Faithful readers will know that I recently escaped from the United Arab Emeritus, most recently. An Etihad Airways jet whisked me from Abu Dhabi on May 8, 2022, landing in Toronto making my way westward, landing in Edmonton, the city I left fifty-five years ago but proudly again make it my home.
While residing in Abu Dhabi had two learning curves, so to speak. Learned of the utter corruption and inhumanity of the country, while at the same time learned of the extreme censorship and lack of any basic freedom of expression. My blog could be stricken at any moment, and if I were to offend anyone my fate could not be determined. I could be arrested for any number of ‘offenses’, like drinking alcohol, speaking to loud and causing a ‘public disturbance’ – the list went on. So I stuck close to home, the Abu Dhabi Airport Premier Inn where my safety was assured, and shut my mouth. At first praised the leadership of Abu Dhabi as my perception (perhaps wish) was that it was separate and safer than that in Dubai. But slowly that illusion also died. I was able to extend my tourism visa until July 6, 2022 but the restriction of my freedoms and my fears were so overwhelming that I, with caution and care decided to return to the land of my birth Canada. I did not leave with a good taste in my mouth, which mean to cause an unpleasant memory or to make someone feel bad or disgusted. Consider the time spent in Abu Dhabi a time of imprisonment, particularly when experiencing the freedom of this country. I feel utterly safe in Canada – nestled on the top floor of an utterly safe building – one must go through a serious of three locks to get anywhere near me, there is no buzzer system and here too I have the support of the entire staff. .
Cloaked with this safety I can speak of some of my experiences but plan on ‘letting it go’. Laughingly say that I shall turn the experience into something positive and view it as a five month photo shoot. Fortunately I have the photography to prove it. I will expose some corruption and wrong doing – blow the whistle in a way, but not be consumed by ‘blowing the whistle. It is with some trepidation as whistle blowers face retaliation but this blog is not that important in the scheme of things and, even if blocked in the UAE it would not seriously, or in any way, impact my present day existence.
I did need to calm myself during my ‘imprisonment’ and did so by writing but not ‘publishing thoughts. Comparing Dubai and Abu Dhabi, seeing them as the modern day Sodom and Gomorrah was one such release and now it may be told.
S and G are two cities in the Bible destroyed by God as punishment for the sexual behaviour of the people who lived there. This reference has been retained in modern day terminology; people sometimes say that a place is like Sodom and Gomorrah as a way of saying that they are very shocked by people’s sexual behaviour in that place.
Wikipedia, of course, has much more to say about the matter. “Sodom and Gomorrah were two legendary biblical cities destroyed by God for their wickedness. Their story parallels the Genesis flood narrative in its theme of God’s anger provoked by sin. Their story parallels the Genesis flood narrative in its theme of God’s anger provoked by sin (see Book of Genesis 19:1–28).[ They are mentioned frequently in the prophets and the New Testament as symbols of human wickedness and divine retribution, and the Quran also contains a version of the story about the two cities. The legend of their destruction may have originated as an attempt to explain the remains of third-millennium Bronze Age cities in the region, and subsequent Late Bronze Age collapse.”
It is fascinating to note that Sodom and Gomorrah make their appearance in all religious texts and in every faith.
First, in the Hebrew Bible, Deuteronomy 29:21-23 refers to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. And the generation to come, your children that shall rise up after you, and the foreigner that shall come from a far land, shall say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses wherewith the LORD hath made it sick; and that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and a burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in His anger, and in His wrath; even all the nations shall say ‘Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this land? what meaneth the heat of this great anger?’ Mention is also made in Deuteronomy 32:32-33, Isaiah 1:9-10, 3:9 and 13:19-22. Jeremiah 23:14, Jeremiah 49:17-18, 50:39-40.
Jerusalem is compared to Sodom in Ezeliel 16:48 “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters. Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom: pride, fulness of bread, and careless ease was in her and in her daughters; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before Me; therefore I removed them when I saw it.” There is continued talk of abundance idleness and failure to strengthen the hand of the poor and needy throughout the Hebrew Bible. God informs the Israelites, Morab and Ammon that they will end up like Sodom and Gomorrah in other chapters of the Old Testament.
The Christian religion also features the tale of these two cities throughout several chapters and versus of the New Testament, only some will provided in this blog.
Luke 17:28–30, Jesus says:
Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded, but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even thus will it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
Romans 9:29 references Isaiah 1:9: “And as Isaiah predicted, “If the Lord of hosts had not left survivors to us, we would have fared like Sodom and been made like Gomorrah.”
2 Peter 2:4–10 says that just as God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and saved Lot, he will deliver godly people from temptations and punish the wicked on Judgement Day.
Jude 1:7 records that both Sodom and Gomorrah “indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.”
The two cities also make their appearance in Revelation 11: 7-8.
These twin cities also play a large role in the Islamic faith but with a slightly different shall be say, slant, most bothersome to the politically correct individuals particularly in the USA.
The Quran contains twelve references to “the people of Lut”, the biblical Lot, the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah. Their destruction by God is because of their their homosexual practices. The Quran states they were the first creatures to commit such a deed. However, homosexuality is not discussed in the Biblical versions. In the words of the Qur’an. The “people of Lot” transgressed consciously against the bounds of God. Lot only prayed to God to be saved from doing as they did. Then Gabriel met Lot and said that he must leave the city quickly, as God had given this command to Lot to save his life. In the Quran it was written that Lot’s wife stayed behind, as she had transgressed. She met her fate in the disaster, and only Lot and his family were saved during the destruction of their city with the understanding that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are identified in Genesis, but “the location remains unnamed in the Qur’an”
Chapter 26 (The Poets): We saved him and his family, all. Except an old woman among those who remained behind.(26:170).
What is not known, what is hidden from people of the West and those within the UAE, is that homosexuality is rather rampant among the ruling classes, despite its prohibitions. It is punishable by death, for example, in Saudi Arabia. But the way around it, for the sinners and the hypocrites, is to practice these forbidden acts in foreign lands. London England is an extremely popular sight but I have spoken to others who say that practically any foreign land or sea can be the scene of such practices for rich Arabs. It is the London scene that I, most accidentally, became aware of. The paid victims of these homosexual rituals are not of the Islamic faith and are neither rich nor Royal. There it must not matter to this class of arrogant entitled men but, I am certain it does matter to Allah. A homosexual can enter Jannah if not practiced the forbidden act but no Jannah if they do.
We shall end this discussion on a lighter note. The Gnostic texts also discuss the destruction of the twin cities. The Paraphrase of Shem isin the literature of the Nag Hammadi library. Their is a spiritual savior named Derkekeas who brings secret knowledge (gnosis) to the citizens of Sodom before the city is unjustly destroyed. Perhaps I am Derndekeas? I prefer to be either Fatimah or Alexis, if for no other reason that it is easier to pronounce. As one can see my humor constantly prevails. My humor does constantly prevail. It is a gift given by Allah If Allah gives you a gift, one is to use it. I do.
Now if suddenly Abu Dhabi and Dubai were to sink into the sea, no one would be more surprised than me. But thinking and writing about this brought some comfort, enlightenment and humor to my days in Abu Dhabi.
I struck another blow to my Middle East connections. Today removed WhatsApp from my iPhone. During the past two years I have been haunted my folk in the Middle East using this free app – even Royalty. No more – I have had enough of parasites, their host Alexis is long gone. Parasite has the most awful of synonyms: hangers-on, leech, passenger, drone; bloodsucker, sponger, sponge, scrounger, freeloader, moocher. These drones, spongers, freeloaders and moochers do not give anything back, they just take. Looked over the names before the final delete and confirmed this to be true. But I am replaceable, they will find someone else, I am sure.
It is not that I did not have fun in Abu Dhabi. Of course I did. I shall have a copy of Alexis, my name written in the sand, blown up and put on my wall. And the accompanying Love You.
But as a wise Islamic scholar said; (on Instagram actually)
He: I love you can, and does, mean in these troubled times: I want to use you.
Me: Thanks, that is so true. If people who do not really know you tell you they love you it is merely because they want to use you. Love takes work, give and take and commitment.
The man who wrote Alexis in the sand and Love You did not really know me, particularly when he wrote it. It did not work out between us. Thank Allah for that. But it was fun at the time and lots of women were jealous I am sure. I was 78 and he was 25 and most handsome.
A victory has been achieved. I am writing from my bed – not the mattress on the floor. H.A.M.S picked up the hardware from Leon’s, put the bed together this morning. Handy Awesome Man Stan, that is his nickname. Did not have a great handyman in Abu Dhabi, nor Marin, nor San Francisco, nor Vancouver, nor London. But got one in Canada. Oh Canada! My home and native land.
Photograph is of a ceramic dish purchased at Alberta Craft for keeping my rings when not in use. The artist’s bio is also attached.