16 July, 2007

Unblock the Blog

We're back! And obviously not pleased with the censorship of our blog, though grateful for the solidarity shown in the blogosphere through the petition SD created and the several resulting posts on other blogs.

With promiscuous behaviour rampant and in plain view in Dubai, it's a sad state of affairs when the Government would rather clean up the blogosphere instead of the city's streets.

While many of you may not be happy with the content of our blog, we can all safely agree that it being blocked is a dangerous infringement on free speech, especially given its anonymous nature and the fact that at the end of the day, it is social commentary on Dubai and a reflection of the ever increasing single population in the Emirate.

We have written to the editors of the city's newspapers and invite you to do the same. Our blog may not get unblocked, but together our voices may still be heard.

Gulf News - letter2editor@gulfnews.com
Khaleej Times - kletter@emirates.net.ae
7 Days - letters@7days.ae
Emirates Today - letters@emiratestodayonline.com

58 comments:

Sleepless In Muscat said...

S&D:

sorry again to hear about your blog being blocked. I have sent an email to the 7days editor in accordance with this post's suggestion.

Hope your blog gets unblocked quick enough.

rosh said...

Welcome back gals! Will do my pennyworth of emails to the dailies.

AmitL said...

Hi,S&D...welcome back...sorry to read about your blog being blocked...I guess,what is written makes more sense to block than what is seen?Have signed the petition.

WearetheMovies said...

Being blocked is one way to get more attention. Before sending off that email to the papers, consider for a moment that Sex and Dubai (I will make no value judgment of their blog) have vested interests for goading you on: surely, the exposure cannot hurt.

I'm all for the liberal puritanism of truth and freedom of speech; but let us not forget, in life, there are far better things than promiscuity that need our urgent defense.

Hatem said...

We all like free speech, express our opinions, and sometimes even shout, but there is a difference between freedom of speech and spreading scandals. Even if your stories are genuine, publishing them as normal (or funny) events, is definitely criticized by many conservatives. There is a difference between someone who does mistakes (or sins as we call them in religion), like we all do; and another one who does the same, but proudly speak of his/her sins. When this comes to adultery, the second person is much worse than the first, because he/she helps to spread it in the society, as a normal, common thing; even if this was not intended.
Maybe from your point of view, these are neither mistakes nor sins, and they are hundred percent normal in your culture (these days), but the authorities in this part of the world see it as I said (I guess…).
I am not defending or criticizing anyone here, but I wanted to say that this - in my opinion - was not blocking the free speech that many people are fighting for.

bklyn_in_dubai said...

It's interesting to hear rationales for the blocking of this, or any site for that matter. In the end it boils down to this: you either have freedom of speech, or you don't. Dubai brands itself as a free place and generally it is. But actions like this just show up the limitations of that freedom. This is an autocracy where you are free so long as you don't exercise your freedoms in a way that call attention to them. Lead the risque life as much as you like, just don't write about it in a public forum. That's bad news in Brand Dubai, and bad news is not tolerated. Are there more important concerns that deserve our attention? Sure. But this does too.

secretdubai said...

I'm all for the liberal puritanism of truth and freedom of speech; but let us not forget, in life, there are far better things than promiscuity that need our urgent defense

Supporting S&D's right to blog and people's right to read it is not about supporting "promiscuity", it is about supporting freedom of speech.

Even if it was a blog I didn't read or didn't interest me, I would campaign to get it unbanned on these grounds.

Even if it was a blog I actually disliked or disagreed with, such as another controversial blogger who got blocked a while back, I would still defend their right to express their opinion.

Proof Reader said...

Anonymous @ 16 July, 2007 22:23, write in English please because you're totally incoherent.

Ariel -> Europe's ONLY sole agent whorehouse located in the middle east, be careful what you say, as there are some self-appointed righteous police on the prowl here!

Anonymous said...

Hatem, one has to be free to understand the beauty of free speech.

Free speech is not a privilege, it's one's own right. Whether they choose to speak foolishly or wisely, it's still their own right.

Hatem said...

“one has to be free to understand the beauty of free speech”
Two points here:
1- What do you mean by “one has to be free”? What’s freedom in your opinion? Can I insult you and say that I am free? Can I sneeze on your face and say that I am free? Can I come to your house and put loud music until your neighbors call the police for you and say that I am free? Please define the word "free" for me! By the way, your freedom hurts our society.
2- Speaking about “freedom of speech”, and the heroic role played by some people here; you will notice that the same people delete some anonymous comments that include insults on this blog. Why?! Those people are trying to express their opinions using the words they like! Although I disagree with this language, but I can call it freedom of speech also.

* The blog admins don’t like what those anons say, so they delete the comments => Right! Excellent, for the sake of the clean discussions, etc.
* TRA don’t like some websites or blogs => Wrong! Sad! Where is the freedom of speech?!
Please... we have enough double standards from what we see everyday on TV!

clayfuture said...

Why does everyone keep talking about freedom of speech? Don't you know that you're living in UAE? They say that we have freedom of speech but if we say or do anything that hurts the integrity of the state or anything immoral in anyway, then it will not be tolerated. You all know that this is how it goes... so just go with the flow!!! You can't do anything to change it.. I believe the concerned authorities are tolerant but they're also trigger happy (as in the case of Orkut).. it won't be long before facebook gets blocked.. if you didn't already know, there are so many x-rated groups on there as well AND so many on the UAE network!!! There must be someway to block the groups on these communities instead of the whole site!

You complain that they should clean up the streets before cleaning the internet.. well Dubai would not be Dubai if there were no ladies to please the men! It's business as usual!! so forget about that issue.. that's never going to change!

Sure I've read sex and dubai blog. It's amusing and I don't really care if these are true stories or made up to attract comments and user visits. But do remember that in this blog promiscuity is glamorized and in some way encouraged. You could even say that it's like mild erotica or soft porn or something! To replace slang or proper words of genitalia with words like ding dong, sausage, kebab or whatever doesn't make it any less immoral!

I can't really complain that the TRA blocked S&D. I was surprised that it went on for so long as it did! The content writers knew what they were getting into. So good luck to you.. maybe TRA will change its mind someday!

secretdubai said...

Excellent, for the sake of the clean discussions, etc.

I know you're possibly being sarcastic, but actually, Hatem, that's exactly why. If we keep allowing endless anonymous flames and insults then people can't discuss important issues in an interesting way.

For example Hatem, I don't personally agree with your opinion on this, but you make your points well in a calm and civil way and therefore you are making a positive contribution to the debate. That's the kind of comment we want. Not comments personally attacking S&D or any other bloggers.

The same for clayfuture. He makes some very good points. They may not be opinions I share, but they are still welcome here. They also give people like me insight into different mindsets. I'm never going to agree with censorship on certain issues, but at least I can understand better, from this discussion, how and why others feel differently.

So if you want to allow anons to have a slanging match about stuff, then you are welcome to have that on your own blog, or start another community blog. I for one would just like to see a little more maturity here and a little less attacking and harrassing going on.

i, Bobo said...

"Fear of serious injury cannot alone justify suppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burned women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears. To justify suppression of free speech there must be reasonable ground to fear that serious evil will result if free speech is practiced. There must be reasonable ground to believe that the danger apprehended is imminent. There must be reasonable ground to believe that the evil to be prevented is a serious one. . . .

Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence. Only an emergency can justify repression. Such must be the rule if authority is to be reconciled with freedom."


Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Whitney v. California (1927)

It's time, already -- time to move out of your caves and discover fire. Time to realize that women are equal and should be treated as such. Time for fair labor practices and equal justice under the law. And finally -- time to create your own age of enlightenment, recognize that the Earth orbits the sun, and accept that YOU ultimately determine your own destiny.

Anonymous said...

Blah Blah Blah...
People talking about their sexual encounters is now labelled freedom of speech!

WAKE UP freedom of speech doesn't exist ANYWHERE in the world. Stop trying to force you're ideas into ours!

Sex and Dubai said...

@ Wearethemovies: ...consider for a moment that Sex and Dubai... have vested interests for goading you on: surely, the exposure cannot hurt.

Just so we're clear on the issue, the only "vested" interest we have is the right to social commentary.

@ Hatem: When this comes to adultery, the second person is much worse than the first, because he/she helps to spread it in the society, as a normal, common thing; even if this was not intended.

Small technicality, but huge implications. You'll notice that we have never endorsed adultery per se on our blog and our stories are all lighthearted and not revolutionary tales by any means.

@ Clayfuture: They say that we have freedom of speech but if we say or do anything that hurts the integrity of the state or anything immoral in anyway, then it will not be tolerated...u can't do anything to change it..

You complain that they should clean up the streets before cleaning the internet.. well Dubai would not be Dubai if there were no ladies to please the men! It's business as usual!! so forget about that issue.. that's never going to change!


And the rising numbers of men who pay for sex and women recruited into prostitution is not immoral or a threat to the integrity of the state?

The content of the blog has always been cloaked in humour and never gone down the road of crass and crude. Our point was to tell the tales of the Dubai dating scene from a woman's perspective as we've seen and know it to be. Blocking those views, whether fact or fictional is only detrimental to a society purporting to be pioneers of progress in the ME.

This is not an issue that relates to our blog alone. The larger picture has every single UAE blogger involved as your blog could just be the next to fall under the censor's axe.

Anonymous said...

The larger picture has every single UAE blogger involved as your blog could just be the next to fall under the censor's axe.

If they were all into prostitution, what seems to be the problem ?


The great news is when they decided to capture the author/evil minds behind each blog and ship them back to their shit-holes where they can't afford a coke!

Sex and dubai should be linked to secretdouchebags blog, they both agree on gay/lesbian marriage.

So douchebag keep the puppy love between your legs, because like I said in the past, an animal only has a feeling for another animal.

You're the last donkey to speak of maturity, go down and check your mission PLEASE!



Your mission: Go fetch me a pork, I got you dog biscuits covered with camel milk just like the way you love it!

nisa said...

:) السلام علي

اعوذب لله من الشيطان الرجيم

And come not near unto adultery. Lo! it is an abomination and an evil way. [Quran, 17:32]

But if they hearken not to thee, know that they only follow their own lusts: and who is more astray than one who follow his own lusts, devoid of guidance from Allah? For Allah guides not people given to wrong-doing. [28:50]

-------

Salam. May I ask, which do you follow - Quran or lust? It's up to you man. You're promised far superior gorgeousness in heaven for eternity. & traded it for what man. Hot blazing Fire?

-------

اعوذب لله من الشيطان الرجيم

And with them shall be those who restrain the eyes, having beautiful eyes; As if they were (delicate) eggs closely guarded. [Quran, 037.048-49]

So; and We shall join them to fair women with beautiful, big, and lustrous eyes. [44.54]
Also 52:20

And voluptuous women of equal age; [Quran 78.33]

-------

Peace. Still may God Bless & bring Guidance. Amen. :)

clayfuture said...

@S&D... the rising number of men paying for sex and protitution in Dubai is now a way of life. You either choose to ignore it or you will always be bothered by it! Like I said before, this is something that cannot be stopped.

If prostitution in Dubai is stopped, how do you think night clubs and bars will run? What will happen to one of the fastest growing industry in Dubai.. the HOTEL industry!! Do you think all the tourists come here for shopping or the sandy beaches?? So.. in other words, what they cannot stop on the streets, they do it on the internet! You reap what you sow... who knows maybe someday I might write something objectionable on my blog and it might get blocked.. but that's a chance we sometimes have to take right?!!

nick said...

"Planet Earth to Nisa!
Planet Earth to Nisa!"

...You sure made me laugh!
I was just waiting for the 72 virgins to pop up amongst the comments.

nick said...

The truth is that ‘Sex and Dubai’ wouldn't raise an eyebrow in the West, but it does (did) stretch the envelope here in Dubai.

On the face of it, it is just a 57th re-hash of 'Sex and the City' – the trials and tribulations of a couple of confused and promiscuous girls. The punchline is that these girls are Arab. This gets right up the noses of the self-righteous religious police, which incidentally consists of the average good Muslim man of the excitable nature.

The blog is a thinly veiled (pun intended) criticism of Muslim attitudes to women, and a challenge to the ‘honor-shame’ culture that keeps Islam firmly rooted in the Middle ages. This attitude after all enables the remarkable hypocrisy of tolerating ubiquitous prostitution and blocking a blog that spells out S-E-X…haram!

According to this culture a bad or shameful act has simply not happened if nobody saw it or knows about it. It is the denial ‘culture’ of Islam that is the root of another one: the blame and conspiracy ‘culture’ which the ‘Arab street’ loves to engage in.

It surely cannot be, can it, that Arabs/ Muslims engage in behaviour like this? Haram! It surely must be the influence of the West. I got it - surely it is the Elders of Zion attempting to corrupt good Muslims.

Any criticism of anything the government says or does is a constant walk on the line.

The worst is that once safely cocooned in Jumeirah one gets used to this limitation of one's freedom of speech.
Most expatriates here are keeping mum and have perfected the art of 'see no evil'. Whilst at home in the West the average Tom, Dick and Harry would barely ever exercise their freedom of expression, the lack of it becomes physically tangible once it is lost.

I defy you, fellow expats - Are we by acquiescing to these limitations not becoming shills for Islamic intolerance?

nick said...

Btw. please take this issue to foreign blogs.
Air it! Publicise this hypocrisy! Shame it! Ridicule it!

jomster said...

S&D
You were okay all along and then you used the‘s’ word. When you say social commentary, I’m assuming that you mean society at large. If you are in fact talking about society at large, then you must be prepared to face the consequences of commenting in a social sphere that is located in a multi cultural, multi-racial and unbelievably pluralistic society like the UAE.
Where do I stand on this and why? I’m glad S&D was shut down. While you rightly mention the pathetic state of trafficking in this country, two wrongs do not make a right. I should be a little less worried about my teenaged son having fun on the streets with the women (where he could possible be caught owing to the intrinsic pubic nature of street prostitution) than he would be reading soft porn on the net, which is a mostly private affair (and which kids today are more than able to obfuscate). With the intent of protecting my child, I’m glad that one more censorable website has been censored. This is me as a father speaking (Actually my child will only become a teenager in another 13 years and she’s not a son, so I’m speculating!)
Am I for censorship? Not entirely, because I would not like this entry of mine to be censored, though I would still continue to respect you if you choose to do so. But I am for control, because as humans we have this tendency to behave worse than animals at times. So women deliver their babies and stuff them down garbage chutes, abort them, men rape women, a lover murders his girlfriend out of jealousy etc etc. So we need control as society. Unfortunately or otherwise, the people who set those controls in this country were not elected, so you have to live with them, whether you like it or not, whether the control are justified or not.
S&D, had you been in some other country where your amorous shenanigans were common place, your social commentary would be appropriate. But when you are in a Muslim country, you should respect the existing social mores of that society, even if you do not agree with it. Elsewhere SecretDubai talked about respecting your ‘enemy’. If you find the intense need to spill your risqué stories out on the web while respecting the society you’re in, may I suggest password protecting your entries, and having a dedicated following who could be given that password to titillate themselves in front of the screen. Hey it could even be like those social networking sites where you can only get the password if you know somebody, like orkut or something. Slightly impractical maybe, but an effective away to make sure you don’t get blocked (Though orkut was. Ok, bad example!).

Anonymous said...

It's not interesting any more anyway...

Anonymous said...

So if I read Nisa correctly, you have to behave yourselves now so you can shag like bunnies once you get to heaven?? Bizarre

shlemazl said...

Glad to see that people supporting the closure seem to be so familiar with the content of the blog. I wonder how they came across S&D in the first place?

According to Ramzi El Khoury's study, 80% of Arab internet traffic heads for porn sites. Guess you can't block all of them or there are ways around.

The only 100% bullet-proof way to protect jomster's daughter from exposure to "sex" on the internet is to ban the internet. Still, you'd have to go further and ban books. I am not talking about the corrupted west (e.g. the Decameron, Yama (the Pit) or Dangerous Liaisons. I am talking about "1001 nights".

I have another theory. UAE censors and some of you here support the ban on S&D because you are genuinly repulsed by their humorous and erotic stories about girls.

I conducted a sex experiment. One of my posts was called "Explicit Sex Video With Very Young Boys". Got lots of hits. Guess where they all came from...

secretdubai said...

Am I for censorship? Not entirely, because I would not like this entry of mine to be censored, though I would still continue to respect you if you choose to do so. But I am for control

But then why do you support this block?

As a parent, you should be the one monitoring and controlling your child's internet.

We as other adults should not have our internet experience curbed for the sake of your child.

jim g said...

We're not missing out on anything so get over it. They invited the block because of they're content. At the end of the day, if some whore among the millions in Dubai gets her blog blocked, so what? If a worthy blog was blocked, then i would join the petition but I don't think I want more dirt around here.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

To SD (that is Secret Dubai not S&D)...why oh why this campaign of getting S&D blog unblocked has turned into an all out attack on Islam? ...don't you think that by doing this, you are (I am talking collectively here) attracting more and more adversaries to the blog?

I haven't read S&D blog, and I didn't ask for it to be blocked, neither did I sign the petition, but I felt compelled to comment on some of the comments above which are just outrageous...

I am addressing you because I respect you, and I know that you are the one behind this petition...

secretdubai said...

To SD (that is Secret Dubai not S&D)...why oh why this campaign of getting S&D blog unblocked has turned into an all out attack on Islam?

I genuinely don't see an "all out attack" on Islam either here or in the petition comments.

There is a comment I wanted to have removed, but apparently Petitiononline can't or won't do that.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

SD, do you think that comments like:

The blog is a thinly veiled (pun intended) criticism of Muslim attitudes to women, and a challenge to the ‘honor-shame’ culture that keeps Islam firmly rooted in the Middle ages. (nick, 17 July, 2007 12:01 )

Do you think that such comments help to demonstrate good intentions about the blog? ... I certainly think they don't ... I can assure you that if the local UAE population were to read the blog, and then read such ostensibly supportive and surreptitiously malignant comments, they would vote unanimously in favor of blocking it...We live on their lands eventually, it is their job to legislate the law of the land, and it is our duty to adhere to it...

My two cents...: )

nisa said...

Peace :),

Well I don't know if I'll sound weird, but I do want to be gorgeous in heaven. You know, not burnt in hell. Hell girls are beauties are such a myth. Heaven people are the gorgeous ones if you know. :)

It's like the beautiful gorgeous people club perhaps. We're all superbly gorgeous there. Drink fine honey, milk & good wine. Eat fruits. Own palaces. Families be reunited in happiness & beauty.

I love to be in that club.

& God Wills, maybe meet Joseph. Nobody on earth is that smoking gorgeous anyway. Please man. When you get banquet ladies bleed their fingers fawning you at first sight, call me. Joseph is fantastic. If he can keep his chastity, why can't you who perhaps has never get your shirt forcefully ripped from the back by someone so desiring you. Really. :T

I know Joseph is way older than me, we don't even live in the same millenium OK. But obviously I won't meet him in that blog will I? :)

& keeping chastity as Joseph did. We live what, 40 years? 50? 80? 100, 200 God Wills. Say on average 60 years - at 30 you're already half way. At 20, it's 2/3 spent. So that's minuscule time compared to eternity. God Most High blessed the righteous for eternity, so I'm going with that deal.

For you, it's your own choosing. I seek refuge in God Most Great may I say the best. Amen. :)

nisa said...

اعوذب لله من الشيطان الرجيم

Therefore turn aside from him who turns his back upon Our reminder and does not desire anything but this world's life. That is their goal of knowledge; surely your Lord knows best him who goes astray from His path and He knows best him who follows the right direction. [Quran 053.029-30]

May God Bless you & light up hearts. Peace. :)

nisa said...

& I'm sorry if I hurt feelings. I just want the best for you. God Wills, you shall meet the beautiful & blessed in heaven if you strive for it. I'm just reminding you of the promises & your own potential success.

i, Bobo said...

Three word response: USE A CONDOM.

And when you're done having safe sex, go out and read some Voltaire, Rousseau, or Hume before they get pulled off the shelves and burned.

jomster said...

To SecretDubai
But then why do you support this block?
I think I already explained why I support the block. To protect my kids and possibly even myself. As corny as it may sound, I did explain that as humans we need control (Some of us need it more than others. I know I’m going to get mauled for this last statement. Anyhoo, bring it on).

As a parent, you should be the one monitoring and controlling your child's internet.
I agree with you totally. I should be the one monitoring my child’s internet because my kid’s safety is my own darned responsibility. But a lil help from my ISP goes a long way. I think of it like the electrical socket guards in my house. My 11 month old has a fascination with all things dangerous and you’d find her sticking her finger into an exposed socket the moment you let her out of your sight. I use the help of the socket guard to ensure that protection, even though protecting her is my responsibility and not the socket guard’s. Not a very accurate example, but it’s somewhat close.

Actually a good solution to this would be to have another ISP say yetiSALAD or someone else who could offer unrestricted internet to those who need it at different charges. Then S&D could be unblocked, SD could get his daily fix, we’re all happy and everything rosy.

We as other adults should not have our internet experience curbed for the sake of your child.
I totally agree. If I’ve come across as someone who wants to curb your internet experience, whatever that may be, I apologize.

IMHO, I think that we should in exchange for the relative peace, security and comfort that one enjoys here, learn to respect and abide by the rules of this country. I would take exception to this rule only when the rules of the government are unjust. On that note, I would never support a ban on say www.mafiwasta.com or www.uaeprison.com. Why? Because what they fight for is mostly a noble thing. Something that does not at least on the surface do them any good.

Being prevented from reading a blog that discusses worker rights or human rights abuses is not the same thing as being prevented from reading the sexcapades of 2 young women. One is concerned with justice; the other is sheer entertainment (albeit of a different kind). Entertainment is only a good thing, the lack of which is a minor irritation.

I haven’t been fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to read S&D’s chronicles too much and that disqualifies me from passing judgments on the blog. But from what I’ve read in the comments, I would say that the contents of that blog are far less than noble and would mostly be self serving exhibitionism. I have 3 stands I can take with relation to the ban on S&D. Support it, be apathetic to it or be against it. I cannot be against the ban it because it does not stand up to my requirements of a noble thing. My worldview tells me that blogs like this do more harm than not and therefore I cannot be apathetic to it. I would describe my stand at this time as passive support of the ban. Hope this makes it clear. Good day to you SD.

To Schlemazl,
Shalom. I don’t recall mentioning that I want to protect my daughter from ‘sex’. That would be a wasted, futile and self defeating exercise. What I’d like to protect her from however is half baked deceptive notions of liberation. What I’d like her to do is project her energies into ventures that are worthy of her time, energy and skills. Protecting her from the trash that the internet throws at her would be one way I seek to help her be the best she can be.

samuraisam said...

"at different charges"

I sure hope you mean the access would be cheaper, because the proxy costs a lot to keep running

jomster said...

"I sure hope you mean the access would be cheaper, because the proxy costs a lot to keep running"

That’s exactly what I mean. But I’m not e-salad and even a cursory glance on this page here would convince the snakes over there of the money they could be making if they could leverage the fact that more people prefer uncontrolled internet access over controlled access. In all probability, if such a scheme is introduced, they'd only charge higher. After all, circumventing the social and ethical and the other varied balderdash of this country does not come cheap ;-)

Anonymous said...

Mohamed N. Al Ghanim
Director General - Board Member, TRA

Tel: 02 621 2222
Dir: 02 611 8441
fax: 02 621 2227

mohamed [dot] alghanim [at]tra.ae

secretdubai said...

Being prevented from reading a blog that discusses worker rights or human rights abuses is not the same thing as being prevented from reading the sexcapades of 2 young women. One is concerned with justice; the other is sheer entertainment (albeit of a different kind).

Yes it is. Who are you to judge what I as an adult should or may see, just because you have a daughter that you don't want to see certain content?

Why should my entertainment be reduced for the sake of your child? When the simple solution would be to block such website at a family/individual level so that I see it in my home, but you don't in yours?

clayfuture said...

It is the parents responsibility to guard their children from objectionable material on the internet. You cannot blame the users for putting it up or the TRA for NOT blocking it. There are parental controls in your operating systems to block websites you don't want your children to browse.

However, if your kids are smart then they could bypass these measures or simply go to an internet cafe!

Ibn Battuta said...

First, the blocking of S&D has NOTHING to do with Islam; both the Muslim moral police on here and the naive western orientalists who see nothing but evil in Islam are both way off base in attempting to judge others through their tainted lenses.

Second, I would venture to assume that many Arab men have a problem with S&D not because it is "scandalous", but because it is written by Arab women.

Third, personally, I think there is much space for such humor and "scandalous" writing in every society. Though 1001 Nights, as we know it, is mostly a western reproduction, the stories reflect how tales of eroticism, scandal, theivery, and other acts of immorality function in society as teaching tools for morality.

Fourth, such insights, presented as they are, are particularly important in a society such as Dubai that is so utterly warped in the gender/sexuality department. Of course there are some societies, like Japan, that have the UAE beat in the warped department, but there are definately some very skewed perceptions, attitudes, and practices circulated in the UAE.

Fifth, drawing upon legal cases from the United States to argue for free speech in the UAE is slightly problematic and reeks of the orientalist perception that somehow "western" values and practices are universal while "Oriental" values are particularlistic, and generally warped. Given the extent of pluralism in the UAE and its "vision", the case for free speech and open internet access should speak for itself.

du courage in getting your blog unblocked or finding alternative means of sharing your chronicles....

nick said...

@ Son of the Shoppingmall,

"First, the blocking of S&D has NOTHING to do with Islam.."

Surely not. Jews and Christians constantly block erotic blogs! An everyday occurrence in Europe, as we all know.

----------------------

WRT to your second point, I said exactly this in my post above^^^:

You say: "Second, I would venture to assume that many Arab men have a problem with S&D not because it is "scandalous", but because it is written by Arab women."

So, now what is it all about, Ibn?
Muslim or not, or only Arab? Or only a teenyweeny little bit?

Anonymous said...

Sex and Dubai is the very same person that goes by the name 'balush'


Sorry its just my feeling.

shlemazl said...

@jomster:

Firstly, I believe that you misunderstand what S&D is all about. It is not about "free love". It is more of a social criticism of life in UAE. Perhaps it would be good for your daughter to learn that there is little satisfaction in sleeping around with the local men. Women can grumble about men world over, why not in UAE?

Secondly, your attempts at "protecting" your daughter are futile AND counterproductive. Kids like freedom just like the adults do and they will act to counteract whatever rules you - or the UAE government - are imposing. Perhaps there would have been less prostitution in UAE had there been more freedom.

Thirdly, the real reason that S&D got blocked is that local men have small dicks and cannot stand the criticism.

nick said...

Thirdly, the real reason that S&D got blocked is that local men have small dicks and cannot stand the criticism.

ROFL! Ah, Shlemazl - how do you know?!!

shlemazl said...

Deduction, Watson! Otherwise they would have left the site alone.

Anonymous said...

Good riddance.

Another waste of space blog executed!

Anonymous said...

shlemazl,

So you're saying blowing jewish cocks would turn you into 1 of the chosen ones ? or do you prefer a french with garlic ?

Did you know that Canada belongs to USA ? they need more troops by end of this year, and you sound like the right Guinea Pig to show some balls on the battle field.

shlemazl said...

Anon,

What I am really saying is that it is high time for you to learn some manners. Once you do, you may actually get laid properly. Then you won't be in such a hurry to meet the 72 virgins.

Get laid for peace!

secretdubai said...

Thirdly, the real reason that S&D got blocked is that local men have small dicks and cannot stand the criticism.

Actually, the impression I got is that S&D was fairly popular among local men. I saw more criticism from women if anything.

I guess it all boils down to not so much who dislikes it the blog, but who actually has the kind of mindset to go and harrass the TRA into getting it blocked. There are plenty of people who disapprove, even express their disapproval, but live and let live.

Actively getting a website blocked (obviously illegal stuff such as child porn excepted) is a whole different ballgame. That really takes some hefty self-righteousness sprinkled with a bitter dose of spite.

shlemazl said...

Really?

Most of the objections that I've seen originated from - how to put it mildly - simple minded males. They took S&D as nothing short of slander against their personal as well as communal Arab sexual prowess.

secretdubai said...

Most of the objections that I've seen originated from - how to put it mildly - simple minded males. They took S&D as nothing short of slander against their personal as well as communal Arab sexual prowess.

Yes - but I do wonder how much the titillation factor outweighed the humiliation factor ;)

You could be right. I know from personal experience that the majority of my anti-fans are female. I've never been quite sure why, but in terms of people actively campaigning against me, it seems to be about 70% female. Maybe there are just more women online or something.

i, Bobo said...

"Fifth, drawing upon legal cases from the United States to argue for free speech in the UAE is slightly problematic and reeks of the orientalist perception that somehow "western" values and practices are universal while "Oriental" values are particularlistic, and generally warped."

Talk about warped -- you've mastered just enough of the Said vocabulary to be dangerous -- but at present all you're doing is objecting to the origin of an idea as opposed to its actual content. Both the quote and the argument have nothing to do with colonial or imperialist attitudes toward "the orient."

One can only hope that somewhere up in the Christian beyond Edward Said is aghast at how you've completely twisted his work in an attempt to win an argument -- one in which he'd clearly have beeen on the other side.

Ibn Battuta said...

i, bobo, not to derail the issue into the realm of the personal, though you've already done that, it's hard to take anyone serious who actually quotes and seemingly supports the babble of thomas friedman....

also, since you aren't particularly clear on what you disagree with in what i was saying, it is in fact hard to point out your fallacy. i'm hardly an expert on said, as a deep humanist he was an avid supporter of free speech (just look at his ardent defense of salman rushdie). said is not the relativist many of his detractors argued against (including your buddy friedman). rather, he sought out universal understandings that were not tainted by stereotypes and particularlistic ideologies - which US law is. thus my point is that freedom of speech is a universal right, but one doesn't need to revert to "western", "christian", or "american" legal standards to argue for it - in fact, in so doing, one is in fact silencing others by imposing particular interpretations, thus "orientalism".

perhaps i digress, but as you don't really make an argument i'm not sure what your problem is. do you oppose free speech or support it? it isn't clear what you are arguing for, or against.

i never mentioned colonialism or imperialism, just orientalism - a mindset, a frame through which many perceive others, based on assumptions of one's values, beliefs, and practices as being universal while assuming those of other's are particularlistic.

the tone of rightousness in your posting about the "time to move out of your caves" is offensive, revolting, and simple-minded.... if you want to make an argument, make it, but no need to slip into inane judgements against others.

i, Bobo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
i, Bobo said...

From the Said article on Wikipedia (granted not the best source -- but there are some serious waves hitting Redondo Beach tonight and I'm running out to surf):

"He argued that a long tradition of false and romanticized images of Asia and the Middle East in Western culture had served as an implicit justification for Europe and America's colonial and imperial ambitions."

As for all that other stuff -- of course I'm making fun of you. Of course I'm taking the piss out of your "culture." But you're not alone there, Slappy -- ignorance, oppression, and bigotry are not relative to one culture (all you have to do is look to the good ol' US of A as an example).

Quite frankly, I don't give a flying fuck if you're upset. Because that's what this issue is all about -- the right to speech without limitation on content or fear of reprisal. What I find puzzling, however, is how an absolute genius such as yourself can see a Louis Brandeis quote in support of free speech yet is somehow unable to intuit the position of the person posting it.

And it's p-a-r-t-i-c-u-l-a-r-i-s-t-i-c, by the way.

dredge said...

What a bunch of losers championed by ero-fixed euro-centrists trying to split pubic hairs in public! I don't give a damm about SD, BP, RC, or JG for that matter!

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