25 December, 2020

Gulf in Justice Podcast with Radha Stirling: Israelis sold “Dubai dream...

30 October, 2020

Keep Your (Social) Distance

Interesting social distancing decal that I saw this weekend at Al Jimi Mall in Al Ain.


24 October, 2020

Radha Stirling with Erika North BBC Radio Kent on James & Stanley, detai...

18 October, 2020

Caitlin McNamara Sexual Assault in UAE - Live with Radha Stirling, found...

"Assault" on Hay Festival boss highlights archaic and dangerous UAE attitudes towards women and Sheikh Nayan is a known abuser.  Radha Stirling, founder Detained in Dubai issued the following statement today on the incident:

"32 year old Caitlin McNamara has spoken to media about her allegations of sexual harassment by Sheikh Nayan bin Mubarak Al Nayan, Minister of Tolerance in the UAE and a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family.

"McNamara has vowed never to return to the Gulf again after reporting her sexual assault to Scotland Yard, who have also been investigating the kidnapping of Sheikh Shamsa, daughter of the ruler of Dubai, from UK soil. Since the Times on Sunday article this morning, Detained in Dubai has become aware of other incidences of sexual assault by Sheikh Nayan while in the UK and we encourage other victims to cooperate with Scotland Yard.

"McNamara had been employed by the Hay Festival of Literature and Arts in Abu Dhabi for six months before the attack.  It was the Festival’s first collaboration with the UAE who has spent millions in public relations efforts to attract talent in the arts and literature sectors to the country. Women speakers and promoters were particularly targeted to help the country overturn its misogynistic appearance, particularly in light of Princess Haya’s allegations that her young daughter had been promised to MBS, and the guardianship laws which have been under public discussion.

"But the arts and literary sectors, as well as education, have been lobbied by human rights activists and advised to avoid the region until changes are made and certainly, until Princess Latifa is free.  It is inappropriate for the Hay Festival, who supports freedom of speech, to be collaborating with Abu Dhabi in a joint event in a country that jails people for a tweet, for sharing a facebook post, a charity post, for offending the government or speaking about the kidnapping and imprisonment of Princess Latifa.  It is just as contradictory as perhaps Ricky Martin putting on a concert in a country that condemns, persecutes, jails and even executes homosexuals, or even people who wear skinny jeans.  Given LGBTQ representation in the arts and literary sectors of the UK, again, it seems inappropriate that the Hay Festival would collaborate with a country who has jailed a British man for wearing skinny jeans and who still holds the death penalty for homosexuality.

"The sexual assault of McNamara is not an isolated incident but something that Detained in Dubai receives reports about on a regular basis.  While many female royals are locked up or hidden away under strict guardianship rules, their male counterparts live a decadent life.  The ruler of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, Sheikh Saud, was charged with the sexual assault of a hotel maid in the United States.  The Sheikhs are accustomed to getting their way.  They literally own the police and the judiciary and have the power to put any complainant in jail with the click of a finger.  If McNamara had reported the incident to police in Abu Dhabi, she herself would likely have faced charges that could have resulted in life in prison.  It is the same for rape victims.  We only need to look at the case of Australian Alicia Gali who spoke publicly about being charged with “sex outside marriage” after reporting rape.  Reporting sexual assault or rape in the UAE is a highly risky affair and the Australian Embassy came under fire for not warning Miss Gali of the potential consequences of filing a report against her assailants.

"A French teenage boy was charged with homosexuality after reporting his gang rape.  McNamara will not go back to the Gulf.  In speaking out about her assault, she could be jailed for life for insulting the Sheikh, for defaming the country or for being in the company of a man to whom she was not married.  Roxanne Hillier was jailed for seven months for being in the same room alone with her employer, even though invasive medical tests showed she had not had sex.  This is the real UAE and it is not a UAE that the Hay Festival should be collaborating with.

"Just in the past two years, the UAE has been involved in a number of controversies affecting the arts sector. Artur Ligeska was sexually abused in prison after not returning a Sheikh’s advances, Matthew Hedges was locked up and accused of being a spy, Princess Latifa was abducted from a US flagged yacht, Hind Albolooki fled male guardianship and Princess Haya fled her husband, Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum.  The UAE’s Cybercrime Laws prohibit free speech and writers feel they are under constant threat of prison if they do not tow the state line. 

"The UAE will continue to prohibit free speech, will continue to abuse women and the LGBTQ community, so long as the private sector continues to turn a blind eye.  The British Irish Commercial Bar Association (BICBA) cancelled their collaboration with the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) and it is important that other individuals and groups do the same.  Princess Latifa will never be free while the private sector continues to promote the Emirates."

#PrincessLatifa #RadhaStirling #FreeLatifa #LGBTQ #CaitlinMcNamara #DetainedinDubai #AliciaGali #UAE

18 September, 2020

BBC Scotland Conor Howard extradition to Qatar from Greece with Radha St...

BBC Scotland interviews Radha Stirling and Kenny MacAskill MP on the arrest of Conor Howard in Corfu, Greece on a Qatar issued Interpol Red Notice.

Conor Howard, a young Scottish man has been detained for extradition in Greece and faces deportation to Qatar over an herb grinder found in his luggage while transiting through Doha last year.

Radha Stirling, founder of Detained in Dubai and Due Process International has been helping the family. Stirling is an Interpol and Extradition expert specialising in Interpol notices from the Middle East with over a decade's experience.

Stirling says Qatar is one of the most prevalent abusers of Interpol's databases and that Western nations should not be making arrests on their behalf.

The British government has been lobbied to intervene in this case which Kenny MacAskill emphasises, is not a legal matter but a diplomatic matter.


#InterpolAbuse #RadhaStirling #KennyMacAskill #DetainedinDoha #Qatar #Greece #Scotland #BBC

15 August, 2020

பாரத சமுதாயம் வாழ்கவே! | Baratha Samudhayam Vazhgave! (Hail O Bhaarat!) ...

15 June, 2020

Losing my Father..

It's been over a week since my father passed away Allah yerhamo. Everyday I wake up and the first thought is 'my dad died!' Some might think death comes easier when it is expected but sadly it isn't easy to lose someone you love even if death might come as relief of years of pain.

You are gone.. every time I say this out loud its like I am finding out for the first time. I still can't process the idea that my dad is gone.  Sadly I missed him even when he was alive as for years he was was not the same as he used to be.

I feel that I lost him twice. I lost him 13 years ago when he first got the brain stroke and was fully paralyzed and unable to speak or write. Trapped in his body and bedridden for 13 years.

Its hard to comprehend the permanence of death and how it is irreversible. Death is too final and ambiguity of it all is frightening. No one came back from the dead to tell us what really happens to us after death and it always remain  في علم الغيب.

Death comes with regret of the things your could of done and could have said. Death comes with thoughts of unfinished conversations and broken promises. Somehow with unresolved feelings and unanswered questions you will feel stuck in your grief. You wonder if there is anything you could have done to make things end up differently. You regret all the times you missed out on spending time with your father. In the end we know everything happens the way it was written by Allah and we say al Hamdullilah for everything.

The fact that you will never be able to see them again or touch them or smell them again is so hard to wrap your mind around it. I miss your cheeks and your face. I miss the look in your eyes and your smile when you hear something that you find surprisingly funny. I will never forget how you held my hand and held it close to your heart as if you were telling me you loved me and were happy I was by your side . You were unable to speak but I felt your words.

Now I lost him for good and his presence in my life and the glimpse of hope of him ever coming back again. He was trapped in his body for years and was suffering so much everyday. Maybe I was foolish to think he would ever be the same again. I used to dream of him magically recovering and saying all the things I wish he would say.

He was many great things but the most trait I can remember about him was his endless acts of humanity and empathy with others especially those who were in need or those who were wronged or مظلومين.  He had high principles and a sense of righteousness that was unshakable. He had the kindest heart and was generous and never hesitated in helping anyone in need. He used to put people before himself and whenever he enjoyed anything he had to share it with the people he loved to truly feel happy.

It's been years since I heard your voice. I don't remember the sound of your laugh and I slowly feel memories of you are slipping away from my mind. I feel so horrible that I can't remember certain details about the way you used to be before your stroke. I feel such regret for not writing down the epic stories you shared with me about your childhood down because no one else can know them but you.

 I miss the wisdom in your words and just being in your presence. Your existence gave me a certain calming feeling that it will always be okay. Now I feel lost and alone and the heaviness in my heart weighs me down so that everyday getting out of bed is hard. I feel you were on my side and even though after your illness you were not really the same. There was a certain consolation that you were still alive and that deep inside you were there and that one day you will possibly be better again and I can tell you about the pain I felt in your sickness and how much I needed you by side. There is a comfort only you could have given me. I will forever miss and long for that feeling.

A part of me died with you and I'm not sure if I will be capable of being fully happy ever again. Like there is a hole in my heart, an emptiness, a darkness that spreads all over me. I'm okay during the day going on with my regular daily routine because I somehow block these thoughts and I am in denial.

Suddenly a thought comes to my mind and I'm reminded of this feeling and I feel like I'm falling in place in  a deep hole of anger, confusion and sadness. There are so many things we never got to do together. I feel he died before he actually let himself live.

 I have been wronged by those who are the closest to me, those whom I thought I could run to comfort me and they doubt my intentions and all I can think of is that you would have never ever done this to me. You wouldn't even allow these things to happen if you were alive and well.
 I need you more than ever and I miss you more than ever.

Suddenly a thought comes to my mind and I'm reminded of this feeling and I feel like I'm falling in place in  a deep hole of anger, confusion and sadness. There are so many things we never got to do together. I feel you died before you allowed yourself to live.

I still remember my last visit after I knew you were diagnosed with lymphoma. I knew in my heart this could be the last time I saw you. I stared at your face and hands trying to memorize how they look, every wrinkle, every line, knowing I might never hold your hand or kiss your face again.

I will always carry your pain and suffering in my heart. You will always be my superhero the man I look up . The man who was my first love and my backbone. The man who worked all his life and stopped at nothing to provide for his family and to ensure that we live the best life and had all the things he didn't have growing up. 

I am forever thankful to have had an amazing father. I am thankful that my children got to meet you and play with you in-spite of your illness. I could tell from the look in your eyes and your smile how happy you were to have met your granddaughters. I will tell them about you and what a great man you were always.  I can’t bear the thought  that my children will not have  their grandfather around when they are adults but I'm happy the met you.

I promise to live to make you proud. Whenever I do anything good in life it will always come back to you as you were the inspiration to always do good and to give and to never ever look down on anyone. 

I love you always and I will pray for you everyday.  
Insha2Allah you are in a better place with no pain where you can walk and talk and eat all the yummy food you used to love to eat. 


لهم ارحمه تحت الأرض و يوم العرض عليك، اللهم قه عذابك يوم تبعث عبادك. اللهمّ املأ قبره بالرّضا، والنّور، والفسحة، والسّرور. اللهم ادخله الجنة من غير مناقشة حساب، ولا سابقة عذاب، اللهم آنسه في وحدته، وآنس وحشته. اللهم ان كان من المحسنين فزد فى حسناته و إن كان من المسيئين فتجاوز عن سيئاته.

اللهم اجزي والدي عني خير ما جزيت والدا عن ولده

01 May, 2020

شوربة الفطر مع الكريمه اسهل طريقه����..

27 September, 2018

"How can we negotiate with a state that wants to kill us?"

While the US is having its current drama about events that may or may not have happened at a high school party 30+ years ago, an actual important drama is brewing and being ignored.

“We’re accumulating risk in the Middle East by not getting at Iran’s proliferation,” [Brian Hook, the State Department's special representative for Iran] said. “There is something brazen about this missile behaviour, they’re not even hiding it. This sort of escalation is deeply concerning..."

"The Iranians have to decide are they a nation state or a revolution,” [The Saudi foreign minister] said, underlining that Iran had diverted virtually all its additional revenues from the removal of sanctions into its regional agenda, including support for the Houthi rebellion.

“If a missile is launched at Saudi Arabia and UAE what will be reaction be and how will we be defended?” said UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba.

Maybe we could ask if the government can spend a few minutes considering this when they get done with their he-said, she-said partisan argument?

UAE ambassador asks how allies will defend country from Iran's missiles

26 September, 2018

Compare and Contrast

I thought that it is interesting how The National and Gulf News are covering President Trump's speech to the UN as compared to what I saw my friends in the US had posted about it. So I looked at some of the major US new sources pages. The American media is downplaying the importance of the speech as compared to the media here, and the Americans are playing up the laughter of some of the delegates.

Draw what conclusions you want from these:

28 September, 2016

ABC Radio Interview With Radha Stirling, Detained In Dubai.

06 February, 2015

TRA 2015

TRA in 2009 (on the topic of Skype):
"I don't see the TRA being anti-consumer," he said. "We opened up the market. We are trying to protect consumers. The TRA is a government agency. We have wider issues to worry about. Consumers only have their own concern to worry about." (source: http://gulfnews.com/business/telecoms/tra-denies-anti-consumer-charge-1.266598)
TRA in 2015 (on the topic of actual consumer protection):
"The TRA had said last year that as of May 18, only 55,555 mobile numbers had been successfully transferred out of 190,185 requests submitted in the first five months of the mobile number portability service’s availability. 
The regulator also said that the 134,222 rejected applications included some that had been resubmitted more than once by the holder of the number. 
In yesterday’s statement, the TRA said that a joint team would be formed comprising the TRA and the operators “to find appropriate solutions to customer complaints”.  (source: http://www.thenational.ae/business/telecoms/uae-telecoms-regulator-steps-up-oversight-into-customer-complaints)
Given that it is 2015 and du and Etisalat still do not have any real interconnection between their broadband networks (i.e. 0 competition) and given that roughly two thirds of all mobile portability (i.e. Etisalat>du or du>Etisalat) are failing (i.e. roughly one third competition), has the TRA really done a good job of worrying about the "wider issues" thus far?

26 January, 2015

New list of cancelled Dubai real estate projects... and refunds

The Dubai Courts has listed 166 real estate projects in its newly-issued project cancellation list. The Cancelled Real Estate Projects Committee is currently hearing 17 projects all of which were launched by Reliance Estate Development. Two projects by Khyool Investment – Abjar Tower and Faras 2 – have been liquidated and money has been distributed among investors. Read more ....

via Emirates 24/7

Not completely surprised at the so called new list of cancelled projects. I'm a lot more curious about the supposed refunds. I remember hundreds (if not thousands) of projects that were scrapped in Ajman half a decade ago and lots of people lost money. A few of them were people I knew. The same  could have been said for Dubai but it wasn't a complete washout like Ajman. I've personally never invested in freehold property here so have zero experience but do these refunds work now or is it just bad debts still?

30 December, 2014

Time to move onwards with this community?

Hi all.

Seeing how stagnant this blog has become (from what it once was) is a letdown after the amount of activity that occurred here previously.
Several attempts have been made at rejuvenating the website and increasing posting/traffic but nothing seems to have worked.

I have a proposal that I'd appreciate feedback on.

Moving the site to a subreddit.

  • Automated bot scans blogroll RSS feeds from a curated list and automatically posts them on the subreddit allowing users to vet quality posts from the crap
  • Problematic users need not be censored when they can just be down voted into oblivion
  • Users can manually post links or create text posts
  • Users wishing to comment can sign up for a throwaway account requiring no email address
Does anyone have any thoughts on doing this or moving to another alternative space?

15 October, 2014

UAE Football

Today's The National has a story about the lack of support that the UAE national team is getting from its fans: It must be asked: ‘Why are Emirati fans not showing up for games in their own country?’
“There is no support from our own fans, so how will the players be motivated,” Mahdi Ali asked on Tuesday, after a 4-0 loss to Uzbekistan in Abu Dhabi. “The other day, the Australians had more support for them than us in the stadium. I wish not to play any games at home but outside the country. It is really disappointing.”
My family and I attended the UAE v Australia friendly last weekend. There was a lot of support for the Aussies, though I'm not sure that there wasn't more support for the Emirates. But the stadium was very empty, especially for a weekend match against a team that just competed in the World Cup a couple of months ago.

One of the lines in the story really resonated with our experience: "One of the most important opportunities UAE football could embrace is tapping into the giant expat community and market, people who sometimes feel unwelcome at national team matches".

We went to the match with the intention of supporting the UAE. But when we got there, the security at the game made go sit with the Australian fans. We weren't made to feel unwelcome, exactly, but it wasn't the most welcoming environment either. And it was easier, by far, to get information about the time and place and cost (free!) for the match from the Australian FA website than from the English side of the UAE FA site (I will say that it is quite possible that the Arabic site might have had all details).

And for the Uzbekistan match, the English UAE FA site said that the match was in Dubai at 3:00 pm and not Abu Dhabi at 6:30, where it really took place.

It is the same with the club teams here. We went to one Al Ain FC match and had a great time. But trying to find out information in English about when, where, and how much is nearly impossible.

Have any other expats tried to support either the national team or a club team? What was your experience?