Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Canadians Favours

From Gulf News

When Dubai Police Chief, Lieutenant-General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, revealed that Canadian authorities have arrested a suspect in the murder of Hamas commander Mahmoud Al Mabhouh, Ottawa pretended to have been caught off guard. It seems Canadian authorities wanted to keep the arrest secret, perhaps to avoid angering close ally Israel.

Some think the Canadians might have backtracked on this issue, by even trying to deny it ever happened, as a response to the beating the Canada-UAE ties have taken in the past few weeks, over a disagreement on airline landing rights. If that is the case, Canada will only be shooting itself in the foot. Security cooperation, especially in combating state-sponsored terrorism, like the assassination of Al Mabhouh in Dubai earlier this year, should not be affected by trade relations.

If Canada thinks it is doing the UAE a favour in arresting a wanted criminal, it surely is mistaken. Terrorism is a global threat and the UAE, according to United Nations reports, is at the forefront of international efforts aimed at eradicating this plague.

Security cooperation is not an option. With terror activities rising, transparent security cooperation is the only way to ensure global peace.


How every interesting! Especially after I've read this news article below...

Guys.. keep all your purchases private.. be they for weapons or DVD's before New Years... and stay safe!

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Dumb Circular


"No compensatory off for New Year holiday
Ministerial circular declares Saturday holiday for public sector"

How fucking dumb are we? Next year they might issue a circular declaring that the week is 7 days long.

Insult our intelligence sometimes, but this is baseless and pointless. Everyone gets a holiday on new years.. just because it's on a weekend doesn't make it OK.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Three towers

From left to right:

1- Decadence and Sin: Address hotel (3rd place in terms of relative height).

2- Humility and peace. Minaret (2nd place).

3- Agressive Expansion. Burj Khalifa (1st place).

Here is the same picture as one from the previous post, but minus the plane. This shot was taken a few days after the picture with the plane.


PS: Am thinking of submitting this to a photo competition.. any ideas?

Photographic winner...

... yes, Mr Rosh is correct!!! It's the Burj Khalifa.

A small prize for those who can guess how many tries it took to get this shot!

Hello guys.. great to see you: Dots, Mr Rosh, AA Rose, Ema...

and, I guess I'm here now.. that's what counts!

Friday, 24 December 2010

What's hanging?

Guess what is hanging from the bottom of this plane?

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The Abundance of Idiocy

...and various other tales!

1- Why do very small cars drive around with all their lights? low beams and fog lights included? You only need the fog lights when it's foggy. Dumb asses. I'm also seeing big cars driving with just their fog lamps. It must be perceived by cool by those with IQ's of under 10. Or those who are overdrawn in that department. Yesterday they just baked the cake, and some guy was desert driving with just his fog lamps.. needless to say, he could barely see!

2- Why are the authorities fixated with banning speeding? When you really need to ban people who change lanes suddenly and those who do not observe lane discipline. Actually I noticed that all drivers almost have their own lane. The FJ Cruiser number 6669 from Al Ain drives at the fast lane always. The Corolla number 84204 Shj2 drives with his fog lights at the 2nd lane. The Emirates Bus dude with 31 people drives on the 3rd lane, the heavy laden truck going to Gusais drives on the 2nd lane too, but does just 60kmh. You can see this poses problems when you're doing Emirates Road speeds! Still, the authorities will penalise speeding rather than incorrect lane discipline. Dumb.

3- If your empty plot of land is surrounded by pavements and is made of 100% pure UAE silicon, and you park on it, then the RTA will automatically slap you with a fine for "parking on the pavement". But you cannot slap them with trespassing.

4- If you're Indian then you do not look before you cross the street, but you cross quickly. If you're Arab then you also do not look, but you pass much more slowly, especially in the face of oncoming traffic. Must be all that obesity and mental retardation...

5- In the UAE indicators are used to confirm a lane change. In other countries they are used to indicate before a change. We'd like to see more Indicators used and less Confirmators.

6- to be continued...

Thursday, 2 December 2010

The Insolence of Prosperity

Happy National Day!!!

Almost 39 years ago, our forefathers (I don't mean only genetically) drew out the first sketches of the union of states that is now the United Arab Emirates. Things pretty much went up for us from then. I know because I am a child of such a union as I was born a few years after the union. The federation was a win-win for all the states involved and was the only logical thing for us to do after the British left the region (for now, they have since returned, but this is not the post for that). I might be biased, but out of all the Gulf states, both Arab and Persian, I believe the UAE enjoyed the most benefits from this. The fact that we're starting to be noticed regionally and to an extent internationally is a proud testament of that.

I grew up in an Emirates of needs and wants. We needed so much and let's be honest, we didn't have much. They named one of the main squares in Sharjah the Kuwait Square as a thank you to the people and government of Kuwait for their help to build the UAE Educational system. When they launched Emirates, the first flight was actually to Pakistan back in 1985. Now when we think of Pakistan we think of something stupid and racist or we think of cricket or political instability. Many people still refer to construction works as "Indians". How rude! And if you ask an Emarati grandfather, he will surely refer to the local currency in the UAE as the rupee, even though the UAE Dirham has been in circulation for many many decades. What better testament to how much we owe to our brothers from the Indian subcontinent.

In fact, prosperous families used to send their children to India or Kuwait to be able to finish high school because not so long ago, most schools in the UAE were only available until a primary level or only taught the Koran. In a few decades I was lucky to be born in the UAE, to be educated in its schools, and that was to such a level that I found it easy to continue my studies at Harvard and Oxford. Bravo to the UAE.

Cars were a luxury. In fact they were an oddity. Healthcare was patchy to say the least. Airconditioning was no where to be found. The main airport was in Sharjah (see here King Abdul Aziz Street used to be the runway on the old Sharjah Airport ). Dubai's runway was still new, and was very much a dusty place.
Et cetera, et cetera...

I know this blog has become an old and dusty place too, but I have meant to write this post for some time. Not so much to remember the past, but to voice my condolences perhaps to our present, and to pray to our future, and the future of this country after we leave it for our children.

What have we become now? A nation of fat, slow people. A Nation of smokers. Diabetes and heart disease are so common even though we have amazing and cheap healthcare. We would fight over a parking slot nearest to the mall door when our fathers wouldn't have known what a mall is. We pay millions for a small number plate, even more for a phone number.

So here is what happens in today's UAE. I bet you Sheikh Zayed would not be happy, I know for a fact that Sheikh Rashed would NOT BE HAPPY at all. This is not the UAE he left. I remember the day Sheikh Rashed died like it was yesterday. I felt a deep sense of loss and that was shared by everyone, from the oldest Emarati to the Indian dude that has heard of the UAE and is spending his first few days here, and even the odd palm tree felt sad. Sheikh Rashed, may Allah bless his soul, was the true architect of the union, and many of you young guys do not realise this.

Driving down the roads is not only dangerous, but it makes you liable to being abused and cut against. I had to drive my family to Sharjah yesterday and I was checking my mirror briefly towards the left only to find that the small gap I left between me and the car in front was now occupied by a dumb fuck who took the modest safe distance as an invitation to cut me. I braked suddenly to avoid a collision and the idiot son of an idiot soon changed lanes. This doesn't happen back 20 yrs ago or so... people used to be polite when driving. Here, we've become a nation of speed freaks. You don't buy your car depending on your budget or the utility, but you look at two things.. you look for cars that people will respect and fear you in, and you also look for cars that can be the most agressive (e.g. loud exhaust or blinding high beam). I bet if you stop the random idiot on today's roads they will tell you that the high beams are purely for flashing and overtaking rather than driving at night on unlit streets.

Oh my lord...

What about the workplace? Ok, so we have more women at work, but they are learning the bad habits of men. Answering phones or e-mails here is rare, so you have to actually visit all the places you have business with personally in order to get the service you need.

Speaking about service, why is it normal for someone to cut in front of you when you're trying to ask a salesman something? Why will the new person always get priority? Why do people give priority in situations when they are meeting face to face and then the fone rings and they can't wait to answer it quickly. Of course if they were alone they would just let it ring.

I can go on, but you get the idea.

Is this the UAE that our fathers dreamt of? I bet it isn't the UAE that most expats come to dream of. I know almost all visitors come here thinking they will learn or at least hear some Arabic, but the only Arabic you'll hear is swear words on the street. Let me stay away from our language problems, coz that needs a whole other post!

Past prime concerns were getting enough food and medicine, or even education. Current concerns are getting enough fatty foods and smoke and a good movie to watch when we want. Even exercise has been abused. Gyms now offer free access to a DVD library if you sign up. (pointless?!?!). Most guys go there to check out girls, rather than to work out. What's going on...

We have to properly reassess our future in order to survive and in order to become a quality city and country. We cannot allow ourselves to be led by the whims and fashions of the dumb, rich, and weak. Above all...we must not tolerate the insolence of prosperity.