Tag Archives: Crime

NorthWest Airlines Bomber

Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the bombing attempt on Christmas Day by the Nigerian national who was educated in London and Dubai.

Kind of feels weird knowing he was a Masters student in Dubai at the same time I was.  If he was at the same uni I didn’t meet him.

I wonder if he was at Knowledge Village or Academic City?

I notice CNN has an article on their front page titled, ‘Yemem a safe haven for Al Qaeda’.  Can’t help but think sarcastically to myself, ‘It’s desperately poor, has THE lowest population education levels in the world, and it’s right next to Somalia. Who would have guessed it was so vulnerable?

Sometimes CNN seems genuinely surprised at things that don’t seem a huge stretch to me.’

I wonder if he had Dubya’s ducking skills?

Shoe-thrower gets a taste of own medicine

His attacker was an exiled pro-US Iraqi journalist

  • Reuters
  • Published:  December 3, 2009 by Gulf News

Paris: An Iraqi reporter imprisoned for throwing his shoes at US President George W. Bush found himself on the receiving end of a similar footwear attack in Paris on Tuesday.

Muntadar Al Zaidi, whose flare-up against Bush last December turned into a symbol of Iraqi anger, was speaking at a news conference to promote his campaign for victims of the war in Iraq when a man in the audience hurled a shoe at him.

It hit the wall next to his head and a scuffle ensued in the audience, television footage showed.

French media said the attacker was an exiled Iraqi journalist who spoke in defence of US policy, accusing Al Zaidi of siding with a dictatorship, before throwing his shoe. Al Zaidi’s own outburst summed up the feelings of many Iraqis about the US military invasion of Iraq and the ensuing bloodshed and sectarian killing.

Millions of people around the world saw images of him shouting “this is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog,” during a news conference by the former US leader, before throwing his shoes at him.

Al Zaidi, a television reporter, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for assaulting a head of state. This was later reduced to one year and he was released in September.

END

When I Googled ‘dubya’ I found this

Counterfeit

A couple of days ago I was standing in the queue waiting to pay for my fourth pair of skinny jeans in 2 weeks (gone skinny mad!). Next to me was a guy with a WAD of greenbacks – hundreds.

He took the 100 USD notes and placed them on a piece of paper on the counter and then rubs them against the paper.  He lifts up the notes and on the paper is a green stain.

The green of the notes had rubbed off onto the paper.  Counterfeit currency!

At a guess I reckon there was maybe 40 or 50 notes in the wad.

Co-incidentally as we were leaving we ended up exiting the car park right behind the guy.  He was in a Corvette.

Bouncing Cheques

As my cheque bounced, so did my heart

Rym Ghazal

Last Updated: September 16. 2009 7:47PM UAE / September 16. 2009 3:47PM GMT

From The National

Earlier this week, I got “that” phone call. It is now one of the most dreaded messages anyone can receive: “Ma’am, your cheque has bounced.”

I actually heard my heart give a loud thud. With all the horror stories about people being dragged to jail for a single bounced cheque, I really can’t explain my feelings after my landlord’s office called me.

“What? It couldn’t be, I have sufficient funds in my account,” I heard myself explaining in one breath, already on the defensive.

Not listening to me, the accountant told me to show up at the office “immediately” with next month’s rent “in cash” or the landlord would escalate the matter with the “proper authorities”.

There was no room for negotiation, for excuses or anything else. The accusatory tone was unmistakable and, with it, I could feel the humiliation and stress building.

There are plenty of stories about the cutthroat actions of lenders since the economic crisis.

“If you have the money, good, if not, goodbye,” is pretty much the way of the world these days. Perhaps it has always been like that but people used to give you more breathing space because their own finances were better off.

I headed straight to my bank to find out what had happened with my postdated cheque after a quick online perusal of my account revealed that, indeed, the cheque went through, the money was debited and then redeposited after the cheque was returned.

Unless it has happened to you personally, I don’t think anyone realises how quickly the service at a bank changes and their attitude becomes more passively hostile at the mention of a “bounced cheque”. It was a true eye-opener for me.

After a long wait, I went to the designated counter with a heavy feeling in my chest. I explained to the customer service officer my problem, and how the cheque bounced even though I had sufficient funds.

“You sure you had enough money?” he asked me. I said yes, and told him to open the account and look for himself.

After a few minutes of browsing my account, his stern features actually broke into a smile.

“Oh, it was bounced based on incompatible signatures. OK then, no problem,” he said beaming.

And just like that, I was out of the red and a “valued customer” at the bank after almost losing the privilege. What a change of manner and service that piece of information caused.

It seems if you are in a jam and short of some funds, you will be treated like a criminal. I know I felt like one until the banking officer smiled. Actually it turned out that my signature was fine, but because bank tellers make the judgment, sometimes “mistakes are made” I was told.

But what a costly mistake this was, in terms of nerves and reputation – for everybody involved. “Everyone now hates the banks,” the now-friendly customer service representative confided to me.

I was not impressed with the change of attitude, and told him so. He simply laughed it off and said: “A bounced cheque is a very black spot on your financial record these days.” I guess I should consider myself lucky that the experience will not stain my so-called record, even though I did nothing wrong.

I did receive a much friendlier reception at my landlord’s office. “Oh, just a signature problem? No problem, no problem,” said the head accountant at the office. He even said I could bring in cash at “my own convenience” after initially having told me to bring in the full amount immediately.

Honestly, the whole experience left me shaken. It is not enough that you feel horrible and ashamed like you did something wrong, but the added social stigma of being looked down upon and treated like a criminal makes an already uncomfortable situation even worse.

I can’t even imagine how hard it must be for people who are supporting a family to lose a job and sink into debt. The creditors are merciless, and no one is your friend in financial “services” when you are down on your luck.
As an act of charity, people are actually paying off others’ debts to keep them out of jail. It is uncommon, of course, but what a great way to help people out.

In the end, everything worked out well, but now I am going to be extra vigilant with my financial transactions, so that there is no risk of anything – a cheque or my peace of mind – “bouncing” again.

The Burqa is not the Problem

Image Source: http://www.aswaaq.ae/

Image Source: http://www.aswaaq.ae/

France’s decision recently to ban the burqa really disappoints me.

Do you know how many accused rapists answer in their defence to the police, ‘But  she had this really short skirt on!’

Do we ban the mini-skirt because some see men think it reflects a loose character in the woman? No we don’t. We don’t because we know that the mini-skirt is not the problem.

Banning mini-skirts is not going to reduce the occurrences of sexual assault. So So why do we think that banning the burqa is going to help women fight oppression?

Economic migrants and refugees come from all across the globe. They bring challenges to their new societies in terms of how to integrate them into the community, while protecting the needs of existing citizens.

We need to accept that the problems refugees bring with them; street violence, protest attacks and oppression of women are characteristics of poor societies .

We need to address the impact of poverty on societies with education, healthcare and access to  social justice. These are things that will truly improve the status of women in our society.

Let’s address the impact of poverty on society, and let different cultures wear their traditions with pride.

Take a look at this article from CNN today regarding women wearing the Hijab if you are interested in this topic.

Sexual Harrassment – East versus West

I was recently approached and leered at in a rather unpleasant manner by a creepy guy in a construction worker’s outfit (blue jumpsuit).

This happened while I was walking from my apartment building to the local supermarket in The Greens, which is a very Western-style community where people regularly walk around wearing a LOT less than I was at the time.

It is also private property  which is owned and controlled by Emaar, whose head office is within the community.  The surrounding gardens and pathways are patrolled heavily by security, as well as the always polite gardeners and cleaners that are employed here.

It made me uncomfortable enough to go home and change out of outfit I was wearing (navy knee-length dress and red shoes) and lodge a complaint with the Greens’ Security Office.  The security team was excellent; very kind and reassuring; and immediately went in search of the perp, which they found quickly.

The next day I was flipping through a magazine (Desert Fish) and found the very interesting Dubai Code of Conduct.

Desert Fish Magazine (for more about this great mag go to http://www.desertfishmag.com/template/about.html)

Desert Fish Magazine (for more about this great mag go to http://www.desertfishmag.com/template/about.html)

I was encouraged by the Security team to bring in the police, which I didn’t want to do.  Now I realise that my very Western belief in giving someone a warning, and not charging them,  is what saved this guy from almost certain deportation (see 1.4 Public Displays of Affection).

It was a very interesting cultural experience to see how these things are treated in the East, where the good of the community is seen as paramount to the rights of the individual.  But as a Westerner I just couldn’t get past my ethical imprinting that having a guy lose his job (and possibly his family’s livelihood?) was too high a price for any individual to pay for this.

I always thought of myself as a committed feminist.

But today, as I went outside feeling a little fearful of strangers, I have to ask myself, do I hold a set of ethics that enables sexual harrassment of women, in an effort to protect the rights of the men that do this?

This is a question that I never anticipated having to ask myself.

Dubai Code of Conduct

1. Social Ethics:

Dubai is characterised by the interaction of a large number of cultures and nationalities. However, the culture, customs and traditions of the United Arab Emirates and its people shall be respected by adopting courtesy and moderation and avoiding all types of improper behaviour in the Emirate.

1.1. The symbols of the state:

It is the duty of every citizen, resident and visitor to show respect for the symbols of the United Arab Emirates’ rulers, flag and national emblem. The abuse of any of those symbols is a crime punishable by law.

1,2. Decency:

An official business or business casual dress code shall be adopted by all visitors of Dubai’s official government buildings as well as business buildings and office towers. Access to Dubai’s official and business buildings may be denied if dress code is considered inappropriate.
In all other public places such as streets, shopping malls and restaurants, shorts and skirts shall be of appropriate length. Moreover, clothing shall not indecently expose parts of the body, be transparent, or display obscene or offensive pictures and slogans.

1.3. Beaches:

Beachgoers — men and women — shall wear conservative swimwear that is acceptable to Dubai’s culture. Swimwear shall not be worn outside the beach, as decent dress is the rule in the rest of the city. Nudity is strictly forbidden in every part of the city and is liable to be punished by imprisonment or deportation.

1.4. Public displays of affection:

Displays of affection among couples — whether married or not — in public places does not fit the local customs and culture. Holding hands for a married couple is tolerated but kissing and petting are considered an offence to public decency.
Public displays of affection, as well as sexual harassment or randomly addressing women in public places is liable to be punished by imprisonment or deportation.

1.5. Dancing and music:

Loud music and dancing are forbidden in public places like parks, beaches or residential areas and must be restricted to licensed venues only.

1.6. Public facilities:

Public facilities (i.e. public parks, benches, bus stops, etc.) shall be kept in good conditions. Concerned authorities must be informed of any damages.

2. Substance abuse:

The consumption of alcohol as well as any other drug or psychotropic substance is strictly prohibited in Islam and is punishable by law. Due to the large diversity of cultures and nationalities present in Dubai, alcohol consumption is closely regulated.

2.1. Drugs:

Holding, consuming, buying or selling any kind of drug — in any quantity — as well as being tested positive to any drug by the authorities in the UAE is considered a crime.

2.2. Alcohol consumption:

Alcohol consumption shall be confined to designated areas (i.e. licensed restaurants and venues that serve alcohol to their clients). Being caught under the effect of alcohol outside these places (even in light doses) can lead to a fine or incarceration.

2.3. Driving and alcohol:

The UAE has adopted a zero-tolerance policy in terms of driving under the effect of alcohol. Being caught driving with even the smallest dose of alcohol can lead to a fine, incarceration or deportation.

2.4. Purchasing alcohol:

Buying and selling alcohol is controlled by very strict laws. Alcohol is exclusively sold by specialised licensed stores. It can only be bought by holders of an alcohol-purchasing license (this license is only attainable by non-Muslims). Buyers shall respect the local culture by carrying their alcohol in paper bags such that it cannot be seen.

2.5. Smoking:

Smoking is not allowed in government facilities, offices, malls and shops. Smoking outside designated areas is subject to fine.

2.6. Prescriptions for some medicines:

Some medicines containing psychotropic substances are forbidden in the UAE. Their holders must carry a prescription from a UAE-licensed medical doctor. Visitors shall verify that their medicines are allowed in the UAE before entering the country.

Jumpy -> Just plain upset

My good friend Phil who is renting our flat in Kirribilli has just been burgled!

Bastards!!!

They took his big screen TV, laptop and probably other stuff aswell.

Bastards again!!