Monday, March 18, 2019

Fact Not Fiction

I have seen some fabulous marketing campaigns over  the years and some equally horrific failures as well, living the Middle has proved that I have seen alot more of the latter!

The wonderful witty and delightful Alan Carr (aka @chattyman) last week had that pop sensation, JLS as his guests on his weekly chatshow.  The world has watched the cheeky boy band's raise to fame since they were finalists in the Xfactor a couple of years ago.  Not really my cup of tea but adored by thousands, especially young teenagers who seem to lust after this dynamic foursome of handsome young men. Made famous because they are good looking, can mime well, but more importantly have mastered the art of line dancing for young people.

Anyway I was very surprised to see that they have joined forces with Durex, I am pretty sure the initiave would have been Durex's however, and have launched a range of condoms, wait for it, the Just Love Safe (JLS range). Further investigation via everyone's friend Mr Google revealed that JLS have a charitable trust which is concerned about STD's and other nasties that can be caught if we aren't practicing safe sex.  Admirable, yes totally, spreading the word, yes definately, packaging, nice small box, pretty colours but this is where it all starts to go a bit strange ....

Each member of the band has his own specially packaged condom, it would appear from further investigation that the young frontman by the name of Aston (great name for a puppy) seems to outsell his compatriates when it comes to condom sales. Would that be because women are buying them? as they are in some strange state of infatuation, or because men are buying them because the women like him?   Fascinating yet true, either way their initiative is admirable and hats of to Durex for being so imaginitive with their Just Love Safe Campaign, I am sure it has made them very little money ......



The final part of my week long look at the Judicial System in the UAE, again written by a third party

Once you have a bed space in your allotted amber then you’re ready for a day in the life of a prisoner.

5am Breakfast, usually bread with either a boiled egg or yoghurt or cheese, then at 6.30 if you’re going to court you need to be up and on your way, if not then nothing much happens until 8am, you have the chance to see the officers if you have a good reason, for example you need to get your passport from a Police Station so you get put on the list. There is a travel agents in their too, no browsing allowed, one way tickets only, the phones in the ambers are open for 3 hours on a morning and 4 or 5 on an afternoon, the morning is the only time you will get anything “official” done. You also get the chance (twice a week) to go to the shop in the outside area, the prices there are reasonable, but there’s a limit on how much you can buy, 3 packs of cigarettes for example. If you’re a non smoker buy your share and sell them later on in the week to the desperate smokers – I was getting 30-50 Dirhams per pack they also sell headphone radios and batteries. Lunch is at 11am and consists of rice and veg/meat/chicken with a piece of lettuce and some fruit or fruit drink. Bear in mind with 800 mouths to feed this will take a long time, especially as the canteen area only sits 90. Food is given on a metal tray and there is no cutlery, so it’s hands only.


As I am sure most of you are aware that tomorrow morning the Dubai Marathon is taking place, no great surprise that it is the richest race in the world with a massive 1 Million USD prize fund.   I am not going to ramble on about a more than well sponsored event, but I am going to tell you about a guy who is running the Marathon tomorrow on behalf of a charity which I absolutely adore.   Mohammed, better known to most as @wildpeeta is running tomorrow to raise funds for a lesser know charity called The 8 Day Academy.

The 8 Day Academy is a wonderful initiative that was set up by Masarat Daud-Jamar, a very passionate and warm lady whom I have had the pleasure of meeting on many occasions.  I admire her strength and determination and watch from afar the amazing work she has done over the last 18 months.  Mohammed along with some of the other Twitterati have set up a charity auction on Twitter which has been running all day, people bidding for donated items to raise money for the 8 Day Academy.  You can find more information by searching #twauction on Twitter.

I just want to wish Mohammed all the luck in the world for tomorrow, and everyone else too who is going to be running for any charities, the race may well be the richest race in the orld but in my opinion, wealth should be managed in kindness, and Mohammed and Masarat will be testament to that.

Well done!!



Part 2, again not written by myself but a third party:

There is however a plasma TV with 2 decoders and a PS3 in there too, donated by a British guy who was on Interpol’s wanted list. Because of the venue there are more Locals in Rashidiya than the others. Bur Dubai has just been reopened after a refurbishment, again, no TV, limited phone access (or it was pre refurb) and a large open courtyard.

As I stated before, ALL the police stations are crazily over crowded, fights are a common occurrence, usually between Arabs, I, as a Brit, was never touched. The prisoners are responsible for the cleanliness of their own cell block, usually the foreman (himself a prisoner) orders the cleaning to be done on a daily basis. In some Police Stations there are washing machines and tumble driers for your clothes, in most there is a trough for you to wash by hand.

In most police stations you can order outside deliveries usually once or twice a week, be prepared to pay double, there’s a few bribes need to be paid. There is also a canteen shop that sells toiletries etc. again, be prepared to be ripped off.


The first of a three part article about life in the Judicial System in the UAE .... The following report was written by a friend who has now left Dubai, it gives good insight into how the Prison and Judicial System is run. I take no responsibity for the accuracy of this report and am printing it in good faith.  Part 2 to follow tomorrow:

“Firstly let me tell you what to expect, in the police stations, they are way overcrowded at the moment, you will not get a bed, you’ll be lucky to get a blanket, you’ll be sharing a bed space with others.

In Muraqqabat there are 2 huge square units each with 8 or 10 cells around 2 sides, on the front wall there’s a tv and the shower/toilet block, there is no

way you can go outside, you’re inside 24/7, very little natural sunlight, tensions run high in and there are regular fights.

In all the other police stations there are corridors with cells along both sides, the worst is Al Rafa, that is crazily overcrowded, there are 8-10 guys in each cell (2 bunk beds per cell) and everyone else sleeps in the corridor on the concrete floor, there is a small exercise yard with marble tables but that is also full of people sleeping, there is no TV but you do have telephone access 24/7.

In Al Rashidiya, you need to hope you get taken to the downstairs cells straight ahead as you go in, not the ones upstairs or on the right, this is known as the drug abusers place, the drug abuse amongst locals especially is horrendous, I saw one guy murdered there in a fight over who ran the canteen (very profitable) and the sexual abuse of (especially the far eastern – Chinese/Filipino) prisoners is horrendous, the cries of one Chinese guy being raped again and again will stay with me for years"

to be continued tomorrow ...


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