrative of a person who believes that human interactions are much more complex than what we see on television while criticising the mainstream media for creating misunderstandings between this and those “other regions of the world”. This is an individual's effort to bridge the gap which infects the minds of the people through repeated exposure to negative imagery. What bridges the gap is the ability of the British society to laugh at oneself.
“Your finger is on the pulse...” David Rowen, Journalist and Writer,The Times Magazine.
“Really terrific work, I love your first-person style and the way you explore this issue. You should feel very very proud. I will definitely spread the word!” Chuck Olsen, Author, Director and Producer of the Documentary on Blogs, Blogumentary
“Full marks for the video! I really liked the idea and my wife loved it too. I will forward the website to friends in UK and USA and some friends in media in Pakistan.” Hassan Abbas author of the book “Pakistan’s drift into Extremism.
“The content on your Mind the Gap website has been acknowledged. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you every success with your work in the future.” MAYOR OF LONDON- Ken Livingston.
“Watch a complete short film online that challenges our assumptions about racial and cultural tolerance. Terrific debut from young British filmmaker Nadia Aamer” Dave Pollard previously Chief Knowledge Officer for Ernst & Young now established his own consultancy, Meeting of Minds, and continues his highly regarded blog, "How to Save the World."
grapeshisha, picking up on increasing US interest in immigration, innocently posted an interesting graphic displaying a world map where country size is represented by net immigration.
Result: #1 blogger in the world, Instapundit, links to the post, his first ever post to a UAE-based blog of which I am aware.
Consequence: Instalanche. 16,000 hits in one day alone.
Oh Lord it's hard to be humble.
Nota Bene: Corrections Department - a previous version of this post put the one day visit total at a mere 12,000 hits.
I guess guests will be able to enjoy the dusty yellow skies of Dubai from the top down rather than the bottom up like most of us. Perhaps the municipality will start watering the sandlands to keep down the dust. That would add value to the tourism experience.
Thanks to samuraisam for mentioning this announcement.
30 March, 2006
Based in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said the city can also play an important role as a base for aid agencies.
In an exclusive interview with IRIN, Princess Haya, who is also the daughter of the late King His Majesty Hussein Bin Talal of Jordan, said she hoped to work closely with Arab governments to raise awareness and promote action on the fact that thousands of people die from hunger every day.
See the Full Interview on IRIN (United Nations)
DUBAI — The Short Message Service (SMS) connected to Etisalat enquiry service on 181 was yesterday disrupted temporarily causing inconvenience to a large number of users, specially those using the service while commuting on the UAE roads.
To Hell, in a handcart, getting closer by the day.
29 March, 2006
Their advertisment today in the Goofy News (page 23) promoting their flights to LONDON.
"WITH 25 ETIHAD flights a week, the UK is hardly VIRGIN territory".
DROLL, DELIGHTFUL , VERY TONGUE IN CHEEK! Excellent.
The 3rd issue is finally compiled. Read Grapeshisha's interesting interview.
UAE WEB OF LIFE
The Ezine on what's happening in the local UAE Internet community.
1. UAE WEBSITES IN THE NEWS
2. REGULARS - Cub & Bug
3. INTERVIEW - Grapeshisha - UAE's first independent current affairs ezine.
eclipse today, starting from about 14:20 and lasting
till about 16:15.
E-Vision, will be broadcasting this astronomical event LIVE on its
Information Channel (Ch 1).
IMPORTANT: You are cautioned not to look directly at the sun during this
phenomenon, as there is still more than enough sunlight available to
cause injury to the eyes. Even sunglasses are not deemed appropriate
Previous solar eclipse over the UAE took place on October 23, 2004
Next partial Lunar Eclipse will take place on September 07, 2006.
Next Annular Solar Eclipse will take place September 22, 2006.
Penumbral lunar eclipse took place March 14, 2006.
A lunar eclipse is usually followed by a solar eclipse.
WARNING: Tightens skin in seconds, eye irritant, goggles or safety glasses should always be used, do not ingest.
Can be used to stop a leak on an automobile radiator. It is quick and economical. It also offers great bonding strength and tremendous heat and water resistance.
It is perfect for permanent and delicate repairs. Can be filed, machined and sanded . (!!!!!!!)
28 March, 2006
UAE: After Iraq, Arabs Wary of 'Western' Democracy
''Democracy,'' said Hamzawi, ''is a popular demand in some countries (but) not so in the Gulf region as the people don't suffer severe economic problems and have different concerns.'' ''The situation here is completely different and each case should be handled separately. Democracy is unacceptable if it affects the culture it is meant to govern in a negative way.''
Hmmmm. Article worth reading in totality.
More than 2,500 workers at the site of the world's tallest building, the $800m Burj Dubai, went on strike last week in a country where striking - and unions - are illegal. It is the latest manifestation of the deep discontent felt by the semi-indentured labourers from the Indian subcontinent who are building this glitzy oasis. Complaining of unpaid wages, and demanding better conditions, the labourers marched out of the cramped, stifling dormitories where they are corralled 25 to a room in violent protests which caused $1m worth of damage. They overturned cars and smashed up offices in a very graphic reminder of a problem which normally receives little publicity.And the eyes of the world are upon us.
Almost everything is for sale in this part of the United Arab Emirates.
In a more culturally confident age, the British in India were faced with the practice of "suttee" — the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. General Sir Charles Napier was impeccably multicultural:
"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
World's tallest tower looms in Tokyo
Computer generated image of the world's tallest tower, to be constructed at Tokyo's Sumida Ward by 2010.
Plans are underway to build the world's tallest tower in Tokyo, about 600 meters (1,970 feet) high, in a derelict railway yard, press reports have said.
27 March, 2006
The official said the workers lived in "five-star accommodation compared to what they are used to in India".
The quote in the title is attributed to an official of the notorious Al Hamed Company whose failure to pay workers for months led to the SZR protests in September last year. Seems the company is back again to its old tricks:
Company defaults on workers' wages again.
But one of them, seems to be out to take my name for his own use. There can be only one Emirati. Emaraty, you are a....
So, is there anyone, male or female interested in creating a Group Blog with FULL intent to bash men in the most absurdly psychotic ways using the most twisted illogical corrupt possible references, stories or comments?
Naturally, we’d have to make all entries so unbelievable that any sane reader would automatically know it’s all said as a pun… But those whose sanity is up for question, might respond with some interestingly funny antidotes or humorous outbursts of anger…
I have a twisted, immature sense of humor, I know. But I can’t be the only person here who thinks this would be even remotely entertaining, can I?
By the way, here are the links to the Blogs of the guys I’m talking about, in case you aren’t familiar with them.
Here's a link to an article, dated 26th March, on the New York Times' website, entitled: In Dubai, an Outcry From Asians for Workplace Rights.
You will have to register with NYTimes (quick and painless) to read it.
"...I'll meet you 'round the bend my friend, where hearts can heal and souls can mend..."
The following email I have received from (Bonnie Lackey) had touched me deep inside. It touched me so much because I felt the truth in every word spoken. The reason I'm publishing her email to me is because Ms. Lackey asked me to spread her message on behalf of the good Americans to the people of the United Arab Emirates .... Read her letter carefully to see what I mean ......
26 March, 2006
Summary: "London after 7/7"
Are open societies really open to cultures that are different?
With an optimistic take on the town, the people, places and candid interviews by a Pakistani Filmmaker, “Mind the Gap”, the ©Vlogumentary is very relevant in light of today’s controversies between the Islamic and non Islamic world.
Category: Modern Documentary released in Video Clips
Nadia Aamer's ©Vlogumentary; is a “personal point of view” on the social, cultural and political issues that we face in a multicultural city like London today. This is a narrative of a person who believes that human interactions are much more complex than what we see on television while criticising the mainstream media for creating misunderstandings between this and those “other regions of the world”. This is an individual's effort to bridge the gap which infects the minds of the people through repeated exposure to negative imagery. What bridges the gap is the ability of the British society to laugh at oneself.
“Your finger is on the pulse...”
David Rowen, Journalist and Writer,The Times Magazine
“Really terrific work, I love your first-person style and the way you explore this issue.
You should feel very very proud.
I will definitely spread the word!”
Chuck Olsen, Author, Director and Producer of the Documentary on Blogs, Blogumentary
“Full marks for the video! I really liked the idea and my wife loved it too. I will forward the website to friends in UK and USA and some friends in media in Pakistan.”
Hassan Abbas author of the book “Pakistan's drift into Extremism.
"The content on your Mind the Gap website has been acknowledged. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you every success with your work in the future."
MAYOR OF LONDON- Ken Livingston
“Watch a complete short film online that challenges our assumptions about racial and cultural tolerance. Terrific debut from young British filmmaker Nadia Aamer”
Dave Pollard previously Chief Knowledge Officer for Ernst & Young now established his own consultancy, Meeting of Minds, and continues his highly regarded blog, "How to Save the World."
- Dubai is capital of country called United Arab Emirates. Don't ask me what an "Emirates" is and don't ask me to put my finger on Dubai on a map of the world, either.
- A lot of Americans are involved, considering that Dubai Ports World is supposed to be a foreign company. The head of it has been an American - a Yale graduate named Ted Bilkey. Several of his assistants are American. For all we know this is a business deal put together by Americans to make money by using Dubai as a front.
- The credit card companies are using people in India to do their customer service business. If you call them with a problem, you get someone who speaks English, sort of, but she's sitting in New Delhi.
- Why don't they outsource The White House, or outsource Congress. Get some really smart people from other countries to run our country for us. A congressman gets $162,000 a year and all he can eat. I'll bet we could get some natives of Dubai to do the same work twice as well for half the price.
- I hope CBS doesn't decide to outsource 60 Minutes. They'd probably replace me with someone from Dubai, Anwar Rooney, who'd do what I do for a quarter of what they pay me.
"This essay contest takes its title from a 1951 poem by Langston Hughes: What Happens to a Dream Deferred?. The poem helped propel the civil rights movement in the United States. Today, it will hopefully inspire you to describe your dream deferred for the Middle East, which the United Nations calls the world’s least free region.
The “Dream Deferred” essay contest has two parts: one for Middle Eastern youth (25 and younger) and one for American youth (25 and younger). To participate, all you have to do is write a brief essay (600-2,000 words) addressing one of the questions below. Winners - selected by a panel of celebrity judges - will receive a $2,000 prize, with other prizes for top essays (details below).
Click on Image for further Details
THE AMERICAN ISLAMIC CONGRESS PRESENTS:
The “Dream Deferred” Essay Contest on Civil Rights in the Middle East
A chance for young Americans and Middle Easterners to express ideas on
civil rights. If you live in the Middle East, what changes do you want to see?
If you live in the US, how can you use your freedom to make a difference?
Cash prizes up to $2,000!
Essays must be between 600 and 2,000 words – in English, French, Arabic, or Farsi. Contestants
must be under the age of 26 and from Arab League member countries, Iran, or the United States.
Celebrity judges include Gloria Steinem, Saad Eddin Ibrahim, and Ammar Abdulhamid.
* One essay in the Middle East and one in the US will receive $2,000.
* One essay in the Middle East and one in the US will receive $1,500.
* Three runners up in the Middle East and three in the US will receive $500 each.
DEADLINE: March 31, 2006
Details and Entry Form at:
25 March, 2006
Dubai hosted the 40th IAA World Congress from 20 March to 23 March 2006 at the Dubai International Convention Centre. More than 2,000 delegates from over 60 countries attended.
Most of the delegates I talked to, and the speakers as well, felt that the Congress has set an excellent example and Dubai was just the perfect choice for the theme "The Challenges of Change".
This is the first event which brought to Dubai the who's who of the advertising and marketing world in such large numbers.
I attended most of the sessions, and shall be blogging about it on my advertising and marketing blog, to share the learnings and experience. Except the bellydancing episode when we all went for a desert safari - that one shall remain a secret.
Is anyone blogging about it? Did you want to attend and couldn't? Never heard of it?
24 March, 2006
After the rains about 4 weeks ago, the road through the wadi canyon has been washed away, and the area is almost unrecogniseable.
We drove about 5km from the Dibba end before we were stopped, and after walking up the wadi, it looks like there’s about 1km of rocks and gravel that’s going to have to be cleared and graded.
If anyone knows what the road is like from the RAK side, we’d love to hear about it.
It’s going to take a few months of work and considerable effort to cut another road.
Of course, there are no signs or barriers to tell drivers that the road is washed away. It would have annoyed us to have driven all the way from RAK to be turned back so close to Dibba!
More images on our blog, including a before and after of the affected area.
23 March, 2006
I never would've guessed.
Aside from the title, it is a pretty interesting read;
In another dramatic finding, only a third of Native English speakers and Asians living here consider it extremely important to have a good command of Arabic in order to communicate in the UAE, with an average of 28 percent saying it was not at all important. Close to 98 percent of Arabs, on the other hand, consider it extremely important. Conversely, only 40 percent of Emiratis and 57 percent of expatriate Arabs consider it extremely important to have a good command of English.
Sheikha Lubna is proving to be a big hit stateside, and for good reason:
"Sheikha Lubna is the perfect weapon to counter the negativism generated by the Dubai Ports fiasco for several reasons. She is intelligent, sharp and charming -- proof that not all the people from Dubai are in cahoots with Osama bin Laden, as some people here would like us to believe. Her command of the English language is impeccable, and she could easily pass for an American."
I have long been a fan. It was a smart move to send her to pacify the situation. Read about Dubai's Secret Weapon here.
According to the rumours, government offices dealing with the general public will have their duty hours changed from the existing 7am (or 7:30am in some cases) to 2:30pm, to 9am to 5pm.
Many of the local government employees KT spoke to about the issue believe that while such a change in working hours would rob them of their leisure hours (most government employees are home latest by 4pm), it would improve the services the general public receives.
The Ajman Federal Sharia Court of First Instance is questioning four sisters and their stepfather for committing incest.
The girls aged between 21 and 26 told the judge that their stepfather used to threaten them with a knife, forcing them to give in.
The girls reportedly gave birth to more than 12 children through their stepfather. Sources said when they were arrested in 2005 one of the girls was eight months pregnant.
22 March, 2006
DUBAI - Construction on a building expected to be the world’s tallest was interrupted on Wednesday after Asian workers angered by low salaries and mistreatment rioted, smashing cars and offices and causing what a government official said almost US$1 million in damagemore here (courtesy of the Kretin)
I have been for the past few weeks addicted to the caricatures of this arabic tabloid, as well as many of its articles, its fresh, funny and quite different from its English counterpart.
Today's caricature made me laugh aloud. Perhaps its funnier in Arabic 'cause we usually ask God Almighty to "open" paths to prosperity, routes to better jobs etc... But this rang true as I repeat this prayer(light traffic) for Sheik Zayed Road by Mall of the Emirates on a daily basis, and you know what (shhhh) its working!
On another note, in the same paper, an article just beneath caught my eye: 'Jail & Deportation for criminal who sexually assaulted a cow'
'An expat asian turned into a raging bull after barging into a barn and carried on with a cow which had him end up in jail and the punishment of deportation.'
The story goes on to say:
'When his sponsor came across him at the barn he was agitated and nervous, when asked what he was doing he confessed "the devil made me do it with the cow".'
'After informing the police the cow was sent to be examined medically and the criminal was sent to the prosecutor to which he confessed to having sexual intercourse with the cow.'
Don't you just love the language?! So creative and so un-dull
Today there were many interesting articles in Emarat Al Youm and its good daily, some headlines included 'Two year old ucovers clues to a murder' and 'Poor locals in Ras al Khaima sell their names'
Something P%$$&@ me off yesterday in 7 days.... Ahhh a letter from a reader... But I'll get into that later.
I thought Mother’s Day is an international day but I found out from the encyclopedia that it is different in each country /region for example in USA it is held on the second Sunday of May. Mothers often receive gifts on this day. Tradition calls for the wearing of carnations on Mother's Day — a red one if one's mother is alive, white if she has died, and pink if one is not certain .(if not certain would you celebrate this day?)
However I would like to say to all Mom Thank you for being Moms
Have linked to a few below, but there are a fair few listed. Expect a market correction shortly.
An Emarati's Thoughts
Dubai Consumer Mirror
One Big Construction Site
If you just want to read about what this is, go to their home page.
21 March, 2006
Dubai Enquirer has posted a response to bigus on this thread
We've been watching this recent correspondence with lively interest and have come to one conclusion. That you should be writing for us! As a way of apology for your unfortunate outing in the Gulf News - which was not our intention - we would like to offer you a column in the Dubai Enquirer as platform for your unique views and outlook. We feel that you have much to impart to our readers and look forward to welcoming you onboard the good ship satire.
Clive, and all at the Dubai Enquirer.
Apparently the enquirer team took a liking/hating to the blogging communities comments and posted them on its website (bottom of page)
What people are saying about The Dubai Enquirer:
"The most talked about website in Dubai" Campaign Middle East
"Poorly written rubbish" One of our many blogging fans
"Has already achieved something like cult status, causing unlimited merriment" Time Out Dubai
"Inexplicably rude and cruel" Secret Dubai
"Groundbreaking....Opening a new perspective on Dubai" The Gulf News
"Interesting for the first issue or two, now it's a bit boring" Another blogging supporter
"Not as funny as it used to be" The Dubai Enquirer
"The rapidly successful spoof news site" Emirates Today
They quoted me but they didn't even name me ):
“Let’s say skinheads had bought a company to take over our port,” he said. “I think the outcry would have been the same.”
Your choices (select the single best answer):
a. Chuck Schumer, Democrat, Senior Senator of the great state of New York
b. Joseph Lieberman, Democrat, Senior Senator of the great state of Connecticut
c. George W. Bush, Republican, POTUS
d. None of the above
Hint 1: Viking Pundit files this under "It's only racism if Republicans do it."
Hint 2: You don't hear any worldwide hue and cry over this statement.
Hint 3: It's not the first Jew to make a serious run at the Democratic nomination for President. His position on the Dubai ports deal is brilliantly presented here.
For the answer, click here.
I am a graduate student at the University of Michigan School of Information. As part of my master's thesis project, I am currently conducting a study about bloggers and their social networks. Based on your blog, you have been selected to participate in a short online survey about blogging. To qualify for the survey, you must meet the following qualifications:
* Be at least 18 years of age
* Currently keep a blog
* Have a blog that contains a blogroll and/or allows comments
* Have a blog that is part of the UAE Blogs community
Your participation is completely voluntary. The survey should take about ten to thirty minutes to complete. You may access the survey at this address:
All survey data will be kept confidential. The study's findings will be reported in aggregates and will not be used to identify a specific person. If you have any questions about this survey, please email me at nooraz AT umich DOT edu
Your time and participation is greatly appreciated!
20 March, 2006
This whole article seems confused and confusing. But it could just be me and my oldtimers.
Can anyone parse these two paragraphs for me?:
Juma Al Salami, Assistant Under-Secretary for Foreign Private Schools, told this reporter that the confusion is due to a subtle difference in the interpretation of the circular. "The schools are not allowed to conceal the result from students if they did not settle the fees. But they can withhold the certificate until the amounts are settled," he clarified.All fine up until when the first sentence of the second paragraph appears to contradict the first paragraph. And then the second sentence of the second paragraph appears to contradict the paragraph's first sentence. (Because withholding a certificate blocks the student from transfering.)
The private education bylaw specifies that schools may withhold the final results and refrain from issuing the transfer certificates until the final settlement of financial dues. But schools are not allowed to penalise students whose fee payments are delayed.
In the meantime, some parents walking away without paying fees owed to the schools. Why should they, they reason if their child got the precious transfer certificate?
I hope the schools can at least share information on deadbeat parents. Or is that considered liable?
You goodbeat parent do realize of course that tuition covers the cost of deadbeats. You should be tighter regulations on nonpayment to protect your interests.
Methinks that to be a little harsh but as it's Sharia law I guess there's nothing to be done. I wonder if the guy would have been better off becoming a Jedi.
Cxxx Manufacturing Company Ltd,
No.x Clarendon Cross and
x Elystan Street. London
Tel: +44 1 21 618xxxx
Fax: +44 70 3040xxxx
We got your contact from the directory. There is a business we want to
transact with you. My name is Philip Richards Axxx, the manager of (Cxxx
Manufacturing Company Ltd) based here is London UK.
There is a product my company needs from Saudi Arabia, but we are having
problem from the owner of the stone due to language issue. Our company deals
on costumes such as Diamonds and Precious Stones. We have been purchasing
the product from Dubai, but it is very scarce now and we got information
that somebody has it in Saudi Arabia. Whenever we call the owner of the
product he will be answering us in his language: TATAMALEKU TATAMALEKU and
we do not understand what it means. This is why we want a reliable person or
company that will link us to the man
The phone number of the man is: 966 56 274xxxx and his name is Ahmad Mxxxxx.
We want you to call the man and confirm if he has the product, the name and
their prizes, it is of different types and but the one we want is (CRYSTAL
QUARTZ AND GANNET). The rate we use to buy from (DUBAI) is $400 per gram and
we need up to 5 kilos.
Assist us to know if the man has up to 5 kilos and each one gram we are
purchasing, we are adding 10% for your assistance. Please, immediately you
confirm, call us back with this number +44 1 21 618xxxx or fax us at +44 70
3040xxxx or get back to us by email so at to enable us arrange for the man
that will come with cash. We are waiting for your response so as to arrange
Sir, We are urgently in need of this material because of its lack in our
company. Once you confirm it, we will be coming monthly. Please, co-operate
with us because this is a business that will last long.
Philip Richards Axxx
Regular readers of the Gulf News will readily recognize these as the initials of The Blind Boys of Jumeirah, Julian Jarzon Velinsia, Roben Landen Tailais, Jesus Ramsis Val Ferd and Alehandro Martinaise Filla.
Caption contest anyone?
19 March, 2006
Tomorrow, or whenever I get time, the previous UAE blog e-mail system (the one that goes through feedburner, then r-mail, then gmail, and finally to you) will exist no more;
It has been too slow (2 hours or more to update), it has been pretty crappy (missed out on e-mails for over a week at one stage), and it has been too spammy (some guy spammed some guys number in the UAE claiming him to be a pimp - Wish I was kidding.)
The new service, as featured below (will be implemented on one of the sidebars when I can get enough time) should hopefully prove better.
You should be able to subscribe now.
I will also implement one on the Emirati community blog as soon as I have the time.
released about ~10 days ago, didn't see anyone else post, if you had, sorry.
"I am not going to do any more blogging!!!!! ALL THANKS TO YOU TAINTED-IN-UAE!!!!!!!!
Why dont yougo and starting dancing hah??????
why dont you Celebrate now!!!!!!
It appears that balushi has given up blogging.
Congratulations to Tainted for killing off that idiotic troll.
18 March, 2006
Apparantly people can search and all sorts now.
I can't find a good place for the technorati search box, at the moment it is located to the left, thought of a better place? comment and i'll move it.
Read the whole article from the Washington Times
[my blog is back up, btw]
Everything is connected. (Trailer)
A film distributor has said the company might abandon plans to release controversial movie Syriana in the UAE if it is not passed by censors soon.Ah Karama, Robert Baer! Can you say oil change?
Gianluca Chacra, managing director of distributor Shooting Stars, said further postponements would make a local release uneconomic because large numbers of people would have seen the film on pirated DVDs.
He said if the film was passed soon and released in cinemas not long afterwards there would be "pretty high" interest from moviegoers. Chacra said the oil industry film, which was partly shot in Dubai, was submitted to censors three months ago but no decision has yet been made on whether to pass it.
17 March, 2006
I was browsing to a URL just now and a different blocking message from the "normal" one came up. I typed in an IP-address and not a FQDN, ie. a number and not a "text-address", could that be the reason? I've not seen this blocking message before and Google only shows it mentioned on one other page. Have you seen this before and what are your thoughts on why IP-addresses would be blocked? Would it be to reduce viruses etc? Most regular users wouldn't type in an IP address for a URL, but it may happen, and I had good reason to do so.
Update: I guess we cannot connect to IPs. I tried http://22.214.171.124 (www.apple.com) which comes up as blocked for me.
The most problems i've had accessing blogs have been with SD's and grapeshisha's.
Share your issues.
(post dated 8 hours ahead so everyone knows that there are issues and their computer / Etisalat is not to blame.)
EDIT by secretdubai: God knows why you'd want to, but you can still read my drivel here, until Blogspot works again:
Secret Dubai mirror
“We are warning you for the last time, if you continue you will pay for committing treason against your country and Islam,” said the letter, signed by “The Association Hostile to Apostate Bahais.”I'm only human, so I don't really know. But I suspect The Islamic Republic of Iran is not the umma wahida. God, of course, is the judge of that.
Ebadi, who was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2003 for her work promoting women’s and children’s rights in Iran, said she has been on the receiving end of a number of death threats over the past few years.
The book had been taught since 1996 to Grades V and VI students without the knowledge of authorities in a number of schools in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.Aside: Is this a first for Gulf News, giving a URL for an outside source?
The Ministry of Education banned the book from high schools after it was confiscated from a school in Abu Dhabi for its offensive content against Islam and breaching Arab rights.
'The Textbook League' review of the book on their website describes the book as "bogus and useless". It also describes it as a "fake" and a "mockery in every sense".
Full review of the book is available on http://www.textbookleague.org/75ginn.htm
16 March, 2006
Dubai and Dunces - New York Times
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
When it came to the Dubai ports issue, the facts never really had a chance — not in this political season. Still, it's hard to imagine a more ignorant, bogus, xenophobic, reckless debate than the one indulged in by both Republicans and Democrats around this question of whether an Arab-owned company might oversee loading and unloading services in some U.S. ports. If you had any doubts before, have none now: 9/11 has made us stupid. We don't need any more pre-9/11 commissions. We need a post-9/11 commission, one that looks at all the big and little things we are doing — from sanctioning torture to warrantless wiretaps to turning our embassies abroad into fortresses — that over time could eat away at the core DNA of America. What is so crazy about the Dubai ports issue is that Dubai is precisely the sort of decent, modernizing model we should be trying to nurture in the Arab-Muslim world. But we've never really had an honest discussion about either the real problems out there or the real solutions, have we?
The real problem was recently spelled out by an Arab-American psychiatrist, Dr. Wafa Sultan, in a stunning interview with Al Jazeera. Speaking about the Arab-Muslim world, Dr. Sultan said: "The clash we are witnessing ... is not a clash of religions, or a clash of civilizations. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality. It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and the violation of these rights, on the other hand. It is a clash between those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human beings."
The Jazeera host then asked:
"I understand from your words that what is happening today is a clash between the culture of the West, and the backwardness and ignorance of the Muslims?"
Dr. Sultan: "Yes, that is what I mean."
Dr. Sultan voiced truths that many Muslims know: their civilization is, in many places, in turmoil, falling further and further behind the world in science, education, industry and innovation, while falling deeper and deeper into the grip of crackpot clerics, tin-pot dictators, violent mobs and madmen like bin Laden and Saddam.
President Bush keeps talking about Iraq and the Arab world as if democracy alone is the cure and all we need to do is get rid of a few bad apples. The problem is much deeper — we're dealing with a civilization that is still highly tribalized and is struggling with modernity. Mr. Bush was right in thinking it is important to help Iraq become a model where Arab Muslims could freely discuss their real problems, the ones identified by Dr. Sultan, and chart new courses. His crime was thinking it would be easy.
I don't know how Iraq will end, but I sure know that we aren't going to repeat the Iraq invasion elsewhere anytime soon. Yet the need for reform in this region still cries out. Is there another way? Yes — nurturing internally generated Arab models for evolutionary reform, and one of the best is Dubai, the Arab Singapore.
Dubai is not a democracy, and it is not without warts. But it is a bridge of decency that leads away from the failing civilization described by Dr. Sultan to a much more optimistic, open and self-confident society. Dubaians are building a future based on butter not guns, private property not caprice, services more than oil, and globally competitive companies, not terror networks. Dubai is about nurturing Arab dignity through success not suicide. As a result, its people want to embrace the future, not blow it up.
What's ironic is that if Democrats who hate the Bush war in Iraq actually had a peaceful alternative policy for promoting transformation in the Arab-Muslim world, it would be called "the Dubai policy": supporting internally driven Arab engines of change. That's why Arab progressives are stunned by our behavior. As an Arab businessman friend said to me of the Dubai saga: "This deal has left a real bad taste in many mouths. I mean this was Dubai, for God's sake!
You could not have a better friend and more of a symbol of globalization and openness. If they are a security danger to the U.S., then who is not?" So whatever happens with the Iraq experiment — but especially if it fails — we need Dubai to succeed.
Dubai is where we should want the Arab world to go. Unfortunately, we just told Dubai to go to hell.
Somebody seems to think he knows what God wants. I don't think it works that way, dude.
You'll find out whether you will be an eternal member of the people of the right or the people of left when you meet your maker - i.e., when you shuffle off this mortal coil.
Dubai Bloggers Group invites all bloggers within UAE to become a member. DBG is a group which has regular meet ups, visit the DBG Blog and learn more about it.
Would you like to be a member ? Leave a comment with your email address and will send you an invitation to join soon.
My strongly held belief is that the greening policies in the various emirates are well intended, but in the end produce results that are 180 degrees from environmental friendliness.
What is your view? Comments, as always, are (relatively) open.
15 March, 2006
"Dubai - A friend and I once invented a game to keep us entertained at media events. We called it Dubai Bingo. Certain words and phrases crop up with such frequency in Dubai conversation that you could mark them off on a little card: Traffic, construction, heat, superficial, rent, Used to be just sand and This is not the Middle East."
Visit the site to read the full article on:
7 days is part way there, using their free model with some comments allocated to stories, but I would doubt they even intended this or would go any further in this direction.
When will something like this happen in the UAE? All dependent on internet penetration, technology upgrades, freedom of expression laws. At some point around 2010, probably.
I find the whole blogging, forum, chatting, news, community all online riveting and see the whole community myspace area all joining up among different communities and not too dissimilar to what we have here at this community blog. However, I see it moving towards, say key coverage areas lead by certain people ie editors that cover the main headlines, the weird and wacky, the same for politics, the same for local news etc etc. Can you imagine that with this blog?
You have 2 cows and you give one to your neighbor.
You have 2 cows; the Government takes both and gives you some milk.
You have 2 cows. The Government takes both and shoots you.
AN EGYPTIAN CORPORATION:
You have two cows. Both are voting for Hosni Mubarak!!!!
You have two cows. You create a website for them and advertise them in all magazines. You create a Cow City or Milk Town for them. You sell off their milk before the cows have even been milked to both legit and shady investors who hope to resale the non-existent milk for a 100% profit in two years time. You bring Tiger Woods to milk the cow first to attract attention.
You have two cows. They've been sitting there for decades and no one realizes that cows can produce milk. You see what Dubai is doing; you go crazy and start milking the heck out of the cow in the shortest time possible. Then you realize no one wanted the milk in the first place.
Since milking the cow involves nipples the government decides to ban all cows in public. The only method to milk a cow is to have a cow in on one side of the curtain and the guy milking the cow on the other.
You have two cows. Some high government official steals one, milks it, sells the milk and pockets the profit. The government tells you there is just one cow and not enough milk for the people. The people riot and scream death to the government and carry Iranian flags. The Parliament, after thinking for 11 months, decide to employ ten Bahrainis to milk all the cows at the same time so cut back on unemployment.
You have two cows. One is owned by Syria and the other is controlled by the government.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
An American living in Dubai seeks to understand his fellow man.
Read the whole thing.
An Emaratis Thoughts addressed to the American people.
Read the whole thing.
Both are truly inspired writing. Sometimes sadness brings out the best in us.
TAGS: Dubai, UAE, democracy project, war on terror
posted by John B. Chilton at 3/14/2006 08:04:00 AM
Any comments on this poll?Attitudes ... improved slightly in the UAE, from 87 percent who said in 2002 that they disliked the United States to 73 percent this year.
John B. Chilton said...
Point being that I thought we were concerned with those xenophobic Americans being overly irrational when 60+% of those polled were against the port deal and apparently in a state of widespread panic. But it looks like the subjects of the UAE are just as human as the rest of us.
John B. Chilton said...
Nicely stated anomolous. Thank you for the clarification. Point taken. You are using the "everybody does it" argument, and it is a legitimate argument as long as it is not used to excuse one's own behavior.
Counterpoint: You fail, utterly, to distinguish between dislike of the US and like/trust for/of Americans. Consider that opposition to the US has to do with US foreign policy. I happen to be in the distinct minority that [believes] there is more good than bad to that policy. A minority both among residents of the UAE and among citizens of the US. (I am among both groups.) Residents of the UAE are not xenophobic - for God's sake most of us are xenos and we are welcomed by the 20% of the country who are Emiratis.
Your "logic" would lead to the conclusion that Americans dislike themselves.
An encyclopedic style entry which provides a summary of Dubai in audio and print, with links to past NPR coverage on Dubai. There's nothing new for locals and residents, but it gives an idea of how Dubai is being introduced abroad.
14 March, 2006
Quote: Muslim leaders in the Netherlands say the film is offensive. "It really is a provocation aimed to limit immigration. It has nothing to do with the rights of homosexuals. Even Dutch people don't want to see that," said Abdou Menebhi, the Moroccan-born director of Emcemo, an organisation that helps immigrants to settle. He added: "They are trying to find every pretext to show that people should not come to the Netherlands because they are fundamentalist or not emancipated. They confront people with these things and then judge them afterwards." Famile Arslan, 34, an immigration lawyer of Turkish origin, agreed. "I have lived here for 30 years and have never been witness to two men kissing in the park. So why are they confronting people with that?" she said. She accused the government of preaching tolerance about civil rights while targeting non-westerners with harsh and discriminatory immigration curbs.
UPDATE: Chilton has a change of mind. It's not a spoof, and it's not wacky.
I hate the Daily Telegraph.
They publish pictures of Iraq as if it was Ireland. They are quite out of touch with anything South of Dover. They appeal to people who eat Fish wrapped with their paper.
I was bored today at work, but in our kitchen we sometimes have the Telegraph, and I read this article which is quite fascinating and should be re-published especially amongst the Arab and Muslim worlds. click here for article.
Below you shall find a few select paragraphs, but I strongly recommend reading the whole article:
"On a windswept hilltop in the middle of the West Bank, long-bearded, quick-to-laugh Rabbi Menachem Froman is preparing to desert the state of Israel."
And it continues..
"He will do it even though it was on the craggy hills outside his house in Tekoa that Rabbi Froman says his father once had a vision of Abraham leading Isaac to sacrifice.
Yet Rabbi Froman will not be moving an inch. Rather Tekoa, and Israel with it, will be leaving him.
This week it became clear that Tekoa, an isolated settlement south of Jerusalem, will almost certainly be abandoned by the state of Israel if - as is likely - the acting prime minister, Ehud Olmert, wins the general election on March 28."
This is the same prince of a man that said that he will finalise Israel's borders by 2010. We know this includes Al-Furat (Ephrates) but will you get to the Nile in four years?
Anyway, the story continues..
"This came as no surprise to Rabbi Froman. "I know that they plan to dismantle Tekoa, just like they did Gaza," he said, referring to Mr Sharon's forced evacuation of 8,000 settlers from the Gaza Strip last summer.
"But what matters is the holiness of this land. I prefer to live here in a future Palestine than leave to live in an Israeli state."
Tekoa's outlook is indeed grim. Mr Sharon may lie comatose in a Jerusalem hospital after a huge stroke in January, but earlier this week his political successors detailed a plan to evacuate thousands more Israeli settlers from swathes of the West Bank, should they win the election."
Very interesting stuff coming from a Rabbi.... anyways back to the article:
"I am one of the founders of the settler movement," he said, strapping a tiny prayer scroll to his forehead. "But you can't claim to love the earth and not the people [Palestinians] living there."
So Rabbi Froman has spent more than 20 years getting to know his neighbours. Both the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and assassinated Hamas chief Ahmed Yassin were "friends" whom he met several times.
"I had deep connections with Arafat," he said. "I visited Yassin in jail."
So here's an Israeli and a Jew that believes in human rights. Give this guy a medal. Make him known. Where is the media?
OK, so neither Arafat or Sheikh Yassin were angels, but at least this man stands for dialogue, and that is a good thing.
Visit this page for more information about Rabbi Froman.
There is no better words to end this than with the Rabbi's own words:
"I prefer to live on the land, not in the state - to live on the land of Israel, not in the state of Israel, and I can do that if I follow the essence of my belief that I must love my neighbours, and the Palestinians are my neighbours."
Just went through UAE community blog roll; removed all
blogs that either;
- Didn't work
- Were proxied, then deleted and overtaken by some complete retard, and somehow still remained on the blogroll
- Hadn't made at least one posting in the whole of 2006
- Had moved blog
- Had only made one posting in the whole of 2006 and didn't look like they'd be posting again anytime soon
Sad to see them all disappear into thin air, maybe the cliche expat should remove whining from their list, people appear to be giving up /:
If you feel your blog has been removed in error, which it hasn't, because I am always correct about everything, or you have a new blog, that's totally kickass and all of that, leave a comment and i'll add you to the blogroll.
CARPE DIEM - clayfuture
Elzubeir - Clearly Demented
Dubai Thoughts and Musings
Essays in Idleness
Improve Dubai (evidently they gave up on that mission sometime in september last year like everyone else)
Jaime's very important blog
Life in these United Emirates
Rants from the fake paradise
Notes from a sandpit
Smokes and mirros in Dubai
The Sage in Dubai
The Sublime Driveway
The New World Order
Your man in Dubai
According to Forbes magazine, there are 4 UAE citizens among the world's billionaires:
|RANK||NAME||CITIZENSHIP||AGE||NET WORTH ($BIL)||RESIDENCE|
|77||Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair & family||UAE||52||6.9||UAE|
|335||Khalaf Al Habtoor||UAE||NA||2.3||UAE|
|562||Abdulla Al Futtaim||UAE||NA||1.4||UAE|
|746||Majid Al Futtaim||UAE||NA||1.0||UAE|
As for Saudia Arabia, 11 Saudi citizens are billionairs:
|RANK||NAME||CITIZENSHIP||AGE||NET WORTH ($BIL)||RESIDENCE|
|8||Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud||Saudi Arabia||49||20.0||Saudi Arabia|
|37||Sulaiman Bin Abdul Al Rajhi||Saudi Arabia||86||11.0||Saudi Arabia|
|77||Mohammed Al Amoudi||Saudi Arabia||60||6.9||Saudi Arabia|
|84||Saleh Bin Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi||Saudi Arabia||94||6.5||Saudi Arabia|
|114||Saleh Kamel||Saudi Arabia||64||5.0||Saudi Arabia|
|158||Saad Hariri||Saudi Arabia||35||4.1||Saudi Arabia|
|174||Abdullah Al Rajhi||Saudi Arabia||NA||3.8||Saudi Arabia|
|214||Khalid Bin Mahfouz & family||Saudi Arabia||59||3.2||Saudi Arabia|
|258||Ayman Hariri||Saudi Arabia||27||2.7||Saudi Arabia|
|335||Mohammed Al Issa||Saudi Arabia||NA||2.3||Saudi Arabia|
|365||Mohammed Al Rajhi||Saudi Arabia||NA||2.1||Saudi Arabia|
UPDATE: Click here to view a video about (The Making Of The Billionaires List).
UAE Billionaires (Forbes Magazine)
Saudi Billionaires (Forbes Magazine)
Complete List of World's Billionaires (Forbes Magazine)
TAGS: billionaires, Forbes
On top of this, it is illegal to import tortoises into the UAE. The country is signed up to CITES (well done UAE!)
If you see a pet shop selling tortoises it is likely that they are illegally imported and the shop owner is breaking the law. You can report them to your local CITES office here in the UAE.
Animal welfare is improving here as authorities continue to crack down on cruelty and people are becoming more educated about the problem.
Sheikh Zayed was a champion for the environment and wildlife, lets make the UAE a better place for animals.
Somewhere, Shaft is shedding a tear.
Who is the man
that would risk his neck for his brother man?
Can ya dig it?
Who's the cat that won't cop out
when there's danger all about
Is it the seemingly over-indulged locals that makes Jane and Tarzan speak so much evil?
13 March, 2006
It's obvious why politicians in the US have jumped on the anti-DP World bandwagon, but why has the average American done so, with polls showing up to 3/4 believing all that crazy rhetoric? As an American I hope I can shed some light on this. To start with, however, I should declare my own bias. I am of the view that there is no rationale whatsoever to oppose the original decision by US authorities to approve the DP World takeover of P & O operations in the U.S. I won't attempt to argue this point, except to urge anyone who would differ to read more about and research the issue at any respectable news site.
So, I'm coming from a position that holds there was no justifiable reason for American opposition to that deal. What I aim to do beyond that is offer a plausible explanation for the American position.
I proceed by way of an analogy and an anecdote:
A few years ago there was a bit of a fuss about the prospect of a Chinese entity taking over some operations in a California port. It seemed a sensitive issue considering the port in question was home to one of the US military's main Pacific fleets. I remember thinking it would be insane (from an American perspective) for such a deal to go through. Why? Well, at that time China seemed to be emerging more and more as a potentially unfriendly rival to the US in a variety of spheres. It seemed simple logic not to handover control of such a sensitive facility to a potential enemy.
Ask me today what eventually happened with that deal and I must sheepishly confess, I have no idea! It never reached the level of hysterics that the DP World matter has--it probably wasn't an election year. But more importantly I never took the time to really look at the issue. I just heeded a gut-reaction.
"So, what was that all about?" I ask myself today. Why did I so easily jump to conclusions? Was it racism? Did or do I dislike Chinese? I would not like to think that was a factor--certainly not a critical one. I had no particular interest in China but at the same time I had nothing against the Chinese in any racial sense.
Was I being overly patriotic and defensive? Well, yes, I would say that was part of it. I was uncomfortable with the fact that China seemed to be challenging America on so many fronts.
Was there a level of ignorance on my part? Absolutely. I never really dug into to the story to find out the ins and outs. I more or less just followed the headlines.
Was I indifferent to what might have been any Chinese perspective? Totally, and this I think was the heart of the matter. It never even occurred to me that I might want to look at it from a Chinese perspective. Were they not entitled to persue profitable business opportunities just as any American company was? Could they even have had something to offer the US by whatever acumen they had in the field? I never thought for a moment to consider such things.
Fast-forward to the present and DP World. I live in the UAE. I see things from a UAE perspective as much as, if not more than, an American perspective. But back in America, it is the rare individual who would see or even consider the perspective that we, being here, take for granted.
This, I think, explains part of this wierd phenomenon of Americans feeling so threatened when there are no objective facts to support such a position. It is not only ignorance--a little reading up on the issue would clear that up--but a mindset that makes it almost impossible to view things from the other side. This explains the problem to a degree, but certainly doesn't justify it. If we in the UAE can avoid being defensive in return, then we might find a few ways to get the average American to be less egocentric. The calls for Oprah to come and do a show here are certainly a step in that direction.
And if you're not sick of reading about this topic--actually its a great issue, but who has time to keep up with it?--then see also Don't bash America... promote Dubai.
TAGS: ports, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
In a recent speech, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said her country may adopt video conferencing methods to interview visa applicants, to save them going through the rigmarole of waiting in line at embassies and consulates.
"We are also exploring ways to use cutting-edge technology to transform traditional visa application methods. Later this year, we will begin testing how digital videoconferencing technology could rapidly expedite the issuing of visas," she added.
"Of course, we must ensure that the security of the visa process remains intact, as does the biometric information of applicants. Yet, if we can do this successfully, this process might make life dramatically easier for foreign citizens who must now travel great distances to be interviewed in person."
I would like too ask
Didn’t occur to Ms. Rice that to some nations to be able to use this kind of technology might be as difficult as traveling to be interviewed in person?
This person is not only rude, but of limited intelligence and understanding. Despite several members trying to explain, "fawzi" failed to understand the concept of a quote. Fawzi's ignorant, reactionary responses ruined debate in an otherwise interesting thread.
For the record and in case he/she returns, here's the difference:
1. Poodles are stupid.
2. The New York times says that "poodles are stupid".
At some point we have to draw a line. Those that can't tell the difference between these two statements really don't belong here.
EDIT: message from samuraisam: to the random idiots that leave anonymous comments like "Dubai is shit" or whatever else, you are very talented... *golf clap*... you are also BELETED!
EDIT 2: "fawzi" has started flaming, so anonymous comments are being switched off for now. You'll need to sign up for a (free) Blogger account to post.