For those not in the the know a viral video landed a few people in prison in the UAE. First, the video:

The backlash:

I think the video is hilarious if overlong, primarily because I lived there and it is just so spot-on if you ever met the kinds of people it’s making fun of.

The only problem I have is how this points to the arbitrary nature of “justice” in the UAE. Take the Dallas Austin case, for example. If you have money, or people make a big enough fuss for you, you can break laws that would get you jail time in the US. Meanwhile, some Pakistani laborer is having his back broken doing hard manual labor and not complaining about it because exploitative immigration laws don’t protect him. I’m not saying that Shez Cassim shouldn’t go free. Quite the opposite. I’d buy him a plane ticket if I thought it would help. I am saying that a lot of people should get justice that are in far more dire straits, and I’m not so sure I like the current trend that celebrates justice for a relatively privileged few.


I watched about 4 minutes of the video and I … don’t get it? Can you explain it in a paragraph for someone completely outside that culture?

It pokes fun at Dubai’s wannabe “gangstas,” who are apparently not very intimidating by Western inner-city standards.

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It’s a little hard to explain, but it boils down to upper-middle to upper class kids in the UAE who have more money and time than sense. They go around picking petty fights with each other, and generally being asinine twits. The use of the self phone to call “shabab” (roughly in this context: posse) is particularly funny. It’s hard to explain why cross-culturally, but if you lived there even a couple of years, you might get it.

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