Is it travel? investigative journalism? geo-politics? a hatchet job?
Perhaps it is all-of-the-above – and more.
It is certainly one of the best articles I have ever read. The warts and all review of the Middle-East oasis is a tonic to the usual tepid aspartame-sweet verisimilitude served-up.
The Emirate is the backdrop for what feels like movie script except here the plot-lines do not interweave and the characters exist in close proximity but complete isolation from one another.
Their experiences swing between unashamed hedonism to essentially what constitutes state sponsored slavery.
On the basis of this article – Dubai deserves a good metaphorical kicking. And then some.
However, some there could feel hard done by. Dubai is a microcosm of the West, and for all intents – created by the West. It is an aspirational clone.
When you point one finger – three point back at you. All that is good and bad about Western capitalism can be found there.
An equally-scathing article could be written about the UK for example.
A country with:
- thousands of child sex-slaves
- where people die for eleven-pence an hour
- where sweat-shops exist
- where every day you can pass beggars and homeless people.
I can only imagine we have been programmed not to see the un-people in our midst. They don’t exist, or they choose their vocations. Much like in Dubai.
A cynic might conclude on the evidence that Dubai’s real sin is to be obvious, crass & unrepentant.
Johann’s article brilliantly highlights man’s active and passive inhumanity to man, but it should not stop with a good-hard-look at Dubai.
It should give us pause-for-thought and make us have a good-hard-look at ourselves, as a society and as individuals.