I am painfully aware of what is happening in the Ukraine , however have not spoken about it either on the blog nor on Instagram. The pain that I suffer is one of empathy because I know a wonderful man who lives in the Ukraine, he had refused to leave his country despite the bombs, the destruction, the fear and death that surround him and his peoples. I met Alexei at an utterly unlikely place – the incredibly posh, decadent Rixos Resort in Abu Dhabi. Decadent is characterized by or reflecting a state of moral or cultural decline, also luxuriously self indulgent. Its synonyms are debauched, decadent, intemperate, profligate, abandoned, self-indulgent, louche, licentious, libertine, wanton, unchaste, loose; wild, unrestrained, fast-living, depraved, degenerate, corrupt, drunken.
The Rixos Resort ( owned by a Turkish company) calls itself a full service resort – everything is provided – and I do mean everything. All the food, all the drinks, including liquor, a series of restaurants as well as Turquoise Coast, the central restaurant. Mountains of food, bottomless glasses. People come with their children as there is a child’s compound. It might look like a family holiday but is not. I sang the praises of the place in the beginning and will someday tell the whole story but not here and not know. It is absolutely foreign to almost every precept of the Islamic faith. It was where I began my residency in Abu Dhabi. It was a mistake but read about my mistakes and how I learn from them.
I was there because I needed a rest from the harried existence in California – I escaped there in two weeks but was exhausted. I had a long tiers rate for two amount – it was most expensive but I rather accidentally learned that the Sales Manager was making a big profit – he was paying himself handsomely,. Instead got a room rate and a much better room from the Internet for a shorter period of time and saved a fortune. Everything turned out great. That place too expensive for me, too luxurious, too sinful and not within the Muslim restraints. If anything it encourages violations against most Islamic guidelines. I was rather shocked to learn that one is being built in Doha, Qatar for the World Cup with a water tower and everything. Qatar more observant of the faith – but I guess they are relaxing everything for the Games. I will be going to Qatar on a tourist visa but before the big crush of the games. I will stay in my humble quarantine hotel, I have been promised a fair rate.
But enough of me and now off to Alexei. He was there as part of a film crew who did extensive filming to be used in the promotion of the resort, We met because of my liveliness, the familiarity of our names and our blue eyes. We were two pair of blue eyes in the land of brown eyes, joked and laughed together. . We stayed in contact through the wonders of Instagram. This conversation took place:
Me: Where are you?
Me: Sure you want to be there?
He: Well there’s no other way for me. This is my native country and my native city that Russia wants to bomb and destroy.
Me: I understand but I think that it is bs. The media has nothing better to do with covid gone. If I were you I would not worry. But obviously I am not you. Hahaha
He: Unfortunately no, it is not bs. We have more than 50,00 Ukranians killed already by the Russian army. And yesterday they invaded easter part of our country official. Don’t want to spoil you mood though.
Me:oh No ohNo oh No Why? Why? Why? It is no longer a far off place as I know you and you are there? Is there anywhere you could go?
He: I am editor-in-chief of the large radio talk station. I will stay in KLX as long as we can be on the air. Don’t have a Plan B to tell you the truth.
Me: How brave of you and how necessary for you to do this.
He: I do not think I am brave. Just Keep doing my job \
Me: Sometimes that is the definition of bravery
He posted a photo of the entrance to the radio station
Me: Looks rather frightening
He; We are attacked. Russian bombs us right now and not even NATO cares.
Me: I thought NATO was the hope. I believed what they were saying a couple of weeks ago. What is going on??? I cannot speak out at the moment because my blog account has been suspended. There is something drastically wrong with this world.
Subsequently my blog was restored. No idea what happened. It was while I was in Qatar where everything seemed to go wrong. I had, of course, got in touch with my computer guru. I checked and found the good news.
Me: Yeah. It is back up.
I wish I could say the same thing about the Ukraine, that it is back up and functioning. I did had written that the situation was contained, citing NATO’s statement of intervention. I also made fun of Putin. But NATO doing nothing and Putin not humiliated enough.
However, I do have a solution to the problem. If the whole world were Muslim. there would be no war. I dimly recalled reading in the Quran that Allah created countries with the understanding that they would all get along. I could not find the citation – the Qur’an is not well indexed. Therefore texted Islam Is My Love – a woman living in India who uses Instagram posts to convey the faith. We correspond frequently, I comment on her Instagram posts and we discuss the faith. She quickly responded:
“Oh mankind. We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, so that you know each other (not that you may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things) .Chapter 49 Verse 13.”
I was most happy to receive the message from the Qur’an. .
Me: Thank you. Thank You Thank You. I shall put this on the blog. Allah is most pleased with our partnership. I know it to be so,
She: Aww You make me so happy. :)) I feel too that Allah is pleased. Alhandullah And may Allah reward you for speaking his words on your blog which is read by so many people. Also I want to thank you for your kind words.
Another Rixos employee friend who is most adept at videos on Instagram has just posted that the UAE is sending more than 18 million AED in humanitarian aid to the Ukraine. Instagram also pictured a photograph of Putin and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed saying that the two had spoken on the telephone. The Commander of the UAE is known for his peace keeping efforts, so hopefully he can assist in some way.
One attached photograph is of good news, although it arrived a little bit too late. There are no more PCR tests on incoming flights. My poor nose was assaulted twice when I returned to Abu Dhabi – I guess she missed the first time. Oh well. It is not altogether good news as I have collected 50 face masks. Think I will keep wearing them. Hahaha. The other photo is my morning coffee. Instagram had this caption. “My coffee of the morning. A white Americano they are called in the UK. – super strong coffee with hot milk. I used to order White Americano and point to my face to choruses of much laughter.