Thursday, January 29, 2009

State of the nation...

I haven't been a very prolific blogger this year have I? Apologies for being away for so long...It's almost February and I have no clue where the first month of the year has gone.

Oh ya, I know. Work. Been really busy, which I guess is a good thing these days. But no one's safe, really. I keep hearing of people being laid off, from different industries. And it's not just dozens of's hundreds of people being laid off at once. Scary. So has the bubble finally burst?

And what's scarier is that they say (not sure who "they" is but it's OK. Humour me for a second here) that the worst is yet to come. My company has not laid off anyone yet, but that's not to say that it ain't gonna happen eventually. They're being very nice and considerate about it but at the end of the day, there's a bottom line they need to worry about and that comes first, right? So yeah, no one's safe.

I guess there are couple of good things that have come out of this situation so far:

1) Less traffic. Has anyone noticed that there are less cars in Dubai? Is it because there are less people or because more people are leaving their cars at home (or sold their cars)?

2) Less useless people getting paid for doing nothing. I equate this economic crisis to a good detergent, getting rid of a bunch of people who were overpaid and under-productive. And making sure that the people who DO have a job are actually working. Like real estate agents for example. Now, they actually have to do a selling job, rather than just serve as a middle-man between the buyer and the seller.

3) Lower rents? Not that I've experienced that as of yet, and again, "they" say that in a couple of months, rents will go down even more. But is that really true? I am highly concerned because I am on the hunt for a bigger apartment. Not by choice really. If I could, I would stay put rather than having to pay over Dhs 160K for a 2 bedroom. Can I find anything for less than that in the "New Dubai" area? Oh, and is it a good time to be buying? Or should I stick to renting?

Will be back soon. Promise.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Dubai Cares

Just got back from the Dubai Cares volunteering campaign for Gaza. A great way to spend the afternoon. It's taking place at the Emperor hall at DIFC, and there were literally hundreds of people already waiting in line by the time we got there a little after 2PM today. But the line moved pretty quickly and that was largely due to the efficient organization of the team running the campaign, who were quick to dispatch volunteers to various stations across the hall. There were two floors that were fully occupied.

When we first walked into the hall, it really seemed like complete chaos. But we soon got a grip on what was happening, as an assembly line was formed. Some people were taping the boxes, others were filling them, some were sent on the hunt for more supplies, while others were closing the boxes and transporting them to the storage area. Everyone was working quickly and efficiently, and it was great to see parents bring their kids along to have them participate in this great initiative. And it was also great to see people from different nationalities participating in the effort.

We were in charge of putting together the hygiene kit which consisted of 2 toothbrushes, a towel, 2 bars of soap, baby shampoo, toothpaste, detergent, 2 combs and 2 toilet paper rolls. Others were putting together a school kit for kids. And I believe there was also a first aid kit station, but I'm not sure about that.

Thousands of boxes were filled today alone, and the campaign has been going on since last Wednesday. The last day is tomorrow and they are starting at 10AM (till 6PM) so if you can, do take the time to spend a couple of hours there tomorrow. It's really worth it.

I just hope that all these boxes will reach the citizens of Gaza sooner rather than later. God only knows that they are in dire need of these supplies.

Friday, January 09, 2009


It's been a while....Haven't posted here since....well...last year!
Not much to report on except for a hectic month of December (out of town family visiting, lots and lots of time spent in malls, lots of work too...whoever said December is a slow month was lying!, plus a trip to Beirut over the New Year holiday).

Been back for a week now, battling a nasty cold that just won't seem to go away.

But I did want to share my disgust about the situation in Gaza. I can't believe the pictures and the reports that are coming out of there. And I can't believe that the only reaction that's come out of Arab leaders is silence. How can anyone be silent when you hear of innocent civilians being killed, of children clinging to their dead mothers' bodies for days, of people living in a state of constant fear, with no electricity, no food, nowhere to go, of people bleeding to death because Israel has restricted access to emergency and first aid vehicles?

The Arab community here and around the region has been extremely supportive, organizing rallies and demonstrations, collecting food, clothes, blankets and medical supplies to send to Gaza. Everyone, even the least politically-involved, has been touched and affected by what's been happening. So why have Arab governments remained silent? Why has nothing been done to stop this genocide?

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Moryarti for informing people about the Aramex campaign for Gaza, and the Gaza care packages that you can buy in pharmacies.

I'd also like to urge you to read Laila's blog. Although she does not live in Gaza, her parents do, and the stories she tells on their behalf are simply horrifying.

May the souls of all those innocent lives rest in peace.