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Sexual harassment, just another day in Dubai

Sexual harassment, just another day in Dubai

Dubai’s very own unique brand of sexual harassers are as perplexingly confusing as they are obnoxious, says Eva Fernandes.

September 30, 2010 3:14 by

And there can be few women in the region with a Facebook account who haven’t faced the bothersome flood of friend requests from unknown Casanovas. A few months back I had a great laugh when I flicked through a friend’s Facebook album, titled ‘Why I now have high privacy settings.’ The album contained screen shots of over fifty different friend requests she had received purely on the basis of the tiny thumbnail of her profile picture. I have copied some of the gems she received verbatim:

‘Would you like to make friendship with me? I’m a candid person and like candor and ensure to you that you will find me up to the mark’

‘u lke to have slave’

‘you’re too much beautyfull’

Yet again what fascinates (and escapes) me is what exactly is going through the minds of these Facebook Romeos? How successful are they?

It hardly matters. The problems of men struggling to engage with women in the constrained environment of the Gulf do not give them license to behave as they wish, and to invade the privacy and personal space of an innocent female by shouting numbers or throwing notes – that’s why the harsh penalties exist.

Dr Sabban has it spot on: “When men do this, their macho mentality makes them think they’re powerful, but in reality they’re projecting themselves negatively…. They don’t have real Arabic and Islamic values.”

Ultimately, beyond the rule of law, perhaps the strongest deterrent would be a simple argument put forth by one Emirati teen in the same article: “I’m completely against it,” he says. “Every guy who does it should be ashamed of himself because I am sure he would not be pleased if his sister was a victim of it.” A campaign pointing this out would surely be welcome in the emirate.

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  1. Maria on October 1, 2010 5:28 pm

    It is sooo clear that the way UAE is “educating their ppl” by sending them out of the country to study, to see what the world is, its not working. They should educate their ppl to a grade to realize that a woman with no abayah is not a “professional”, that not wearing veil doesnt mean they are selling their body or ready for it and that the techonolgy like for example blutooth or cam in a mobile is NOT to picture women in the street or to find a way to spend “a good weekend”. And of course they should INSIST that it is NOT halal to abuse non local women.

  2. Ahmed on October 3, 2010 5:53 am

    Maria – You made an unfiair statment! Sexual harrsement is conducted by variou nationalities and race. this has nothing to do with one natinality you have abused. UAE does not need to send their peopole outside to to learn not to harrse , its in their culture and blief.

  3. Cyril on October 3, 2010 8:48 am

    OMG ! Give a girl your phone number and you could spend a year in jail.

    I will remind myself next time in the UAE to stare at the floor and doublecheck that I never drop a business card.

  4. Osamah on October 3, 2010 9:09 am

    The sick part is that the only thing encouraging these guys to stick to these antics is women who actually find that flattering and they do give them calls.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not calling all Middle Eastern women ‘bad’ – for the want of a better term – but i’ve seen way too much living in Saudi Arabia which is a more stricter country when it comes to gender segregation.

  5. Miss Anne Thropic on October 25, 2010 11:37 am

    Gender segregation and thus making the opposite sex a novelty only makes the problem worse.


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