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The UAE celebrated its National Day with enthusiasm. But is it an occasion to abandon all sense of public cleanliness?
December 3, 2009 3:34 by kippreport
Kipp spent the UAE’s National Day with full fervor; we crossed the borders of five emirates and made pit stops in three. The celebrations were vibrant-from the procession in Ras Al Khaimah which included several colorful and bored school children, to the supposedly “largest fireworks display” ever in Abu Dhabi.
The patriotic mood in the country was obvious. Apart from the parades, citizens decorated their cars with the colors of the UAE flag, and stickers, posters and bright lights celebrating the 38th National Day of the seven emirates glowed on the streets.
The spirit was contagious, which is why we drove from Dubai to Ras Al Khaimah and on to Abu Dhabi to watch the fireworks at night. We parked 30 minutes away from the corniche, as the road next to it was completely jammed with cars.
But as we were walking there, what hit us most was not the colorful cars or the loud sounds, but rather the piles of garbage building up around us. Revelers had scattered confetti and heaps of colored paper on the roads. Their discarded streamer boxes were literally flying around us.
The dirty roads were not as bad as the corniche. The waters there were filled with filth-the empty juice cans, bottles, and paper packets formed a continuous stream of garbage. True, we enjoyed the events of this most patriotic of days, but we were quite disturbed by what seemed to be a lack of basic, public cleanliness.
Holidays are for celebrating, no doubt, but isn’t littering on the country equal to disrespecting it? Especially on National Day …