mr khairul went out last night to check up on our new apartment in dubai marina and was faced with heavy fog around dubai as the night moved on to 2009. it got worse by the time he went out to go home - by then the fog had enveloped everything within 100m! dubai is a city FULL of skyscrapers and none can be seen! visibility was bad but alhamdulillah he got back safe and sound.
it was so befitting as just earlier that day, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of dubai, called off any new year festivities. he said "all public new year’s celebrations" should be stopped "in solidarity with the palestinian people, who are currently enduring death, suffering and destruction in gaza". no awesome fireworks, then! even if there is any, the blasts and spurts of lights would be so blurry and malap.
dubai was one of several arab states to cancel lavish multi-million dollar new year's eve celebrations in solidarity with the people of gaza who suffered a fifth straight day of bombardment from israel. the luxury hotels in dubai have been told to cancel their new years celebrations, with many of them revised and made alternative indoor celebrations instead.
seems that even david beckham and the rest of the AC Milan team who are in town on a friendly match with hamburg ready to celebrate new year had it cancelled. bummer.
as if the weather reflected the somber mood of the new year celebration in dubai - and concur with a gloomy fog. some people felt that 'yeah we're sympathetic and saddened - but noone can stop new year coming - we'd feel bad if we go out and celebrate tonight, and yet we want to welcome the new year with a bang. probably go to house parties."
my take on it is we celebrate the new year because we CAN, but it's not our priviledge when hundreds others suffer. (the death toll to date is about 400 which includes women and children) it's a really small thing to do away with a little bit of celebration - and sit in silent reflection of how fortunate we are that we live to see the new year.
gulf news reports that instead of noisy celebrations, hundreds of people gather around the parking lot opposite the jumeirah beach residence with candles - the one close to our new apartment - in silent protest against israeli's aggressions.
well, to me dubai needs to tighten its purse string anyway, and go easy on the lavish spendings...
how did i celebrate? mr. khairul snoring on my right, kahfi dozing on my left and khaleef asleep at the foot of the bed after a marathon of tom and jerry. i couldnt ask for more.
i got my own fireworks. ;-)