Stories about United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Dubai – a city of countless distractions and all the pleasures money can buy, yet no sense of congruity

As I stood in the line behind the passport control counter, a security personnel menacingly shouted at a person ahead of me, who had the unmistakeable look of a working class labourer, “Gulf resident?” Before the poor guy had the chance to get his bearings right, the security personnel added perhaps the only two Urdu words that he knew, “Chalo niklo!” (Get out!) The person quickly gathered himself and hurried in the direction pointed by the security personnel, like a flock of sheep guided with the urgency and indifference of a shepherd. The line we were standing in was for visit visa holders. ...

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Glorifying Hitler will not help Gaza!

The death toll of the latest Israeli military operation in Palestinian Gaza has soared to 121 Palestinians. These Palestinians aren’t the ‘terrorists’ Israel is aiming to target; one of Israel’s airstrikes hit an NGO working for handicapped Palestinians, killing three handicapped patients and a nurse. While, of course, Israel will justify this latest crime by claiming it only ‘retaliates’ for the 680 rockets it says have been fired from Gaza. In fact, in a new level of incredibly twisted politics, the British prime minister, David Cameron, and US president, Barack Obama, have made statements of irrevocable support of the Israeli operation, with Venezuela and ...

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The serendipitous serenity of Swat Valley

Swat was a land alien to me, until I got the chance of visiting the beautiful valley with my brother and a friend. We decided to take a bus to Mingora and then travel on our own from there. The image I had in mind of the valley was a Kashmir-ish land, in internal turmoil, as the people struggle to keep their cool with the military and radical presence. I was prepared for an unwelcoming vibe from the locals. However, while we bargained with a local Hi-Ace driver, Abdul Rashid, to give us a short tour of the land, his demeanour and polite behaviour made ...

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