Friday, December 29, 2006
Go on, I know you are answering the question as you read this. So write it down in the comments
This is not a local bashing contest so any blatantly derogatory and/or racist comments will not be tolerated.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
A bit too lefty-secular-anti-religion-feminist for this part of the world.....don't think she was invited to the Arab Strategy Forum held in Dubai.
And check this out. Never thought anyone could say such things against Islam. OUCH! Double OUCH!
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Although I was already very familiar with the contents of the report, It is a MUST READ! Especially for all of you who think Dubai is all about glamour and glitz!!
The most interesting thing they have managed to do is to conceal the plight,misery and anguish of around 20% of the labour force! You can live here for years and not even notice construction workers ( let alone get a glimpse of their miserable lives).
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Happy belated National day to all…
The development this country has made is astonishing and unprecedented. Congratulations to all the citizens of this land( whether you have the papers to prove it or not).
I wish I could also celebrate this festive occasion…but then again how many ‘expats’ do you see waving a UAE flag, have their cars covered in the national colours or taking part in the festivities? ‘Its not your country’!
Over the past few years, along with the development of the country, another hidden aspect of almost every other society is flourishing in
Homosexuality seems to be a flourishing subculture in
The most stereotypical gay people in
One aspect of homosexuality which amazes and dumbfounds me is the gays/lesbians among the local population.” WHAT they exist??” Come one don’t be so naïve. Unless you just got of the boat or lived a very isolated life in
However, homosexual activity and behaviour does not necessarily relate to being a homosexual. Allow me to explain.
From my observations and understandings very few of these relationships are truly of a homosexual nature. This is specially the case with purely physical relationships. It appears to be that pent-up sexual frustrations coupled with a lack of interaction with the opposite sex and an inability to sexually express themselves has forced them to use this avenue to temporarily alleviate their ‘pressure’. There is also the dominating, he-is-my-bitch factor involved. You know what I just realised? This is a social situation that is very similar to prison! A person might not be homosexual in nature but due to pent up sexual frustration he/she needs to release his/her ‘stress’. And due to the dominating nature of some individuals there will eventually be a prison-bitch to satisfy their cravings… Interesting similarities !!
I personally know very little about the homosexual subculture and most of the information I do have does not come from the horse’s mouth (unlike when I was talking about the ethnicity of the local population) rather from other people who have had a greater interaction with the gay subculture.
I would love if any homosexuals out there could shed some light on this issue.
Once again if there are any obvious fallacies in my entry please inform me of it so I may be able to correct them….
( note: i am not homophobic nor am I attempting to condemn or insult homosexuals. I would just like to learn more about this subculture in Dubai.)
Friday, November 24, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
It has been almost five months since I got back from my spell abroad and , except for the first month, I have been actively searching for a job in my field of study. For explanation purposes lets just say that I have studied something which is highly sought after in this city.
Now the interesting thing is that I haven’t even had an interview yet, let alone finding a job. I am not about to debate my shortcomings in my search for employment but I would like to shed some light on the politics, racism, nepotisim and Wasta involved in this process.
It was a complete eye opening experience for me. Even though I have lived my whole life in this city and I have always heard people around me complaining about the situation, I never truly realised its seriousness until I personally encountered it.
I have always known
What have I realised? :
- Some industries are run by particular nationalities and have a huge preference for their own kind. Eg. the advertising market here is predominantly run by Lebanese. HP in
is full of Egyptians. Gold market is dominated by Gujratis (Indians)Etc. Dubai
- A lot of companies do not even consider you PURELY on the fact that you hail from XXXX and they just don’t like people from that country. I had a meeting a recruitment consultant at a very reputable recruitment agency in
and she mentioned how she regularly encounters HR mangers who explicitly state that they do not want Indians, Lebanese, Iranian e.t.c Dubai
Do I need to say more?
If you have lived in
for more than a week you will have already become very acquainted with what used to be a very foreign word. If you do not have wasta in the job market you are going to find it VERY VERY hard to get a shot at anything. Dubai
- Acceptance of graduates.
Unlike other major international cities,
is not very acceptant of graduates. For e.g there are only 5 companies that I know of who have a graduate recruitment/placement program. The impression I get is that most companies perceive graduates to be someone who has a lack of experience and needs training. Basically an expense. In the major international city where I studied, graduates where viewed as a ‘clean slate’ that can be moulded to perfectly suit a company. Basically an asset. Dubai
I was rather naïve in thinking that I can get a job purely on my merits and abilities. I guess I was wrong.
Friday, November 17, 2006
Towards the end of my stay abroad
- You can hear the Azan and the music from the nightclubs- its your choice which tune you decided to groove to.
- Hearing people speak English, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu, Farsi and many other languages in a single visit to the souq.
- Meeting people from ALL over the world in a single city. Most private schools in
have students from 40+ nationalities. No matter what culture you hail from there is a good chance you will find your own kind here as well Dubai
- Your ability to interact and immerse yourself in the abundance of different cultures representing the ethnic make up of
- A short car ride from Bastakiya to
Sh.Zayed Rdand you are blasted from what I call Old Arabia to the Modern World.
- The desert! My GOD if you ever feel down or just need to escape…there is no other place in the world more beautiful and serene then the desert during sunset ( I might have been a Bedouin in a previous life).
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Another interesting comment I hear from the local community is that expatriates don’t seem to have any interest or make an effort to learn Arabic, even though they are in an Arab country.
Well I think this is a very valid point to make. And it would be amazing if most expats could speak Arabic.
BUT, and now the problems start, it is VERY hard. Why you ask:-
1) In most private schools, although it is compulsory to teach Arabic, absolutely no emphasis is placed on teaching the subject effectively. So much so that most people I know who went to private school here have no clue about the Arabic language even after studying it for years.
This I know from personal experience and from people around me
This friend of mine eventually went to
I know expats who have lived here for 30 + years and still cannot speak more than few words in Arabic.
I know expats who have lived here for 30 + years and still cannot speak more than few words in Arabic.
I guess what I am saying that the blame cannot be placed wholly on expats shoulders. The entire society functions this way.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Just the other day I was talking to my friend about the lack of understanding and social segregation that exists among expatriates and locals in
Now I don’t mean an individual’s attempt to inform themselves about the culture but a more holistic and systematic approach. I am talking about the education systems that exist in
Friday, November 10, 2006
OK I think I might have given the wrong impression to some people who have read this blog. I understand why some of you might have misinterpreted my blog to be offensive, obnoxious, rude e.t.c
1)I DO NOT HATE THIS COUNTRY. I repeat, I DO NOT HATE THIS COUTNRY
On the contrary I LOVE THIS LAND. IT IS MY HOME. AND I WILL DO ANYTHING IN MY POWERS TO PROTECT IT and more importantly IMPROVE IT.
2) I am not a revolutionary nor do I seek to change the way society functions here. I am not interested or ever will be interested in actively entering politics or placing my self in a situation whereby I or people around me could possibly be harmed.
3) I have nothing against the ruling families other than pure and true admiration for what a miraculous achievement they have accomplished with this land in the space of 50 years.
4)What I have mentioned in this blog are only my thoughts and opinions. That is all. I do not expect anything to eventuate from it. I just like discussing it.
Monday, November 06, 2006
What I would like to discuss, and I do hope that I get some comments and feedback from UAE nationals on this, is the composition of the local community in
Most expatriates think that all locals originate from
1) Bedouins and native arabs
These are people who have been arab as far as their ancestry can be traced back. From my perceptions they form an actual minority within a minority
There is a large and significant number of Iranian locals. A lot of people will know of the Bastakiya area in Bur Dubai. Well that name is derived from the early settlement of a large Iranian community originating from the town of
The Southern Iranian community has a long established commercial connection with
From my knowledge, they also make up a significant proportion of the locals. Their mainstay is in the police force.
The Balushi family name is an indicator of a local’s Baluchi origin. Baluchis are an ethnicity that is spread across the south-eastern region of
Zanzibaris originate from the region of
A lot of the dark-skinned locals with an African physical complexion are Zanzibari.
6) Palestinians and other arab countries
I personally know of two local families were Palestinian refugees who settled in this country in the early 70s and have received the citizenship.
Well that is what I know about the ethnic make up of the local community. If I have made a mistake anywhere please inform me so that I can correct it. Additionally, I would also like you to contribute to this discussion and see if there are any other ethnicities that make up the local identity.
AND, I thought I would be the only one talking about constructive criticism.
Friday, November 03, 2006
They cut you off, don't signal when changing lanes, SPEED ( and not only when their emergency lights are on), don't wear a seat belt... the list goes on! I just got cut off by a car, which is normal here, and I didn't get to me at first. But when i realised its a cop!!!!! AAHHHHHH
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
A further comment on the issue I introduced in my first entry ( refer below), I sincerely think that this system implemented in
Look back in history and name me a single civilisation, country, city, town, village or community that was able to sustain its existence for signification period of time without an imminent downfall. If you can, please correct me with a comment to this entry.
You currently have an entire generation of
This country has to recognise this. And its only a single, minuscule facet of the complications that will arise if this system of US and THEM, GUEST and LOCALS, LORD and MASTER is not altered. No! Allow me to rephrase that last word. DESTROYED.
The least thing that the UAE should do is have a naturalisation programme. When people talk about the fact that locals need to protect their identity and culture. YA HABIBI you think that the culture they practise now hasn’t been completely distorted from what they used to practise 40 years ago? The problem is most expatriates have no clue whatsoever about the local culture. They are just outside observers and only seeing the tip of the iceberg. There has been such an alteration, evolution, change, transformation of the local culture and identity that I think that argument is completely futile. How do I know this? Well lets just say that I have one foot placed in the expat society and the other one in the local community. Let me give you an example. Picture a stereotypical image of a local….go on think about it…… There was a time when a stereotypical local was renowned for its hospitality( just to name a few great attributes). And now.. I can bet you myright leg that a majority of you had at least one of the following characteristics in mind:-
3) Driving an expensive car in an insane manner
5) Lazy ( my god how this was so not true a few decades ago !)
8) Self centered
9) Chase anything with two tits and a pussy
And you want to tell me that they have to maintain and protect their culture…. It has already changed my dear reader( thank money for that)
One more thing. What about the enormous benefits of officially including a whole population into your country? Let me name you just one. Do you know how many people have left
My next topic is going to shed some light on the composition and origins of locals. Most people think that all locals originate from
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
How interesting to see that almost 50 years ago one of the greatest human beings to walk on the face on this earth mentioned this in an American context, only to see it equally applicable to Dubai. Just think about it for a second and you will see what I mean.
Oh and who was this person who said this? Martin Luther King
My first entry… The world of cyberspace be warned! I wonder, can you handle my thoughts, views and emotions? Will this environment of anonymity enable me to vent out what has built up inside of me without having to suffer the repercussions? I wonder…..
Well where do I start? I guess with who I am and what I intend to write in this blog. For reasons that will become obvious, I need to maintain a sense of anonymity for my safety and the safety of others. I am a young, Middle-Eastern individual who has lived his entire life in
My blog will be a place where I will talk about and discuss everything and anything that is considered taboo
So what is my first topic?
Well here I go. I will be explicit as possible.
You live your whole life in a country and it is the only place that you know of that is home and, more importantly, feels like home. It is the only place where when you put your head on your pillow to sleep you have an inner sense of calm and security. Just like a young child when it is rocked to sleep by its mother. It is the only place where you have a sense of belonging and acceptance. It is the only place where you would like to welcome your newborn child, your own blood, into. This is what I consider home.
It was only when I went to study abroad that my entire identity was shattered into pieces. Why you ask? Simple let me give you an example:-
Me: Hi my name is XXX
Friend: Hi I am Sam. Are you new at this Uni?
Me: Yes. I just arrived from
Friend: Oh so you from
Me: Well no. I am from XXX but I have lived my whole life in
Friend: So have you ever lived in XXX
Friend: so you have lived your whole life in
Me: well let me explain
Now this situation would repeat itself every time I would meet a new individual. Eventually it got me thinking.
I don’t feel comfortable in XXX, my so called homeland, in fact I feel like a tourist there. And even in this country I was studying I was welcomed but it just did not feel right. That feeling deep inside, that emotion inside was not aroused. Then it hit me. No it smashed into me. It smashed into me like a truck roaring ahead at breakneck speed. And it shattered my perceptions and identity. This happened on my first night back during a summer holiday in
An emotion that filled up a void.
Created from the time I left
I felt like a young child being rocked to sleep in its mother’s arms.
To all the people who still don’t get what I mean…let me put it this way: How can I be considered a foreigner when I have lived and contributed as much as the ‘locals’?
One more thing. I hate that word : Local. It is a title self imposed by a minority in this country that implies supremacy and authority over the minnows. In fact I would compare it to the middle ages where nobles were born into their status and wealth although they form a minority, they ruled over the rest of the peasants. It also denotes a form of segregation. NAY, apartheid! ( now I think I have pissed off enough people reading this article). The fact that one group of people are superior to another purely based on their ethnicity, allowed to own land and businesses and countless other privileges that if I start mentioning all of them it would take up a whole page.
Being a ‘local’ is not a title that is should be granted through hereditary lines. It shouldn’t even be a title in the first place. It shouldn’t be a symbolic way in which one could achieve a false sense of superiority. It should be a sign of patriotism, belonging and most of all contributing to society. I have contributed as much to the development of this country as much as a ‘local’(I hate using that term!).