Hello All! Today, a piece of information, which you won't believe, but you can check it out - it's in todays (Monday 27th) London "Daily Telegraph".

A female cabin crew, who has been with BMI airways (British Midland), was apparently told that, when she flew to the United Arab Emirates, she would have to wear the abaya (all black, just the face showing) and walk behind her male colleagues, regardless of whether they were senior or junior to her, when she was out in public in the UAE. She refused, so they FIRED her. This was apparently two years ago, Earlier this year, she appealed to an "unfair dismissals" tribunal. The tribunal found FOR BMI !!! They said that BMI was only following local culture!!!

Now, here's something you can ALL please do. Email the CEO of BMI in the United Kingdom. His name is Nigel Turner. His email address is: nigel.turner@flybmi.com Tell him what you think.

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Hi Susan, I certainly hope we meet one day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But Tracy! How would you and Susan recognise each other? If you get my drift ..................
Hello to Susan McDonald ("Scot in Arabia")! Firstly, my sincere apologies to all for inadvertently putting "United Arab Emirates" in my initial post, instead of Saudi Arabia. Susan is correct, as those who took the time to look at the Daily Telegraph (London) online will have seen. There was a second article, which I did not mention, and this second article did indeed refer to the United Arab Emirates. I made a mistake. However, I would point out a couple of things, before I return to the United Arab Emirates.

Susan congratulates BMI airlines for firing the female cabin crew. She also makes comment about its being "all about cultural sensitivity to the host country". All I can say to that is that it would be very welcome and nice if members of the Islamic faith were to follow this guideline when living in Western, Christian, countries. I am sure I do not need to expand. Susan also makes a barbed comment for ""everyone else out there who think you are too precious to have to follow the law of the land". The female cabin crew in question did not wish to ignore any "laws" in Saudi Arabia: she simply said she was not going to go there if she had to wear the abaya and walk behind her male colleagues. Instead of understanding her objections and leaving Saudi off her roster, BMI fired her. As for Susan's comment about the "harrassment" and the "unwelcome stares" which one would have to endure from the Saudi natives, I do believe that says more about the mindset of the Saudis than anything else. Sounds a really welcoming place!

Now, on to the United Arab Emirates, that place where Susan tells us one can "walk around in shorts and t-shirts without so much as a turned head". Maybe someone should tell that to Issa bin Zayed al Nahyan, a senior member of the UAE's ruling family. A video has emerged of Mr. Nahyan, who was very recently responsible for the torture of a local grain dealer with whom he had a "disagreement". The torture victim, Mohammed Shah Poor, was held down and had sand stuffed down his throat. Bullets were then fired near his feet, and he was beaten with a wooden plank from which nails protruded. Salt was then rubbed into his open wounds. Then, an electric cattle prod was used on him, as his genitals were doused in lighter fuel and then burned. Then, it appears from the video that Mr. Nahyan got into his Mercedes SUV and drove over the hapless victim. On the video, it appears that one can hear the sound of Mr. Poor's bones being crunched and broken. It appears that Mr. Nahyan can be heard on the video co-ordinating the torture, assisted by uniformed members of what seem to be the UAE police and the army.

Now, after hearing about that, why would I or anybody else want to set foot in the UAE, even if indeed one can walk around in shorts and a t-shirt? Lovely place! Best wishes to all.
Please Note This: I have this (Wednesday) morning spoken on the telephone with Nigel Turner, CEO of BMI (British Midland Airways). We spoke for approximately 15 - 20 minutes. He came across as a very genuine sort of person. He took the time to explain his position on the matter of the cabin crew member and the decision to fire her. Although I did not agree with all of his argument, I now consider that the Daily Telegraph article may well have been somewhat slanted to one side. Despite the fact that I still naturally consider that we should not allow ourselves to be dictated to as to how we should dress in an Islamic country, until they accept that when residing in a Christian country they should accept the culture of the host country and not protest and try to change it, I accept that Nigel Turner and his airline were placed in a very difficult position. I also think that, in fairness to him, as he has been through a difficult period over this issue, it would be better that we ignored my request that emails be sent to him. I still consider the decision to instruct personnel to wear the abaya is wrong, and I will continue to protest wherever I see that we in the West are allowing ourselves to be bullied and unfairly treated, whilst bending over backwards to facilitate even the most extremist of guests in our own countries. Best Wishes to All.



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