Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Emirates Police Force…

I think I like the ticket police the best. They seem to be the most enthusiastic about their jobs. I was once parked directly outside of Rashidiya Police station for one of the many day trips I got to make there, courtesy of my X husband. I was talking on the phone smoking a cigarette when this plump little man in a green suit, carrying his ticket book walked out of the precinct.

Are they called precincts, here?

Anyway, his smile grew as he walked towards my car and tapped on the windows. He was going to write his first ticket of the day just seconds after his shift started! Imagine the nerve of some western bimbo parking her 100% tinted, complete with windshield car outside the police station!

Since I’ve been told they have a minimum requirement for number of tickets in a day, his utter disgust and complete lack of recognition as he threw my license and registration back at me; without writing a ticket, didn’t come as a shock. I can even admire the will he had to actually do his job, something that’s seemingly only apparent on the ticket writers, here.

Years back, I was in the midst of another legal battle with one of the many psychos I’ve come across in the UAE. In the midst of one of my many, many trips to the Rifaa police station I got to see a full-fledge comedy play out in front of my eyes.

Picture this; my mother and I are sitting in some captain’s office, patiently waiting for him to resolve a labor-dispute between an Asian labor worker, his brother, and his Asian employer. The three of them were shouting simultaneously in a mixture of languages; Arabic, Hindi & English. From what I understood, the labor worker hadn’t been paid for more than eight months, and the employer wanted to sue him for not showing up at work during the past week; which evidently cost the company money.

After the three had screamed continuously for more than 15 minutes, the captain finally interrupted them, “Ok. Ok. You know what you have to do?”

All of them fell silent, waiting for the big authority to give them some sort of judgment.

“Go back to your office. It’s not far from here.”

All of them nodded, waiting for him to continue.

“Pick up your telephone, and dial 999.”

Well I’ll be dammed. They actually did as he instructed. All three of them left the police department silently, to go back to their office and call emergency over a labor dispute.

This isn’t the first bazaar display of law enforcement I’ve seen here. Maybe the first one was when I was just a teen. I was arrested in Sharjah, and accused of drug-dealing. I was just 14 or 15 years old; and though my companion may very well have been committing the said crime neither one of us ended up behind bars.

What’s amusing about this story is the fact that after hours and hours of psychological interrogation and I assure you, they know what they’re doing, and severely beating the fuck out of my male companions feet, and finally realizing we weren’t going to confess or give them urine samples, they decided to let us go. But before they did, I had to write a paper stating I would be good to my parents, do well in school and stay out of trouble in the first place.

**I might mention here, that regardless of my pleas, the CID captain and all of his staff refused to let me call my parents, and they didn’t let us go until near 11pm that night.

Later, I learned what I wrote was translated to Arabic, only not a single word in the Arabic script which stated I promised not to associate with the said companion again, was actually written in English.

How’s that for competence?

Moving on, I was again arrested years back in Rashidiya for driving without a license. Actually, the rookie decided to follow my best friend and I home because he assumed we were prostitutes.

It was after 3am and we were two girls driving alone. The truth is, we simply got bored of sitting in my house in Jumeirah and decided to go to her house in Mirdiff. Anyway, we ran into the house ignoring the civilian looking police car, and told her brother that we were being followed by strange guys. (None of the officers were in uniform, though we half knew they were police seeing how they kept flashing their badges at us while we were driving.)

Her brother went outside to talk and they asked for the driver. Being the twat he was, he called us out. I couldn’t provide a license; and funny enough the only one my friend had was an American one that expired 10 years before. They took us to the police station, and there we sat making friends with all the officers, while the rookie fought to press some sort of charges.

Around 7am the shifts change, the night staff gets replaced with the day staff. By that time 90% of the police station was fighting with the rookie to let us go. Finally, he gave in, but not without threatening to open a case against his colleagues for forcing him into it. I never did hear anything about that future case, I suppose it was all words.

So they agreed to let us go but first, I needed to show them some sort of picture ID to verify who I was. My passport was with my father’s office for visa or something like that, and I didn’t own anything else. Eventually, they accepted my Canadian social insurance card; which normally doesn’t have a photo, only for that occasion, in front of all the kind police men we stuck a sticker picture of my friend and I on the right corner.

After getting over their confusion and humbled laughs, and probably not wanting to spend anymore time at work than they had to, they let us go. The sticker is still there on my card.

I don’t know of any other country where law enforcement would 1) make such an assumption about a girl simply because she’s driving at night, or 2) let a law-breaker go without punishment or even proof of his or her identity.

But that Dubai for ya…

Next issue: RAS AL KHAIMAH courts. There’s a fun memory, I’m itching to share.


Blogger 1234dsfs said...

You really should be comfortable with the treatment you got - Imagine an Arab in US in your position. I dont want to say more...

11:38 PM, March 21, 2006  
Blogger Emirati said...

You should really try to lighten up a bit.

1:09 AM, March 22, 2006  
Blogger secretdubai said...

The human-rights-ometer just imploded :(

How old was your friend? Surely beating anyone's feet constitutes torture?

2:49 AM, March 22, 2006  
Blogger Hot Lemon& Honey said...

lol...at least we don't claim what US does...they torture like they want but feel free to point fingures to those who do...
I am not defending the system, its wrong..but I am just fascinated that people do have opinions and feel free to express it to whome they choose to..not to everyone.
Any how Tainted...I hope things have changed..and they are more civil than it used to.

3:13 AM, March 22, 2006  
Blogger samuraisam said...

are you sure it is a good idea to leak your identity over the internet just to prove a point?

I seriously hope you consider deleting the above comment for your own personal safety.

1:18 PM, March 22, 2006  
Blogger Tainted Female said...


I appreciate your concern much, and know your point is not only valid but probably one I should act upon; if I had any sense what-so-ever.

But I personally believe that no point has ever been verified valid through the lips of anonymous, nor has any statement been weaker than that without solid source, no rebel in history ever changed a thing without his name being known, and no person who choose to speak their opinion about anything controversial can be taken seriously when they’re too ashamed, scared, or weak to stand by what they have to say face-first and accept possible confrontation.

I believe in all I’ve said, and am not too proud to admit I’m wrong when I am. It was going to come up sooner or later anyway, because I’m not into pretending to be someone, or something I’m not; even if that ‘not’ is anonymous.

Hi. My name is Anood and I’m socially challenged.

I’m pleased to meet you.

~*With an attitude like mine, people shouldn’t be surprised by all that I’ve seen.

1:43 PM, March 22, 2006  
Blogger samuraisam said...

I could understand if you revealed your identity when being questioned by someone of remote substance, but balushi? why not save it for a more exciting argument?

I for one believe you (and I doubt I am alone), i've heard similar stories over the years through word of mouth, having it written down on paper, even without a name to put with it is something new entirely

2:33 PM, March 22, 2006  
Blogger Tainted Female said...


I like conversing with Balushi (and the likes of him), and I can't think of a better way to make it clear from the start to everyone and anyone that I'll never hide from who I am, than by directly challenging the one person who I think might actually take me up on the said challenge and do some research on me and what I’ve seen; for lack of better things to do himself aside find more fuel to for his fire.

And I’m at least two things Balushi would clearly like to see burnt; a westerner and a woman.

And to be honest, I was going to let my name out in today's Blog entry anyway; had a whole entry prepared in my mind about the anonymous mass here. Have you ever noticed the lengths even the most innocent, decent person in this country will go to, to keep their identity secret?

2:49 PM, March 22, 2006  
Blogger samuraisam said...

Well as soon as you put your name to anything it spells bad news. Not the wisest thing to do, especially if you are young/confused/pissed off.
As soon as you apply for a job and someone pops your name into google, even 10 years down the line when you've deleted your entire blog, it'll still exist, either in whole or in part.

There are different reasons for different people withholding their names, either in full or in part.

And if you do have anonymity, then why not use it?

2:59 PM, March 22, 2006  
Blogger Tainted Female said...

Sam, chances are, I’ll always be young, confused & pissed off.

And I really don’t give a damn what people make of me today, or tomorrow based on my actions of today.

There will always be judgmental haters who will find an excuse to make your life miserable, not grant you that promotion or give you that job. The way I see it, I’d rather that discrimination be based on something I’ve given them, rather than something they’ve fabricated or assumed.

And Balushi, I think I'm falling in love.

3:38 PM, March 22, 2006  
Blogger Tainted Female said...

We know Balushi. We know.

4:07 PM, March 22, 2006  
Blogger Tainted Female said...

Brilliantly creative, 100% foolproof!

I marvel at your genius.

5:01 PM, March 22, 2006  
Blogger Tainted Female said...

**Note: This is to replace my earlier (march 22 2.14pm) post which I’ve now deleted. The only changes in this are spelling errors (because I can fix them) and I’ve removed names, as I’ve decided I want to post a few things of a more sensitive nature today, and probably many days in the future. I still have nothing to hide, and if I trust you and you want to know I’ll gladly give you my name (in private) and whatever other personal details you’d like. Sam, you were right… Took me a weekend of sleep to realize it, but there really is no need, is there?

Ahmed & Emirati,

I'm not complaining. I find it all entertaining really. And honestly, I give the police more credit than most here do, when I'm not reflecting on these particular experiences - because at the end of the day I've had just as many good experiences with them as I have bad.

**example: One officer almost faced charges brought on by my X husband, for illegally entering his house, to accompany me to insure I didn't face violence, while collecting clothing for my son.

And Actually Balushi,

I live in Ajman, because I can not afford to live in Dubai, or Abu Dhabi where I work. I think I’ve stated that in previous posts. You just keep confirming my initial assessment of your comprehension skills, don’t ya?

I lived in Jumeirah, when my parents supported me. I’ve also lived in Rashidiya (my first home in the UAE), Karama, Mankhool, Ghusais, Warqa & Umm Sequeim.

Would you like to try your psychological evaluation of my motivation for letting my place of residence slip, again?

And you’d like me to verify my stories?

My name is12345. (1 was officially added when I became Muslim, 7 years ago, any records from before that time will probably be void of 1).

My companion in the Sharjah incident, was 54321.

Secret, I think he was in his thirties, but I can't really be sure because nothing he ever told me can be verified.

Though I know they don’t still have the file on me in CID Sharjah, as it was over 10 years ago and I was never formally charged, they do have his name as he was well known in both Sharjah & Dubai. Look it up.

And suppose the rest of this trivial knowledge I gained while in that station is a much a fantasy the rest of what I had to say:

CID in Sharjah cuff women’s hands in the front, men in the back.

The cuffs are NOT like the ones in America or those seen on TV, connected by a chain, but rather two solid metal pieces connected by a screw type apparatus which allows the hands to move only towards each other and apart, but not up & down.

The CID Chief (at that time) had a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Certificate of appreciation or something from the RCMP on his desk.

When a woman is in custody, they bring in a woman officer to accompany her, for the sake of insuring the woman in custody does not make false abuse accusations against the predominantly male force.

And after the CID beat my companion’s feet, they made him run outside (as common practice) to assure he did not get gang-green or some other illness due to severe damage endured. They beat the feet by tying them to a stick or bar of some sort, making the person lie on his back on the floor, raising the stick in the air (with the feet attached), and wacking them.

They do not use physical force on women. (At least they didn't on me).

During the time I was dragged in for driving without a license, the Rashidiya Police Station wasn’t half the building it is now, but rather an Arabic-Styled, 1 story structure, where in order to get from one office to another you had to walk outside. They didn’t have computers on any of the desks but one. And the pin-up board on the wall was plastered with pictures of cars that had hit camels, rather than each other – because at that time it was one of the most common deadly road accidents.

But I mistakenly said badge rather than ID… You're right, I’m a liar.

8:16 AM, March 25, 2006  
Blogger Tainted Female said...

I actually told it in brief in DS's blog on one of the comments some guy made saying the punishments weren't actually followed through with... (Which of course I objected to)

Since then, I've considered writing it all out and I will get to it eventually, but I kind of feel like I've already told the most of the story there, and it seems too soon to repeat it, even if I can give more detail here.

If you want to share your story with me (I noticed you don't have a blog) my email is linked in my portfolio here. If not just yet, give me a little time and I'll be sure to get it in here sooner or later.

I'm sorry you've been there and through it too. For now, all I can say is, you didn't by chance attempt to use the bathrooms there, did ya? And how many phone calls from his wife & friends did the judge take during your hearing (while listening to testimonies?)

And are you Muslim? Did they make you cover your face, as they did my non-muslim mother?! Poor thing, she didn't even know how to keep the shayla on her head, let alone walk with her face covered.

9:25 PM, March 25, 2006  

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