Saturday, November 01, 2014

Topical

As a long term resident here I am more than familiar with the local laws in the UAE. Whether we are resident or a tourist in the UAE we need to be aware of what is right and wrong with regards to the Laws here.  One thing that we should all know, is that sex outside of marriage is not permitted in Islam, under any circumstances.  Non Muslims who become pregnant outside of marriage are encouraged to return to their Home Countries or get married to make the union legal.

It saddens me to see in the Daily Mail, that Danielle Lloyd and her fiance were recently living it up at the local Meridien, this may not seem out of the ordinary to you, but Danielle who is pregnant, and a single parent is basically flouting the Law.  I think I am right in assuming that she will be sharing a room with her fiance Jamie O'Hara, and we all know the rules on cohabitation.  I am pretty sure that Danielle has no idea how much risk she could have been putting herself under, and I hope and pray her stay here was an uneventful one.  BUT if she had to go and seek any medical attention regarding her pregnancy she would definitely have found herself on the wrong side of the Law, celebrity or not.

For many years we have known that to consume alcohol in the UAE you have to have an Alcohol Licence, to obtain that you have to first obtain your residency visa.  However, recently a man was charged with consuming alcohol illegally whilst visiting the Country. We all know that the hotels serve alcohol quite freely so it does make you wonder how often this is enforced, one would have said never until this recent incident which I read about in The National.

The article in The National states "Federal law makes it a crime to consume or purchase alcohol without a licence, whether a person is a tourist or a resident". How far they will go to enforce this is anyone's guess but it is better to be on the safe side. I personally don't think they will enforce it unless there has been a serious crime taken place at the time the alcohol was consumed, however, you can never really be sure.

With all these rules and laws in place it came as no suprise today that I read an article in 7days stating that Britons ranked Dubai 5th (when it came to holiday jitters) place to visit in the World for a holiday.  I think we know why.  Laws written in sand can drift, but at the end of the day the Law is the Law and it would do us all good to remember them.

The Office of National Statistics recorded 87,000 travellers from the UK set off to the Emirates in the last quarter of 2010 and it is estimated British tourists will hit the one million mark by the end of 2011.

I am not sitting here in judgement, far from it, no society is perfect. I think what we need to remember is that we are guests in the UAE and we should live by their rules, whether we like it or not.  I think the Government would be better placed to make handbooks for tourists that are issued on arrival explaining the Laws of the Land to ensure that there is no confusion.

Thank you

BBC 3 came up trumps again this week with a documentary entitled "The Worst Place in the World to be Gay".  Radio DJ Scott Mills heads over to Uganda to investigate media allegations that Homosexuality is totally unacceptable in Uganda.

Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda as well as another 17 African countries.  The Anti Homosexuality Act of 2009 states that any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex is illegal. The punishment for having gay sex is to be sent to prison for life, if you have gay sex more than once you can be executed. Sadly they are taking this stuff pretty seriously.

Various people were interviewed and they all felt the same. Comments like gays should be killed, hung, murdered, beaten were common place in conversations surrounding gay people in Uganda.  Anyone who comes out openly as being gay is disowned by their family and alienated by the local population. The Rolling Stone newspaper prints names of people who are gay to create awareness to the authorities.  There is a strong belief that it is because of the Bible that they hate homosexuals with such a vengeance.  I rather think it is more to do with the fact that AIDS originated in Africa but no one seemed to bring that up.

The ignorance of homophobes globally has been something I personally have never been able to come to terms with, the attitudes in Uganda are beyond comprehension, sickening infact.  How people can hate someone because of their sexual orientation is beyond my way of thinking.

Sadly in January of this year, David Keto, a well known gay rights activist was beaten to death with a hammer, Police however were quick to report it as a robbery and not related to his sexuality, I believe it was due to his sexuality. (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/world/africa/28uganda.html)

I am not a particularly religious person but for research reasons I did look up homosexuality in the Bible and the Koran, but I have no desire to publish either view on here.  I did however find this statement, I have removed the name of the author, but it just shows quite clearly how ignorant some people really are.

"Homosexuality is a moral disorder. It is a moral disease, a sin and corruption... No person is born homosexual, just like no one is born a thief, a liar or murderer. People acquire these evil habits due to a lack of proper guidance and education."

All I have to say on the matter is that religion has alot to answer for; and that I hope and pray that no women in Uganda have the misfortune to produce a gay child .....


http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00yrt1c

It was BBC3 this week that brought along my weekly dose of reality TV that I love, in the form of a documentary called A Dangerous Place to Meet my Family.

Dean, a young Yemeni Muslim born and raised in the UK by his British born Father and Yemeni Born Mother returns to Yemen to meet his relatives.  Growing up in Sheffield as a Muslim he yearned to feel the culture of the Country he felt was his home and that in his words would be the place where he would die.  

Arriving in Yemen he was shocked to see the poverty on the streets but embraced his trip with an open heart.  The reunion with his Grandmother was a tearful one. As the family sat around sharing food and memories Dean came to learn that his Grandmother had given birth to his Mother at the age of 11, having being married off at the age of 10.  He hears of another girl who is still in her teens who was forced into marriage by her Father, due a tiny debt.  Dean,  in his words is disgusted to see that people allow what is clearly child abuse in the UK to happen in Yemen and wrap it up in the word Culture. His cousin tells him that it is a woman's place to be at home cooking and running a home and proudly lords his demands over his older Sisters who dutifully obey his every word. Dean laughs it off saying his Sister wouldn't put up with it and that men should have more respect for women, and should be treat as equals.

His 5 week trip passes over with various incidents which feel alien to the British Born Yemeni and he eventually returns to Sheffield to be reunited with his family. Tears all round and a hug for his Mum and Sister, then the statment that I am sure many viewers weren't expecting ....  I am British and I am proud of it.

Dean you rocked!


http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00yzhzl

 

 

 

 

Today I am offering my total support to Kuwaiti Based blogger, Mark Makhoul posted on his popular Kuwait based blogsite 2.48 am a mildly critical post of the opening on a new Branch of Benihana (Kuwait). I have listed below the review which I have taken from his blogsite along with a link to take you directly there. Mark was contacted by the Manager of Benihana and is now the subject of a US$ 18,000 lawsuit filed by the Kuwaiti franchisee of the global Japanese restaurant chain.

Are our opinions no longer worth anything?  Does the customer have no rights?  What sort of business would sue someone for their opinion? I am supporting Mark directly by repeating his blog here on my site.

My Benihana Experience .... by Mark Makhoul

A few days back I posted about Benihana opening up at the Avenues and yesterday night I decided to pass by with Nat and try it out. The service wasnít too bad for a restaurant thatís just been open for a few days and the staff were really friendly. The restaurant itself is made up of islands and bars with a grill in the middle of each one. You sit around the grill and the chef will come to your table and prepare the food right in front of you which makes things entertaining. Itís actually why I prefer sitting at the bar in Japanese restaurants in general, since you can talk to the chef and watch them put your dish together. The problem with my experience last night though was with the food, it was disappointing to say the least.

We ordered beef negimayaki for starters followed by an Orange Blossom maki and a Hibachi Chicken. The negimaki arrived looking good and was probably the best thing we had there even though I prefer Makiís negimaki which has a richer teriyaki sauce. The Orange Blossom was very ordinary, wouldnít order it again. Now the Hibachi chicken which is basically grilled chicken, that was the worst. The chicken was very chewy (I could swear it was undercooked if not raw) and tasted terrible. Even after I had the chef add some more teriyaki sauce in hopes of improving the taste it didnít work. I tried to dip it into the sauces that came with the chicken but it was hard to figure out if they were actually making things worse or not. Nat only ate one piece of chicken and left the rest while I needed my protein since Iím on a strict diet and forced myself to eat my whole plate (I can do that) but the after taste was really bad. Even the rice and the veggies that came with it tasted bad AND were under cooked. Once we left I considered picking up a frozen yogurt from Pinkberry even though I hate frozen yogurts but I just needed something to get rid of the aftertaste. A few moments later we ended up at Chocolate Bar ordering the gooey chocolate cake (bye bye diet).

I shot the two videos above of the chef preparing our meal. Benihana are known for the live shows they perform when preparing your dish so I was expecting to see [This] but ended up with the above . Would I go back to Benihana? No I wouldnít. Their sashimi and makiís are pretty cheap (KD1.5 for 5 pieces of Salmon sashimi for example) but there are two other Japanese restaurants at the Avenues, Wasabi and Maki, and I would prefer either one of those to Benihana.

http://www.248am.com/mark/kuwait/my-benihana-experience

 

Channel 4 in the United Kingdom have yet again excelled themselves with another fantastic documentary that is currently airigng.  For those of you who download this is a must.  Interestingly they have teamed up people with severe facial deformities, congenital and as the result of trauma, with self obsessed beauty/plastic surgery addicts. 

In the first episode we meet Leo, his face was severely burnt in an accident with an oil canister as a child, and Yasmin who is addicted to beauty products. Yasmin spends up to two hours every day attaching hair pieces, fake eyelashes and layers of make up and it is her wish to have plastic surgery.  Leo is totally against her having plastic surgery in any way or form.  Leo and Yasmin are like chalk and cheese. They spend a day in each others lives with amazing consequences.

I started off thinking how shallow the young Yasmin is, but there is always two sides to a story.  Very moving.

Too many sit in judgement at people who are different from us on the outside, they should remember we are all the same on the inside and that life can sometimes  be cruel.  Never judge, just accept and your life will be an easier place to live in.

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/beauty-the-beast-ugly-face-of-prejudice

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