abu dhabi sunshine

life, times...and opinions from Abu Dhabi

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

loss of innocence

I read this story with absolute horror. We may be exposed to many sad, horrific, depressing stories in the media, but this one was particularly stomach-churning.

A man forces a 21-year-old woman to abort her baby, throws the fetus in a garbage bin, and the woman later dies of complications. I am sure such incidents happen in every single country in the world, but I dedicate this horrible, sad story to all those who have an unrealistic and idealistic image of the UAE.

For many years, we never heard of crimes in the country, due to too many restrictions on freedom of press. That is slowly changing, and with it comes the horrors of life, and the vileness of human beings. It was a much simpler time when we knew nothing of the UAE's underbelly, but with every report such as this one comes a loss of innocence.

I realised that the UAE was not the safe haven everyone made it out to be long ago. I tried in vain to convince some people around me that this was a country just like any other, that crime, rape and murder happened out here...but some were too innocent to believe it. We had lived in a bubble for so long, with positive images of caring human beings all around us being portrayed and glorified. We could not for one second think that our island home was also the home of perverse and deviant people.

The story may not shock everyone the way it shocked me. But try living in a bubble for so long, and then be confronted to such disgust.

Again...I know this is the way of the world. But it's so hard for me to conceive that a human can be so evil and more importantly, so cowardly.

I bet you if that poor woman had lived, she'd be in jail right now, while the horrible man who forced her to get rid of her baby and threw it in a bin would be roaming around the streets, free as a bird.

Scary thought.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


So apparently, we have earthquakes here now? That's all we need, why with the wonderfully solid infrastructure, let's see if we can make another, more gruesome kind of record. (God forbid). Wow..at the moment, both Gulf News and KT websites are flooded...

My rant today revolves around the story about the gay men arrested...well, for being gay. So these men will go to jail, receive lashings and...wait for it...receive hormone therapy.

How ingenious of our government, they've found a cure for homosexuality??!!
Why, why have they not revolutionised this cure and rid the world of the evil that is homosexuality? Such a smart solution deserves worldwide attention. But then again, that's the kind of attention the UAE doesn't want, lest it be considered backwards in the face of all the growth, buildings and celebrities it is hopelessly trying to promote to the world.

Idiots. Bloody idiots. Sure ok I get it, homosexuality is not tolerated around here even though it dates back centuries in the area. Ok the narrow-minded people of the world still think homosexuality is a disease. But hormone therapy? Will they inject these men with enough testosterone to make them attracted to women? These men might even stand a chance of becoming real perverts like the rest of the male population around here, peering perversly at women and make nasty snide comments, making any respectable woman wonder whether she really does look like a prostitute.

Seriously...homosexuality has been around from the dawn of man, and people still think it is a disease?

Do you really think homosexuals are enjoying the homophobia, the physical violence, the nasty looks and the treatment they get? Do you seriously think they choose to be gay? No one would choose to inflict pain on themselves. Sure, homosexuals may be born this way, but why treat it like a disease if they are not harming anyone around them? Why jail them for something they cannot control? It pains me to live in a place that's so backwards.

Homosexuality may still make me uncomfortable...but who am I to judge right from wrong? Who made me, you, or the government God?

Idiots. Or actually...megalomaniacs.

Monday, November 21, 2005

long live Barbie

Most of us girls grew up with Barbie, right?
The long blond hair, the big boobs, the perfect butt, the twinkling blue eyes. I loved Barbie when I was a kid, but her physique is one that I don't care for today. I like 'special' beauty (whatever that means..:)

Barbie did not corrupt me. I did not grow up to peroxide bleach my hair, wear pool-blue contacts or plastify my boobs and butt, nor did I think walking around wearing skimpy clothes was a good idea (most of the time at least...we've all been through a rebellious exhibitionist stage..:)

But our good friends in the Arab world seem to think Barbie is the work of the devil and will corrupt young girls, and that they will grow up walking around muslim territories trying to look and act like Barbie.

Many an antidote was created to counter the evils of stereotypical blond bimbo Barbie; Razanne, Sara, Leila the slave girl, black barbie, size 16 big-bootyed Barbie...and now, the Syrians have created Fulla (refer to photo).

I'm all for diversity...but Fulla kinda creeps me out.

Why is it so hard to believe that little Muslim girls will grow up playing with Barbie and not end up being whores?
I grew up with Barbie...even worse, I grew up with Madonna in all the glory that was her "Sex" phase. I am fine...last I checked, I was not selling my body to the night.

I think all religions need to chill out a bit and really really really realise that it's all in the upbringing, it's all in the education, it's all in the values that are instilled in kids.

A doll with porn-star measurements or one wearing a abaya will not be a life-altering experience that will scar your child for life, nor will it shape her future.

chill people
keep Barbie alive in the Arab world!!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Je me souviens

It's been close to a year since I left the city I lived in for close to 7 years. Montreal..."Je me souviens."

I do remember...many things. Probably the 7 most defining years of my life, in a city so special it made me love it and hate it at the same time. Loved the springs, summers and autumns...despised the horridly icy winters, of which I loved the holiday decorated streets. Loved the urban lifestyle with the down-home attitude. Initially hated the bastardised French Montrealers spoke, but ended up feeling nostalgic every time I heard it. Hated my first university, loved the second one. Loved some people, hated others (some did overlap).

I'm getting nostalgic because it recently hit me that I've been in Abu Dhabi for almost a year now, and oh how things have changed. Just a year ago, I was jobless. My friends had all left Montreal. My then boyfriend had just moved back home. My life seemed to be falling to pieces and I had no idea where to start picking it up.

I'm sad that I left Montreal on a sour note. I did feel a pang leaving my sun-drenched apartment, my zany cat, the bedroom I had made my sanctuary, the Italian doorman who put a smile of my face every morning, the Haitian doorman -Bubba- who cracked me up in a slightly creepy way every night, the long up-hill to our building that left me breathless many a time. In every street of downtown Montreal, I created a memory...yet I was so anxious to start a new page that I didn't get to really feel what leaving Montreal really is.

I sat in the taxi on the way to the airport almost happy that this chapter of my life was ending.

I may have physically been there for that long, but my heart began the Montreal farewell when my friends slowly left one by one, when my brother left, when my boyfriend left. There was nothing holding me back but the memory of the life I lived there.

I'm in Abu Dhabi now, I've found a job, I've found my friends, I've lost the boyfriend. Montreal seems like lightyears ago, but I can't wait to revisit all the memories. I wonder how it will feel...

Friday, November 18, 2005

thought of the week

Well well...still new to the blogosphere and I'm already slacking off. Discipline is definitely not my forte.
But I'm here now!

Seems plenty of things went down in the You-Aye-Eee this week. Bill Clinton, Behnazir Bhutto and my latest crush, Richard Branson, all gathered only a few kilometres from where I live. Again, due to dumbass Egyptian logistical issues, I missed seeing the lion-maned man in the flesh...oh well. Jacko surfacing in Do-buy once again, creeping me out to my very core. I will not share my opinions again, but all I will say is this: Jacko is weird, yes. But what's worse, is that we are dictated by a bunch of hypocrits. 'nuff said.

The thought that floated around my head this week revolved around fear. I started thinking of terrorism, bombs going off everywhere, and how through various means, both physical and ideological, the world is thriving on a culture of fear. Terrorism, bird flu and the likes. As I've grown up, I've developped more and more fears, validating the fact that ignorance truly is bliss. The more I learn, the more I fear...hopefully until I learn that knowledge is power.
My fears may be irrational most of the time. But I also thought of another kind of fear: the fear of feeling.

I may fear many things, but I do not fear my feelings. I thought of the people I know who are so afraid to let go of their emotions and love someone, and tell them that they do. Through time and many a heartbreak, I've learned to control the words that come out of my mouth, but not necessarily the feelings that grow inside me.

Many times I've worried about people judging me on my fears. "He" never did to my face, but he probably did in his head. But you know...here is where I judge him: afraid of his feelings. Weak. So afraid to let someone into his perfectly sterile bubble that he couldn't tell me how he felt when I was practically begging for it.
But rather than being judged, his behaviour is probably applauded by many. Why are some fears judged, and others -equally as important- lauded?

Why should I be considered weak and not him? Isn't the ability to love one of our greatest strengths?

If it is...he was a coward.
I rest my case..:)

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Brazil vs. UAE


humiliating to say the least, slightly boring game, but exciting for the capital nonethless.
Much better luck next time boys, learn from the pros.

Or...practise before you take on the best players in the world? Oh right, Arabs don't do that.


goooooooaaaaaaaaaal go-go-go-goaaaaaal

You know what?
Here's what.

Dubai may be on the international map for all kinds of ski projects, fake islands, ugly Trump towers, world records, tennis championships, Jacko, Brad and Angelina.
But here's what Abu Dhabi's got over them. FOOTBALL.

I am a girl (or woman), I like all things girly like sappy movies, Britney and the odd Westlife song (amongst much deeper and more intellectual things, I swear.) But I also love football. Such a grassroots sport with such an enormous attraction. It's just more street...and if anything, AD is definitely more street than Dubai.

We have football. Sure the UAE are playing Brazil and may have no chance in hell of winning. But they're here, playing in little old Abu Dhabi...and the people are street enough to love it!


Friday, November 11, 2005

the camel

the straw that broke the camel's back

what is that straw?

an unprofessional boss' behaviour?
a man's year-long inability to emote?
yet another attack on innocent lives?
an undesired meal?

that straw takes on so many shapes, so many degrees...everytime we think the camel's back has been broken, he gets right up and does it all over again. No matter how frail we may think we are, will a spirit never cease to amaze?
Is the camel's back really ever completely broken...
who knows, who cares really, as long as he gets back up.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

friends and foes

So I start off a shitty day at work today with my assignment for the day being about friendship. While the topic seems fun and lighthearted enough, logistical issues gave way to annoyances and impossibilites, increasing the shittiness of my day.

So here I was trying to write about friendship, and my very own friendships were experiencing turbulent times. It just gets shittier and shittier.

Why did my day start off shitty? Well here's why. I know the country I live in, and I know about inequality in the country like the palm of my hand. But when it so blatantly hits you in the face, it's quite insulting.

Through a series of work-related events which I will not get into, I along with some other expatriate colleagues have oh so blatantly been silenced by the voice of a UAE national. The UAE national was in no way hurting us, but the superior in our work space chose to honor the request of the UAE national, while BLATANTLY disregarding our very same request.

I know I've said blatantly a hundred times already, but this is my word of the day. BLATANT inequality, BLATANT cowardice from a supposed "boss" in the face of a UAE national, and just BLATANT total bullshit.

I kept my cool about it with the hopes that delaying and calming my anger would lead me to a constructive way of dealing with the issue. But really, will it make a difference? A UAE national voice will resonate much louder than my poor expatriate voice (and those of my expat colleagues), something I can somewhat understand. But for another expatriate (the "boss") to bow down with such hypocricy and fear to someone a third of his age is just disgusting.

I've had enough resentment at the work place with my previous employers, as they were all a bunch of unprofessional little boys with loads of cash...I didn't think I would experience it in this so far pleasant workplace.

I hadn't made up my mind on whether I hated or just felt sorry for the "boss", but my mind is now crystal clear. Total loser. TOTAL.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Jeff Buckley at night...the combination can take you to the deepest parts of your memory and emotions with just a few notes in the night.

They're emotions you think have faded or even gone away. But how does Jeff Buckley take me straight back to the one night I heard him wail "Grace" on a Montreal rooftop, while "he" slept beneath us. "He" is "the guy who recently broke my heart", mentionned in a previous blog.

Jeff poured his heart out while I poured another beer, and I had no idea of the things to come, the things "he" would make me feel, the things that would hurt me, the things that would amaze me.

Every time I think I'm over it, memories just seep into my soul and objectify in my mind, like weights that just won't let me move on and forget him. I guess it's all in the name of the break-up game.

I know he'll become my past and I'll look back on it all with a smile and a hint of sadness. But meanwhile, Jeff might heal some of the wounds as I pour the memories out of my heart through his wails.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Wanting something must be one of the worst vices in the world. Sure, want makes you work harder, it makes you push your boundaries and test your limits. But what happens when you want something that you have no power over, that you cannot make happen?

I really didn't want much yesterday. All I wanted was for Eid to fall today rather than tomorrow, so I could have an extra day off like everyone else. Seems like a futile, almost childish desire. And hell, had I not thought about it so much, it might have just fallen today.

When we were children, if you wanted something badly enough, even if you thought it was beyond your capabilities, you somehow managed to get it. The tooth fairy, Santa Claus and all kinds of friendly ghosts and goblins were on hand to fulfill your requests for a barbie doll or a racing bike. If a day off was what you wanted, the old faking a cold worked like a charm, and your parents loved you enough to pretend believing you.

We're now adults...the tooth fairy and Santa Claus have deserted us for children with incomparable faith. I wonder if it's our lack of faith that affects our desires coming true.
Sure worked like a charm yesterday. I'm stuck at work now, and bored to tears.