tagged w/ UAE
Israel is waging a covert assassination campaign across the Middle East. Israeli agents are suspected of recent killings in the United Arab Emirates, Syria and Lebanon.Israel is waging a covert assassination campaign across the Middle East. Israeli... more
Watch Full CCTV Footage: the assassination of Mahmoud al Mabhouh in Dubai
Continued from part 1.
The global economic recession and deflation in oil and natural gas prices substantially slowed the UAE’s economic growth. As the country’s energy industry suffered, so did its urban development – approximately 45% of construction workers were laid off. (Agence France-Presse) In addition, many maids and nannies were laid off in to attempts to save money. As of now, thousands of Filipino migrants are jobless in the UAE. These unemployed immigrants cannot find new jobs unless their old contracts are terminated – a process that takes weeks. (Agence France-Presse) Most Filipinos wish to return home, but have insufficient funds and no passports to travel with. These workers are now living off little to nothing as vagrants in slums, without their families or freedom.
The UAE has a bad track record of supporting immigrant workers – beforehand, only a few laborers received aid out of the thousands that requested it. (Migrant Rights) In addition, not many immigrant-protective laws existed – not even a minimum wage policy. In response to the UAE’s dearth of help towards immigrants, philanthropic groups such as the Center for Migrant Advocacy have taken matters into their own hands – usually by aiding migrant workers to retrieve their passports or helping negotiate debts to employers. These organizations also have lobbied for the government to address the dire situation at hand. (Center for Migrant Advocacy) As a result, the UAE is attempting to place new immigrant-beneficial policies into effect - such as quicker employment contract terminations. (Ross) In the April of 2009, the government of the UAE presented their goal of providing 200,141 new jobs for Filipino immigrants to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo – the president of the Philippines. (Libo-on) Macapagal-Arroyo and her government claim to be working with the UAE to introduce “immigrant-friendly laws” – however, both governments do not provide clear information surrounding these new policies. Even though the UAE and the Philippines seem to be trying to aid unemployed immigrants, no significant changes in their lifestyles are visible. (Migrant Rights)
The UAE is being denounced by countless humanitarian organizations and migrant rights advocates for claiming to help immigrants, but not creating any real improvements in the immigrant’s lifestyles. Johann Hari, a freelance journalist, claims that the mass layoff of immigrant workers is similar to what occurred to African slaves centuries before, who worked in harsh conditions and then were left in destitution with no opportunities to go home. He even labels the UAE as a “slave society.” However, the UAE defends these layoffs. Khalfan Al-Kaabi, a member of Abu Dhabi’s chamber of commerce, claimed that, “It is only but natural for the industry to cut those jobs.” (Agence France-Presse) In addition, The Human Rights Watch (an international welfare group) criticizes the country for “not taking any steps to put an end to [passport confiscation].” However, the Philippines has not been criticized by any philanthropic organizations as of yet, as the UAE has more responsibility over the situation, and thus, more liability.
Continued in For Many Migrants, the United Arab Emirates is Not What It Seems, pt. 3: http://current.com/items/91979053_for-many-migrants-the-united-arab-emirates-is-not-what-it-seems-pt-3.htmContinued from part 1. The global economic recession and deflation in oil and... more
Continued from part 2.
This quandary over unemployed immigrants will become worse if no extra action is taken. It seems that as more Filipino workers wish to return home, the more false goals towards migrant aid are set. In spite of the UAE’s introduction of “new” (but vague) migrant-beneficial policies, nearly nothing is improving the jobless immigrants’ lives. Also, the consulate of the Philippines in the UAE is not providing enough help for its citizens, choosing instead to spend time protesting that they are already inundated by requests for assistance, as opposed to lobbying for their people’s rights. The Filipino government supports emigration as a means of alleviating their country’s high amount of poverty, but is not putting enough effort into ending the suffering of migrants in countries like the UAE. Sympathy must be felt towards these immigrants – they dream of better lives, but live with hardship. In the future, it is presumable that tensions will mount throughout the migrant worker community as they request for help and are essentially ignored by their respective governments. This could lead to possible protests and further rights activism by immigrants themselves.
The UAE indeed has the façade of a financially flourishing nation – but as immigrant laborers lose their jobs and live poorly, this outward appearance may begin to unravel. Filipinos remain trapped in the UAE, with hardly any opportunities to return home, but most of the world continues to be unaware of the grim situation at hand. This unfortunate situation affects not just Filipinos, but migrant workers from other poverty-ridden countries such as Bangladesh. Hopefully, governments will collaborate to support unemployed immigrants and introduce laws that can prevent another predicament similar to this from occurring again.
Agence France-Presse. “Massive layoffs in UAE: Report.” My Digital Financial Chronicle. N.p., 24 Dec. 2008. Web. 9 Oct. 2009. .
Asis, Maruja. “The Philippines’ Culture of Migration.” Migration Information Source. Migration Policy Insitute, Jan. 2006. Web. 9 Oct. 2009. .
Castles, Stephen. The Age of Migration 4th Edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Print.
Center for Migrant Advocacy. “Initial Submission to the UN Committee on Migrant Workers.” Center for Migrant Advocacy (Nov. 2008): n. pag. Web. 9 Oct. 2009. .
Gomez, Margarita. “The Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Legacy.” Action for Economic Reforms. N.p., 28 Jan. 2008. Web. 9 Oct. 2009. .
Hari, Johann. “The Dark Side of Dubai.” The Independent. N.p., 7 Apr. 2009. Web. 9 Oct. 2009. .
Human Rights Watch. “Building Towers, Cheating Workers.” Human Rights Watch (Nov. 2006): n. pag. Web. 9 Oct. 2009. .
Hylton, Hilary. “Goodbye, Houston. Hello, Dubai.” Time 14 Mar. 2007: 14-15. Print.
Irin. "Domestic Workers Face Abusive Employers." Irin. The United Nations, 2 July 2006. Web. 9 Oct. 2009. .
Libo-on, Lily. “200,141 New Jobs for Filipinos Confirmed.” Khaleej Times 13 Apr. 2009: n. pag. Web. 9 Oct. 2009. .
Migrant Rights. “Interview with Nick McGeehan from Mafiwasta.” Migrant Rights. N.p., 18 Jan. 2009. Web. 9 Oct. 2009. .
Philippine Migrants Society of Canada. “Filipino Migration: A Brief History.” Philippine Migrants Society of Canada. Philippine Migrants Society of Canada, n.d. Web. 9 Oct. 2009. .
Ross, Brian. “Dark Side of Dubai’s Boomtown.” ABC News. N.p., 13 Nov. 2006. Web. 9 Oct. 2009. .
Schuman, Michael. “On the Road Again: The Global Recession Scatters Workers.” Time 27 Apr. 2009: 27-28. Print.Continued from part 2. This quandary over unemployed immigrants will become worse... more
This essay didn't fit into one post, so I've split it into multiple ones.
Most people envision the United Arab Emirates as a prosperous country, populated by some of the wealthiest people in the world. The gleaming buildings of Dubai, however, present a dark reality – they were built and are maintained by poor economic migrants who live difficult lives. Due to the global economic recession, these workers are now losing their jobs. This topic is of interest as the media rarely examines the serious effects of the global recession on immigrant workers. Filipino immigrants, for example, who make up the largest portion of migrant workers, are stranded in the UAE with little money, no passports, and virtually no help from the UAE’s government or their own consulate. Is this so different than the plight of African slaves that were trapped in a foreign land several centuries ago?
People have been voluntarily emigrating from the Philippines since the 1970s – a time when well paying jobs became scarce due to a growth in population and poor economic management by the Filipino government. (Asis) Poor uneducated citizens, concerned with push factors such as a lack of jobs, slow urban development, and uneven wealth distribution, emigrated overseas in search of better wages and better overall life quality. (Philippine Migrants Society of Canada) In fact, the Filipino government encouraged emigration, in an effort to alleviate the large amounts of domestic job-seeking citizens. (Castles, pg. 323) Immigration to the UAE first started when the country became wealthy due to the discovery of large pockets of crude oil and natural gas. (Time, “Goodbye, Houston. Hello, Dubai”, pg. 14) As the energy industry of the UAE made it an economic giant, employment-seeking Filipinos noticed. Attracted by the pull factors of massive urban development and the prospect of an improved lifestyle, Filipinos emigrated to the UAE en masse. However, imperfections in this emigration flow quickly surfaced. Many perspective migrants unknowingly signed contracts with dubious employment agencies and found themselves thrust into situations completely different from what they had expected. Workers were assigned to work in dangerous construction projects and abusive households for up to 17 hours a day. (Irin, "Domestic Workers Face Abusive Employers") In addition, employment firms coerced the immigrants to pay debts of thousands of dollars in order to pay for their travel – despite earning only on average $175 monthly. (Human Rights Watch, pg. 7) After the immigrants realized that promises of higher wages were fallacious, they had no opportunities of leaving the UAE – their passports were confiscated when they entered the country by those untrustworthy employment agencies. (Human Rights Watch, pg. 38) These immigrants could not depend on any type of aid from UAE or the Filipino consulate, as both claimed to be overwhelmed by requests for financial and legal assistance. Nevertheless, thousands of economic migrants still flock to the UAE out of desperation for money, unaware of the consequences, and many are too poor to gain access to electronic or written sources that could inform them of the poor life quality other migrants have. (Time, “On the Road Again: The Global Recession Scatters Workers,” pg. 28)
Continued in For Many Migrants, the United Arab Emirates is Not What It Seems, pt. 2: http://current.com/items/91979043_for-many-migrants-the-united-arab-emirates-is-not-what-it-seems-pt-2.htmThis essay didn't fit into one post, so I've split it into multiple ones.... more
An injustice has been done. All this closed door trial and judgment of UAE court means one thing and one thing only to me. If you are a member of Royal family of UAE you can do whatever you want to do without being worried of getting caught and punished by the LAW.
http://ekawaaz.org/2010/01/11/justice-poors-united-arab-emirates-sheikh-issa-bin-zayed-alnahayan-cleared-torture/An injustice has been done. All this closed door trial and judgment of UAE court means... more
A member of the ruling family of the United Arab Emirates has been cleared of the torture of a business associate.
Lawyers for Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the president's brother, said the court ruled he had been drugged and so was "unaware of his actions".
The incident came to light when a videotape was circulated showing the violent beating, said to have taken place in 2004.
It was the first reported investigation of a UAE ruling family member.
His lawyer, Habib al-Mulla, said the ruling had "clarified Sheikh Issa's position that he was a victim of conspiracy" over the torture of Mohammed Shah Poor.
"At the same time, it's proven justice to Mohammed Shahpoor and it showed who were the actual people who were behind whole saga," Reuters quoted Mr al-Mulla as saying.
He said the court had "accepted our defence that the sheikh was under the influence of drugs that left him unaware of his actions," the AFP news agency reported.
The defence had previously claimed Sheikk Issa had been drugged by two men - American-Lebanese brothers Ghassan and Bassam Nabulsi - who recorded the beating in order to blackmail him.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8450722.stmA member of the ruling family of the United Arab Emirates has been cleared of the... more
A British woman who made a rape complaint in Dubai has been arrested for having illegal sex with her fiance, according to reports. The woman, a 23-year-old from London, said she was raped by a waiter in a luxury hotel after celebrating her engagement to her 44-year-old boyfriend, also from London.
But when she reported the alleged rape to police in the Middle Eastern state she and her boyfriend were arrested for having sex outside marriage and illegal drinking outside licensed premises.
Police began to question the couple about breaking the emirate's strict decency laws. Usual rape procedures were ignored and the woman was given a full medical check and a morning-after pill only after the intervention of British embassy staff, the paper reported.
Her attacker is believed to have denied rape, saying the woman, a British Muslim of Pakistani descent, consented, but he has also been charged with "illegal sex".A British woman who made a rape complaint in Dubai has been arrested for having... more
The world's tallest building (or most elaborate Photoshop hoax) opened today: the Burj Dubai (now the Burj Khalifa). It's height was kept a secret - so it couldn't be outdone by any rival buildings in the last stretches of construction: It's 2716 feet high. Woahdang.
In addition to being tall, it's also an incredibly potent symbol of how ridiculous Dubai's economic run was in the aughts. Last month the city's economy was bailed out by next-door emirate Abu Dhabi for a cool $10 billion. The tallest, most eye-catching building in the emirate now bears the name of its neighbor's leader: The Burj Khalifa.
Any Dubai residents/fans out there? Reactions to the end of a 6 year construction process?
FROM THE NEWS BLOG: http://blogs.current.com/news/2010/01/04/the-burj-dubai-opens-photos/The world's tallest building (or most elaborate Photoshop hoax) opened today: the... more
The central bank of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has said it will provide banks with extra liquidity.
LINK : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8385164.stmThe central bank of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has said it will provide banks with... more
Of the many economies that gorged on debt in the boom years, Dubai stood out. In the space of a few years the emirate’s investment arm, Dubai World, racked up $59 billion in debt, borrowing to build lavish developments like a giant island shaped like a palm tree to entice celebrities like Brad Pitt, and to invest in glittery properties like the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas.
Now that the boom has gone bust, both in Dubai and in the United States, Dubai is stuck with a glut of real estate that no one wants to buy or rent. Creditors and markets had always assumed that when push came to shove, its oil-rich neighbor Abu Dhabi would bail out Dubai. But that assumption was called into question this week, and the resulting fear that Dubai might not be able to pay its bills sent a wave of uncertainty rippling through markets just as investors thought the worst of the global financial instability was over.
The anxiety reached Wall Street on Friday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average down more than 150 points, as investors worried about hidden debt bombs in other countries and institutions — heavily indebted nations like Greece and even Britain, high-flying emerging markets and even European and American banks that had lent Dubai money.http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/28/business/global/28dubai.html?_r=1&hp Of the... more
"Ibn Sina is the first humanoid robot which actually can perform Arabic dialogue," Dr. Nikolaos Mavridis, lab director of the Interactive Robots and Media Laboratory and assistant professor of computer sciences, told The Media Line.
"The reason why we choose Ibn Sina is multi-fold," Mavridis said of the robot's name. "Number one we wanted somebody who people of the region can see as one of their own people, number two we wanted someone who carries values which are important for the region such as science and philosophy… He is pretty much the equivalent of Leonardo Da Vinci for the region that we are in."
More robots and Leonardo at leonardoshands.com"Ibn Sina is the first humanoid robot which actually can perform Arabic... more
Its not just about Politics, though Politics is also important here.
Its not just about numbers, though Numbers are important too..
It’s about Faces, So many of them…..
Faces who have seen too much in too little a time. …
Here you see many slums , but no millionaires.
You will find travellers but no destination….
These are internally displaced People of SWAT.
Many of them settled in IDP camps established..
at Mardan, Nowshehra and other areas,
while the majority chose to stay independent.
A large portion of these displaced people arrived at Karachi
where they are living with their relatives, or rented houses
with high rents. This is there story.
Bonier is situated around 60 miles from Islamabad.
An idyllic place with a history full of traditions, simplicity and peace.
All this changed one fine morning….
The terror had finally arrived Taliban’s.
They came with colourful Promises.
The promise of quick justice,
Divine Law, Sharia.
Soon the terror removed its masks and unveiled its true face.
The recent Operation by Pakistan against Taliban forces
For them this was a ray of light, a glimmer of hope.
But everything comes with a price.
The army needed space,
the collateral damage too much a political baggage;
they had to be removed from the war zone.
With in few days more than 1.5 million people left their houses…
and settled for different parts of Pakistan.
Even here, their miseries are far from over.
The new place offers them nothing but a reminiscence
of what they have left behind.
What could have been theirs?
These children are a product of fear;
these faces the faces under terror.
These faces need to be seen,
these voices be heard,
for they tell a story not covered in any of the debate rooms.
They tell why a combination of poverty, ignorance, deception and ultimate terror alters the course of human lives in such a short span of time.
These faces need to be helped.
Because in the end, they are all human faces.
Kazim Raza, Karachi. PakistanIts not just about Politics, though Politics is also important here. Its not just... more
Every morning while on the way to office or coming back in evening it’s not possible for the karachiets to ignore baggers, children with car screen wipers and drug addicts. But unfortunately hardly seen some one talking to them to share there grievan...ces, to know what turns them into a LIFE without SOUL.....
Directed and Produced by Kazim RazaEvery morning while on the way to office or coming back in evening it’s not... more
The youth of our age, surrounded by a swarm of difficulties and problems is in search of a solution, but what he eventually finds is more and more of difficulties and disappointments. When unemployed and poverty numbs all his senses, paralyzes all his muscles, he feels life is nothing but a futile effort, a bottomless pit of poverty and indigence. According to one estimate, in past 10 years, around 10 thousand Pakistanis have been killed by security forces, crossing Greece-Turkey border illegally. In pursuit of an ever evading happiness, who are these ill-informed people and who are the traffickers involved in this heinous trade of human trafficking. The real issue is how come the educated ones of our country fall prey to these human traffickers. Poverty and related problems are the main reasons behind human trafficking and illegal immigration. Your pursuit of happiness can bring this much misery and suffering, one can only know by meeting the people under Custody of FIA, who have recently been deported from the Turkey Border. It seems an obvious enough advice to have a safe albeit simple life at home, than to a have risky prosperous life abroad. But mired deeply in the troubled waters, it’s only dreams of a happy living that make these people go through all sorts of troubles.
I just pray that my country Pakistan finds a leader, a person who can improve the situation in our country, so that no one thinks about leaving this country and going through this humiliation This heinous crime of Illegal immigration, despite efforts by the State, is flourishing. One obvious contributors of this crime are the people who become a victim of agents’ treacherous promises, lost their lives’ savings and became a victim of dark alleys.
The question that haunts us all is till what time these traffickers would dupe the gullible of their livelihoods and till what time the carcasses of the youth of our country would be feasted by the beasts in unknown wildernesses.
Directed and Produced By
923333705114Sans Papiers The youth of our age, surrounded by a swarm of difficulties and... more
Amongst the most beautiful regions of the world, the picturesque valleys of Swat and Buneir used to be huge tourist attraction. The people of this land were remembered for their ethereal beauty and generous hospitality.
But all this changed in a short span of time. These valleys soon became a symbol of terror and insecurity for the tourists. Even the locals started feeling insecure in their homeland.
With a population of around 5 millions, these valleys became a burning inferno right in front of the eyes of the world, fuelled by religious bigotry and fanaticism.
To eliminate the menace of terrorism, Pakistan Army started its operation in the troubled region, the subsequent resistance by Taliban forces turned this halcyon patches into a war zone.
Lush green fields turned into deadly bunkers, happy faces suddenly plagued by death stricken silence. The ensuing uncertainty culminated into the biggest exodus of human history. Around 3 million people left their homes to taste the bitter tastes of homelessness, settling in the Tent Villages at Mardan, Naushehra and Swabi.
Leaving the war zone was an unavoidable decision, the migration inescapable, but in these testing times, the true essence of people came out. Armed with the sense of compassion, sacrifice and devotion came out the helping hands. And pretty soon many a new shelters started appearing. The sense of homelessness started giving way to a glimmer of hope, peace and security.
A huge contingent of IDPs in Swabi was welcomed b y Mr Liaquat Taraki, the chairman of Tarakai group and Head of Liaquat Khan welfare trust. The aim and mission of Trakai trust is to make Swabi a prosperous district, and to help elevate the living standard of Swabi people by eradicating poverty and backwardness.
Directed and Produced By " Kazim Raza"Amongst the most beautiful regions of the world, the picturesque valleys of Swat and... more
Jerusalem blasts Red Cross for report
This is a clip from an Israeli paper....they lie and lie and lie some more.
Israel rejected as "scandalous" a highly critical report released by the International Committee of the Red Cross on Monday marking six months since Operation Cast Lead, saying it was inconceivable that the document would chastise Israel for the situation in Gaza while ignoring the continued detention of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit or the "intransigent belligerence" of Hamas.
According to the report, residents of the Strip are "living in desperation" due to their "daily struggle for existence."
"Gazans still cannot rebuild their lives," the report reads. "Most people struggle to make ends meet. Seriously ill patients face great difficulty obtaining the treatment they need. Many children suffer from deep psychological problems. Civilians whose homes and belongings were destroyed during the conflict are unable to recover," the ICRC maintained.
"During the 22 days of the Israeli military operation, nowhere in Gaza was safe for civilians. Hospitals were overwhelmed with casualties, including small children, women and elderly people. Medical personnel showed incredible courage and determination, working around the clock to save lives in extremely difficult circumstancesJerusalem blasts Red Cross for report This is a clip from an Israeli... more
Israeli Occupation Forces have kidnapped 21 Human Rights workers aboard the Free Gaza boat, Spirit of Humanity, including Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire & former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.
ISRAEL ATTACKS JUSTICE BOAT; KIDNAPS HUMAN RIGHTS WORKERS; CONFISCATES MEDICINE, TOYS AND OLIVE TREES
“Israel’s deliberate and premeditated attack on our unarmed boat is a clear violation of international law and we demand our immediate and unconditional release.”Israeli Occupation Forces have kidnapped 21 Human Rights workers aboard the Free Gaza... more
International Renewable ENERGY Agency hosted at Masdar Solar City Abu Dhabi.
The Technology Center goes to Europe / Germany Bonn and Austria. Masdar is ready
to invest the first $200 million for a solar Testfield. The yield of the solar panels expected
to double Germany's Sun.
Renewable energy Agency worldwide
IRENA, which was founded in January, has 114 members and aims to promote a rapid transition toward the widespread adoption of renewable energy. The UAE said last week it was ready to spend $135 million by 2015 to fund IRENA if its bid to host the headquarters succeeded.
U.S. - Australia - Japan
The United States, Australia and Japan added their names to the document establishing Irena just hours before the conference opened.
Masdar Solar City $22bn
It has said it plans to house the agency in Masdar City, a $22 billion development underway to build a carbon-neutral town, and said the IRENA headquarters would be ready by 2011.
THE HUFFINGTON POST
Why IRENA Is "50 times More Than the IEA"
(IRENA only renewables, no nuclear like IEA)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lily-riahi/hans-jrgen-koch-explains_b_221288.htmlIRENA International Renewable ENERGY Agency hosted at Masdar Solar City Abu Dhabi.... more