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What you don't hear about in Dubai.

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Thorn Tree Refugee
 
Posts: 1
Joined: January 27th, 2011

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Tags: dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Added on: January 27th, 2011
I am a 23 year old Canadian girl living and working in Dubai, UAE. I wanted to share my story somewhere as I cannot go to authorities. You may be asking why not but do some research on Dubai, it is a Muslim country and sexual activities out of wedlock will put you in jail, whether it is consensual or not. There have been many cases where women and even men no matter what age have been raped and reported it and instead of the rapist going to jail, the victim has. Women here are scared to say anything about such attacks in fear they will be jailed, fired, dishonoured by their families, and or deported.
My story: I was out with friends having a few drinks nothing too crazy as I wasn't feeling up to it. We ended up at Zinc nightclub at Crowne Plaza and were hanging with three local gentlemen that my friend had met the week before. One had admitted he was a Sheikh (they all do). My friends were a little intoxicated and just up and left as we all live right across the street, they sent me a text letting me know. So I decided to leave as well. The supposed Sheikh offered me a ride home as he said it wasn't safe going alone and was being a gentleman. I agreed cause he made sense and I was only a few minutes away. We were talking and he seemed like a nice guy. He wanted to show me where the Palace was, I was being polite so said yes. We pulled into the Palace and he parked the car. I asked him what he was doing. He took off his pants in a second and got onto my lap in the passenger seat that I was strapped into. I told him to get off me but he forced himself on me and started kissing me. I struggled to get him off me and then he started striking my face and strangling me. I couldn't breathe and begged through gasps to stop. Each time I got his hands off my neck and breathe he was on me again striking me repeatedly and choking me. He said I am going to kill you, I am going to kill you and get away with it. I will pay off your family. I will get a gun and kill you. I thought I was going to die right there and did everything in my power to fight him. I poked his eyes, fought back but nothing I could do helped. As he was beating me again and again I lied and said I had to pee and to be nice to me. He wouldn't let me go. Finally something clicked and he stopped maybe it was me praying out loud to God and Allah (Arabic God). I started crying and he apologized, turned on the car and drove me home. He seemed very upset and was very disappointed in himself. I just wanted to get the fuck out of there. At home crying by myself I looked online for help. But the more research I did the more it looked like I was out of luck. Every incident reported in sexual assault or rape the women were prosecuted and the man not. I know it is unfair and I am saddened by this way of life. So I am going to start a mission, to help women in my shoes who have no one to turn to. We need to talk about these issues, they are important and need to be solved. Until then I am sharing my story with the world in hopes it helps someone else out there. I am okay. I have dealt with things like this before but back home where I could turn to the police and know I will have a voice. Today my neck is a big bruise from his hands, my lip is cut and fat, my skull is sore, nose bloody, and face bruised like never before. I am a survivor. I am so lucky worse didn't happen and lucky to be alive. I will take everything out of this horrible experience and help put women in my situation.

Zuleika

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Knows What a Schengen Visa Is
 
Posts: 402
Joined: March 29th, 2009
Location: London, UK

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  • Added on: January 29th, 2011
Oh my god that is a terrible story, my heart goes out to you and I hope you will be OK.
Sadly I too have heard all the stories, I have friends living in Dubai and its not just that women are second class citizens but as a foreigner pointing the finger at a local you would have doubly no chance, let alone a sheikh - if that's indeed what he was.
I have no idea what could be done if anything at all, the odds sadly are stacked against you.
Life is such an adventure, I can't wait to live it some more.

Tortuga_traveller

Extra Pages in Passport
 
Posts: 3645
Joined: November 19th, 2004

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  • Added on: February 2nd, 2011
May you open to your pain with care
May you be loved
May you live your life in ease.

I say these things because no logical words can possibly make you feel any better, and I agree, its not a good idea to press this, especially in a country where even young boys and girls are sexual toys for the rich. You know the situation better than I do, and I don't presume to give advice.

The main question is: do you want to leave Dubai now that you are aware of the essential un-safe situation you live in? Clearly you won't be taking rides from strangers any time soon.

It might be a good idea to get some sexual assault counseling in a place where such things are valued, but then, if you think you can cope with it, that' may have to be enough, especially if your survival depends on staying in the country,

Good luck, and may you open to your pain with care, may you be loved and live your life in ease.
Open your heart, and your dreams will follow

TravelBandit

Guidebook Dependent
 
Posts: 17
Joined: July 25th, 2006
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

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  • Added on: October 11th, 2011
I have heard many similar stories, and I wish you the very best.

What I cannot understand is how people seem to think that the UAE (and particularly Dubai) is such a fantastic place. I spent a week there and was revolted at what I saw - brutal exploitation of contract workers from Asia, who often have their passports confiscated, are paid a pittance, live in abject squalor and work in conditions that are appalling and unsafe. The number of workers who died or were badly injured building the Burj Khalifa is staggering and was the subject of a BBC investigation. There is no democracy in the UAE and very few human rights if you're not an Emirati citizen, and less even if you're female. Their human rights record is as bad as Myanmar or China but nothing is ever said by the world community ... why not?

Tourists visit Dubai and marvel at the glitz and glamour, but all you need to do is take a public bus away from the tourist areas and you'll probably be shocked. The place is a hellhole of note and I wouldn't go back for any reason.
http://www.PaulKilfoil.co.za/Leisure.aspx (travelogues & photos from 1987)

Tortuga_traveller

Extra Pages in Passport
 
Posts: 3645
Joined: November 19th, 2004

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  • Added on: October 14th, 2011
I've also heard personal stories about women who have married a Dubai or Saudi husband, and after a period of emotional and/or physical abuse, managed to leave. What they could not take was their child, which belongs to the husband's family. Other cases of marriage to Saudi or Dubai citizens involve legal kidnapping of a child, and the impossibility of getting that child OUT of the country again.

Other anecdote: A friend of mine married a Lebanese man, apparently moderate and loving. He fooled around, and refused to teach her Arabic so she couldn't join in his social life. They had no children, thankfully, and in the end, he moved back to Lebanon to take a wife he WAS ENGAGED TO THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF THE MARRIAGE. Divorce ensued, thankfully. Debts were left.

Moral of the story:

If someone from a Muslim Arab country tries to charm you, a Western Woman, be aware that he may NOT follow Western ways in marriage customs, and may well try to force the woman to comply to his. This involves extensive extra-marital affairs as well. Arab women accept this. This also include many Turkish men, especially if the woman moves to Turkey to accomodate his career and life. The woman becomes attached and practical slave to the mans mother's family.

I know this because I lived in Turkey, and have heard many stories. That's not to say I haven't met a few happy women who have learned to accommodate themselves to their more 'moderate' husbands who don't quite hold to all Turkish customs. Still be aware and investigate.

Not all Arab Muslim husbands are as just as say, the King of Jordan. His wife, by all accounts, has had a good life :)
Open your heart, and your dreams will follow



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