Today was a day of victory – I think. I achieved a 90 day extension of my UAE tourist visa. This means that I can stay in Abu Dhabi for ninety days beginning on April 4, 2022. To say the very least I am most relieved and so are tens of other people – honest. People at the Louvre, People at my Premier Inn, my manicurist. S.A.D.is joyous and Rashid is as well. This is what he said:
He Congratulations. I think I should follow you- I was told to follow my dreams.
He: That’s smooth. (Laughing emojis)
He: Hope you will smile.
Me: How could I help but smile!
Not all that expensive – 1500 AEDs. Enormous sense of relief – indeed it was. I do admit that I have no idea what I shall do after the 90 days – where I shall live etc. etc. etc. but this gives some time to catch my breath. To plan. The thorn in the side is the new mutation – the BA2 which is highly contagious. But I do know one thing for sure. I shall NOT be returning to the USA – for many reasons. I was speaking to a wonderful young woman at the Apple Store from India. I told her of my experiences being a Muslim woman in the USA.
She: I have heard of that! I have an aunt who is refused admittance to stores and events when she is dressed in her abaya and her hajib.
Me: Oh no! Where in the USA does she live?
Me: Unbelievable!! And California is supposed to be a rather liberal state, Most pride themselves on being politically correct.
I then came upon a fascinating article about crime in the USA – I shall pass it on to you. I am not sure of its source as I copied and pasted it but it will be quoted word for word.
“Many crime experts define a mass shooting as an event in which four or more people are shot. Last weekend, there were a shocking number of them – at least nine – across the U.S. In Norfolk, Va, an argument outside a pizzeria led to a shooting that killed two people, including a 25-year-old newspaper reporter who was a bystander. In the farming community of Dumas, Ark. gunfight broke out at an annual car show, killing one person and injuring 27. In downtown Austin, Texas, four people suffered gunshot wounds during the final weekend of the SXSW festival,
The burst of weekend violence continues a trend that began almost two years ago, early in the Covid-19 pandemic, and shows no signs of easing, as my colleagues Tim Arango and Troy Closson report. Murders have risen more than 30 per sent since 2019, recent data suggests. They are still far below the levels of the 1970s, 80s and early 90s but have reached the highest point in two decades. “We can’t endure this anymore, just simply can’t,”Dan Gelber, the mayor of Miami Beach said after two shootings last weekend led the city to impose a midnight curfew.
What explains the crime wave? There is no fully satisfying answer, but experts point to several plausible particle explanations They include: Social isolating and frustration caused by the pandemic. A sense of lawlessness stemming from police violence (like the murder of George Floyd). Police officers’ timidity in response to recent criticism of them. And a rise in gun sales during the pandemic. Yet the crime wave seems both too broad and too distinctly American for any one of these factors to be a tidy explanation. Gun crime isn’t the only violent crime that is rising, for example. Nor are the crime increases limited to places where police brutality has been worse. As for the pandemic, if it were the only cause, you expect crime to have surged in many countries. Instead, it has held fairly steady in Britain, Canada, France, Japan and elsewhere. The closest thing I have heard to a persuasive answer comes from history. Criminologists and historians who have studied past crime waves – like Gary LaFree, Richard Rosenfeld and Randolph Roth – point out that they often occur when people are feeling frustrated with society, government and their fellow citizens. This frustration can feed a breakdown in societal norms and a rise in what the sociologist Emile Durkheim called “anomie.” Fellow feeling Roth, looking at homicide rates the the U.S, and Western Europe over the past 400 years, argues that crime tends to increase if people loose trust in society’s institutions and basic fairness. When empathy for other citizens – or ‘fellow feeling,’ as Roth and others call it – declines and anomie rises, crime also rises. The American crime increased of the 1960s and ‘70s were a good example criminologists say. Most citizens do not commit crimes, of course. But social alienation makes some people more willing to break the rules and act violently. A broader sense of disorder can create a so-called moral holiday, as The Atlantic’s Graeme Wood has written.
I linked the Graeme Wood Atlantic article and shall quote from his concluding paragraph:
“One could argue, as the historian Kellie Carter Jackson recently did in The Atlantic, that “violence is a valid means of producing social change,” but I doubt even she would endorse spontaneous and random brutality against grocery stores, independent shops and salons, and Microsoft. The righteous can aspire instead to the targeted violence of Tony Soprano, who told his therapist, “I want to direct my power and my fucking anger against the people in my life that deserve it.”
I do simply love that – saying to one’s therapist “I want to direct my power and my fucking anger against the people in the world that deserve it.” I do think that is my ambition was well. So watch out you people who deserve it – and.you know who you are!
The photographs are three. Two are Good Morning greeting sent by S.A.D. . The third is from the Netherlands, a beautiful urn found in the Louvre, Abu Dhabi.