08 February, 2008

A Snapshot of Dubai, Arab Melting Pot

"My friend Puneh from Tehran loved it, but Nazir couldn't stand it. She lived in a house in Dubai complete with lilac bushes and European aspens in the front yard, gardeners who kept the lawn manicured and neighbors from Europe, the Middle East and North America, who drove Volvos, Porsches and Jeeps.

"So many interesting people," says Puneh, an art dealer. "I felt so free, as a person, as a woman and as an individual."

"This pompousness, this manufactured perfection. There is nothing real about this city," says her friend Nazir, an artist. "I could hardly breathe anymore. I wouldn't have been able to paint a single painting there."

Nazir lasted in Dubai for eight days, precisely the duration of his first show, before fleeing back to Tehran. After that he would spend long hours talking to Puneh on the phone, begging her to come home. She did—and regretted it. What she gave up was a life in the most modern, fast-paced, flashy and superficial city in the Middle East."

more HERE

12 comments:

B.D. said...

I think it should be referred to as an Arabian and not an Arab melting pot as Dubai's population is not a mix of Arabs, but a mix of all nationalities on the Arabian peninsular.

Beyond semantics, the article is of your typical "amazing Dubai" fare--and nothing wrong with that. But the opening reads quite like a novel. Someone should expand on that--maybe in next year's November novella-thon.

Mita said...

I enjoyed the full article - thanks for posting it

i*maginate said...

"I wouldn't have been able to paint a single painting there."

But we can blog, innit ;-)

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Well, an artist like Nazir needs inspiration, and there isn't much here to be honest. While for an art dealer and a female like Puneh, it's all about shopping, glitz and some business encounters… plenty of that here…

i*maginate said...

dubai jazz, there is one form of art that can't be beaten...arm yourself with a nice digicam and some basic photoshop skills, head down to the Burj, take a few shots, blow them up onto a canvas, frame them in Karama, and sell in Madinat Jumeirah for Dhs. 3000.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Hmmm i*maginate, that sounds more like art-'dealing' …

rosh said...

It's a good read - No single place is perfect for everyone, some fit in, some don't.

""I wouldn't have been able to paint a single painting there."
It so happened I stumbled across the photo blog of UAE based Basil Khleif (his blog is listed to the left of the community page blogroll, under creative & video). It has quite a lot soulful photographs of UAE - hence not sure why a painter may not find something of interest?

On the other hand, people need to get out of Dubai and discover UAE in general.

The Blog Sheikh said...

SamuriSam,

you are by far the best blogger on this Community Blog. How come you don't have a blog of your own?
Everytime I click on your profile I am sent right back to the Community Blog. What gives? Perhaps you can post on my blog? (click on my profile and check it out)

Anyway keep up the good work!

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Blog Shiekh, here is a link to SamuraiSam's blog:
http://onebigconstructionsite.blogspot.com/

hemlock said...

an artist should be able to find inspiration in anything... a lot of amazing work has come out of what the artists felt was repression...

the real nick said...

I agree, hemlock; we love our artists repressed and tortured.

In fact, Dubai's artists should be shackled and beaten and forced to live in Sonapur and work as construction labourers and cut their ears off with angle grinders no less, in between brunches at the Lime Tree cafe - and hey presto we'll have a REAL art scene.

i*maginate said...

nick, if you put your fancy words onto a fancy canvas, we might see some boombastic arty farty results...I'd buy any day if you pitched to me at the Lime Tree Cafe...minus the 'cut-off ears'. What's your art's going rate, mate? :)

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