Sunday, 31 January 2010

Talking Towers

Burj Dubai, March 2009Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday's Arabic Al Khaleej features an extensive feature by writer Mustapha Abdulraheem. Rather brilliantly, it is penned the form of a chit-chat between the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Shopping Festival. This comes to us from the newspaper that once memorably interviewed that little yellow bundle of fun, Modhesh Al Modhesh.

"I feel happy because I was born as the tallest, most important Emirati, Arab and international building ever made by man on this planet. There's nothing in the universe to match my pride and how it rises,' the building gushes. 'My days start in the morning when I am wakened by the clouds. I praise God and I thank him for being born Emirati. I look over the world through twelve telescopes fixed on my platforms. I look through one of them and I can see the skyscrapers of New York and Malaysia as well as the pyramids.'

The iconic tower was surprised, apparently, on the 28th January to see fireworks as well as smelling the scent of musk from the city's streets (sadly, the piece doesn't explain which aspect of the construction is responsible for its olfactory senses). Not unnaturally, unsure of what the fuss was about, the Burj turned to Dubai Mall and the Burj Al Arab and asked them what's going on. They laughed, we are told, because the Dubai Shopping Festival was with them.

'I'm a big success that has lasted for 15 years,' DSF tells the inquisitive young Burj, going on to talk at some length about what a tremendous symbol for Dubai's success and progress it is. It's not, it would appear, the humblest festival in town, but then it's trying to big it up to the world's tallest tower.

At this point in the dialogue the Burj smiles and DSF asks him why. 'Has my presence and name added to the attraction of you as a festival this year?'

'Of course, says DSF. 'You are the pride of every Emirati and Arab. You have a wide audience, considering that your opening night was the best international event this year and you are the tallest building this earth has ever known!'

The Shopping Festival then takes the Burj Khalifa on a tour of Dubai (after talking at some length about its success and importance and its regional leadership of the festival industry) but, sadly, the iconic tower had eventually to return to its guests, making a promise to visit again next year.

What a wonderful piece to inspire everyone! One notes there is once again a series of awards for journalism during this year's Dubai Shopping Festival. Mustapha must be a front-runner for a gong and perhaps even a cash award as an appropriate award for his excellent work.
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10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Brilliant.

Mita said...

I wish there was a good translation (read nuances) of the original arabic article. Would have been interesting reading judging by your blog.

motherinferiordubai said...

As they say 'you couldn't make it up'
oh... someone did.

alexander... said...

It brought tears to the eyes of the young lady who translated it for me, I can assure you Mita...

5ft0 said...

Love it! So original!

InstantMusings said...

Brilliant. If there is a DSF journalism award, and I think there is one, this one should bag it.

Hisham Wyne said...

Am staggering around paralyzed with supressed laughter. My regurgitation reflex is working overtime - the very air around me seems to want to throw up.
If that article didn't exist, we'd just have to invent it to brighten Sunday up :) Oh, the fireworks and the smell of musk on the street.

Paraglider said...

One wonders if the writer was a Burns fan? A mere 250 years ago, he had the auld and new brigs o' Ayr chatting away to each other. "I'll be a brig when ye're a shapeless cairn" said the old to the new. Which came to pass, as the new bridge collapsed in time and had to be rebuilt, while the old one is standing to this day.

Mai Abaza said...

Wow. This reminds of that excellent interview AL Khaleej published with Modhesh a couple of years ago. They're always way ahead of other publications with these innovative editorials.

Anonymous said...

I laughed, which I havent done in ages. Fookin' 'Ilarious! Your writing is great, no fucking about. I normally hate blogs, in fact I dont know what Im doing here, I started out googling Robin Moore Dubai, and got here by accident. Gotta go.

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