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23 August, 2005

.ill considered inquiry

A delicious dinner with glamourous Jumeira media couple Kiki and Maurice, who are chuckling over Kiki's moronic new receptionist Deedee. Deedee, a new arrival to the sandlands, is more clueless than a dead camel with its brains devoured by sand spiders. The fun began when Deedee rang Etisalat's directory service:

"Hello, could I have the international dialling code for Israel, please?"

"For where?"

"For Israel."

A pause. "Why do you want this number?"

"I want to ring my friends in Israel."

"When do you want to make this call to Israel?"

"I want to make it lots of times a week. I need to talk to all my friends in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv."

Another pause.

"Are you saying that you want to ring Palestine?"

"No, I want to ring Israel. Can I please have the dialling code for Israel?"

A longer pause. "What company are you calling from?"

Deedee blithely discloses her company name. They ask what the company does. "PR and marketing". Where is it located? "Al Jebel Skyscraper, Sheikh Zayed Road." She hands over her boss's name and mentions that he "makes lots of trips to America." Despite all this, the dialling code is not forthcoming, and Deedee eventually gives up in frustration, still none the wiser.

Two hours later: a dishdash in dark glasses arrives at the office and asks to see the boss. "Oh, he's overseas right now, in America," Deedee informs him. The dishdash leaves without a word.

Next week Kiki plans to get Deedee to ring up eCompany to ask how to access a .il website.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

excellent topic Secret... well done .... well done.


23 August, 2005 00:41  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Yeah - I'm suddenly worried it might get taken as contoversial.

The butt of the joke is the Dubai newbie expat not understanding local customs and laws, or even bothering to learn.

It's not a political comment or criticism. There are other far cleverer bloggers who excel at that. My speciality is trivia ;)

23 August, 2005 00:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah that's how most of the expat get into trouble. when they arrive here and see a lot of their species, they think Dubai is their own little ghetto.

23 August, 2005 07:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this is true, the people who hired her are as clueless as she is!! I mean, hello, wouldn't such a employee be bad for business?

23 August, 2005 09:15  
Blogger desertblog said...

That is hilarious, just hilarious! Hope to read more tales of Deedee as she settles and learns the ways of this place.

23 August, 2005 09:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All too funny. I wonder if Deedee would like to visit her friends in Israel.

Maybe you should ask Kiki to ask her to book a couple of Air tickets to Tel Aviv and back.

Now that would be funny

23 August, 2005 12:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, blocking the entire .il tld is the most ridiculous thing I've heard of. Give you a real-life example. Some time back (not long ago) I used to be very involved in a Linux Arabization project called Arabeyes. Like it or not, Arabic and Hebrew share a lot of similarities.

Upon my arrival in the UAE I was ready to continue the work, which involved visiting a bunch of .il sites, sharing files and working with people there. What benefits us benefits them and vice versa. Surprise surprise, the entire TLD is blocked.

This only hindered our work since you had to go through a lot to be able to get around the silly proxy, to do things that are not only innocnet but even philanthropic, considering all this was on a voluntary non-profit basis.


23 August, 2005 13:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! Yeah - we'd love to hear more about Deedee and her experiences! Hilarious and in no way political.


23 August, 2005 13:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


In my search today about developments since that infamous article in KT recently, The only discussion I could find was this....

Hmm... some interesting comments. Check out this anon/diabolo person's comments!

Luigi Cassaraggi

23 August, 2005 17:00  
Blogger BrainSyke said...

Yes. It was kind of hilarious...they will learn!

23 August, 2005 19:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, I can guess what this is about, but can someone clarify for another clueless expat?

24 August, 2005 07:01  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Telephone connections to Israel are pretty much 100% blocked here, as there is no official recognition of it. Of course this hurts the Palestinians more than anyone. Even from Dubai Media City it was sometimes extremely difficult to get in touch with foreign correspondents in Palestine.

And the .il (Israel) domain is totally blocked. Of course again, this hurts a lot of legitimate businesspeople, academics and researchers.

To actually make a political comment here: regardless of the atrocities committed by Sharon's regime and that of his predecessors, it's immensely childish, pointless behaviour on the part of Arab governments. It serves no purpose other than pettiness, which makes them look cretinous and less advanced/sophisticated in Western eyes.

24 August, 2005 11:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is cretinous your favorite word?

I agree with you though. Some of us grew up here and saw maps where the word ISRAEL was blackened out!

I think that was quite stupid because it just made kids wonder more on "Teacher, whats that?"

24 August, 2005 15:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

secret dubai,

have you got nothing but criticism to everything arab,emirati, itisalat,governments,,,,,endless list.
i am not local but emiratis have a higher national council here that designates laws and regulation suitable for their country, i don`t think that it`s members have asked for your services as an advisor on all aspects here, can`t really get it , are you a buzy body with nothing better to do other than chuck your nose in another nation`s affairs ,you hardly right about your day to day normal experiences living here as a temporary resident , girl with all this whining you must be really miserable here.

24 August, 2005 20:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finding it diffficult to understand why dear Deedee still has a job - clearly answering a phone would be too diffiucult for her to grasp - what a muppet!

25 August, 2005 06:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think 'poor Deedee' was being a little too precious and naive for her own good...either she's the biggest airhead on the planet or else she was intentionally seeking to wind up the locals...anyone coming to the Middle East knows what friction the topic of Israel/Palestine generates...ridiculously stupid and reckless act...she's just lucky this is the UAE and emiratis are pretty easy going.

26 August, 2005 21:22  
Blogger secretdubai said...

either she's the biggest airhead on the planet

Yep. Genuine 100% stupidity. She apparently had no clue about the sensitivities here - she wasn't trying to wind anyone up.

26 August, 2005 22:37  
Blogger desertblog said...

Make sure you let us know when she rings up the scam that is Etisalat to ask how to access an .il site!

27 August, 2005 08:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

id like to see the one where deedee goes to irish village exclaiming "whee this is just like birmingham" and gets pissed drunk and feels great that dubai is so cosmopolitan and understanding of all that wild partying, only to come out to the parking lot later and get arrested by the police for acting drunk :D.

PS: inspired by a similar real event.

28 August, 2005 11:12  
Blogger rocky said...

sorry for being pedantic but if Deedee actually HAS friends in Israel that she likes to ring up so many times a week, shouldn't she already be aware of the dialling code?

29 August, 2005 13:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

V hilarious!! Hoping to read more about Deedee.

Great writing.

31 August, 2005 21:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the Israeli websites that I've accessed from the US don't have the .il ending. They usually have a domain in the US. Maybe this is the reason why? Either way it is a bloody waste of time. If Dubai wants to become the Hong Kong of its area it ought to allow Israeli websites into their computers. How about even allowing full-fledged Israelis into Dubai? That might actually take an extreme elevation of consciousness by all parties!!

09 December, 2005 23:29  

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