19 October, 2007

Dubai and the golden days

We are still in an era where small-talk governs a bygone Dubai: the time when Dubai was Dubai; when the old days were golden days.

What, may I ask, is less golden today than it was 2 decades ago? A society that enjoys economic prosperity is bound to enjoy social and cultural changes with time: and if time diversifies Dubai, the shift is for the better.

Relative to the growth of Dubai, we still enjoy the freedoms and fun of yesteryear, if not on a grander scale. All this nostalgia is just such: nostalgia, and a fear of letting go of the past, when today is much better.

Without the past, we have no future. And without the future, we have no tomorrow.

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

I doubt if you'd know the definition of the past in terms of golden days.

The future on the other hand looks set to be worse than a bitch.

Go figure, Babe!

samuraisam said...

Well.. speaking to many local people in this country I've found that the worst change they describe is the pace of life. Many are having to give up traditional ways for the ways of today.

It might be possible to argue that having all the food one could possibly want (today) would be better than a simple pallet of fish and rice (yesteryear); but with all those choices comes a lot of obesity and diabetes.

Traditional life here used to be very balanced; few were rich or fortunate and life was harsh. Today money comes easily for far too many.
Much of Dubai used to be traditionally marine-oriented (creek, pearl trading etc).. don't you think it's pretty weird that it's almost impossible to find a stretch of public beach on Dubai's shores anymore?

It doesn't take much to see through Dubai's current veneer and identify that today will never be a proper replacement for the past.

nick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nick said...

Dubai IS change, that's the whole point of it, and it wasn't imposed on it from the outside but entirely produced from the inside -with a little help from repatriation of Arab money after 9/11 (you could say with a little help form Al Quaeda...NB:JOKE!).

Apart from some grizzled expats marooned in old bungalows in Jumeira 2 and
still driving the old model Prado I hear mostly locals complain about the change and the only one they could complain to is their ruler who brought about the dramatic changes, and the influx of westerners and all that comes with it.

At the same time locals benefit more than anybody else from the change. I would cite as examples my landlord and several Emirati young guns who hold down jobs in dozens of new government departments who otherwise and elsewhere would be unemployable.

Anonymous said...

Nick, go back to where you belong, clearly this is an unhealthy place for you to be.
Nicely said Samuraisam.

tobasco said...

Quick summary from me:

-Pace of life
-men were men and they were still accountable for their honour
-miss the days of Sheikh Zayed (Allah Yirhamu)
-People were simple and the feelings always showed on their faces

localexpat said...

am i the only one who is optimistic about the future?

I personally reckon that what has been gained with the development of this country FAR outweighs what was left behind in the past

moviemania said...

I don't think you really understand the mindset of locals, especially the older generation.

When they get together a recurring topic is how things are changing so fast and how the country is just getting worse everyday.

There is so much congestion, sometimes you can't even breathe when you go out because of all the people cramped in one place!

This kind of life is great for you, you're young and single.. you can enjoy your life.

But people worry everyday about how they're going to raise their children in a rapidly deteriorating environment.

Many people long to go back to the days where life wasn't such a rat race and people didn't have to worry about so much.

To many people today is not much better.

They just wish they could go back to simpler times. They just wish they could have the Dubai they did 10-20 years ago.

Anonymous said...

localexpat

.Hope you are right.
We have not seen the future yet. Lets hope and pray that the present generation does not suck the land bone dry leave the future generations to suffer the consequences.

Veiled Muslimah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

good lord dont you have anything better to discuss about. the golden days are golden cuz stupid dickfaced amigos like nick never bothered to leave their paperboy jobs to come here and drive land cruiser. now there are a million nicks who depend on low waged laborers to do the dirty work.

Veiled Muslimah said...

Yeah, for example the traffic Jams we get stuck in everyday used to be only seen on weekends in the past.

Anyway, this was to be expected. With all the mass development that happened within a small time frame and with the growth in economy and tourism and no real actual side planning there were bound to be negative consequences. There are always side effects to things.

rosh said...

Perhaps a bit off topic - doesn't anyone want to talk about changes in UAE as a whole? There is more to UAE than just *Dubai*

secretdubai said...

The loss of a quieter way of life, more peaceful, traditional or non-built up locations, more of a sense of community with things geared at least equally to residents as to tourists, more reasonable living costs, less well off people being able to live in the same areas as the rich, and many more things.

Now if I bitterly regret these things as a young-ish foreigner, I can only begin to imagine what an atrocity and an ordeal the change has been for older, Emirati people.

There is nothing wrong with progress, but there are ways and means of doing it. And I think sensible, considerate, more steady changes are better for any country, let alone the UAE, than the crazed stampede towards trashy commercialism we have witnessed in Dubai.

rosh said...

Nicely said SD. I don't think it's "all" trashy commercialism, there are things of substance too.

i*maginate said...

*Anon, 20-10 I doubt with your mindset you would be able to reasonably assess 2 years in any timeframe

*sam, exc. points. As long as today's "replacement" is better than the "past"...

*tobasco, thanks for the round-up, ya cheeky "sauce" ;)

*nick, yes, the point is change. If it wasn't, people like you wouldn't be spewing Dubai's benefits on a free forum like this.

*localexpat contact me for comprehension lessons. I was not expressing much different to what you were. Time for us to celebrate, I think? :)

*moviemania when you truly embrace the life of a free-thinking 18 year old, you will by far be able to grasp the age of the "golden era" far better than any of the readers of this thread.

Yes, just cast your mind back 10-20 years ago...if that is where you feel satisfied.

Me and the rest prefer to prosper in the present with modern-day values: we adapt our values to the current system without comprimising our morals.

You do bring up some valid points, but why don't you follow your own morals before trying to "enforce" your own systems on others who probably practise them better than you do :)

*veiled muslimah, how right you are. Traffic, oh traffic. How this is corrupting our society!

*rosh, I specifically & deliberately mentioned Dubai because this is where the change is happpening most relative to all emirates. I wasn't ignorantly neglecting the other emirates, all of which have their own thing going...noticably of late, Ajman :) Start your own post about Sharjah if you wish.

i*maginate said...

SD, exc. points, & thank goodness they are not portrayed in the "environmentalist" fashion, as I know both you and me are "green" fans, green "fundamentalists" if you like.

"Oldies" will have a certain "longing" for the past but I can assure you, from first-hand experience, that the "future" is more welcomed than not.

Would love to see a post on your blog reflecting your point of view on this issue.

As for commercialism, this exists in every society where the $ signs prevail. And why not, unless you want to camp out in the desert. (?)

nick said...

Change:
Those of you who think what you see now is change for the worse - brace yourself because this is only the beginning. :
At a conference at the recent Cityscape a masterplan for Dubai 2040 was presented. The target population is approximately 5 to 7*) million for Dubai alone, and the city will stretch far out into the desert beyond Arabian Ranches and International city all the way up to the new Jebel Ali airport, and Dubai/Sharjah/Ajman will grow together to be one entire metropolitan area of about 10 mio. inhabitants.
Think Istanbul or Cairo with newer buildings and you get the picture.

No. I am not making this up.

--------------------------------
*) at the current (negligable) annual increase of the local population this means that by 2040 they will present about 2-5% of the total population.

wacky said...

DUBAI is a magical place - I have been here long enough to witness the single lane SZR to what it is today. Dubai was always different in its approach, and perhaps the philosophy was filtered down by the Father of Dubai, Late Sh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Makthoum, who was a darring enterpruner and encouraged its Citizens to accept foreigners and attract business opportunities. Its often not mentioned the yeomen services of officers in the Government departments, who always went out of their way to help or solve situations, and be positive in their approach - I would like to mention the valuable contribution of Customs department, who in my eyes deserve the merit for propelling Dubai in terms of encouraging businessmen to 'DO' business here and prosper, and bring with them the spin-off that would benefit DUBAI. The legacy continues and we are witnessing history in the making. However, we are also the temporary victims of this history, and I am sure, years from now, we people will be still reminiscencing about magical Dubai, and shout that 'I was there'. The citizens of Dubai, are a blessed lot, and with Sh Mohammed to take care of them, they have nothing to worry !!!

Anonymous said...

Malls, Clubs, Discos, the the works.
Where here was only sand before. Amazing, Dxb will beat Vegas soon!

Anonymous said...

i*maginate

Its the longer time frame that counts. This is but momentary passing phase.
Do not forget your soul.

moviemania said...

Well, I didn't expect a response like that i*. I'm not trying to "enforce" anything on you or anyone else and my comment doesn't express the way I feel about Dubai. I'm ok with it, I understand that times change and you can't stay in the past.

I was just trying to tell you why people want to go back to the 'golden' days and why they were so 'golden'. Many many people (usually from the older generation) would much rather go back to those times. Especially the Emaratis, and they do believe this is their country.

Anonymous said...

When kind, generous, outgoing, simple people become materialistic, pretentious pompous racists, we have a problem.

Anonymous said...

with such vulgar female expats as the i*maginate landing here, do we have a choice? let alone the rest of the white trash flown in on daily basis.........hate them so much.......aggressive invasion of the "civilised" world......they destroy the peace and harmony in our lives.......now a days I tend to spend more and more time at home, in stead of going out looking at the their ugly faces and listening to all the nonsence they produce................cityscape; progress; rubbish; grandeur projects from glass and still, presented by dumb dolls with mentality of cheap hookers.......so sick of this civilisation.....praying for the day when some one will finally get enough of it and throw them out all

Anonymous said...

to throw out the white trash is a great idea, the Asian servants are far more respectable

nick said...

@ Anonymous 22 October, 2007 07:07,

I think it's a great idea that you spend more and more time at home.

You shouldn't be allowed out in the first place.

ColOman said...

I am actually leaving Dubai because its too much of Rat Race.... I like the simpler life... and I might be thinking ,like the old people... but I am in the prime of mylife and in a good job with a mulitnational.

I think there is more to life than Discos and getting stuck in traffic and looking for parking everyday. I loved Dubai 10 years ago now..... it great to visit and party but its too much for me as an everyday life.

I will always consider the Emaratis my brohters but I want more balance in my life... I want to see my friends and family when I choose to, not when the traffic chooses to. I want to walk not run and only when I choose to do so and don't want to push or be pushed in a rat race.

Anonymous said...

woow, let's hope that one lucky day some drugged patani will drag her to the desert and we won't read her crap any longer.

i*maginate said...

*moviemania, please read the post more carefully before wrongly interpreting some kind of ignorance on my part and making personal accusations. If I wasn't aware of all the points you raised, I wouldn't be arguing in my post, that Dubai is no less golden today "we still enjoy the freedoms and fun of yesteryear, if not on a grander scale."

And these "recurring topics" as you say, are just nostalgia. Wouldn't you say most locals of most generations are pretty happy in the long-run?

*nick, Anon is indeed a rare breed. Slagging off white trash first, then these grandeur developments. nick, who is in charge of these developments, and why on earth would patriotic, informed Anon be slagging them off?

*coloman, are you going to move to an island or something? :P

Nature Strikes Back said...

I haven’t been here that long but have also picked up on what seems to be a growing angst about the pace of development and the fear that its is actually more of a runaway train than a cohesive development plan. The speed of it also makes the gap between the former way of life and the present absolutely massive in proportion to the time over which these changes occurred!

I know one ex-pat who has been here 16 years and has had enough of what she sees as the ‘hysterical speed’ of development in Dubai and an increasing segregation between different groups of residents. She’s planning to leave.

Times I have been to Abu Dhabi or Sharjah the feeling is less intense, town planning seems more organic and there is a lot more greenery to soften the environment, which helps. Being on the deep green side myself I do find it scary that Dubai is apparently the fastest growing city in the world and already has the highest amount of waste per capita. At present I think it also has only two or three sewage plants!

I don’t actually have a view on whether it’s good or bad. It just is … although I do get concerned about the environmental impact. Being an artist who thinks that art, music and literature are the repositories for the ‘soul’ of any nation, I find it frustrating that the artistic output of the UAE is so hard to find. Yet I can find work here by artists from almost every other part of the world!

ColOman said...

i*maginate

I am heading to an Island feel land...I'm heading to Oman... by the god made beach :)

Anonymous said...

i*maginate ,
you are not only ignorant but foolish to show it;
egg Sheikh Khalifa Committee was funded in 1981 and in less than a year around 2 000 buildings were distributed between the eligible *bread*.
At that time white trash was no where around to be seen.
I guess your desperate exercises to attract attention were satisfied by now and you will finally get lost........at least for a while. Consideration will be highly appreciated in advance.

Anonymous said...

good news:

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=502351%3Asix-year-expat-cap-gets-uae-backing&Itemid=1

i*maginate said...

*Anon 15:18, if there was no white trash in 1981, shame, because you could have at least learned how to speak and comprehend English by now.

*coloman hehe. Oman is quite different, isn't it. But hasn't the pace of development changed there quite a bit too, with the increased tourism in the last 10 years?

Anonymous said...

I assume i*maginate studied english from the white trash? then why all this hate? she is trailer trash anyway.

i*maginate said...

anon trash-lover, what do you mean "why all this hate".

Try and engage your garbage logic in a civilised debate.

Editor said...

I would like to point out that in the Gulf all Government departments and legal authorities use Arabic as official language.
Dubai is not a norm, but radder exceptional place where English is the prime language.
In the rest of the Emirates for many is not necessary to speak English. Urdu, Hindi and Tagalog are largely in use in communications with servants and in the market. The majority of the local population is fluent at least in two languages. English comes only in third place for many. Ambitious individuals steady additionally French etc.
With all respect, but unlike in UK or the US, here we don't depend on the English language.
Therefore remarks regarding the English expressions of the posters shouldn't be taken seriously or as a valid argument.
The above facts should be taken as a statement only and should not be twisted as personal attacks or insults.

Proud Emirati said...

Dr. Ibtisam said it all in 60 minutes show

Lirun said...

people like to dream back in time

i*maginate said...

My, my. We have an Israeli commenter on a post about Dubai heritage that beats Anon's and Editor's comments.

Just 7 words, Lirun, and you hit the nail right on the spot.

Mohammed said...

Oman is changing... but in no way is it a rat race, people don't push you but still say excuse me please... and expats are still respectable guests......

I think many on this blog forget that we are guests in the UAE... guests do not come to the host's house and tell them what to do... the gues always thanks the host for having them in their house and respects them.

I really feel the Emartis are being undermined in Dubai...

Editor said...

"dream back in time"

The past was safe and secure, stable. Problems were few and solutions easy.
The future is uncertain and for some even scary due to the fast pace of changes in all aspects of life.

Surely *the golden days* are behind.

Halib Jamal said...

Does anybody have a view on the fact that in the so-called golden days, as much as now, there was a large proportion of the population in the "trucial states" that were either born in Iran or whose ancestors came from Iran. This includes the emirati nationals who are "azam" emiratis (Persian speakers) and who were and are overwhelmingly Sunni but not Arab in origin; those emirati Arabs who are descended from Sunni tribes in southern Iran; and the large body of Iranian Shia Persians who have long had a large presence here. This is a kind of continuum, and one that contributes to the "dual facing" policies of the UAE and Dubai in particular when it comes to Iran. It is partly this that helps compound the close trading and investment connections with Iran. Now, however, it looks like one of the "dangers" of globalisation, with US, even, to an extent, Abu Dhabi anger at Dubai's close connections. In the 1980s it was good business and in the 1880s the same....any thoughts out there?

Editor said...

Economy Ministry official optimistic over UAE-Iran trade relations

http://www.wam.org.ae/servlet/Satellite?c=WamLocEnews&cid=1193028044141&p=1135099400295&pagename=WAM%2FWamLocEnews%2FW-T-LEN-FullNews

Paraglider said...

I think quite a few of us are concerned at the palpable vulnerabilities built into the manic expansion. If all goes to plan, then fair and good; I'm sure we won't refuse the benefits. But if the whole edifice collapses, as it very well might, "great will be the fall of it".

SevenSummits said...

When Winston Churchill said “There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction,” he was obviously more concerned with getting rid of a megalomaniac historical figure, than with the shortcomings of modernization theory. One could probably be arguing ceaselessly about globalization and dependency assumptions, although a reasonable mind will have to admit that the worst occurrence that can happen to a country is something called “modernization without development”. In other words, a society that is living on borrowed technology, without adapting those necessary social changes. Unfortunately we can witness exactly this scenario in the UAE. Progress is most commonly measured only in terms of economic development, while ignoring those important factors that really contribute to sustainable development. This is exactly where worldviews of the people of developed societies differ systematically from those of developing societies across a wide range of political, social, and religious norms and beliefs. The two most significant dimensions are traditional versus secular-rational orientations toward authority and survival versus self-expression values.
The importance of modernization needs no elucidation, but growth has always come at a price for any nation or culture – especially when it comes to a society's values and traditions. Just as other oil economies in the Gulf, the UAE tends to invest heavily in construction but neglects those social aspects of development. Indeed, the existence of large funds does lead to distorted priorities and may permit societies to avoid painful social and economic adjustments (e.g. the negotiations and agreements between interest groups) for a time, but this merely defers development. Significant cultural hindrances could be classified according to a number of headings, such as educational policies, discipline, social status of careers, values surrounding work and leisure as well as laws governing the relationships between selective social classes or people in various productive roles.

The real challenge would be to adapt foreign knowledge to the culture and environment of the UAE, to go beyond mere imitation into the creation of a modern Gulf Arab culture consistent with its own past. Unfortunately this never happened and Emiratis where never really given the opportunity to sort out the meaning of modernization for their culture.

MOVIEMANIA has tried to illustrate the feelings of the older generation (now who on earth would that be :- ) – obviously my age group (35 to 45), not really the mostly illiterate senior citizens, I suppose”. Just to quote an Emirati friend: “Some people feel they are losing control of the city (Dubai) itself and of the society" There is a growing discontent with the current situation that cannot be ignored. Undeniably, I wouldn’t act differently, if the German government would sell out my country as well as my culture to foreigners and especially if that would make me a minority in my own home. Yet successful adaption to change will require a certain departure from traditional values and beliefs and it is this challenge that may be considered a great task facing the UAE today. The rhetoric that can be heard in this respect from the young generation is very reassuring and a little rebellion against outdated social structures and radical ideologies is obvious. Internet, media, music, movies, etc. – certainly not every change is bad. But how far is too far? Is endangering the sustainable future of the Emirati society not taking things a little too far? Is depriving the youths of vocational training and teaching them some work ethics not irresponsible? Somewhere there must be a compromise and especially the young generation should use those available opportunities to start demanding a representation in those political decisions. If you are to move forward sensibly into the future, serious thought must be given to making the social order more inclusive and giving preference to a culture in which character counts more than the cash or tribal connections. Likewise it will be necessary to have a serious examination and reconciliation of the religious and secular spheres so that neither loses and both benefit.

Yet all this will require a little honesty and less hypocrisy in your society. Please don’t fall for that pretence Moviemania, because it is exactly those that are pretending to be the moral watchdogs as in “oh, now there are foreigners kissing in our malls” (haraaaamm!) that will do exactly the same once they leave your borders and show up for instance in my country. There is nothing wrong with it, as far as I am concerned, but why on earth do they keep on complaining about the situation in the UAE and pretending to be holier than thou? You would not believe how much pretence there is in that generation you are talking about and maybe they should start defining what they really want. Apparently if UAE citizens had a say, Dubai would not be as it is? Really??? Only you guys will know the answer!
For a long term prosperity in an increasingly interconnected world, you must start to progress towards openness, tolerance and freedom. TOLERANCE – I*maginate – NOT HATRED, princess. If someone reaches out his hand to you over and over again, maybe it is about time to stop judging someone merely by nationality? This is beneath your intelligence and I sort of fuming right now! Lirun was the only one that obviously understood my Eid message and trust me that his people may not be so reminiscent of the past.

Scary is the thought that most of you still worship those that are meant to secure a safe long term future for you, but fail to realize that they are driven by unethical motives. It is really time that today’s megalomaniacs will be stopped and start planning for a future in which the UAE’s nationals play a major role.

So Winston’s counterpart Dwight D. Eisenhower said:

Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.

So are you guys ready to get squashed?

i*maginate said...

*Sevensummits Koenig, what on earth does this post have to do with intolerance, hypocrisy and hatred, for goodness' sake? If you scan my blog I am an avid disliker of the word "hate" and neither am I intolerant, even of your views.

Though I appreciate your approach to debate, I find your points are rarely in line with points raised in posts. As you can see from bridget jones's response to you on her first post which scared her away.

Please sevensummits, do your scapegoating on someone else if you'd like to get personal - I am the wrong target.

Nature Strikes Back said...

How about a quote from Ernest Hemingway...

It wasn't by accident that the Gettysburg address was so short. The laws of prose writing are as immutable as those of flight, of mathematics, of physics.

;-)

nick said...

Sevens,

The frustration with rapid change here, voiced by locals and expats alike, stems not from the dilemma of lying down on the tracks or better be boarding the ‘train of future’.

There are no tickets for sale.

Change here happens without consultation. Residents are not stakeholders in the future of Dubai, and very few locals are, although most of us will benefit eventually from changes such as the Metro, more housing, Freezones etc.

It’s a feeling of impotence which comes from being excluded from the decision making process and from changes being shoved down our throats.

The reactions are various. Some put up with it and ride the crest of the wave and enjoy the trappings of walking on the sunny side of the road; others fret about it. And the masses, like everywhere in the world just moan silently, or not so silently, or set free their anger by driving aggressively or beating their maids as the only way asserting themselves.

Bookish outsiders like yourself only see the obvious shortcomings but not the obvious advantages which life here offers and which many feel are more important to them than being able to influence the future of their country of residence.


Take my case.
My assignment here comes to an end soon. I was headhunted for an interesting position elsewhere further East and I am in negotiations, or I could return to Europe to ‘collect my benefit cheque’ as one anonymous helpfully suggested.
Or I could stay because my employer pays me very good money indeed and wants me to stay.

I can’t vote, I can’t influence policies, I don’t have the same legal standing as a local, I have to put up by force with a religion I don’t respect and people who love to be unfree!

My kids love it here. The schools are frickin expensive but offer excellent education and facilities. I haven’t been mugged once. I haven’t once been verbally abused or intimidated or had to step over pools of vomit on the pavement. I don’t miss the sweaty 40 minutes commute on the Underground.
I am putting money aside. I have a house in walking distance to the beach with a coconut tree in the garden and two Jeeps. The ciggies are almost free!

Will I stay or will I go go?

I honestly don’t know yet.

(geez, this become almost as long as your comments…)

SevenSummits said...

Nick,
you acutely underestimate my ability to put myself into your shoes. :-) Remember the “social democracy” notions that nobody really caught except the two of us? We both know what is wrong with our corresponding systems and most certainly share similar aspirations in life. For instance building a house, making sure that our kids will get the best possible education, securing our pension and so forth. Unfortunately as a result of our “seriously screwed up internal politics” sometimes you need to work elsewhere to fulfill those “Western basic needs”. The difference is that I do not have kids yet and therefore am still more free to make “egocentric” choices, but trust me, if I did and I would be offered one of those unethical international org jobs for a two year term, knowing exactly that I will make no difference and that my work will be totally redundant, I would take it as well. So no holier than thou attitude from my part and remember I am German and telling me “tax exemption” will definitely put a smile on my face. There is no judgment whatsoever and certainly I remember your comments on the “construction/ building quality” issue (even quoted your insides in one of my urbanization papers – thanks again!) and am sure that there could be huge contribution from your part in this sustainable development gig, if ….. yes “only if, “they” would start to make some sensible choices. Yet, the fact that those decision makers hardly have any recognizable education is somewhat symptomatic of the immaturity of the political processes and the social systems that elevated them to their positions of power.

Just remember, I am a “crisis and conflict” expert and did not get my knowledge from books, but from working in the field and unfortunately being an eye witness of the results of a failed development process. My work requires “dialogue” and “participation” (ROFL) and in fact, I am in daily contact with Emiratis as well as other Arabs. (not that there is any participation from UAE nationals whatsoever! Other Arabs, yes!) We both will probably agree that this modernization hype (I am fully aware that equating modernization with westernization is ethnocentric and is not supported by prevailing evidence, but just for simplicity sake), has met with resistance and that this resistance has rapidly devolved into ideological radicalism. (See this blog!)
This entire region is going nuts and I admit that I have run out of feasible ideas – a few suggestions maybe, but …. Indeed, the main problems contributing to the prevailing regional insecurity lie unaddressed and the gap with the rest of the world has grown to unprecedented proportions. Overall, the situation is a vicious cycle that breeds further hatred instead of promoting tolerance and confidence-building in the region. It is a vicious cycle and looking into the future – especially the post oil era with an immensely frustrated youth bulge is scaring the h*** out of me.

Ah, there is an interesting paper entitled: “What makes a terrorist” that might interest you and it certainly supports some of your theories!!! I don’t agree with all those findings, but it is worth a read! (maybe I just met more nutcases than those fellows :- ) )

SevenSummits said...

Nature Strikes Back,
would have loved to say all this in a simply cartoon, but there is a certain strategy behind it:

(1) those real “dimwits” out there cannot comprehend this stuff – so I am selecting a target audience

(2) our “princess” shows her sweet temper – it just sooo cuuute!:-))) I knew it would work!

(3) Need to defend my reputation – was recently outed as a “sensitive romantic” – so this is “7SStrikesBack”

LOL :- )))

PS: Reading tip for you as well: Today October 25th at at 11:30 am (New York time) the
“ GEO 4 report” will be out – you might enjoy this!

rosh said...

"This entire region is going nuts and I admit that I have run out of feasible ideas – a few suggestions maybe, but …. Indeed, the main problems contributing to the prevailing regional insecurity lie unaddressed and the gap with the rest of the world has grown to unprecedented proportions"

OK, that just sent my BP waaaaaay up!

Here's what I see 7S: every Christmas I travel from NYC (perhaps one amongst the modern, civilized and western cities in the world) - to UAE, I find much peace, much tranquility, much cleanliness, much better roads, much better food, equally or even nicer people (if not equally horrible) - much safety, cultures and respect for another being.

Am not being sarcastic, but honest. Often, being in the city streets by yourself past midnight can be intimidating. The city is quite populated, yet you can find the loneliest souls walking the crowded streets. I could go on, but my point being, there are the pros & cons to every place.

That said, NYC has been a learning experience, I love my home,career and friends - it has much to offer.

I suppose we all realize UAE is not perfect - however, genuinely, I'd like to know details of this gloom doom sermon, you've always talked about, because right now, am concerned.

nick said...

Rosh,

Comparing NYC with Dubai in terms of infrastructure and gastronomic offerings should be well below your intellectual capabilities, apart from being skewed even at that trivial level.

One is a huge city of history and rich vibrant culture and global importance, the other a village by comparison. A few tall buildings, new roads and a bourse don’t make civilization. Ignoring the small fact that one is a cornerstone of the oldest continuous democracy, the other a fiefdom of a tribal leader.

The intent of Dubai to style itself the capital of the Arab world is in fact ironically apt. You may well regard it as a prism through which the shortcomings of the arab world are highlighted for all to see.
If material consumption, dismal treatment of the poor and state dependency of its indigenous population are the only ‘virtues’ Dubai is managing to promote then it is missing a beat or two.
If this is the arab idea of civilization and advancement, then good luck to you all!

nick said...

Sevens,

I don’t have time to read the entire ‘what makes a terrorist’ report, but I think I got the gist ever since I read Bernard Lewis’ “What went wrong”.

This entire region is going nuts…. - to which I would say that the entire region IS nuts and has been nuts for a long time and there is no reprieve in sight. There is a sense of normalcy to all this bluster and hatred.

The greatest disservice Europe has ever done to mankind was to leave the Middle East as colonial power. We should have stayed and they would thank us for this today. They, that’s Israel AND the Palestinians; they, that’s the Christians in the Lebanon, in Egypt and Gaza; they, that’s the Kurds and the Marsh arabs in Iraq and Iran; they, that’s the homosexuals in Iran, they; that’s the average Pakistani and every normal moderate person in the region.

You know and I know that the underlying and overarching problem is religion.

Underlying, because it has pervaded the minds of people in this part of the world for centuries and instilled in them this weird mixture of arrogance and ignorance which will forever stifle democratic development.
Overarching, because it is common cause of hatred of Israel and her western allies.
There is no solution. One can hope for the inertia of the masses to prevent momentum to pick up.

Maybe Dubai really has the answer. Smother and suffocate democracy with easy car loans….

Halib said...

I am delighted that all you terribly informed bloggers out there found an interest in the IRANIAN angle that I tried to awaken some interest in. A foreigner of senior standing (not iranian) told me yesterday that Dubai has been regarded as an Iranian emirate in terms of real power and influence UNTIL fairly recently when an economic and demographic shift in favour of India altered the perception. COMMENTS?

i*maginate said...

Halib why don't you start a post.

Post a Comment

NOTE: By making a post/comment on this blog you agree that you are solely responsible for its content and that you are up to date on the laws of the country you are posting from and that your post/comment abides by them.

To read the rules click here

If you would like to post content on this blog click here