Sunday, January 24, 2010

When Towers Speak…

Last night I returned home from a trip to Dubai.It was an unexpectedly lovely trip. I never thought I would actually like Dubai. I always thought of Dubai as a superficial place in which migrant workers live a seriously miserable life. Looking at photos from this so called Las Vegas of the Middle East, I never found all of those towers and lights impressive or fascinating. However, to my surprise during my trip to Dubai, I started to both like Dubai and to become curious about this emirate. During the ten days that I was there I made great new friends and spoke with many individuals and professionals. I still do not know what it is that makes me rather attracted to Dubai. All I know is that I enjoyed hearing people’s stories about Dubai and the reasons for which they have resided in this town. Looking at the towers in Dubai, I feel that they all have a story to tell. From the hardworking migrant workers who carefully planted their first bricks to the CEOs, lawyers, businessmen and businesswomen and employees who work in these towers, people have stories to tell about their life before Dubai, their time in Dubai and their plans after Dubai. Dubai seems to be a transitory place for most of its residents. What I loved the most about Dubai was these stories. Everybody that I would meet wanted to share with me their story and I would eagerly listen.

The only story that I did not get to hear was the story of migrant workers. I would go for a walk in the evening just so that I could see the buses that were full of South Asian migrant workers pass by. Many of them would run towards the bus as they seemed to be fearful of missing these buses that would take them to their collective homes in the suburbs of Dubai. As the busses would pass by me, I would look up at tip of the towers and hear the voices of many migrant workers getting echoed in my head. They all wanted to share their stories. They were talking all at once.I never got a chance to speak with them. But, I saw exhaustion and hope in their eyes. I think, in a way, these towers belong to them. If not the towers, at least the heart of these towers do. After all, migrant workers have spent hours, days, months and years to build these towers under difficult circumstances and with the hope of bringing money to their families back home. I am certain that one day the towers of Dubai will begin to speak and share those quietly forgotten stories that have remained unheard for some time with the world...

4 Comments:

At 10:57 AM, January 25, 2010, Anonymous Dokhtare Barfi said...

nice...i love Dubai 2 as u do. but I never think of the things that u were thinkin about there...I love Dubai coz some parts of it remind me our lovely country IRAN...love

 
At 8:20 AM, February 02, 2010, Blogger Pam said...

Hey Azadeh - migrant workers are a abundant in Dubai as we all know, but I feel ther is a lack of respect even though I realize that they are making more money there than in their own home country. I will never forget the time when I was in a convenience store and I knocked over some merchandise that was at the end of an aisle and of course, naturally, I proceeded to pick the stuff up myself, and a worker came over and said "no,no, don't pick it up, I have to pick it up". I knew right there that he would be in trouble if i did not let him do it. They live like squatters there as well which is such an insult to their dignity.

 
At 12:51 PM, February 02, 2010, Blogger Azadeh Pourzand said...

I agree with you, Pam. When I was in Bangladesh, most of the city girls that I interviewed, told me that me that they grew up without their fathers cause their fathers were in Dubai working. They would never tell me what their fathers used to do in Dubai. But, the truth is that with the money they would bring from Dubai, they could increase the financial level of their household in Bangladesh. However, in addition to their conditio in Dubai there was also other porblems at home. As these societies are male-dominant societies, the mother of the family would go through so many hardships in the absence of their husband. Things like the family of the husband deceiving them and stealing their money to landlords refusing to rent out their apartments to a mother and her children(without the husband being around) would happen to them. But, it's a complex situation. It's maybe better than nothing that these people could work in Dubai, but at the same time sometimes they live like animals in those shelters and are forced to work under the most dangerous conditions. Anyways, thanks for reading my blog, Pam! you are the best :)

 
At 4:21 PM, June 22, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Azadeh jaan, doosteh pilar-am
I thought you might find this interesting: My classmate started a small blog for MidEast Youth ... she's from a "Khaliji" country and made a documentary on the horrific plight of migrant workers as well as prostitution in the "Gulf States" ... She started this site: http://www.migrant-rights.org.. ...She's an adamant activists and is a participant in the scene. Her original blog, mideastyouth.org has grown tremendously and contributes beautifully to dialogue among middle east youth.

 

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