The Gulf Today: May 12, 2013
We knew her as a mother of men, a mother to all but back when she was younger she was a girl who would not conform to what she believed was unfair, to what she saw as unjust. She was a girl who possessed the courage to put an end to what was in her eyes, even then, demeaning. It was a time when this country was nothing more than a gathering of tribes. She grew up in it not as we know it today, she lived in a UAE that was tight-knit, sheltered and unexposed.
It was a time when child marriages were the norm, a place where a sign of a man’s wealth was revealed by the number of wives he had, and women’s rights were those that were given to them by men. Even then, she stood tall, resisted an early marriage and refused to be treated like a possession. It was her choice to raise her two boys as a single mother, two boys who grew up to be men who played a pivotal role in shaping the country we know today. Continue reading Feminist before her time
The Gulf Today: April 28, 2013
There was a time when people looked up at the sky in bewilderment, felt humbled by its vastness and intrigued by its unattainable wonders. It was the one place that allowed a human being the courtesy of a boundless imagination. But that was then, and this is now.
This month, a Dutch company named Mars One has made the dreamers of us an offer they cannot refuse. It is to send people on a one-way trip to Mars to start a human colony on the red planet. With no way for return, setting foot on this elusive planet means they are eternally on their own. Left to their own devices and vulnerable to whatever dangers lie ahead, they are to fend for themselves. So who would be brave enough or mad enough to take this trip of no return you may ask?
According to Mars One there have been 10,000 applicants so far. Continue reading One-way ticket to Mars
The Gulf Today, November 18, 2012
For years you have taken it upon yourself to single-handedly defame my country the United Arab Emirates. For reasons unknown the UAE has had to endure your endless bombardments of smear campaigns and ugliness in the name of free journalism.
In articles dating as far back as 2000 you have attacked the Emirates in all your sections from politics to travel. You have sent reporters with a mission to excavate only the negative, no matter how minute it may be, and inflated it into certain truths. You have only to enter the name of any Emirate in your website’s search box and watch as the archives of ugliness start to unfold. Pages worth of headlines that will make anyone who knows the UAE shudder. Your commentators and news reports have called our buildings “the nastiest you’ve ever seen,” our lifestyle “a place where the worst of western capitalism and the worst of Gulf Arab racism meet in a horrible vortex,” labelled our rulers “dictators” and even advised Dr Who not to film on our land! Continue reading An open letter to The Guardian
Somewhere in the world a shot is fired, a girl falls, she is silenced. Fourteen-year-old Malala Yousufzai was shot in the head by Godless men who claim to know God. Malala is not a politician or a lawmaker, she is a girl whose bravery instilled fear in the hearts of heartless men. She grew up in a world where education is not a right, a world where a woman is a second-class citizen. School grounds are off limits for girls of Malala’s age. Girls in Swat Valley are only allowed an education until the 4th grade. While other children celebrated their educational advancement Malala loathed reaching the 5th grade and described it as the saddest point of her life. Yet instead of accepting this vile injustice she spoke out against it. Despite the deaths her people have witnessed at the hands of the Taliban this brave girl refused to let them win. She went to school with her books hidden under her shawl disguised as a fourth grader when in fact she was not. She was determined to learn and she was going to do it by any means necessary. Continue reading A world of books and bullets
The Gulf Today, August 05, 2012
Intangible as it may be, freedom is the single most valuable aspect of a creature’s life. Humans and animals alike would fight to the death for freedom. A man, a woman, a child can never be truly free as long as their home, their country is under siege. That sense of belonging to a place that does not belong to you is one of pain and sorrow unfathomed by a person whose land is free. It is this pain that countries fight against in the pursuit of gaining and maintaining their freedom. Continue reading The true colours of liberty
For decades the Arab world limped through life maimed by the brutality of regimes driven only by greed. The previous generation lost hope in a better future, and the new one had none, but overnight and without any substantial signs a storm took over the region, uprooting the most ancient of dictators. Hurricane Arab Uprising has hit and as we watched it swoop through in utter shock and disbelief we knew our world was never going to be the same again. Continue reading Free media: an oxymoron
The Gulf Today
May 13, 2012
Buttons, every single moment of our waking lives is controlled by buttons. When we wish to be entertained we click a button and on comes an onslaught of channels designed to keep us transfixed for hours. When we are running low on energy we push a button and out pops our replenishment in whatever form we desire. At the end of our hectic day and after having pushed, pressed and clicked our way through a thousand buttons we flick the all important one, the button that allows for darkness to fall and envelop us as we lay our weary heads to sleep.
Yet we have not restricted buttons to controlling our lives for they control our death as well. Just as we have created buttons to push us forward we have created ones that could bring us to a complete stop. Man has waged war for the pettiest of reasons and from the beginning of time, yet in the past winning wars was measured by the amount of blood spilled in attack and defence of the so-called cause. It meant armed men going face to face with whoever the enemy may be, looking him in the eye and pulling the trigger. Continue reading Earth wars: Attack of the drones
The Gulf Today, April 01, 2012
Never before has the world been as interconnected as it is today. Entire populations all tangled up in an invisible web, one that holds them captive indefinitely. Each virtual string binds one stranger to the other making friends of some and foes of the rest. The virtual world where people feel safe under the false security of illuminated screens has provided the lonely being with a mirage, one that promises at the end of it the fulfilling sense of closeness and the death of loneliness. Continue reading The secular state of social networks
The Gulf Today, February 05, 2012
As a writer I dream of a world where words are not imprisoned, a world where all forms of literature are celebrated not mourned. Yet for every book festival held somewhere in the world there is a book burning being planned. Words when collected and arranged in a specific manner become a force to be reckoned with. This meticulous selection and arrangement transforms the word into a weapon capable of instilling fear in the bravest of us. For words are ideas, and an idea is a contagious infliction. Continue reading A word written is a word feared
The Gulf Today, January 29, 2012
Though the two worlds of entertainment and politics orbit around different issues and are inhabited by people who are structured somewhat differently, they always tend to meet and intermingle one way or another. Politicians have long been fascinated by leading ladies of the silver screen that made for some great stories of what happens when these two worlds collide.
We escape into the world of entertainment when we have had enough of being lost in the twisted maze of politics, but where do we go when we find the two becoming one? Whilst in the past celebrity lives were mostly mysterious to those outside their world, nowadays all thanks to tabloids and social networks, that mystery has been laid to rest. Continue reading When two worlds collide