You'd have thought that, coming back to Lalaland from Europe, you'd have the right to expect the usual slew of daft 'good times' news from the dailies but I was shocked to catch Gulf News' story on Alla Khrapovitskaya, the 20 year old student who was attacked in Dhiyafa, near to where our bijou offices are.
Returning home from university one evening late in May, she was slashed repeatedly in the face by an unknown attacker using 'a large knife'. She remembers little about the incident, says GN, bar that it was unprovoked and her assailant took nothing from her and didn't try to touch her sexually.
The slash across her face cuts through her left cheek and then, the other side of her mouth, her right cheek. Another cuts down across her mouth from her left cheek while the right side of her face bears a downward slash from her eyebrow to her lower cheek. In all, she has seven such slashes carved into her face. The scarring she has been left with is horrific.
Her mother wants her to have reconstructive surgery: she told GN she was willing to sell her kidney to pay to restore her daughter's face. I did find it strange that someone would immediately think of that as a way to raise money.
But two things really struck me hard about this story. The first was that I cannot recall any previous story - did it really take a month to get this out there? And the second thing was that the GN report doesn't address the one angle that is surely of the greatest public concern. Despite a natural sympathy for the poor girl, it's the fact that the police are at a total loss: the attacker left 'no clues' apparently.
Which means that whoever did this is still free and wandering around Dubai's lively Satwa residential area at night. The thought is unsettling, to say the least.