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01 November, 2006

Do Buy! and sell your soul

"Nobody shops, think of this mall as a park for strolling around. There aren't any real parks here, people wander around in malls, look at other people, listen to what they are saying, listen to some music, have a coffee, this is their enjoyment, this is life.

"They are looking for some happiness, and given that there is nothing else to do here, so in their search they come to the shopping mall to be around lots of people, all kinds of people, pass some time and go home. But they still don't find happiness.

"Why do I think that? Because I myself am not happy. When a man is hungry, he will think everyone he sees feels the same, severe hunger, regardless of money."

The words of Safir, a Pakistani security guard at Mall of the Emirates, from the documentary Do Buy!

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Blogger LocalExpat said...

WOW now finally someone has gotten the TRUE picture of dubai. Hey outside world, Dubai isn't all about aggasi playing tennis on top of the Burj Al Arab.

THAT IS TRUE DUBAI. We who have lived here for years have already know this.Sad but true

01 November, 2006 20:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the link, I thoroughly enjoyed that video. Especially the way that the filmakers didn't narrate it; everybody else did the work for them. Much more effective, like taking away the laughter track from a comedy.

Samir(The Security Guard)was particularly likable. It is depressing that somebody so expressive and brave is dehumanised like that in his work. Although, against the drull backdrop of that interpretation of Dubai he shined.

I really hope he doesn't get into trouble.

Anyway I'm off for a shoplifting spree at the Mall now I know that everyone is asleep.

Good Work SD.

01 November, 2006 23:13  
Blogger archer14 said...

Thanks for the links, well edited and something which makes you question the future - to where exactly this country is headed. The security guard is a smart chap - but the disconcerting malaise is so pronounced that people do not care about their jobs or their future. If only they didn't have that noose tighten their necks everyday.

Like mentioned above ^ - I hope the guy's not penalised.

02 November, 2006 01:27  
Blogger marwan said...

It's funny - we read about the stories of people like Safir all day, but it only hits home for some when they actually see and hear him. It's probably no coincidence that Dubai has little interest in airing the stories of individuals like him.

If you venture into Old Dubai, you'll find a million Safirs, people who take it all in the stride - what else can they do? Unlike the lucky few, there is nowhere for them to go back to.

Am I right in inferrring that MoE (in addition to Ibn Shittuta) is also segregated now? If that's the case, we're a hop and skip away from wearing stars on our sleeves.

02 November, 2006 03:21  
Blogger littlejimmy said...

You're probably right, Marwan. How many Men In Blue types do you see in the big malls?

02 November, 2006 09:28  
Blogger SIN said...

Heartbreaking when Safir casually mentioned the workers quizzing him, "You aren't allowing us in, even though we built it?"...

But Marwan is right...there are a million Safirs to be found on street corners around Dubai, each with their own heartwrenching tales of elitism and racism, among other things.

And this brings me to the most harshest relaity check of my's NEVER going to change for the better...NEVER. Didn't know how hoplessness felt up until now..bless us all

02 November, 2006 15:16  
Blogger ironcurtain24 said...

thats was a good documentary... i really enjoyed it... and the secuarity guy was really cool... "maybe they watch us now, and think what i talk about... but i dont care" i liked that comment from him.. wish to see more things like that... but there is also one link

which talks about dubai prositution business made by one investigative journalist with hidden camaras... take a look .. its interesting.... bye for now.. IC

02 November, 2006 18:28  
Blogger jummy bear said...

sigh. sad but so so so true it hurts.

06 November, 2006 17:05  
Blogger secretdubai said...

The filmmaker sent me this message to post on his behalf (thanks Omair!):

hi, it's Omair, the film maker, I made 'Do Buy!' for my degree course. Thanks for the nice comments...

I think Safir is a good observer, but seemed a bit depressed generally and he found a good opportunity to rant to me. Many workers like it in Dubai. The film wasn't meant to be too pessimistic. What is for sure is how strange Dubai is. The result of sudden modern capitalism in a place of traditional desert tribes.

The film cannot speak for the whole of Dubai when the opinions of only a handful of people are included. It is more of an exploration of modern cities: e.g. malls as the only space for walking or socialising, controlled environments, capitalism, anonymity and invisibility (not only of the workers, but everyone) cars, fakeness, copycat architecture, etc.

keep your comments coming. ;)

07 November, 2006 11:18  

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