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15 January, 2006

The old era passes away

As a standstorm of rumours and sad realities blows about the sandlands, it will be a strange new world when the dust finally settles.

The death of the UAE's beloved founder Sheikh Zayed and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat just over a year ago, followed by Saudi King Fahd last August, then Dubai Ruler Sheikh Maktoum earlier this month, and now the Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Jaber, are part of a distinct and sad pattern.

Many Arab rulers are growing old: they have served their countries and people for many decades. These men are in their sixties, seventies, and even eighties, and they will not live forever.

The younger generation has a big task ahead. A new era is dawning, perhaps more rapidly than many have anticipated or would like.

Labels: ,

48 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed, these were my thoughts exactly! The grand old rulers of Arabia are falling one after the other, and somehow, I dont feel too secure in the region anymore..I know its a baseless thought, but still..

15 January, 2006 17:22  
Blogger Balushi said...

Angel of Death is flying around!


luckily i am not King.. pufffff!

15 January, 2006 17:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And HH Sheikh Rashid bin Ahmed Al Mu'alla of Umm al Quwain if what I have heard is correct

15 January, 2006 17:50  
Blogger sky said...

Any more info regarding the Umm Al Quwain rumour? It was denied once and confirmed several times by people "in the know."
What's going on?

15 January, 2006 18:56  
Blogger Dubai Sunshine said...

I think if it has not been announced by now, then it must be just that: a rumour.

15 January, 2006 19:12  
Blogger samuraisam said...

i think the UAQ rumour is false, especially considering it's been I think over 6 hours now since I heard the first rumour and KT and GN don't have any notice on their websites.

15 January, 2006 19:30  
Blogger karachidude said...

Is there an official mourning period or a 3 day holiday for the government offices and schools???

15 January, 2006 19:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yep - looks like the UAQ was a roumour

15 January, 2006 19:45  
Blogger MD said...

the UAQ sheikh is on life support and critically ill, from what i know.

Allah yr7mhm all the dead. It's sad to see them crumble before our eyes. But their legend lives on. UAE will not be the same without them. Let's hope the younger generation treads on a similar path.

15 January, 2006 23:04  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

Secret,

Got the answer to karachidude's question? I don't. I suppose we should all check the news tomorrow morning before venturing out to work.

If there is still no official word by early morning, then this is the scenario - go to work and wait to be told to go home. That seems to be part of life in these United Arab Emirates. Must be quite confusing to new arrivals and tourists.

15 January, 2006 23:05  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

My place of employment is open today.

16 January, 2006 08:55  
Anonymous Navin said...

I have heard that they want to announce late today or tomorrow for the sake of business continuity.

16 January, 2006 09:49  
Blogger CG said...

yes I also heard from a fairly reliable source that the announcement is on 'hold'.
This is a normal occurence here and people do not usually 'leak' the info for fear of repercussions.

16 January, 2006 11:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

let's not forget Ariel Sharon who's in a coma..

anyways the key question now is " will the new leaders or younger generation "have the courage and foresight to ensure that reforms , be they political, civil, gender based, legal based etc are carried on for the betterment of their people ?

16 January, 2006 12:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please do not consider Ariel Sharon to be one among these leaders.He is a murdered and war criminal.

16 January, 2006 13:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon @ 13.02
I brought Sharon's name into things as an example of 'CHANGING OF THE GUARD'
I'm not going to debate the rights and wrongs of any particular leader.. suffice to say , try and show me an absolute ruler who has had absolutely clean hands and you'll find an 'empty set'..

16 January, 2006 13:23  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

Please do not consider Ariel Sharon to be one among these leaders.He is a murdered and war criminal.

I agree, we should not consider Ariel Sharon to be amonst these leaders. After all, he was elected.

16 January, 2006 13:32  
Blogger Ghatan in Dubai said...

Not to take away from the gravity of the issue, but... that last one (tim n) was quite funny!

16 January, 2006 14:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no credibility in being elected nowadays.After all the bumbling idiot George.W.Bush was elected into office.These unelected leaders have done more good for mankind than the "Butcher of Beirut" would even care to ponder about.

16 January, 2006 14:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i hear um al gaym shake is in veg state and not dead but nearly

16 January, 2006 15:01  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

These unelected leaders have done more good for mankind than the "Butcher of Beirut" would even care to ponder about.

Well, I'm sure the answer to this depends on whether you are a homosexual, somebody on trial, a woman seeking divorce, a maid wishing to have sex, etc.

16 January, 2006 15:06  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Ariel Sharon is perhaps relevant to the whole era-change, because he is one of the "old guard", and it will signal a new era for Israel - and hence Palestine - when a new, doubtless younger, leader takes over. Maybe better, maybe worse, we'll have to see.

Not all the Arab leaders that have died/are likely to die were particularly great for their countries. There are certain elderly sheikhs hanging around whose people would be a lot better off when their respective Crown Princes step into place. Saudi Arabia would frankly be a damn sight better off with the Hashemite dynasty in place: far less corrupt and dictatorial.

But it's countries such as the UAE, who had really perfect leaders like Zayed, whose people weep the most for the old generation.

16 January, 2006 15:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

err. SecretDubai.. you may want to correct yourself

Saudi Arabia has the IBN SAUD dynasty as kings.. the Hashemites are the ruling dynasty in Jordan. Yes historically the HASHEMITES were the rulers of all of the Arabian Peninsula including present day Iraq ,S Arabia and Trans Jordan, but thanks to the British Imperial policy of 'divide and rule' they were shafted and given only the arid wasteness of jordan to rule....

Let's not lose sight of history shall we?

16 January, 2006 16:32  
Blogger secretdubai said...

No - that's my point. Saudi would be a lot better off if the Hashemites hadn't been ousted. The Sauds are immensely corrupt. King Abdullah would do a far better job there.

16 January, 2006 16:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I'm sure the answer to this depends on whether you are a homosexual, somebody on trial, a woman seeking divorce, a maid wishing to have sex, etc.

Much better off than being a dead man.And its more interesting when you have to bring up homosexuals, criminals and people who have illegal affairs to support your claim.

16 January, 2006 16:55  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Much better off than being a dead man.And its more interesting when you have to bring up homosexuals, criminals and people who have illegal affairs to support your claim.

Just as interesting as how you overlooked the example of women seeking divorce that he also mentioned.

16 January, 2006 16:56  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

Much better off than being a dead man.

Erm, what are you on about?

And its more interesting when you have to bring up homosexuals, criminals and people who have illegal affairs to support your claim.

Criminals? I mentioned people who were on trial. Clearly you are unable to differentiate between the two, which goes a long way to proving my point.

And yes, I make no apologies for bringing the subject of treatement of homosexuals into a discussion on the relative merits of Ariel Sharon and recently departed Arab leaders.

16 January, 2006 17:23  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

See Khaleej Times reprint of Fareed Zakaria's article on indispensible dead men.

16 January, 2006 17:46  
Anonymous uaemax said...

Tim Newman

alot of muslims in the west were detained tortured and then released with no charges !all that under elected governments, so lets hope their democracy stays where it is

16 January, 2006 18:28  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

alot of muslims in the west were detained tortured and then released with no charges !all that under elected governments, so lets hope their democracy stays where it is

What the hell has that got to do with anything? I could similarly say that girls have been raped on the orders of the state and left to burn in flaming schools in Muslim dictatorships, but what would that add to the discussion?

16 January, 2006 19:22  
Blogger BrainSyke said...

ruler of RAK is next I heared this morning...he is very ill as well.

16 January, 2006 19:45  
Anonymous Seamus said...

i hear that that the UM A Q Sheek is in london and on a life support machine, so even if he does pass, his body would need to be transported back to uae. so no hlidays for a while.

sorry for all you holiday mongers

16 January, 2006 20:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whilst you all wait in anticipation for holidays that will never be given to the private sector I'm sure the proprietors of Gulf News and other esteemed publications are rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of all those revenues from another round of condolence advertising.

16 January, 2006 21:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just heard a rumour that the umm al quain shiekh died and that they are waiting for Kalifa to get back from Kuwait to announce it..

still just a rumour!

16 January, 2006 21:38  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

My earlier posting on indispensible dead men had a link that may be broken. (Probably due to my poor html skills.) Here's an alternative to the same article:
The Things That Have Not Changed by Fareed Zakaria

16 January, 2006 22:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guys , I can't believe how hungry you guys are for hoidays !!! instead of asking for a holiday , Pray for him !! It is true that most expats come to the UAE and become greedy and self centered. If you are worried go rush to MMI now and get your booze so you can sepnd 3 days in your garden drinking cause that is all you are good at

16 January, 2006 23:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the above Anonymous comment. Stop being self centered. The other main thing is like it or not "the Butcher of Beirut" was elected in a free and democratic election so he is a Leader a leader of a country that many arab countries recognise ! stop burying your heads in the sand, wake up and smell the coffee. He doesn't help the arab world but he definitly helps Israel and that's why they elected him. Arafat wasn't an angel either !!!! someone remind me why Sharon entered Beirut in the first place , black september ... should I go on ?????

16 January, 2006 23:45  
Anonymous Gerald said...

The whole point about being in the know about whether the Sheikh has passed or not is that it affects many things. I need to know whether he is on death's door or not, so that I am able to manage my cash flow knowing that I will not receive any money over the coming days, although I need to keep my operations running. Mourning periods are somewhat rare in the West, and so, one must close all avenues or risk in such a situation. I agree that are a few who just want to take a few days off, but these are the people who have come to make their career in the UAE a 24 hour holiday. It is important to know about these things, no matter how horrible a thing it is. Please be mature about the situation and realise that there is more than one view on any subject.
Gerald

17 January, 2006 00:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

got to agree with Gerald above. I work almost exclusively with the UK and US - it's been tricky enough explaining one very justified mourning period for a great leader plus Eid (which it has been good to educate people on) but now... another "leader", I'm sorry but in the grand scheme of things - is another period of enforced "holiday" what is required?

Got to say - I'm here for a balance, good quaility of life, but also hard work...

Either way - I do respect this person and when the time comes I hope that whatever diety greets them treats them with kindness.

17 January, 2006 00:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just as interesting as how you overlooked the example of women seeking divorce that he also mentioned.

Yes SD , I did not mention about women seeking divorces because there is nothing immoral in that even though it is done nowadays for all the wrong reasons.I dont see why we have to argue about this so much. All I said was that Ariel Sharon is not worthy of being mentioned as a great leader.He may be one for his people but at the cost of the lives of others.

17 January, 2006 08:39  
Blogger the shadow said...

This trend is sad, yet inevitable. At least it's a good itme to be in the portraiture industry.







BTW: Does anybody know who the new Crown Prince of Dubai is yet?

17 January, 2006 09:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim Newman @ 16 January, 2006 15:06

You said in defence of Ariel Sharon:

Well, I'm sure the answer to this depends on whether you are a homosexual, somebody on trial, a woman seeking divorce, a maid wishing to have sex, etc.

I guess you are all of the above?

Cheers!

17 January, 2006 12:08  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

Well, I'm sure the answer to this depends on whether you are a homosexual, somebody on trial, a woman seeking divorce, a maid wishing to have sex, etc.

I guess you are all of the above?


Nope, none in fact. Just somebody who believes that equality before the law and individual freedom should be guaranteed over and above anything else.

And for the record, I would support anyone - including a homosexual, person on trial, woman seeking divorce or maid wishing to have sex - who was denied these basic rights.

17 January, 2006 13:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim Newman:

This is the same anonymous who asked you if you were all of the above (God, I should just keep a damned username!). I was just trying to test your wits as I often read your posts and find you trying to be extra smart.

Just some food for thought for you:
You were quick to point out how Ariel Sharon is an elected leader over Arab monarchs (something I agree with you on), but I hope you can shed some light on how democratic and politically correct the state of Israel's inception was? Ariel Sharon, and all other PMs of Israel who have passed and will follow, are "elected representatives" of a state whose creation was an absolute fallacy. It is no big deal to be "democratically elected" in a state which is basically usurped lands of the Palestinians.

I would rather have the Arab monarchs than pseudo-democrats like Sharon and Co.

Cheers!

17 January, 2006 14:31  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

You were quick to point out how Ariel Sharon is an elected leader over Arab monarchs (something I agree with you on), but I hope you can shed some light on how democratic and politically correct the state of Israel's inception was? Ariel Sharon, and all other PMs of Israel who have passed and will follow, are "elected representatives" of a state whose creation was an absolute fallacy.

As far as I can see, the creation of the state of Israel was based no more on fallacy than every other state in the region, and with no less regard for democracy and political correctness. Still, your views that Israel has no right to exist are noted.

It is no big deal to be "democratically elected" in a state which is basically usurped lands of the Palestinians.

Maybe not, but it is still a far bigger deal than not being elected at all. Especially if you happen to be somebody who wants some say in how he is governed.

17 January, 2006 15:13  
Anonymous chinese chicken said...

also , who is the new minister of defense? for the UAE? how aboot shaikh mohammad ben zayed? what do u think?

18 January, 2006 00:58  
Anonymous Al-Republican said...

Timmy (Tim Newman) said:

Maybe not, but it is still a far bigger deal than not being elected at all. Especially if you happen to be somebody who wants some say in how he is governed.

Really?? What about the 12 million Palestinians (as opposed to the 3 million Jews of Israel - half of them IMPORTED) who get NO say in governance of land that has been theirs for eons!? Who sounds like the dictator/monarch now?

Stop kidding yourself Timmy, you are just digging your own grave here. Reading all your previous posts I think you are an American. If you are then it all makes sense; after all, you guys did the same with the poor red-indians - barged into their properties, killed/maimed them into oblivion and established a "democracy" (republic?) for yourselves. And to add insult to injury, you guys go around throwing tantrums being the torch-bearers of democacy. You make the Jews look like Angels!

Cheers!

18 January, 2006 14:09  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

What about the 12 million Palestinians (as opposed to the 3 million Jews of Israel - half of them IMPORTED) who get NO say in governance of land that has been theirs for eons!?

As is the case with all Arabs, not just Palestinians. However, those Arabs living in Israel get full voting rights. Funny, heh?

Reading all your previous posts I think you are an American.

Wekk, that can be your little secret.

You make the Jews look like Angels!

Even the Jews? Damn, if I make the Jews look good, I must be evil personified!

18 January, 2006 16:48  

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