Reason 103 why I will NEVER visit a Muslim majority country

Iryna Nohai, 27, and her fiance Emlyn Culverwell, 29 .Source:Facebook

The average person is uneducated about Islam or they think they know what it is but clearly many people are clueless. This story involves a non-Muslim engaged couple. The fiance had worked in a Muslim majority country for five years yet he didn’t realise the danger he had put himself and his fiancee in when he took her to the hospital with stomach cramps while they were in Abu Dhabi on holiday.

…Emlyn Culverwell, 29, from South Africa took his fiance Iryna Nohai, 27, from the Ukraine to hospital while on holiday after she experienced stomach cramps.
Mr Culverwell has been working in the UAE for the past five years, the BBC reports.
A doctor examined her and discovered she was pregnant before apparently dobbing the couple into authorities because they were not married. Pre-marital sex is a criminal offence in the United Arab Emirates.

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Shocking Human Rights abusers elected by the UN to 2017 Human Rights council

If the United Nations was a legitimate organisation then you would expect it to elect countries with the best Human Rights records to the 2017 Human Rights Council. You wouldn’t expect countries with systematic suppression of free speech, arbitrary detentions, death sentences for apostasy and extrajudicial killings to be elected. Shockingly the United Nations has selected countries with exactly those human rights abuses to serve on its 2017 Human Rights Council.

The Human Rights Council, mind you, is supposed to ?uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights,? according to its mandate…

Let’s take a closer look at the new members of the 2017 Human Rights Council.

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Kiwi bludger tries on the UAE and finds it’s not like home

A mother with young children is stranded in Dubai after her passport was confiscated when surgical complications left her with medical bills she cannot afford to pay.

Christchurch woman Janet Fletcher, 47, travelled to Dubai last month to have a gastric sleeve?operation at the?Canadian Specialist Hospital. It was expected to cost about $16,500.

But she had to be admitted to intensive?care when a small tear in her stomach?left her with septic shock and acute kidney failure.

She spent an extra two weeks in hospital, which caused her bill to grow to $36,348 ? an amount her family cannot afford to pay. She was not covered under either medical or travel insurance.

She was discharged from hospital?on Thursday, but the United Arab Emirates government confiscated her passport, saying she could not leave while she had?unpaid?medical expenses.

Fletcher said she was aware of the UAE’s stance on medical bills?before she went under the knife, but decided to take the risk.

“I can’t point the finger at anyone, it is just one of those things.

Hands up who think this is a way to start a public sympathy drive quickly followed by a GiveaLittle page? Read more »

Imagine if the All Blacks weren’t allowed to acknowledge their country?

Would we be insulted if the All Blacks played overseas but weren’t allowed to use the NZ flag, or say they are from New Zealand?

What would we say or do on?the?international stage if our athletes and sports people were forbidden to compete under our own flag?

We’d be outraged right?

Well have a thought for two Israeli judoka who can only compete if their flag is never flown and they never acknowledge where they are from, even on the official international website of the sport.

Israeli athletes Yarden Gerbi and Sagi Muki won bronze medals for Israel at the International Judo Federation (IJF) Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi?in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over the weekend.

However, the win comes after scandal and disgrace for both UAE and the IJF.?UAE originally refused?visas for?the Israeli team (including 2013 Rio gold medallist Yarden Gerbi) to enable them to participate in the IJF-sanctioned event. ?? Read more »


Four Western Women’s personal experiences of Islamic law


Case One: Ms Magi

Crime: Posted a photo on Facebook of a car parked across two disabled spots outside her Abu Dhabi apartment.

Punishment:? 53 hours in custody, shackled at the ankles, strip-searched, blood tested, forced to sleep on a concrete floor without a mattress or pillow with no access to toilet paper or eating utensils and a $3600 fine before being deported.

Ms Magi said she felt her punishment had been “extreme” given her offence, however, she said other female prisoners she had met suffered worse.

“If you think what happened to me was insane, spend a couple of days in an Abu Dhabi jail; I have nothing to complain about compared to the vast majority of women I met whose only crime was being poor, marrying the wrong guy, getting pregnant outside of marriage or/and being victims of rampant and systemic police corruption where ‘evidence’, ‘ethics’ and ‘due process’ are unheard of concepts,” she wrote.

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Photo Of The Day

Photo: AJ Reynolds/ & The Athens Banner-Herald

Photo: AJ Reynolds/ & The Athens Banner-Herald

Imprisoned For Taking Photos

Apparently it’s illegal to take photos of certain things in UAE

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HarperCollins withdraws their bullshit atlas that deliberately omitted Israel


Obviously they got pounded mercilessly via social media and they have now decided that pissing off their customers, most of whom aren’t Israel hating rag-heads, wasn’t a good idea.

Stupid, stupid people. I wonder who the genius was in HarperCollins who decided this atlas was the way to go, imagine the editorial meetings, design meetings…sales meetings.

Was this a marketing division brain fart? If it was then they just cost a lot of people their jobs.? Read more »


Tall Poppy Or Thick Petal?

Stuff has a wonderful series of myths written by New Zealand expats whinging about how great New Zealand is not. ?The latest from Kirsty Bryant is a cracker “I’ve Outgrown New Zealand”.

Nope, I think you are just a bit of a dick head.

I now find returning home for vacation taxing; talking with family on world matters just doesn’t seem relevant to them. The newspapers are so provincial, and I get frustrated at the isolated mindset of my peers. I feel I have out-grown my home country.

I will not permanently stay here in UAE. Now in a strong relationship with another expat (Welsh), we toy with the idea of opening a bar in Tanzania or Mozambique in 10 years time.

Good on you luv. Wait until the authorities in the UAE ping you for holding hands with your Welsh boyfriend and the bar in Mozambique is not quite as cool as you make out.

Stuff has an entire FOMO (fear of missing out) series on expats with headlines as bold as:

Screen Shot 2014-03-22 at 12.36.10 am Read more »

The Blackberry Burqa

The UAE doesn’t need to ban Blackberry phones, they just need to make users of the phones use them with a Blackberry Burqa.

no more of that naughty spam either

The Blackberry Burqa

New laws in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will require that every Blackberry user dress their phone a miniature burqa and face veil.

?The Blackberry burqa means that people can still use their phones,? said a Saudi government official, ?but the tiny niqab that covers the screen will stop them from reading emails or accessing the Internet.?

The introduction of the burqa is intended to conceal the Blackberry from unwanted attention. With the veil in place only a tiny slit remains revealing just the time and date, thus preserving its modesty.

?This is not about censorship or oppression,? said UAE telecommunications regulator Mohammed al-Ghanem, ?this is about preserving the essential purity of the Blackberry and protecting it from being corrupted.?

Some businessmen believe that making their phone wear a burqa can be very liberating. ?It?s great,? said one, ?with the veil in place I am free to walk about with my Blackberry in public without the feeling that people are staring lustily at my multi-media application. It also covers my shame for not owning an iPhone.?

Some religious groups have welcomed the policy. ?If Allah had meant us to freely access the Internet He would have given us web browsers in our heads,? said a local imam, adding ?There is absolutely no mention of instant messaging in the Koran and at no point did Muhammad, or any of his eleven wives, ever say LOL, ROFL or PMSL.?

If the Blackberry burqa is successful it may spread to other countries. However, experts say that dressing your phone in a burqa could result in poor reception, especially in France and Belgium.

Why I don't want an iPhone

I don’t want an iPhone. I like my Blackberry just fine, and now I will explain why I don’t want an iPhone, ever.

Major Reason: Security – PIN, encoded messaging and browsing.

Blackberry TorchUAE to ban Blackberry email, web browsing and messaging.

Citing national security concerns, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced that it will soon ban e-mail, web browsing and messaging for the BlackBerry smartphone.

?In the public interest, we have today informed the providers of telecommunications services in the country of our decision to suspend the Blackberry services of messenger, email and electronic browsing,? stated Mohammed al-Ghanem, the chief of the UAE?s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

?Today?s decision is based on the fact that, in their current form, certain BlackBerry services allow users to act without any legal accountability, causing judicial, social and national-security concerns,? continued the government?s statement. According to al-Ghanem, ?It?s a final decision,? but they are continuing discussions with Canadian-based Research in Motion (RIM), makers of the BlackBerry device.

That is one major hell yeah reason why I want a Blackberry. Authoritarian, nosy, snoopy governments can’t read my data. The major plus is that Research in Motion has refused to buckle to such big brother bullying. If I am going to rely on something for my communications then i want to know that the provider of the technology won’t sell out on it’s consumers.

At the heart of the ban is the method in which RIM handles BlackBerry data. Unlike most phones, BlackBerry data is encrypted and routed overseas through RIM?s network center in Canada. This has been a major point of contention for several nations, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia and India, because it means that these nations cannot monitor the encrypted data being sent. According to The Wall Street Journal, the ban came after RIM rejected the idea of setting up a proxy server within the UAE.

Data security and privacy is important, and it is something Apple and Microsoft suck at. kudos to research in Motion for looking after its consumers.

Ban on BlackBerry data a security badge of honor
By Glenn Chapman (AFP)

SAN FRANCISCO ? Security experts have said that banning BlackBerry data service in the United Arab Emirates smacks of political backlash and could be a testament to how hard it is to snoop on that network.

“The BlackBerry security model is very different from other phones,” said Kevin Mahaffey of Lookout mobile security firm.

“It is end-to-end and the encryption is so strong nobody knows how to monitor it.”

Canada-based Research In Motion built its own platform for business customers that encrypts BlackBerry email messages and routes them in a way that keeps the data off limits from even telecom firms that carry the transmissions.

“They have such good security that I think some countries are uncomfortable with the fact that they can’t intercept it,” said Lookout chief executive John Hering.

While iPhones have been all the rage with smartphones users thrilled by games, social networking, video watching and other casual uses, BlackBerry has remained a favorite for business people craving secure wireless communications.

Leave the iPhones to the kids. There is a reason why sensible government ministers use Blackberrys. The media is supporting Blackberry too.

Blackberry pickle: RIM should resist snoops

THE last thing Research in Motion should do is kowtow to authoritarian governments. The smartphone maker on Tuesday tried to create some buzz around the New York launch of its revamped product (the BlackBerry Torch is widely touted as the answer to the Apple iPhone). But the real buzz was over whether the Canadian company was caving in to pressure for it to sacrifice some of its vaunted consumer security to satisfy the demands of state security.

The United Arab Emirates, which boasts 500,000 BlackBerry users ? not to mention a fair chunk of the 100,000 visitors a day who pass through the Gulf states ? is threatening to suspend vital BlackBerry applications like email and Internet browsing unless the firm makes it easier for the government to monitor encrypted BlackBerry communications.

Kuwait has expressed similar concerns and has given RIM a list of 3,000 so-called porn sites it wants the firm to block from its smartphones in the country. Meanwhile, RIM is reportedly compromising with the government of India by sharing technical codes for corporate email services. (India, at least, is a genuine democracy.)

At issue is RIM?s closed communication network. The firm processes users? encrypted messages through its own centres in Canada and the U.K. and does not use the open Internet for transmissions, so BlackBerrys are less vulnerable to electronic surveillance.

Governments that like to keep an eye on their citizens are frustrated and claim the BlackBerry can enable criminal behaviour or terrorist plots, although terrorists are far better at carrying out attacks with low-tech means. The real concern is the fact that BlackBerrys can empower citizens to organize opposition to authoritarian governments.

I say to governments, including our own, keep you beady distrustful eyes out of my communications. And on that front, I note that Blackberry has released their new Torch.

A note to loyal fans thinking of buying a present for The Whale…a Blackberry Torch looks like the business for me. Thanks in advance.