Friday, 1 April 2016

Death In Paradise

Sometimes a story requires no comment, and others require utter condemnation. Occasionally one just shocks beyond comprehension.

In the United Arab Emirates, Arab women are allowed to swim in the sea, as long as they are suitably covered up in an Islamic swimsuit. As you might guess this is often a very conservative and cumbersome covering, which can make swimming difficult, but not impossible (just so that Westerners can't criticise the Muslim treatment of women).

Still A Hundred Years Behind In Clothes ... Or Maybe Fourteen Hundred Years In Attitudes

This tolerance in Dubai also allows south Asian women (of all religions), to also experience the same 'liberal freedoms', for perhaps the only time in their male dominated lives.

So in August last year, when a news report came out about a drowning tragedy involving a young woman, it was soon picked up. The report said that a twenty year old girl of south Asian Muslim ethnicity was at the beach in Dubai with her family, which was headed by an ex-pat who was working there, when she was allowed to swim in the sea (suitably attired of course). But somehow she got into difficulties and called for help. Now you would expect that her father would rush into the water to rescue her, but that is not what happened.

He stood on the beach and watched .... two men turned up and started to enter the water to rescue the young woman. At this point the father stirred into action, and described as 'tall and strong', he physically restrained the would be rescuers, to the point that neither was able to enter the water.

The poor girl drowned, when rescue had been a strong possibility ..... the father told the men who had wanted to save her that 'he preferred his daughter dead, than touched by a strange man'. He was arrested when the police search and rescue team turned up, and told them that he believed that the girl would be 'dishonoured' if the rescuers had touched her. The local rescue chief, Lt Colonel Ahmed Burqibah later said that this idea had likely cost the woman her life.

Any man who lets his daughter die to protect his family honour is a dog ..... the only story that surpassed this was when it was reported that the religious police in Saudi Arabia, whipped schoolgirls back into a burning school because they were not dressed modestly .... many died.

Anyway the father was later charged (not with murder or manslaughter), but with 'obstructing the rescue effort' ..... Hmm says a lot.

Except not everything in the story was as it seems. The story, which was reported around the world after it appeared on the emirates 24/7 website, in August 2015, was actually taken out of context from an interview with the officers and other lifeguards, about the strangest events they had come across while in the rescue team. If anyone of the many reporter who relayed the tale, had bothered to check the facts properly, they would have found that although true, it had actually happened not in 2015, but way back in 1996!

Dubai Has Some Dress Rules ... But Liberal For That Region

..... which is a long time ago in the fast changing world of the UAE, especially in Dubai, which now has UK footballers wives in only their skimpies, lying all over the place.

This looks like just another example of August 'Silly Season' news .... a phenomenon which infects news rooms across the globe it seems.


  1. A French mayor has banned the Burkini. This was in the south of France.

    1. An eye for an eye retaliation maybe? Thanks for the comment.


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