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02 November, 2006

Remembering Zayed

"People, trees and even sand grains cried when Shaikh Zayed passed away."

Which was two years ago today, but feels like only yesterday; still so sharp is our grief.



Blogger Photograph Abu Dhabi said...

I've heard some great stories and comments from friends that the Big Z came out with. He seemed like a great man. RIP.

02 November, 2006 02:53  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Yeah - you know, all this time, and not one negative story, from anyone, anywhere. I mean that. I've heard the vilest (unprintable) stories about pretty much everyone else you can imagine, but never ever about Zayed. There is just nothing bad to say. Even people that have questioned the wisdom of some of his decisions emphasise that they were all made selflessly, out of love for his people and a desire to make the UAE a great country for them.

02 November, 2006 02:58  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

That's not quite true, SD. The obituary that The Economist ran on Zayed's death was completely censored in the UAE, for the reason that they dared mention his heavy involvement in the BCCI scandal of the 1980s. Such involvement would have brought many an official crashing down in the West, probably with criminal charges laid on top.

02 November, 2006 09:12  
Blogger Doc said...

From the pens of Gulf News sprang forth this gut-wrenching tribute -

People and grains of sand cried when Zayed died, companions describe.

I LOL'd.

02 November, 2006 10:31  
Blogger Balushi said...

I was only saddened by the Death of Sheikh Rashid, He will never be replaced by any other arab tyrants!

The reason no one is saying good things about Sheikh Rashid neither any remembrance for Him, Its simply bcoz He never Scared and oppressed people!

untill today his rule about No army dress anywhere in the city, has left a pleasent feeling with residents!

Not like shj, where police are Camouflouge uniforms, Army and special Police commondos everywhere in AUH! bla bla bla!!!

In Dubai where sheikh Rashid even the guards didnt had machine guns with them!!!!

Rashid is the only leader who i grieve! and no one else bcoz i dont fear the shadow of tyrants!!!- one day they will all end up in a hole just like saddam hussain.


02 November, 2006 10:42  
Blogger Seabee said...

Sheikh Zayed's death was a huge loss, no doubt, but the next generation is carrying on pretty well so far.

Balushi, I agree, Sheikh Rashid was a great leader. I'm surprised we don't see very much about him any more.

02 November, 2006 11:35  
Blogger SIN said...

I have an old picture of my dad and some friends in their swimming trunks, posing with the late Sheikh Rashid - taken when the ruler himself was about to join them for a swim on the beach after he saw them having a good time.
That was then...this is now...
But in Sheikh Zayed's defence, he did what he could for his nation, and he did well. People act, interact and rule differently, and while Sheikh Rashid had an admirable blend of goodwill, charm and charisma, Sheikh Zayed held his own with his people. You can't compare or dismiss either.

02 November, 2006 14:38  
Blogger S. said...

Well Sh Zayed was a nice guy, but I did hear some stories about him, about his father etc. Most are probably rumours, but at the end of the day, he did a lot with what he had available.

Sh Rashid on the other hand was a people person. People loved him because everyone saw him as the common man. My dad used to tell me that he sometimes used to drive out to the Trade Center construction site (when it was being built) and chat with the labourers.

I cried when he died, and I was just a teen. And I know a lot of people who did too.

Sh Zayed on the other hand just seemed too far away (at least for most of us expats in Dubai)

02 November, 2006 15:48  
Blogger Mme Cyn said...

If you all recall, Yassir Arafat died within days of Baba Z. The Western press was full of YA at the time, and Sheikh Zayed barely got a look in. Shame, because despite whatever flaws he may have had, he did an awful lot of good for his people.

And has anyone else noticed that this place seems to have gone to h3ll in a handbasket since he died?

02 November, 2006 17:22  
Blogger Sex and Dubai said...

I think it's safe to say that despite whatever flaws they may have the people of the UAE truly respect their leaders. Sheikh Rashid, Sheikh Zee and Sheikh Mo rank the top three.

02 November, 2006 18:50  
Blogger AkaRound Peg said...

Like Tim Newman said the reason for not one negative story about Sh Zayed is because of censorship and fear.

For one, an Embassy official told me that Zayed was quite a womanizer and it is estimated he has about a 100 children.

02 November, 2006 21:35  
Blogger BridgetWannabe said...

Unrelated to this post - I noticed there's no way of emailing you privately! I'm a journalist, and I have a question for you, but I'd rather not post it online... if you can, shoot me a line!


02 November, 2006 22:59  
Blogger janbiya said...

By The way I just want to say I am the guy responsible for making this Blog no longer anonymous.
Just to verify, I insulted the current second wife of Dubai's CEO.

Basically regarding the censorship, you cant find a bigger proof on how scared people are.

Just one comment and it made people run for their lives. I mean I understand why you acted that way SD, I'm not criticising you.

Just Imagine that in the anonimity this forum provides and add to that it wasnt even you who made the comment. You still were shitless scared. You went to other blogs and complained about it and was worried it might cause the blog to be censored.

Now multiply your fears by a thousand, and you will understand why no one ever criticised any leader. To Criticise the leaders properly one has to do it openly for credibility, and now you understand why no one voluntered.

Just on a side note, I posted the same afore mentioned insults on Lemon & Honey blog. There was a few to and fro arguments and she got so scared she made her blog invitation only. No one has heard from her for a while now.

Isnt it pathetic how scared people are? Why are so scared. Come get me Mukhabarrat. I am waiting for you. You guys (Mukhabarrat) are so thick anyway, I await them to get up their lazy asses and find me.

03 November, 2006 02:34  
Blogger secretdubai said...

To Criticise the leaders properly one has to do it openly for credibility

So you think that posting an anonymous obscene, irrelevant, insulting comment about one of the leaders' wives somehow constitutes "criticism"?

God you're a sad fuck.

What you've done is trolling. It's not debate. It's not pushing boundaries, or being courageous, or promoting free speech. This will be the last comment you make here.

03 November, 2006 02:55  
Blogger pRoUd said...

just wanted to say: some people here only want the exposure, some light to proof their petty existence. We all know, their opinions are full of crap. that will be janbiya. Never had I heard more obsenity than this. If you want to criticise, do it properly. Don't insult people's honor and call yourself courageous. And as for the mokhabart coming to get you, I think this is your dream. why would anyone want to mingle with filth? As for hot lemon and honey, she's not scared of you or anyone else. as i said, no one to mingle with filth.

SD, way to go.

03 November, 2006 15:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Just on a side note, I posted the same afore mentioned insults on Lemon & Honey blog. There was a few to and fro arguments and she got so scared she made her blog invitation only. No one has heard from her for a while now."
Yes my dear, I could not delete your stupid comments on my blog because the place you post it I had no access to due to bloggers issues I respect the person you insulted. SD described what you did well. A lame way to make a point, I guess it speaks of your class or the lack of it.
By the way you are not the only looser on the blogger seen, so don't get too high on the thought I made my blog "invitation only" for your sake.

I agree with you mme cyn.

03 November, 2006 19:50  
Blogger Wobblydangly said...

Re comment about police uniforms. Aren't Dubai's Police uniforms almost identical to those warn by Sadaam Hussain in his hey day- right down to the green beret and desert wellies?

03 November, 2006 20:16  
Blogger al-republican said...

Tim Newman-

I really dont see your point about BCCI. Whatever the reason for its closure (apparently, it had a lot to do with corruption and money-laundering), Shaykh Zayed cannot be blamed for any of it. I can argue this point for days, but I guess it really is fruitless.

Aside from this, the pretexts on which BCCI was closed hold true for many other Western banks (one in Switzerland comes to mind), but you dont see these same rules being applied to them for whatever reason.

I am glad that Islamic Banking is strongly establishing itself in the Muslim World (and in some parts of the West, too). It is something we Muslims had embarked on with the project of BCCI (which was the brainchild of a Pakistani businessman and NOT Shaykh Zayed). We need to work on 3 other major things:

1) A single currency (a la Euro) for the GCC states (if not all of the Muslim world, but I am sure they will catch on if such a thing does happen).

2) Backing our currency with a local/neutral commodity rather than the US dollar.

3) Developing an educational system keeping in mind our religious values and traditions at the same time being cognizant of the demands of sciences.

I am glad that Dubai in particular has taken pioneering steps towards goals 1 and 2!

03 November, 2006 23:11  
Blogger smithers427 said...

What a laugh...there is a balloon going up with "Sheik Zayed - the world will never forget" in a ballooning competition soon. So how does the world not forget someone they a) have never heard of & b) even care about some benevolent dictator in some tiny country which virtually no one has heard of. Sorry SD, but I don't understand your unwavering love for this did he do on womens rights, for example?

04 November, 2006 09:15  
Blogger al-republican said...

Oh no, not womens rights again! Why are you guys so fixated with "womens rights"?? What kind of stupid yardstick do you guys use? I remember the good days when Americans were being fed with childish propoganda on how they were going to Afghanistan to rid women of the Taliban and "save them". So you are willing to bomb people just so that women can strip? Is that your yardstick for leadership? No wonder you have clowns like Bush and Blair taking you for a ride!

I guess you can't accept women CHOOSING to live as housewives and not exposing flesh. So if some "benevolent dictator in a tiny country" were to force his women to strip naked (like your mothers and sisters raom around) then you would add him to your list of successful leaders?

You are such a joker! :)

04 November, 2006 15:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just noticed that the Media Watch blog is gone. ( ) Anyone know what happened? It was a very opinionated page and seemed to have the inside scoop on the mismanagement at UAE media. From Labor headaches to editorial biases it covered everything. I miss it already.

07 November, 2006 04:41  
Blogger Pete The Usher said...

LOL!! Change the word "interest" to "profit" and lo and behold - you have islamic banking!!!!

07 November, 2006 10:54  
Blogger Mme Cyn said...

Al Republican: Sorry, SD, but I cannot let this blarney go unchalleneged. I have been teaching young women here in the UAE for a number of years, and although many of them DO want to be "housewives"(and there's nothing wrong with that), many of them want something different for themselves. It's the girls who are forced into the wife-and-family mold that we mean when we say there are no women's rights. The ones who want to improve themselves and choose their own paths and are not only discouraged but forbidden from doing so. I have seen girls disappear from school, only to have their girlfriends tell me that "Fatma" has been locked up until she agrees to marry Cousin Ali or wear full hijab or whatever the controlling factor of the week is. I have seen star students be given scholarships abroad only to be told by their families that they can't go after all because it wouldn't look good. The list goes on and on. A lot of these women live in fear of their male relatives. Where is the state and society protecting their rights?

07 November, 2006 17:44  
Blogger al-republican said...

Mme Cyn-

Try to comprehend what I write rather than sucking useless things that I wasn't suggesting in the first place!

I never said women should not work and I certainly dont subscribe to that view either. Women are free to work (or not), free to marry men of their choice (or not) etc. When a woman is denied such rights, kindly note that men in our society are denied this right, too! This is NOT a government conspiracy, for God's sake!

Men are forced to marry girls of parent's choice, too. They are also commanded to take up a career contrary to what they think is better for them. This is all part of our culture and the role of our parents/elders in our society. A lot of parents treat their own children like they are their property!

This is the way we are. Our values places our parents at a very high platform and we are brought up to mostly give in to their demands and repress our likes/dislikes. And if you think we feel "oppressed" about this, think again! While we certainly feel bad, we make the choice of listening to our parents. To us, the happiness of our parents counts for a shit lot more!

I am personally in situations where I am finding it hard to resign to my parent's likes in some cases. Having said that, I have repressed my own likes and done things that they would rather have me do just for their happiness. However, there is just one thing that I still cannot convince myself to listen to them on. And I continue to try and convince them of my case.

If you want to make this a rights issue, go ahead. But, that is certainly not the way we look at it. We place a lot of priority for our elders. Perhaps that's why our society is not as corrupt as the "free" west. If you have problems with your parents influence in your life and you want to totally disregard it then I suggest you guys just throw your children away as soon as you have them. Why not give them freedom right after birth? And why stipulate laws of "18 years and above", as if the number 18 is some magic number!

And again we have digressed!

08 November, 2006 13:28  

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