Tag Archive for UAE

Ikhras Shoe-Of-The-Month Award Winner – August 2017

UAEAmb_edited-1

The Ikhras awards committee is pleased to announce the Muntadhar Zaidi Ikhras Shoe-Of-The-Month for August, 2017 is awarded to the UAE’s ambassador to the United States, Yousef al-Otaiba. Otaiba, who is proudly marketing himself as the new Arab face of the emerging GCC-Israel alliance, is proving to be a hawkish actor at the behest of Israel’s most aggressive lobbying groups. The UAE ambassador, son of the country’s first oil minister, avoids all mention of Palestine and centers his policy remarks around how the UAE can best serve the interests of U.S. imperialism and the usurping Zionist entity. What Otaiba’s actions and recently leaked emails further prove is not only is there a budding plot against Iran, Syria and the region, but that GCC actors will work tirelessly with the Zionist lobby behind closed doors in order to sacrifice the Palestinians and liquidate the Palestine cause.

Ikhras Shoe-Of-The Month-Award Winner – October 2013

Son of oil sheikh with shoe

“The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.” George Orwell

 “The destruction of culture is the only clear outcome of the phenomenon of the petrol “patronage” of culture.” Mahmoud Darwish (1982)

The Ikhras editors are pleased to announce the Muntadhar Zaidi Ikhras Shoe-of-the-Month Award for October, 2013 goes to UAE-based tweeter Sultan Alqassemi. In an audacious article that generated heated debate on social networking sites, Alqassemi presented the ludicrous suggestion that Arab culture has moved from its traditional capitals, Beirut, Cairo and Baghdad, to the Gulf region, specifically Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Dubai and Doha. Alqassemi offers the laughable idea that “in almost every other sense [Gulf cities have] far outstripped their sister cities in North Africa and the Levant.” While some political commentators, like the Angry Arab, have addressed the absurdity of this premise on a domestic level, it is noteworthy to highlight Alqassemi’s glaring omission of the Gulf countries’ monstrous foreign policies towards life, art and culture in the Levant and North Africa.

UAE Human Rights Abuses

These are excerpts of the United Arab Emirates’ human rights abuses in 2010 as reported by the Department of State. Keep in mind that the ADC and AAI have strong connections to this Gulf state, which brings into question whether Arab-Americans want organizations like that to represent them. As happened with Egypt, if the people of UAE were to pull off a Tahrir Square, ADC and AAI would be the first to congratulate them and pretend they’d opposed the regime all along.

By now, many people have seen the ghastly video of this incident:

In January a court acquitted a member of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi, implicated by videotape for the 2004 torture of a foreign national, allegedly over a business dispute. Human rights groups decried the acquittal as a sign of the lack of judicial independence.

What about normalization with Israel or enabling the occupation of other Arab and Muslim countries or abusing foreign maids, what’s the penalty for those?

Sharia (Islamic law) courts occasionally imposed flogging as punishment for adultery, prostitution, consensual premarital sex, pregnancy outside marriage, defamation of character, and drug or alcohol abuse. Authorities used canes to administer floggings, resulting in substantial bruising, welts, and open wounds on those flogged.

The UAE has a narrow definition of “mental illness.” It does not include royal psychopaths who torture helpless business associates:

On September 2, local media reported the suicide of an Emirati prisoner in a Dubai jail. The prisoner reportedly was mentally ill and held in solitary confinement, where he committed suicide.

The UAE can be wed to usurping countries like the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia, but individuals mustn’t dare think about marrying outside their religion:

Local interpretation of Sharia prohibits Muslim women from marrying non-Muslims and Muslim men from marrying women not “of the book,” meaning adherents of religions other than Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.

How to test if the following excerpt about media freedom is true or not: watch Jim Zogby’s show Viewpoint, which is broadcast by Abu Dhabi channel, and see if he ever criticizes UAE princes.

The government owned three of the country’s newspapers and heavily influenced the privately owned media, particularly through government subsidies.

You can’t criticize normalization with Israel or the UAE’s relations with the US empire:

Other punishments for violations of libel laws remained in force, including suspension of publishing for a specified period of time and penalties of five million dirhams (approximately $1.4 million) for disparaging senior officials or royal family members and 500,000 dirhams (approximately $140,000) for misleading the public and harming the country’s reputation, foreign relations, or economy.

So much for teaching critical thinking in schools:

The government restricted academic freedom and censored academic materials for schools.

If you listen to Hillary Clinton, you wouldn’t know this:

The constitution provides for freedoms of assembly and association; however, in practice the government did not respect these rights.

The UAE’s National Media Council censors media “supportive of certain Israeli government positions.” But UAE is not quite the beacon of solidarity with Palestine. For example, normalization with Israel is practiced at the state level. From DefenseNews.com:

Abu Dhabi is negotiating an commercial deal with Israel that would grant the Arabian emirate access to the Israeli-built Eros B satellite and its high-resolution imagery, in addition to services it already receives from its precursor, the Eros A.

And:

The government continued to detain some persons seeking refugee status, particularly Palestinians and non-Arabs, while they awaited resettlement in third countries. As access to employment, education, and other public services is based on an individual’s status as a legal resident, a refugee is not eligible for such benefits.

A reductive term for the foreign-born, “Bidoon,” which means “Without.”

Estimates suggested that an unverified range of 20,000 to 100,000 persons without any citizenship or proof of citizenship (known as “Bidoon”) resided in the country.

No surprises here. Just like the rest of Gulf states:

The law does not provide citizens the right to change their government peacefully. There were no democratic general elections or institutions, and citizens did not have the right to form political parties.

Due to the lack of the independence of the courts, those in power or connected to the ruling families rarely were punished for corruption. Nepotism and corrupt financial and legal practices existed.

There were widespread and frequent reports that foreign domestic workers were raped and sexually assaulted by their employers.

The list of human rights abuses in this “moderate” Arab country goes on and on. Too long to reprint here. On the same website, the DOS’ page, the US indicates the following. What’s the use pointing out human rights abuses if you’re going to maintain friendly relations with that country?

The United States has enjoyed friendly relations with the U.A.E. since 1971. Private commercial ties, especially in petroleum (the U.A.E. is the only GCC state to allow private-sector participation in its oil and gas sector), have developed into friendly government-to-government ties, which include security cooperation. The U.A.E. is the United States’ single largest export market in the Middle East and North Africa region, with $14.4 billion in exports in 2008 and more than 750 U.S. firms operating locally. There are nearly 50 weekly non-stop flights to the U.A.E. from six U.S. cities. U.A.E. ports host more U.S. Navy ships than any port outside the U.S. The United States was the third country to establish formal diplomatic relations with the U.A.E. and has had an ambassador resident in the U.A.E. since 1974.

Related articles:

Arab Government Human Rights Abuses in 2010 [Saudi Arabia]

AAI Hosts Egyptian Foreign Minister

Zogby Ignores Egyptian Revolution, Focuses On Investment in UAE