Category Archives: Culture and Sports

Gulf and FIFA: A Strange Soccer Game, an Odd Football Game……


    Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter    BFF   

A former England caretaker manager was at the centre of extraordinary events on the final day of preliminary qualifying in Asia for the 2014 World Cup. Peter Taylor’s Bahrain, needing a nine-goal turnaround to progress to the next stage, beat Indonesia 10-0 in a fixture that may yet attract closer investigation from Fifa, but were denied a place in the next round by Qatar’s 86th-minute equaliser against Iran. Indonesia had their goalkeeper sent off after two minutes. The replacement let in a potentially pivotal ninth goal eight minutes from the end. Included in the final tally were two penalties. The referee for the game, Andre El Haddad of Lebanon, has been involved in controversy before. Last year, he took charge of a qualifier between China and Singapore that saw him make several hotly contested decisions. China won 2-1. Taylor, who took charge of England for one game in 2000, was criticised for taking the job in Bahrain, where the pro-democracy movement has been brutally suppressed……….

Odd: 10-0, especially when the best players of Bahrain are banned by the ruling al-Khalifa clan from playing for joining the protests. I know countries like Indonesia and India are lousy in football/soccer (they are even worse in the real NFL Football). But that is unusual. I am not saying they paid off the Lebanese referee, or that they paid off the Indonesian players and coaches, or that paid off everybody; not even with Saudi money flowing to the potentates in Manama. This is worse than when Saudi Arabia lost 0-6 a few years ago to, I forgot, was it Germany or Argentina or Fujaira or Vanuatum, or was it Fiji?

(FYI: the Turks are in the middle of an investigation of ‘game fixing’ scandal).

Saudi Arabian Women: Renting IOC and Owning FIFA…………


    Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter    BFF   

When Women’s World Cup soccer fever can overwhelm Twitter, it may be hard for Americans to imagine a place where women are banned from all playing fields. That is Saudi Arabia today. In Saudi, women do not get to compete in elite sport—let alone exercise, play, or even participate in physical education. They can’t even watch a sports match. “No women allowed” is what life is like for girls and women in Saudi Arabia who aspire to run, throw a ball, swim, or ride a bike. In six months, the London Summer Olympics will open with fireworks and fanfare. Teams from every country will parade proudly at the Opening Ceremony. One team, Saudi Arabia, plans to send only men. The International Olympic Committee is the keeper of the Olympic flame, and has immense power over national Olympic committees. In the same way we demand that athletes play by the rules, Saudi Arabia should not be allowed to violate the Olympic Charter’s ban on “discrimination of any kind.”………….

Okay, we can add IOC and FIFA to Formula One and Interpol and Malaysia and Bahrain and Waziristan and the Salafi groups to the list of organizations (and countries) that the Saudi princes own.  Now that impressive Saudi portfolio has expanded to include the League of Arab States, the GCC, the Organization of Islamic Countries, the Taliban, Fox News (partly), among others. Even the mighty U.S. government can’t claim anything like that. Hell, even the Koch Brothers can’t came close.

Qataris and Saudis: is it a New Misyar Marriage? a Sober FIFA……..

   Rattlesnake Ridge   Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter   

Qatar, the wealthy Persian Gulf state that will host the 2022 World Cup and shot to prominence last year as a bankroller of the Arab Spring, is experiencing a small counterrevolution at home.
In recent weeks the government has suspended alcohol sales on the Pearl-Qatar, a man-made island close to the capital, Doha, that is popular with expatriates and boasts a string of international chain restaurants. An outdoor weekly party on the Pearl with loud music and free-flowing alcohol has also been closed down. The moves represent a small but significant challenge to one aspect of Qatar’s ambitions for the emirate, which also has drawn global attention by winning the staging rights to soccer’s World Cup and for funding and supporting the revolution in Libya. Some say the tiny Middle Eastern country must overcome huge cultural and social hurdles before it is able to successfully stage soccer’s marquee event in 10 years. Part of the vision is to turn Doha into a leading cultural, financial and sporting center to rival neighboring Dubai……………

It is not
clear if this small move is part of this new return by the al-Thani to their
Wahhabi roots. Over the past few weeks the Qatari royals have
accelerated their new common-law marriage to the Saudi royals and their
Wahhabi clergy. This could be just a temporary part-time purely-for-sex “misyar
marriage that many Saudis are so fond of. The Qataris have also named the
main state mosque in Doha after Mohammed Bin Abdulwahhab, the founder of
the Wahhabi faith and an early ally of the al-Saud. The Qatari
potentates have opined publicly and effusively on the “virtues” of Wahhabi
and returning to them. Maybe it is just that the Qataris feel squeezed between the two regional theocracies: Iran and Saudi Arabia, and the Saudis are much closer and hence much more menacing.
But ruler of Qatar is probably not ready yet to unilaterally declare himself the “Servant of the Doha Wahhabi Mosque”.

Some European soccer (football) fans will complain that alcohol may not be available for the FIFA world cup games. In fact some Saudis and Kuwaitis will probably be even more disappointed about that than Europeans. On the bright side: the Qataris may be able to keep out the beer-sodden British hooligans who call themselves fans. Anything that can keep these fuckheads away from any sports tournament is a good and healthy move.

(For my new readers: Shaikh Mohammad Bin Abdulwahhab of Nejd must not be confused with the late Egyptian singer and musician and film star Mohammed Abdel Wahhab, who was not a Wahhabi nor a Salafi).


UAE Crime Alphabet Soup: from a Local Ms. Bobbitt to Other “Cultural” News………….

   Rattlesnake Ridge   Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter   


Headlines of the ‘court’ section of UAE newspapers are quite interesting. I think they reflect something about the culture of the country, the true culture of the population mix These are samples of the most recent in The National:

A maid accused of cutting off her 77-year-old sponsor’s penis with a razor told the court today she was defending her honour. “I did what I did in revenge for all what he had done to me, your honour,” JN, 26, from Bangladesh, told Judge Hamad Abdul Latif at the Criminal Court of First Instance. When the the judge asked her why was she crying, she said, “Because I am sad, because he is in my father’s age.”………

The conviction of an Iranian office assistant, sentenced to 10 years for breaking into a woman’s home and raping her, was upheld today in the Dubai Court of Appeal. The 36-year-old SA was drunk during the incident in February. He was convicted of rape, trespassing and consuming liquor. The Indian victim, a service consultant, told prosecutors SA rang her doorbell about 4am. ………

A man tied up a trader, robbed him and beat him into giving up his ATM PIN code, a court heard this morning. MW, 31, Afghani, was charged with detaining SJ, also from Afghanistan, binding his legs and arms with tape, assaulting him, threatening to kill him, and stealing his money……….

A Frenchman who was refused drinks on a flight to Dubai after consuming three bottles of wine shouted abuse at an Emirates Airline crew, a court was told. AP, 35, smiled yesterday as he admitted at Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance to issuing threats and consuming alcohol on board flight EK74 from Paris to Dubai. AP threatened the Australian airline workers JL, 39, and DK, 29 on June 14, prosecutors said. JL testified that two hours after the flight took off, AP was intoxicated but still ordering DK to bring him more wine……….
This man consumed three bottles of wine on a single flight. Only a true Frenchman can do that, or a wino at Pershing Square in downtown LA. And to think that this shrimp threatened an Australian! Whatever happened to that Crocodile Dundee image?

A one-year sentence for a woman convicted of posing as an Emirati to work as a prostitute was upheld this morning at the Court of Appeal. MT, a 29-year-old Palestinian, was arrested in a sting operation and denied the charges. She was convicted of using another’s identity card, impersonation, obstructing justice and obtaining lost money…………
You’d think she had impersonated Mary Magdalene not just some anonymous UAE chick.
I especially like all the initial they use: JN and DM tried to assault
XY who was smoocing with FU who is her BF, but BA, who was visiting DC
at the time called the police using the cellphone of KZ. OR this: VK
gave birth to JL but could not prove she is married to WTF who is back
in Manila, so the doctor, PU called the police. Sometimes I suspect that
everyone in the UAE drops their real names and become part of an
alphabet soup upon arrival, it is a requirement especially if they
intend to commit a crime.
I think I shall start hitting the “Court” pages of Saudi and Iranian newspapers, there may be treasures there I am not aware of yet.

(All this can be categorized under Culture, or maybe Culture and Sport).

The Suspiciously Lusty Ramadan Ghosts of Dubai……..

   Rattlesnake Ridge   Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter   

Located deep in the heart of Jumeirah 1, this seven-bedroom hotspot of paranormal activity is home to a group of Filipinos who claim to have experienced visitations for over a year now. Most unusual, perhaps, is Lora’s encounters with a male “spirit”. Lora’s spooky story began in November last year when she was awakened at 3am. “I felt an intense pressure all over my body, as though there was a person sleeping on top of me. I tried to sit up, but couldn’t move anything besides my fingers and toes. On the curtains I could see a dark shadow atop me,” she says. “A few nights later, I could hear a man moaning from my roommate Mary’s bed. At first I thought her husband was back from the Philippines, but a quick peak revealed Mary was fast asleep with that mysterious shadow on top of her reflecting on the wall.”……… Louise, a Filipino teacher who lives in one of the ground floor bedrooms, says she’s afraid to enter her own kitchen alone because she feels “a strong presence in the kitchen and the adjoining toilet. Often, the kitchen becomes exceedingly cold, or the bathroom door slams open and shuts, the flush goes off mysteriously….…..

Obviously these male “spirits” have no respect for the holy month of Ramadan. Extra-marital intimacy is no-no in any month, even if the parties are male ghosts and Catholic women. Even if it is inadvertent. There is a lot of monkey business going on in that house.