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  • Monday, September 26, 2011

    Sheikh Zayed Road - the film

    SZR - the film - it's coming soon. For those that journey back and forth on the most famous road in the UAE, there won't be much love lost, but for those interested in the art form of video and how Sheikh Zayed Road features in it, this will be the film to watch. What does Sheikh Zayed Road mean to you - and how would you portray it?

    Sheikh Zayed Road the film comes from a Nik Nejad, a talented Dubai based artist.

    Nik Nejad


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    Monday, September 19, 2011

    The Malls of Dubai Rap

    Here are your highlights of all the malls in Dubai in the form of a Rap. Shopping is a national pastime in the UAE and especially in Dubai. While it is not surprising that there is a rap/song about the malls, it is surprising that it is undertaken by a male. No doubt he is not yet married. Enjoy:

    More from Emirates 247

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    Stunning Photographs of Dubai

    A great collection of Dubai photos, in black and white from Slavo Janowski:

    Check out the Slavo's full portfolio

    Labels: ,

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    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Dark-Skinned Half-Arab, Half -Jewish Housewife

    10 years on from 9/11, racial profiling is alive and well in the USA:

    Shoshana Hebshi, who describes herself as a "half-Arab, half-Jewish housewife," was aggressively cuffed and detained from Frontier Airlines Flight 623, then strip-searched, for the apparent crime of being ambiguously "ethnic"—and being seated next to two Indian guys she didn't know who got up to use the toilet. On Sunday, 9/11/2011, Hebshi was held and questioned in a Detroit cell for several hours. A fellow passenger on her flight had told a flight attendant that she and her dark-skinned seatmates (all of whom were strangers to one another) were "suspicious." One can only presume they were racially profiled.

    Note to self, don't be dark skinned, don't fly on 9-11, don't be "ethnic".

    Read the full account
    Boing Boing

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    The end of the W@NKER

    Summer is over and normal routine returns. The Summer in the Gulf Arab States is a long time and many expats who work decide to take their break during that time. In many cases, there is only one bread winner, the male who has a job paying a gajillion dirhams a month inclusive of accommodation, flights, car, education the works. In theses instances, it make no sense for the wife to work, kids or no kids.

    Well, every year the Summer arrives, and it's just about too hot for anyone to fathom living through death by sun, and so the wife returns to the green suburbs of England or somewhere not so hot where she enjoys a Summer just 10 degrees shy of an Arab Winter leaving diligent husband to slave most of the summer alone, solo with with similar husbands. And so the W@NKER is bourne (Wife Away No Kid Eat Rubbish). They work, they party, they eat 6 shawarmas in one sitting and generally lead a life of ogreness over the hot months. Well, we are approaching mid September, the heat will start to ease, and the w@nker must return from whence he came and replace with smart suited aspiring business exec, looking at making an impact in the "Middle East".

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    Monday, September 12, 2011

    The Dubai Necklace

    When one thinks of a Dubai necklace, one immediately envisions the bling of the Dubai Souks and thinks generically of the many necklaces available to cater to the whim of every woman on earth.

    But now, just as the Abu Dhabi Sandal took centre stage, the Dubai necklace is starting to pop up as a staple of costume jewellery. Designer Kate Benjamin has come up with the Dubai Necklace. It's gold and costume. It's bling and it looks great. but you can't get it in the Gold souks of Dubai, because it's just not gold!

    Get your Dubai Necklace from Accessories Direct. Or if you want to buy gold in Dubai, go to the gold souk and ask one of the retailers to make a real metal copy gold Dubai necklace. That will confuse them.


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    Sunday, September 11, 2011


    The attacks that occurred 10 years ago were atrocious crimes of terrorism brought about a minority who took inhumanity to another level. The results, in hindsight, took the following decade into a horrible era, where Muslims globally were abused in many other ways. We remember the 3000 odd victims that died that day - but we also remember the aftermath - the loved ones, the friends, the colleagues - those who have live without for the last 10 years. But spare a thought for the resultant victims as well. There are the victims of war who get forgotten. Wired have put together some great infographics to understand the aftermath of 911 called "the war on terror".

    Depending on which numbers you look at, there were up to a million deaths in Iraq. There are further in Afghanistan. And there have been further Al Qaida bombings in places like London, Madrid, Jordan to name a few.

    We remember, lest we forget.



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    Friday, September 09, 2011

    Qatar and the Big Time

    Qatar's rise to prominence is not really a surprise. They have slowly and securely managed their ascendency within the confines of world media and politics to be shown as a credible and forward Arab state. The West don't like monarchies, but they sure prefer a monarchy or autocracy to a dictatorship - which puts places like the UAE and Qatar in a bracket of stability, to some degree. But with prominence comes some pain. The shock that a country like Qatar could win the World Cup bid was met with shock globally. And believe the hype or not, there was always going to be a scandal in the offing - Mohamed bin Hammam became the scapegoat, whether he was guilty or not. And so, Qatar are in the game of PR management, but despite the setback they are at all the right table, as the The New Statesman describes:

    The man standing next to Cameron, Sarkozy and Merkel in the recent pictures at the Elysee Palace to mark the first 'Friends of Libya' meeting is the Emir of Qatar. Back in March Qatar was first, after France, in publically recognising the Libyan Opposition group, the National Transitional Council. Qatar then went on to not only provide military support for the NATO operation in Libya, but also played a proactive mediation role with members of the Arab League in gathering support for the NATO intervention.

    Qatar has also shown strong political leadership, willingness and influence in bilateral relations with its Arab neighbours throughout the Arab Spring -- from rumours of having frozen their investments in Syria, to public messages of support for the opposition in Syria and Yemen -- though Qatar's role may not always seem consistent, as with Bahrain.

    The key questions are -- Does the highly nationalistic Arab Spring need an Arab champion that will 'step in', with its military might, to help oust dictators; and what are Qatar's broader international political ambitions? Does the world now need new political players?

    We may not have seen the Arab Spring coming, but the motives and ambitions of possible rich and powerful frontrunner countries that support opposition against dictatorship and are willing to fund long-term growth and stability, should not go ignored. That Qatar stepped in quickly with its shuttle diplomacy and military backing for the Libyan NTC and made clear their long-term plans for stability in Libya and the wider region is indeed laudable, and are the appropriate strategic trajectory moves of a reliable international relations player.

    That certainly alludes to a lot of power. And good on them. And with power comes the need to buy Greek Islands. Of course.

    New Statesman
    Sheikh of Qatar buying 2 Greek Islands


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    Halal Friendly Travel

    Market segmentation can be a very powerful tool if done right. Crescentrating are a company that have launched a rating system based on global travel for Muslims. What does this mean? Finding halal friendly places around a location. I'm not sure that necessarily works out, but at least it gives some clarity for travellers who look first for halal, then for location.

    Personally, I think the logic works the other way. Where do you want to go? Where can you go there that caters to our taste and needs? Anyway, it's another badge for the hotels and restaurants around the world who want it. It may indeed be the trigger to lure a whole new market.

    Aside, I thought the name crescentrating was a play on concentrating. Maybe I was just concentrating too much.



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    Wednesday, September 07, 2011


    This is the photo story of the anonymous workers in Dubai. It's a great collection:

    From Ruben Reyes
    via NYT


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    Thursday, September 01, 2011

    The Arab Spring - a new view

    People perceive the Arab Spring in different ways. And people perceive the Arab world in different ways. First there is the Near and Middle East. Near and Middle East to the west. Then there are stereotypes - and then there is the perception and there is the reality. Here is one such depiction of the Arab World by a designer. The UAE is painted as "snobs"

    From Alphadesigner

    More maps from alphadesigner


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