Monday, July 9, 2007

The Las Vegas of the Persian Gulf

A few of my thoughts in no particular order:
  • How do these folks sleep at night? How do you build a "booming oasis" while your neighbors starve?
  • I strongly dislike the term "fundamentalists."
  • "Shaykh" Mohammad? Yes, the two women on his arms looked exactly what I would expect the female relatives of a "shaykh" to look like. Yay for royal blood!
  • There is something about the contrasting experiences of Europeans and South Asians that reminds me of the "house Negro" theory.
  • Is the "party scene" really something ABC categorizes as Western values? The West has been demoted from "democracy" to women at water parks in thongs and bars galore.
  • I hope there are no Muslims at the bars' 3am last calls. However, if they are I hope that when they leave they are walking to the mosque across the street to pray Tahajjud.


Huda Shaka` said...

Granted I'm probably not the most unbiased person to comment on this issue, but below are some thoughts:

1. I don't think you can expect governments to stop all developments until everyone is fed especially when they are contributing to local and global charity and relief efforts. Plus, those developments feed a lot of people. Ofcourse, more involvement in world affairs (especially in terms of supporting oppressed nations) would be wonderful.

2. "Shaykh" does not strictly refer to a religious authority/figure. It also holds the meaning of a leader of a tribe/community (which is how it is used in this case), and of an old man, amongst others.

3. Right-on on that one. The report doesn't even begin to tell the whole story of labor exploitation and the racism so ingrained in the 'system'.

Overall, for an ABC report, I'm impressed. It's not easy to sum up crazy Dubai in 5 mins.

Affad Shaikh said...

I think i prefer Abu Dhabi, there was an awesome story in the economist just a few months ago on how Abu Dhabi was more cultured and controlled when it came to issues of dealing with so called "modernity" and morallity. I agree that they are selling themselves out.

By the way i guess i am a fundamentalist becasue i dont see the bars, the strip clubs, the alcohol as being values that are part of a society that lends it self positively, nor do i think that paying people a few cents for their labor and not giving them any sort of rights is all that democratic. Cant always get the best of both worlds, and you cant always get ideals- but then again according to ABC report I am a fundamentalist along with all those who actually believe morality and common decency are critical factors in society.