Al Jazeera tempted me with an interesting idea and fascinating article. I did comment in a prior blog giving up Al Jazeera for the New Yorker but I am fickle, so fickle and it was back to Al Jazeera, for interest’s sake/ . What is the definition? It is changing recently, especially as regard one’s loyalties or affections. Synonyms are: capricious, changeable, variable, volatile, mercurial, vacillating, fitful, irregular; inconstant, disloyal, undependable, unstable, unsteady, unfaithful, faithless; irresolute, flighty, giddy, skittish, erratic, impulsive; unpredictable, random; blowing hot and cold; liable. Antonyms are: constant; stable.
Many of the synonyms are too damning = perhaps, unfaithful. Faithless and irresolute are acceptable.
So what caught my attention, one early morn from my unoccupied bed (well, except for me) was an article most timely and topical headed straight to me from Al Jazeera (in all fairness, thousands of other people as well. The article is entitled; It is Time to End Extractive Tourism. The first sentence proclaims:’The pandemic presents us with a great opportunity to do away with the destructive mass tourism industry. “One Cannot Trust Me As It It Is Back to Al Jazeera, And Away, Qute Temporarily Leaving New Yorker.
“Many are hopeful that the vaccine roll-out will help us return to our pre-pandemic “normal”. For a certain privileged group of people, this would mean getting back the “freedom” to travel anywhere they want.Indeed, their perceived “right” to holiday in far-away places where tourists are provided with all comforts and freedoms to do as they please has become almost sacrosanct. This has as much to do with privilege, as it has with the way capitalism exploits labour..” This next sentence is so insightful:”As wages remain stagnant, productivity demands increase and working hours get longer, capitalist societies are creating a middle class that sees tourism as a form of momentary escape from its stressful reality.”
The article goes on to talk about the net effects of this exploitive practice: “Quite literally, whole relationships between people, and between people and nature are shaped by the need to allow the paying tourist customer to do and be whatever they desire. It is a vicious circle where capitalist labour exploitation, consumerism and wealth extraction work to produce an incredibly destructive kind of mass tourism.
If there was ever a time to reconsider the tourism industry, it would be now. The COVID-19 pandemic offers us the unique opportunity to reflect on the ugly reality behind our exotic vacations and break the cycle of exploitation. This would take not only reforming the tourist industry but also overhauling our labour systems.”
I did always suspect this but it has been proven true. “Government officials acquiesce to mega-tourism projects due to large kickbacks and pass regulations to facilitate them under the promises of economic growth. These actions all too often supersede the sovereignty of communities in terms of their traditions and historical relations to sites of historical or natural significance. As a result, local people often lose control of their land and community development and see little benefit from employment in exploitative low-paying jobs with long hours and minimal or no provision of social benefits.”
The author goes on to suggest several strategies to end the rape of these lands and clouds with the following sentence: together these strategies disincentives the “work hard, play hard” mantra of capital that is ultimately a zero-sum game, generating enormous inequality and leading us to a destructive future.The author is Vijay Kolinyjivadi jan The article may be found on the Al Jazeera web site under the Opinion section.
I do admit that I did visit one of these ‘pleasure oasis’s in January of 2020. It was Dubai and now am most embarrassed. It was almost involuntary, was travelling from SFO to London, determined that Air Emeritus might be a good idea in that I was travelling on Christmas Eve and being on a Muslim airlines seemed quite rebellious and enjoyable. It was as I upgraded to business class and spent Christmas Eve at the bar with several of the crew as everyone else was asleep. That was the Dubai to London portion of the trip. Then back to Dubai (since I was going to be there) for about a week. It was in many ways a fiasco, got there with no hotel reservations (as I had been promised a room in a palace that was not forthcoming). Not going to name names but as a friend said: She: That is pretty impressive being stood up by someone of that importance. Me: Yes, I guess, but believe me it did not seem so at the time. But the airport personal found me a great hotel and was most happy there. My left knee was in need of replacement so confined to the hotel a great deal of the time but the staff was absolutely wonderful and I had, all in all, after the first night of disappointment, a great time. It was irritating however to see the ‘stand up guy’s’ picture all over the hotel. I got out, as Wise Man said, by the skin of my teeth. The covid-virus struck Dubai two weeks after – although they did not admit it until early March. It is of some comfort to see that Dubai is not doing very well, to say the least. Of course, numbers are hidden but some sneaked out. The economy is not at all diversified, unlike Qatar. It is difficult to know how exactly they shall manage – the sands will drift in and soon the only thing remaining will be the tip of the tallest building in the world. Hmmmm, DNEFWMMcB. But it is more than that – it is greed, it is immorality, it is not following the faith, it is arrogance.
Many of you might be wondering how I am faring after the jab. A strange reaction – so tired that I slept day and night for two days and nights almost). I did write my blog yesterday afternoon but that was the only thing accomplished. Waking up this morning, to a text from Qatar, at about 5 am. We chatted, I went back to sleep but five hours later woke up, not knowing reality from the dream state. Texted my practical and concerned cousin and all seems well, at 1:30 in the afternoon. Not complaining, sleep better than fever and nausea and other symptoms. It is now off to lunch and then house cleaning, I guess. I thought I was above all of this, after all Ayla means Queen.
The photograph is of my bedroom doorway. No Idea where the Thank You came from, put in place by Personal Driver. The quilt made by my mother, the block is called Ship of Dreams. A Muslim woman is to pray to Allah at various times during the day, not in the mosque as is required by men. Praying to Allah is thanking him for all of the things he is done, although I do not need a reminder, but just in case I have one. The dress is one worn as a little girl – I have grown, it does not fit any more. Hahahaha