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23 March, 2006

Gagging on it

There are so many fascinating and important things that one hears in the sandlands that should be written about and exposed.

And then one learns that associates in local newspapers are currently facing increased censorship and oppression of free speech, despite the "openness and tolerance" tagline being beamed daily to the western world. That presenters on a news discussion radio show are no longer allowed to "talk about politics" or tackle controversial issues.

The only people here who can write safely about anything are correspondents working for major international news agencies and organisations, as has been seen this week with Associated Press breaking the violent riots at Burj Dubai (permanent BBC link) story. That is why we see journalists such as AP's Jim Krane exposing issues here that everyone has known about for ages but no one is safe to reveal.

So these stories can and will get out. They quickly flood the wires and internet aggregators such as Google News and they get picked up by thousands of blogs and forums and chat sites.

And it is therefore the worst timing, and the most ill-advised move, for authorities to increasingly gag the local press at the very time when they are claiming to be so progressive and open. It creates an atmosphere of suspicion and alienation among residents here, who should be this country's best brand ambassadors, but instead feel a growing sense of nausea and fatigue at Sandlands Inc and its relentless, mendacious, self-aggrandising PR machine.

Labels: ,

76 Comments:

Blogger SIN said...

SD,
The corporations that run the dailies here (these so-called family-owned corporate juggernauts) have all succumbed to the bigger fish in the sea...the ones that reel in the main fishing rods and nets.
Either you become a mouthpiece of the govt. like 'The Emirates Toady' is or you get thrown out of your workplace, like '6 Days' did from it's cosy little spot in the Freezone.
Frankly, I have long since given up expecting the unexpected from the Press here...why waste energy that's best used somewhere else...

23 March, 2006 15:38  
Blogger Matis said...

Welcome to the Middle East Secret Dubai. Everything here is censored. There are good reasons for it. Think about it, if you start talking about Construction riots today in the press, tomorrow you will end up talking about the royal family riots in some Playboy haunts of Europe, america or morrocco.
The natives in the middle east are some un informed that when you talk to them you think they come from another planet.
You tell them their leaders are srealing, they say or it's what all rulers do. Sometime more than a third of the budget is skimmed for "other" expenses. Other meaning royal expenses and profligacy.
I know I've posted the link of this forum before, but I'm doing it again. Please go there and see how the Royals keep getting away with it. All because no one says anything.

But you know you cant blame them, there are cartoons to protest about. It is thee who are the cartoons.
Anyway paste this link to your browser. If you are using any browser apart from internet explorer in viewing this blog, you might not get the link in full, as some text will be obscured. So change browser for a wee bit.

http://s2.forumforfree.com/index.php?mforum=jewelsofarabia&showtopic=599

23 March, 2006 15:48  
Blogger SIN said...

Matis, while your blog is informative, the issue at hand is the absurdity of gagging the Press here. In today's net saavy society, accessing a news story has become easier than accessing your own online bank account.
The fact that arms are twisted here to kill stories (like the one's that highlighted the progress of the Dubai Port's deal, which was available everywhere online except in our local broadsheets) tells you that progressing with the times is a very relative phrase here.

23 March, 2006 16:06  
Blogger Earthbound Misfit said...

Hear Hear

23 March, 2006 16:11  
Blogger nzm said...

Ironic isn't it? The expats' letters (to the editors) write about what they can't control, and the press can't control what they want to write.

According to this, Obaid Humaid Al Tayer would want you to believe that the East is open and honest in its press, but it's the West that doesn't print the real stories about the East.

Perhaps if we had any decent investigative journalism coming out of this zone, they would print it.

23 March, 2006 16:24  
Blogger grapeshisha said...

A point well said. If the press are too biased towards the positives, and rumours constantly surface, the worst will always be assumed. This will lead to a foreign investment decline which is what Dubai continues to woo. I am all for the the balanced opinion. An opening up of fair and accurate reporting can only be a good thing, giving investors and external opinion makers ample data to determine opinions. For example, I know of a couple of initiatives (outside of the UAE) looking into providing objective opinion on emerging markets, covering the middle, near far east, that would further poke fun at the supposed free press in the UAE.

Perhaps it is not reasonable to open up the press completely in one swoop, and stages needs to be drawn. The first stage would be concurrence that there is a gag, before releasing open guidelines with monitoring.

I certainly do not think that royalty bashing should be an area of coverage. I do think that constructive critique of decisions would be useful.

23 March, 2006 16:43  
Blogger the shadow said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

23 March, 2006 17:48  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

SD, reading through your posts, you seem to be somewhat of an optimist when it comes to the UAE. It is true that the UAE is the lesser of the Middle Eastern evils when it comes to censorship and other "freedoms" but it is still very much evil. And I doubt things will change anytime soon. People might appreciate their despotic "hosts" for their lives in the UAE but that does not excuse their tyrannical and primative behaviour.

After being born and raised in the UAE and leaving finally after 20 years, I can say without a doubt that freedom is worth the convenience, "safety", glitz and other material comforts of the UAE.

23 March, 2006 18:20  
Blogger Seabee said...

A big surprise was that the day after it was in the media overseas it was actually mentioned in the media here. I heard "riots" and "damage" being discussed on the radio this morning and it was included in the Gulf News story, along with the usual cliches and platitudes.

On our blogs & on other forums yesterday there was assumption that nothing about the nasty bits would appear in our media. That's what I thought too.

Maybe, just maybe, there's a chink of light appearing...

23 March, 2006 18:21  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

23 March, 2006 18:32  
Blogger archer14 said...

Yep it gotta be mentioned seabee, otherwise those people who don't give a damn will unknowingly want to know more. If they read a teaser in the paper, they can mutter 'fuck' and just move on. Gossip can create more awareness than not mentioning at all.

23 March, 2006 18:39  
Blogger samuraisam said...

I've read in 7days that emirates today is government owned, kind of shows in todays edition..

Page 1 (front cover) and 3, complete with 3 photos and a good half page of text: man who had car accident and lost his arm gets artificial replacement that is "so lifelike"

Page 4: 1/3rd page of text with 0 photos about trivial groundling labourers going apeshit and breaking a ton of crap in the city, on page 4 because it is evidently an everyday occurance.

I don't know about anyone else, but I like to call Emirates Today 'Propaganda Machine'.

23 March, 2006 19:03  
Blogger Transparent Soul said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

23 March, 2006 19:06  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

Because you don't have an argument in the first place?

23 March, 2006 19:16  
Blogger trobriander said...

This may sound a bit far-reached, SD, but wouldn’t be a good idea if someone could start up a supervised Wikipedia style online news dedicated to Dubai, where everyone is a contributor (links, eyewitness etc.)

Of course, you run the risk of having it blocked, but then one could always update the blog name!

Well, it’s a thought

23 March, 2006 19:18  
Blogger Matis said...

I can see some insightful people here. Why shouldnt sheikh Mohammad go on hardtalk? It will do him good. Perhaps he could do it in private Jumbo as well.

23 March, 2006 19:47  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

The closest he's come to that was during that ridiculous "Live Internet Chat" a few years back that some PR company probably orchestrated. They should be given a 6 month ban!

23 March, 2006 19:55  
Blogger The Glengarry Leads said...

Do you think a "free" press actually creates a balanced view of how the world actually is? I live in a country with a (legally) unrestricted press, yet it still boils down to the editors and publishers assigning stories about what they think their readers want to hear (and how they wish to read it).

One person's editorial freedom to assign or kill stories is another person's censorship.

At the end of the day, the only real difference is perhaps the number of government scandals uncovered. But I can tell you this: If the subscription and advertising revenue data tells the publisher that government scandals do not sell, then you will see just as much "fluff" in my news media as you think you see in yours.

The dollar always trumps the constitution.

If I were to pull up the online editions of my local newspaper and compare it to Gulfnews, on the surface, they'd appear very much the same.

23 March, 2006 20:39  
Blogger The Glengarry Leads said...

I will say this: Despite a lack of editorial material condemning the corporations that refuse to pay their foreign laborers (and the government for refusing to crack down on the abuse). The total number of stories about retaliatory crimes committed by the workers themselves tells a story of its own. The fires, stabbings, riots, etc. Despite individual instances of censorship, one can easily tell that there is a huge problem going on there and that the government will most definitely need to take big measures to rectify the situation.

I saw "Syriana" about 3 weeks ago. That was the first exposure I had to the problem. Before that, I had not one idea about what goes on in your country at all. Since then, I have read many tales about vast quantities of workers not being paid, yet being trapped in the UAE without any way to switch to employers that might actually pay them. You don't need a local free press to expose these huge wrongs: The foreign press will be happy to do it for you.

23 March, 2006 21:19  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

When the government owns most of the country's newspapers and tightly restricts the few others, you know that there is a conflict of interest greater than editorial discretion in providing news.

I don't think it is censorship for newspapers to cater to a certain group of people, because in a totally free press, the person who feels he is being "censored" should be able to go out and start his/her own newspaper or outlet to voice his/her views and stories he/she wants to be published. But thats about it, they can't force people to read it unless they want to.

In the UAE however, dissenting views aren't welcome in the press or on the Internet, where sites with such views are routinely blocked, even if the general public wants it.

23 March, 2006 21:27  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Regardless of the fact that we may abhor such restrictions, we all know that press laws here forbid critcism of the government.

So for god's sake try to keep your comments general and please don't name specific figures, or I will have to delete for safety's sake.

23 March, 2006 21:37  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

And to your second comment:

If the foreign press knows about it, thats good, but the local press should be allowed to tell the local populace what goes on in country they live in, without self-censoring to keep up this utopical image that the UAE wants to portray. You definately do need a local press to expose these wrongs.

And about the articles about workers - I think thats a workaround that allows people to read into the article a bit to get the "real" information about discontent among workers.. but then again, I can also see how a continuous stream of articles about workers commiting crimes could lead to their dehumanization and people who don't know life outside a censored society could end up fearing them and actually treating them differently based on the misconception that so many articles on labourer crimes must indicate that they are all criminals.

23 March, 2006 21:37  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

@SecretDubai

I don't want you to get in trouble so I'll tone it down a bit and hopefully people will be able to read into the nuances in my comments ;)

23 March, 2006 21:42  
Blogger The Glengarry Leads said...

sharper85 said:
"that there is a conflict of interest greater than editorial discretion in providing news"

I do not disagree. I'm just saying that the end result (the sum total) of what you end up being able to read, is not much different in the end.

Even the most altruistic news entrepreneur can go out, start his own newspaper, and end up being equally corrupted by forces having nothing to do with "official" censorship. Official or unofficial, they are both the same in the end.

I'm reading the government owned (and government censored) publications right now. I do not see a country that is trying to falsely portray itself as any kind of "heaven". The front page is full of murder, violence and rape, just like anywhere else.

In any culture the same is true: The nail that sticks out, gets hammered".

I can print a story critical of the government in Dubai and get censored, or I can print a story exposing government corruption here in the USA and all of my friends and family will have the IRS audit their tax returns for the past 5 years.

I almost prefer knowing exactly where one stands with the government (as you do). It is much harder to go through life assuming you live in a free society and then encounter the situation where you find that you really never were.

23 March, 2006 21:44  
Blogger The Glengarry Leads said...

Sorry secretdubai. I'm not familiar with the actual local rules, so I have no idea exactly what I'm allowed to say (or not say). If you do see me post something that appears to step over the line, by all means, feel free to delete (or edit)...I won't cry foul.

23 March, 2006 21:51  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Thanks guys! The press rules are rather vague, but "insulting" "heads of state" is a definite no-no.

It's also risky naming people, as officials tend to get into a huff and start suing. I do name people from time to time, but usually I try to refer to a specific newspaper article that first highlighted their deficiencies.

Btw word verification is disabled at the moment because it's gone buggy on me - I get the same word all the time ("smenita") even on different computers - and it never works even if I type it in correctly. I've tried reloading, emptying caches, all the usual. So apologies in advance if any spammers manage to get in.

23 March, 2006 21:57  
Blogger The Glengarry Leads said...

sharper85 said "I can also see how a continuous stream of articles about workers commiting crimes could lead to their dehumanization"

Probably right. As it stands now, an uninformed reader could walk away thinking that the local construction companies recruit their workers from within violent prisons in Pakistan and the Phillipines. If I were a government official in UAE, I'd be more worried about the long-term, sum-total of THAT perception than I'd be about cracking down on (and publicizing) corporate wage payment corruption scandals.

If you want to attract and retain inexpensive foregin laborers, you have to ensure they will get paid. If you want to attract wealthy foreign tourists, you need to keep them from thinking that a violent foreign construction worker is going to harm them.

Better to fix the problem that encourages the construction workers to behave violently, and you can have it both ways.

23 March, 2006 22:13  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

Well you know here the governement try's to segregate construction workers and other low-paid workers from the general public, especially tourists so I find it unlikely that tourists will think that a construction worker might harm them. What I do think though, is that tourists, like some residents, will think that "hey these workers are so ungrateful - commiting crimes when they are making more money than they would ever make back in their home countries", while not knowing the reasons behind these crimes and falling victim to the government PR machine.

23 March, 2006 23:05  
Blogger The Glengarry Leads said...

Just curious: in what ways are the workers actually segregated? If the government has the power to keep their plight quiet, why are they so visible?

23 March, 2006 23:22  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

They are visible because they finally break under their abuse and then find the courage to make their voice heard.

As for segregation, construction worker camps are usually in the middle of the desert.
Construction workers are bussed to and from construction sites 6 days a week. On their one off day, they mostly relax, not being able to afford anything in the city anyway, let alone spending money that has to be sent to their families on transport to the city.

As for other lowly paid workers, there was a recent incident in Sharjah when the governement passed a law eviciting all bachelors from Maisaloon (an area of dilapidated old buildings mainly occupied by low-income male workers) and designating that area exclusively for families.

The government justification behind this is that because all low paid workers are either single or have their families back home, (because to bring your family into the country you need to be earning at least USD 1000 a month), allowing them to mingle with everyone would lead to them harassing or at least ogling women, which does sometimes happen at the public beach. But really, can you blame them (the workers)?

23 March, 2006 23:56  
Blogger Hot Lemon& Honey said...

Ok..I sympathise with the workers and always felt bad at their living situation its just sad. And although they at least get the chance to make a living here and probably paid more than they would have in their country..I think its still in humane to allow them to be mistreated..many are even afraid to complain when their salaries have not been paid..
I really didn't hope that the only way this would be resolved was by the workers going on strike..it just reflects bad on the country..but I guess thats what needed to happen.
Regarding workers living in a segregated area..well..I guess I can't disagree with that..for safety issues. With the current law that doesnt allow workers to bring their family if their sallary is less than 1000...it only makes sense.
I hope this gets resolved peacefully as the last thing we would like is the lack of safety and stability in the UAE

24 March, 2006 00:56  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

You're right! Might as well round up all the bachelors in the country too, regardless of income, and place them in some camp in the desert, because who knows what risk they may pose! God-forbid that anything should threaten the percieved safety and stability of the UAE!

24 March, 2006 01:04  
Blogger The Glengarry Leads said...

The segregation: it is an imposed segregation, or just a simple matter of economics? Is there a minimum wage law in UAE?

24 March, 2006 01:28  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

It is an imposed segregation as much as it is an economic one. There are less and less places other than the camps for workers to live in partly because of the cost of transportation involved but also partly because of government laws prohibiting bachelors from living in certain areas. Other laws include ones that prohibit people from different families living together (ie. a shared accomodation), among other things.

There is no minimum wage law in the UAE and most low-paid workers earn the equivelent of USD100 a month, most of which is sent back to their families through "hawala" transfers.

24 March, 2006 01:38  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

Oops! And how could I forget the exorbitant rents?! So it makes sense that a worker would "choose" to live in a camp to save on those costs. What I don't understand is why the camps have to be so far out in the desert. What are these company's trying to hide? Probably the awful living conditions.

24 March, 2006 01:42  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Had to dl for safety reasons, here is edited user comment:

Shaper85 said...
You know what I'd like to see? [Officials] grilled on BBC's Hard Talk about the state of their country and leadership qualities.
Of course that will never happen because they tend to surround themselves with people who worship the ground that they walk on.

24 March, 2006 02:01  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Another edited comment (sorry guys):

Transparent Soul said...
"I wonder who the authorities think they're fooling with this newfangled propaganda drive about openess" people like you I guess who are shallow to believe "openess" and lack of censorhsip is really practiced any where...its how you define it...they dont state facts...other places they twist it...other places they just delete important info and keeping the rest..its all at the end lies...

[response to previous deleted comment deleted]

24 March, 2006 02:04  
Blogger The Glengarry Leads said...

We actually have similar things going on right here in the USA.

I have a friend who works on a Cruise ship in the Caribbean. She is an American scuba diving instructor and earns a "fair" wage by American standards.

However, other nationalities on board earn FAR less, and that is because the company targets certain nationalities for certain jobs. The maintenance workers and mechanics: Literally all Filipino. Dining staff: All Indian. Housekeeping: All Jamaican. If the work were taking place IN Miami, all of this practice would be illegal. These workers send pretty much every dime home, and usually do not see their family for more than a year at a time.

The crusie ship company is a very American company (Royal Caribbean) but the ships are registered in the Bahamas. The work takes place at-sea, so the normal American minimum wage laws do not apply at all. Even when docked at a US port, our usual laws do not apply, because the port zone is regulated differently. But if the ship needs to stay for an extended amount of time, the workers are quickly moved to other ships going out to sea.

A Filipino mechanic can NEVER expect to vie for a different ship job doing anything that faces the public (those duties are exckusively reserved for Canadians, Aussies and Brits). Passengers leave the ship thinking they just had a great "international" experience, but what they really saw was legal discrimination at work.

24 March, 2006 02:09  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

@SD

Completely understandable - do what you must!

24 March, 2006 02:12  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

@ glengarry

I guess thats why you can never solely depend on a company to be socially responsible because it just doesn't happen unless there is an incentive and in the case of construction companies, there aren't any.

24 March, 2006 02:18  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Thank you for being so understanding! A friend emailed me that it would be wiser to remove names.

24 March, 2006 02:18  
Blogger the shadow said...

OK so the media here is deeply flawed and they exploit cheap foreign labour in Dubai.

But the truch is, the media is flawed everywhere and in the end it's up to the viewer to make sense of it all.

And even if you do live in a country which has laws which prevent the (often immigrant) workforce from being exploited, the reality is that the prosperity of the developed, and developing, nations still relies on the exploitation of cheap labour from afar.

Maybe it's just that living in Dubai we are sometimes in an uncomfortably close vantage point to the global economic reality.

24 March, 2006 02:53  
Blogger The Glengarry Leads said...

Shadow: Precisely my earlier point. I'd argue that in this current world, a truly "free press" exists nowhere.

In life, we're either happy or unhappy. Does the sum-total of the censorship you see in the Dubai media add up to a situation where you are, as a whole, unhappy?

Even in communist Russia, the local populace knew darn well that the "news" was 100% crafted for them. You do not have anything close to that amount of Censorship.

Monarchies are fragile things compared to constitutional democracies. You can not realistically have a kingdom without some degree of press censorship. I'd argue that the locals in the UAE would argue that they like the deal they have going for them and do not really wish to mess with it too much. A foreigner (even a long term resident foreigner) would always have a very different perspective. Of course the Brits and Americans (and certainly the Pakistanis and Chinese) would want to see a situation where they had more ability to influence localy made decisions. A free press allows outsiders to have influence.

I don't think you'll get a free press until you have a drastically different form of government. It sounds like the "haves" have a pretty good deal going. Just avoid getting caught having indiscretions out in your car and you'll be fine. Oh yes, and no burning of construction equipment.

24 March, 2006 04:39  
Blogger LazyOwl said...

History repeats!
Remember what happened to PHARAOH Dynasty. They were so proud of their “Development” and superiority. Slavery ( or use whatever word, makes you less guilty) never works in the long run. There is a conspiracy theory those slaves( behind the scene brains & muscles ) were “Those who we don’t speak there name” people. Well “the rest” is history.

24 March, 2006 07:07  
Blogger LazyOwl said...

By the way Shaper85 & The GL.Thanks Guys.This is what I call "Blogging". Hope we all learned some.At least I did!

24 March, 2006 07:30  
Blogger archer14 said...

I second that, fantastic discussion.

24 March, 2006 09:13  
Blogger sunny rasheed lucman pacasum said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

24 March, 2006 11:27  
Blogger sunny rasheed lucman pacasum said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

24 March, 2006 11:29  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

Hmm condense that down to a a few lines and voila! mushy greeting card.

And I don't see how that is relevent to this topic.

24 March, 2006 12:48  
Blogger trobriander said...

@ Monarchies are fragile things compared to constitutional democracies.

Monarchies in many places are based on constitutional democracies. And constitutional democracies could be quite fragile if they were forced on other nations!!

24 March, 2006 17:12  
Blogger Seabee said...

I live in a country with a (legally) unrestricted press, yet it still boils down to the editors and publishers assigning stories about what they think their readers want to hear (and how they wish to read it).

A very good point by glengarry. Apart from the laws forbidding criticism etc, self censorship is a major problem. And as glengarry says, not only here in the UAE.

In many ways I actually think it's worse than official censorship. And why do they do it? A desire to please, not upsetting the gravy train, fear of reprisals.

The IRS comment was spot-on. Democratic governments that trumpet about freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and have laws in place to protect those rights, have ways & means of enforcing exactly the opposite. And they do it.

On balance I'd rather have honesty about it than hypocrisy.

24 March, 2006 18:04  
Blogger The Glengarry Leads said...

An example of how a "Free Press" ignores stories that are of great significance. I'm talking about the major news media's failure to adequately investigate shortcomings in the "official" US government explanation of what happened.

http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20060309100619120

This article brings up very significant points in how the story of "Flight 93" might be quite different than previously thought.

24 March, 2006 20:44  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

Well if you're wondering why the mainstream media doesn't cater to conspiracy theories its because it would ruin their credibility with the mainstream audience but I have read editorials from both the left and right on the subject of 9/11 conspiracies but thats mostly it.

However, if there is any truth to your example about 9/11 then it will one day come out and then the mainstream media will report on it. However, as far as I know, there have not been any credible witnesses or whistleblowers to date who would expose what, if anything, happened to Flight 93 that the government lied/covered up. So right now, this theory remains mostly in cyberspace until it can be properly proven or disproven.

24 March, 2006 22:23  
Blogger Seabee said...

Interesting story. Maybe if the tape is ever released we may be able to make a judgement. We sure can't trust our leaders to tell the truth any more, Bush, Blair, Howard...

24 March, 2006 22:24  
Blogger trobriander said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

24 March, 2006 22:43  
Blogger trobriander said...

@ if there is any truth to your example about 9/11 then it will one day come out and then the mainstream media will report on it.



There are plenty of examples of which the truth remains contestable for generations - unless it’ dragged to court where it becomes a verdict!!!

24 March, 2006 22:47  
Blogger SIN said...

Seabee and Shaper..i completely agree with you about the diminishing standards of free press. Today the focus is on the Ad dollars and how the sponsors should be kept happy. In India, newspaper spots on the front page are sold for 100,000Rs a story, and pic is separate (Times of India for those who are curious).
Everything is a marketing exercise, so why even bother arguing the point.

25 March, 2006 01:06  
Blogger Riddle Of The Sand said...

I read an article on the website of Khaleej Times.

According to the article, these workers will be sued/fined/punished/deported for protesting.

Amazing how you are sued/fined/punished/deported for asking for your rights (the workers), but not sued/fined/punished/deported for not fulfilling your obligations (the employers).

Sad world this is coming to.

Unfortunately, it seems many Middle East countries are catching up on becoming mere capitalists, without the essential human touch.

Note: Feel free to edit this post SD.

25 March, 2006 08:51  
Blogger Becklegs said...

For a country that's supposed to be the "place to be" - and I have lived there for 21 years and going back because I just like the desert - let's face it - you can't change what it's all about.\ Just take a closer look - it speaks volumns.

25 March, 2006 15:55  
Blogger Becklegs said...

Crikey, by the time you blog in you've forgotten what you wanted to say...

25 March, 2006 15:56  
Blogger Becklegs said...

Censored only over there - I used to work for the Dubai Police - now there's a laugh just in itself...

25 March, 2006 15:58  
Blogger Emirati said...

WRT the baghdad to belfast left wing bastards celebrating, and trying to justify this riot, I assure you the UAE government will not tolerate this buisness in the future.

25 March, 2006 23:08  
Blogger Cokey said...

Dubai should be WARNED !!

20% cannot control 80%...Sooner or later there will be a revolt. This revolt will give Dubai a big jerk economically and physically both.

If anyone from Dubai Govt is hearing me, then BEWARE.

If only for 1 day, each laborer or a person who has been ill treated by the govt gets an AK-47 then believe me no local would be alive. Your military is pathetic, govt is screwed. Do you think you'll have any chance of survival? Its not like we dont have any Lord of Wars around here

:)

26 March, 2006 02:17  
Blogger Emirati said...

lol cokey you are such a militarily illiterate wanker. What are AKs going to do against heavy tanks ? And where are you going ot get the AKs you need to arm that big a population ?

People can riot, but riots will be supressed. They can try to revolt, but remember who has the tanks and the helicopters in this country. The Military is capable of fielding 3 Combat Divisions. I would like to see how your wet dream fantasy would put up against that.

By the way, if you hate locals so much, why dont you leave you stupid wanker ? Or is it just that you love eating out of hands that you hate ?

You can be a coward, or you can be a bitch. I think duality is the best course for you.

26 March, 2006 17:50  
Blogger KingKaiser said...

Cokey - a couple of things. The likelihood of a few million AK47s finding their way into the UAE is highly unlikely. The UAE military might be horrendous in combat (since they've never been in one), but I'm sure they can attack a few untrained souls. These kind of comments dont aid the discussion much.
Emirati: I doubt they will tolerate this. That doesnt mean that there isnt a problem - they could solve the problem by treating humans like humans, and then you would have none of this crap.
I have no recollections of this ever happening under Sheikh Rashid who did value people regardless of color or socio-economic status. A return to that mindset would do no one harm.

26 March, 2006 22:05  
Blogger Cokey said...

Emirati..

Congratulations for learning a new word 'wanker'. I hope you know what it means...

Do you know how many F-16's UAE has? Yes TWO !! Tanks..probably 5 ? Your population 800,000? Half of them Women. So 400,000 left, 20% children and 20% dangling in their grave. 160,000 left. 100,000 jerks like you who would lift up your abhaya and run away. So you propably have an army of 8,000 or less.

Ah..I just examined your population like a hoe. Anyways do you think its hard to smuggle weapons in the country?

DO you know the nuclear technology and the equipment supplied to Iran was through Dubai? All the russian mafia funds and businesses are run through Dubai? Well if you think tanks will protect you..better pull up your kandura and be prepared

Adios

27 March, 2006 02:12  
Blogger KingKaiser said...

Cokey - I dont mean to bash you, but I'm fairly confident that your numbers (wrt weaponry) are incorrect. The UAE is a very rich country an extensive military budget. As it stands though, the # of planes is irrelevant since they wouldnt bomb their own country.

Plus, the armed revolution you speak of requires great finances, and since its the downtrodden exploited workers who are your hypothetical army, the problem of finances ensures that weapons wont be finding their way into their hands. Drop the topic and move on - its just going to result in a catfight.

27 March, 2006 07:05  
Blogger al-republican said...

Cokey-

UAE's fighter aircrafts fleet is irrelevant here. Do you really think there are DIRE problems in the UAE where expats will be willing to take up arms against the government? Yes, there are some genuine problems here like the crazy rent hikes and low wages for people of a particular skin tone. But, seriously, these problems do not need an armed uprising. People would rather just move to another country. A lot of people in this part of the World end up going to Canada, America, or back to their countries of origin. People who take up arms against THEIR governments have mostly (in 99% of cases) territorial disputes.

I was born and raised in the UAE and my nationality is Pakistani and not Emarati. Sometimes it feels weird, but I don't mind. I can tell you that I have never faced any serious issues with racism in this country. I compare my 20 years in the UAE with my 6 years in the US and I ran into more racism in the latter. Although, I would also like to mention that racist Americans were a minority. And most of them didn't like me for my beard, hehe.

Social inequality (and there is a fair amount of it in the UAE) leads to increase in crime, but armed struggle is taking it a bit too far!

27 March, 2006 09:25  
Blogger KingKaiser said...

al-republican - I'm surprised that you found the USA more biased than the UAE. Which part of the country were you in?

One must say this about the USA - certain individuals may be racist (as in the case in probably every country on earth), but at least the laws were equitable - your skin color or nationality didnt bar you from any jobs (including the army and police force - obviously FBI, etc were off limits).
Virtually all my international friends in the USA are leaders in their fields, at salaries equal to that of their fair-skinned counterparts. Here, sadly racism is not only tolerated, but encouraged. To advocate the hiring of nationals is one thing (and very understandable); to create salary tiers based on ethnicity is quite another.

27 March, 2006 11:29  
Blogger al-republican said...

kingkaiser-

I was in West Lafayette, Indiana. You are probably feeling sad for me already hehe :)

But I agree with you 100%. USA is less discriminatory with respect to equal opportunity (although it has changed after 9/11 to some degree for Muslims). I remember being involved in a racial slur hurled against us at Denny's by some local Indiana farmer-types. They almost got up to start with us, but fortunately the cops intervened. They were very understanding of the episode, too.

With respect to equal oppotunities, I dont think there is any other country in the World that is as fair as the United States of America. There, I praised the US! Tim and Hannibal: are you guys watching? :P

27 March, 2006 12:13  
Blogger KingKaiser said...

Ech - the midwest. That explains it all...I've had some experiences in the Midwest and the South, and I feel if I had lived there, I probably wouldn't have been too fond of America myself.

You should have spent some time in New England (New Hampshire, Mass., Vermont, etc). Thats where you get the best Americans IMO...polite, goodhearted, considerate, giving, etc.
Just to give you an idea, Canadians are hellspawn in comparison. THATS how good the Americans from New England are.

back on topic: I'd probably be madly in love with the UAE if only it could adopt equal opportunity laws. Well, and if we learned how to drive, but thats a rant in itself...

27 March, 2006 12:47  
Blogger Emirati said...

Im glad you recognize youre a wanker, wanker.

The UAE has 80 F-16s and 510 Tanks. Army of 60,000 with capability to take in 40,000 combat command reserve. csis.org biatch

"Ah..I just examined your population like a hoe. Anyways do you think its hard to smuggle weapons in the country?"

I think someone needs to examine your mouth and examine your rectum, but I repeat myself. Youre an idiot if you think you can smuggle in 1 million weapons, organize a regimentation system and secure logistics. Tard.

"DO you know the nuclear technology and the equipment supplied to Iran was through Dubai? All the russian mafia funds and businesses are run through Dubai? Well if you think tanks will protect you..better pull up your kandura and be prepared"

Yes, well a few centerfugal reactors, is not like enough weapons to Arm the soviet union.

You know what, I prefer that you go on your braveheart wannabe wet dream fantasy solo. Id like to see you try to start up one of these things. But then again, youre only dreaming, youre going to continue to be an idiot because some emirati probably slaps you around at work and take your aggrivation out here. Put your fantasies where your mouth is (remember rectum) because nothing is going to happen over here. And if you try to start up shit (whenever youre not serving your customers in drag), I would suggest you a way to avoid excessive pain is to try to moon people while youre standing in the Abu Dhabi Al Ain highway.

It'll definetly be less painful that the rape that would follow any enactment terrorist fantasies of yours.

Fucking anarchist left winger graffiti drawing son of a bitch.

27 March, 2006 14:03  
Blogger Martijn said...

I so agree with this post. It is really frustrating to run an internet business to find out you can not retrieve new orders via email because someone at Etisalat decided that the provider you use is "not good for you" and blocked as such. I think Dubai will never be a media powerhouse with censorship laws like this in place.

On the other hand, I am only in Dubai for the sunshine and since I am only a guest in the UAE I consider local laws and policies none of my business.

It is worrysome to see the censorship and the bad treatment of workers are still common place. I sincerely hope this will dramatically change in the next 10 years though.

Best regards,

Marina Martijn
www.dreamingdubai.com

27 March, 2006 17:32  
Blogger Martijn said...

I so agree with this post. It is really frustrating to run an internet business to find out you can not retrieve new orders via email because someone at Etisalat decided that the provider you use is "not good for you" and blocked as such. I think Dubai will never be a media powerhouse with censorship laws like this in place.

On the other hand, I am only in Dubai for the sunshine and since I am only a guest in the UAE I consider local laws and policies none of my business.

It is worrysome to see the censorship and the bad treatment of workers are still common place. I sincerely hope this will dramatically change in the next 10 years though.

Best regards,

Marina Martijn
www.dreamingdubai.com

27 March, 2006 17:33  
Blogger Freelance on the road said...

I am a recent-arrival at the frog-related paper. I and a photographer went down to the Burj Dubai site the morning that AP's Krane filed the piece linked to on SD. We saw busloads of riot police go in, although there was no sign of any more violence, and photographed some of the more obvious damage. The following day's P.1 piece was rewritten to laud the authorities with references to riot police mostly written out and beginning something like 'calm returned...' I thought the No.1 favourite newspaper piece was better - they had a much harder line on the riot police.

It is a strange situation to look to the NY Times for great reportage from Dubai.

It would be interesting to run a website for reporters here to paste up the (numerous) stories that are spiked by the paper bosses - but it's easy for bosses to trace back to the reporters.

27 March, 2006 23:09  
Blogger Cokey said...

80 F-16's LOL !!!
510 Tanks?! Lol...Get your facts right. Its 2 F-16 donated by Pakistan Lol!

Loll...Emirati you are just hillarious. Looks like besides wanking you get extreme wet dreams too and just love to talk abt it all the time. You need a psychologist dude! Get ur cunt and brains fixed till you can. Lol

Emiratis can hail on my cock!

30 March, 2006 19:13  

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