View from the WTC Dubai.

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I have been told at times that Iran is "100-150-years behind", a confusing statement to me for many reasons. I'm not entirely sure where this measure begins, I'm confident blogs didn't exist that long ago. I'm not sure that I like statements like these as they seem to imply that there is something to model, a correct path for which society must follow. I do appreciate that Iran may take generations to achieve some socially positive advances but I worry about what exactly is intended to be modeled.

Literally Iran is 622-years behind if we acknowledge the calendar differences, yet these arbitrary measures have been making a little more sense since I've arrived in Dubai for my long anticipated break. This place seems several years ahead. I can measure this in a few ways, most of which are superficial. The most immediate aspect to notice is the transport, Iran seems particularly stunted in its transportation, be it public or private, yet Dubai on the other-hand seems to not have any cars older than 5-years. On this point I can't help but feel like a character in a time-travel sci-fi movie, I have never seen cars like the ones here. 50% of them are unfamiliar to me, even from my time in England, yet this is due to a large American and East -Asian manufacturer presence.

Since arriving here I've noticed I'm never too far from the words, "more money than sense". The most noteworthy use of this reflexive statement was the first; upon landing in Dubai I looked outside the window to see one of many ships dumping sand offshore to create an island. And this, like the many other ambitious creations arrive at an impressive pace, which my auntie noticed in the outdated scenes on the postcards from only 1-year previous. Apparently 20% of the world's overhead-cranes reside in Dubai, helping build the ever taller skyscrapers that shine like an unfatigued computer generated landscape.

This landscape is managed, maintained and lived in by a strong mixture of peoples from around the world - a mix with no apparent dominance. Quite confusingly English is the dominant language, I hear many accents, even familiar English ones - I'm nearly home! It is strange for me to speak English publicly both due to my time in Iran and also due to me being in a non-western country with many non-westerners. It is also refreshing to for me to talk English with family here, to talk a speed and to talk without having to avoid cultural subtleties.

With caution I might state that Dubai is the most "civilized" place on Earth. The service, the manners, the smiles... what's the catch? Maybe its because the people choose to be there and the place wasn't inflicted upon them like England for me. Maybe civilization can be bought like an island in the sea. Who knows, maybe in 150-year Iran will be that civilized.


  • "Wealth makes everything easy-honesty most of all"
    Comtesse Dianne
    But it seems as if knowing how to manage that Wealth and how to spend that money makes things even easier!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:09 AM  

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