Monday, June 27, 2016

27,000 new jobs in Dubai

sheikh-mohammed

Sheikh Mohammed’s plan to create 27,000 jobs in Dubai

The Maktoum family have long known that Dubai will have to be about more than oil, and this new initiative continues that plan…

We all know by now that we are moving into a post-oil economy. We also know that a quirk of geology is no longer enough to sustain a country’s economy. Thankfully H.H. Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum, who ruled Dubai from 1958 to 1990, worked on diversifying the emirate’s economy since day one. And his sons have continued in this vein.
Sheikh Rashid once famously said: “My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover, but his son will ride a camel,” reflecting his knowledge that a reliance on oil would not sustain Dubai’s economy.
Well, many decades after Sheikh Rashid said that – and after boosts to the economy like Emirates airline, Dubai Ports, Dubai Media City and DIFC are well and truly going strong – H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has announced another plan that will boost even more industries in the city and will see 27,000 jobs in Dubai by 2030.
sheikh rashidSheikh Mohammed with his father Sheikh Rashid. 
“Our ambition is to be our nation’s leading global knowledge-based economy,” Sheikh Mohammed said while announcing the plan.
“A sound economy is a diversified, integrated economy,” he explained. He went on to add that the initiative is “an indication of the maturity of the infrastructure and logistics in the UAE”.
The plan has outlined 75 initiatives to help generate an extra Dhs160 billion in Dubai by 2030.

Here are the strategy’s five key objectives according to Gulf Business
– Increase the total output and value-addition of the manufacturing sector.
– Enhance the depth of knowledge and innovation.
– Make Dubai a preferred manufacturing platform for global businesses
– Promote environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient manufacturing
– Make Dubai a centre for the global Islamic products market
the-planSheikh Mohammed at the launch of the initiative 

So where will the jobs be? Sheikh Mohammed’s plan focuses on boosting six key industries in Dubai, here they are…

Aerospace

Beyond having the world’s largest airline, Dubai also aims to be the global hub for manufacturing spare parts for aircrafts and providing maintenance and repair services. They will also step up aerospace and aviation research and development to boost innovation.

Maritime

Dubai Maritime City and Dry Docks World will expand activities to attract more ships to the area for maintenance and repair. They will focus on larger ships and offshore structures. They will also boost manufacture of yachts and boats so that people who buy yachts in Dubai can buy one built right here in Dubai.

Aluminum and fabricated metals

The boost in production capacity of metal and aluminum fabrication will ultimately be aimed at attracting more clients to Dubai from the international auto and aerospace industry. Aka, we’ll make more metal so that we can supply more car and aviation brands.

Pharmaceuticals

The GCC currently imports 80 per cent of its pharmaceutical requirements – Sheikh Mohammed’s new strategy aims to change that. The first phase will focus on manufacturing cosmeceuticals (cosmetics that are claimed to have medicinal properties) – particularly halal cosmeceuticals.
Initially the focus will be on research and development, and building up the infrastructure to manufacture, then they will aim to make the pharmaceuticals right here in Dubai.

Food & beverage

Countries in the GCC import 70 per cent of its food – and Dubai hopes to play a “significant role” in becoming a hub for food in the region. The strategy will particularly focus on leveraging the growing demand for halal products across the world.

Machinery and equipment

Building machinery and equipment already makes up about 25 per cent of the UAE’s industrial GDP, and the plan wants to continue to grow this area.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story

(NaturalNews) The "official" story of what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is now a blatant cover-up. After an endless stream of wild incompetence from the Malaysian military and government concerning the radar signature of the missing flight, we are now told by the Malaysian government that the flight "went down over the southern Indian Ocean" and that all lives are lost.

This explanation smacks of an obvious cover-up for several crucial reasons, all of which are now being utterly ignored by the conventional press:

#1) If the plane went down in the ocean, it would have broken up on impact and debris would be easily spotted

A Boeing 777 does not -- and cannot -- survive impact with the ocean and remain intact. It simply does not have the structural integrity to survive such an impact, which is a lot like hitting a cement wall at terminal velocity.

If Flight 370 hit the ocean, it would have been broken into tens of thousands of pieces, many of which obviously float on water (such as the seat cushions) and would be witnessed washing up on regional shores or easily spotted by search teams.

The lack of such debris is strong support that Flight 370 did not crash into the Indian Ocean as we are now being told.

#2) The plane continued broadcasting data to Boeing for 4 - 7 hours

Remember the fact that the airplane was broadcasting data for at least 4 hours after the transponder was turned off? This fact is now suddenly being dumped from history and from our memories as if it never happened.

We already know Flight 370 flew for 4 - 7 hours after diverging from its planned flight course. We already know this could have taken the plane to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran or even North Korea. (Click here to see my map showing possible destinations.) The fact that the plane broadcast this data for hours is not in dispute!

Wall Street Journal: "U.S. investigators suspect that Malaysia Airlines 3786. Flight 370 stayed in the air for up to four hours past the time it reached its last confirmed location, according to two people familiar with the details, raising the possibility that the plane could have flown on for hundreds of additional miles under conditions that remain murky."

The Guardian: "MH370: Missing plane could have kept flying four hours after disappearing, US investigators say... Engine data shows plane could have kept flying for four hours after disappearing"

Washington Post: " the plane may have flown for at least four hours after it dropped from civilian radar, U.S. officials said Thursday. A senior U.S. official said the information came from data sent via a satellite communications system by Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. That data has convinced U.S. officials that the plane’s engines continued to run for at least four hours after all other communication was lost."

So how does the Malaysian government now explain this? They don't. They simply gloss over this fact and hope we all forget it. They claim the plane went down in the Indian Ocean without flying very far at all. This makes no sense whatsoever and cannot be reconciled with the flight broadcast data received by Boeing.

#3) There is ZERO evidence the flight crashed into the Indian Ocean

What is the Malaysian government's evidence that Flight 370 ended in the Indian Ocean and "all lives are lost?"

They have no evidence. They have no bodies. They have no debris, no flight recorders, no sightings and no radar signatures that would put the aircraft in the Indian Ocean.

They have zero evidence. So they are now floating a cover-up to try to put this issue to rest in order to distract from their own incompetence and their bizarre failure to track the radar signature of an aircraft flying well within the range of their radar.

In fact, the only debris floating around right now is made of all the fragments of the Malaysian government's inept cover-up attempts that smack of a true "rookie attempt" to roll out a cover-up that's full of holes.

This utter lack of evidence did not prevent the Malaysian government from announcing, "we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived." (USA Today)

#4) Another crucial fact: It's clear that the transponder was manually turned off in order to hide the plane's new flight path

If the pilot of Flight 370 was suicidal and wanted to fly the plane into the ocean, there would be no need to switch off the transponder before doing so.

In fact, there would be no need to make all the complex, intentional flight maneuvers which Flight 370 clearly took as has been widely reported.

The fact that the transponder was manually disconnected followed by the plane making deliberate maneuvers that put it on a new flight path is near-absolute proof that the persons controlling the aircraft had no intention of flying the plane into the ocean. It's also strong evidence that they did not want governments to track their new flight direction and destination.

Without question, they intended to take the plane somewhere else and land it somewhere else, which is exactly why the aircraft continued broadcasting flight performance data to Boeing for 4-7 hours.

The Malaysian government is now hoping you forget all these facts in believing their bizarre cover-up explanation.

Malaysia's 9/11 official story

Flight 370 is now Malaysia's 9/11, complete with nonsense "official" stories and attempts to memory hole all the facts that originally came out in the mainstream media.

We are soon going to be told outrageous lies like "Oh, Boeing never received any flight data broadcasts from the aircraft, didn't you know?"

Anyone who now cites all the facts which have already been reported in support of the theory that Flight 370 continued on to another destination will be called "conspiracy theorists" and kooks.

The mainstream media will start scrubbing stories and retroactively altering its reporting to match the "official" government story. We've seen this before. It's how governments and media outlets sweep 239 lives under the rug and try to discredit anyone who asks skeptical, scientifically-sound questions based on the actual evidence.

In truth, the Malaysian government's bizarre new claim that Flight 370 "ended in the Indian Ocean" is the biggest conspiracy theory of all. It's sheer lunacy to reach such a conclusion without compelling evidence to support it, especially in light of all the other evidence that Flight 370 continued on for hours after the transponder was intentionally disabled.

Most likely explanation at this point: The aircraft is being turned into a weapon

Based on the Malaysian government's obvious cover-up attempt (which is incredibly transparent and childish as far as cover-ups go), it now seems increasingly likely that the Flight 370 aircraft has, indeed, been delivered to a rogue nation where it is being transformed into a weapon.

Malaysia has already proven that it is so incompetent that it cannot track huge aircraft flying across its airspace. This means a weaponized Boeing 777 is essentially a "stealth aircraft" to the Malaysian military -- a shocking revelation about military incompetence and lack of national security readiness in that nation.

Apparently, this same Boeing 777 can also fly undetected across the airspace of other nations -- most likely by "shadowing" existing flights while turning off its own transponder.

Whoever took control of Flight 370 now has a massive stealth weapon which an incredibly long flight range. This aircraft can now be outfitted with nuclear weapons and dispatched to almost any desirable target anywhere in the world, including cities like New York and Washington D.C., unfortunately.

I was the first journalist in the world to suggest that Flight 370 had been captured and turned into a weapon. That same story was also the very first story to suggest Flight 370 passengers may still be alive.

I still believe Flight 370 passengers may have survived the flight and the landing at the new destination, but now that world governments are rolling out their "official" stories, there is no question in my mind that they will do anything to support those official stories, even if it means discarding the lives of all the passengers. Sadly, I am now forced to recalculate the odds of Flight 370 passengers being found alive at no better than 1 in 5. (It was previously as high as 1 in 2.) But it is not zero! There is a realistic chance the passengers are being kept alive as some sort of international bargaining chip.

You can now expect the governments and media outlets of the world to start scrubbing their archived stories and statements, altering the "news history" to fit this new Malaysian government cover-up.

I wouldn't even put it past these people to now secretly sink some aircraft debris in the Indian Ocean so they can "find it" and thereby complete the cover-up.

If there's one thing I've learned in all my years as an award-winning investigative journalist, it's that you should never trust official stories... especially when they contradict all the earlier evidence.

Friday, May 27, 2016

A Day in The Life of The Jungle: Syrians Camped out in Calais

A Day in The Life of The Jungle: Syrians Camped out in Calais

A Day in The Life of The Jungle: Syrians Camped out in Calais
by Tam Hussein – @tamhussein
For Syria Comment, May
Apart from the odd father attending to the needs of their families, most Syrians sleep in late in the Jungle in Calais. They are wrapped up inside their tarpaulin and plywood hovels resembling one of those Hoovervilles from Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. Sometimes new arrivals, exhausted, just curl up and sleep on the dusty path, not caring that in this makeshift camp rats are oblivious to men. In fact, this is the very reason why they call it the Jungle; for here men live like animals. The Junglists though, whether Syrian or not, don’t sleep in because they are idle. They have been up all night trying; trying with an indomitable will to reach the white cliffs of England.
The Pump in the background, motorway to port- Author
The Pump in the background, motorway to port- Author
England though doesn’t want the Syrians or any other Junglist. Westminster has invested France with vast funds to put up fencing as white as the cliffs of Dover. These fences tear apart Calais’ green expanse and resemble the Israeli security measures in the Occupied Territories. These are patrolled night and day by the police, gendarme and the hated CRS, the riot police. The CRS have the role of Roman centurions on a frontier outpost, desperately trying to keep the barbarians out. As the sun sets, you see them putting on their shin guards, shields and helmets at the petrol stop where the English stock up on some cheap plonk. Usually there are eight CRS vans, each carrying twelve men. There are other vans concealed in the shrubbery, ready to throw their spotlights at opportunistic Junglists, so the riot police can move in with harsh batons and pepper spray.
The powers that be have taken many measures to prevent the men from going to England. They have advised that the lorries with no cargo leave their carriages open during the night, so that the Junglist knows that there will be nothing to protect him from the pepper spray once it’s opened. The trucks heading towards the Calais port follow a strict procedure. Once they reach junction E16, they are inspected by the police and then they are instructed to launch themselves towards the ferry port so they are not intercepted by the Junglists. This enclosed stretch of motorway runs right alongside the camp and you can see the trucks hurtle down towards the port as if taunting the men.
As a further precaution, the authorities have created a buffer zone along the fenced motorway. Now the Junglist will have to make that hundred and fifty meter run towards the fencing to get at the trucks.
The buffer zone and the wall- Author
The buffer zone and the wall- Author
Volunteer training with residents of the Jungle- Author
Volunteer training with residents of the Jungle- Author
***
There is always a police presence in and around the camp. But it is in the evening that the CRS makes their presence felt because, under the cover of darkness, the Junglists try to make it to England. In the evening, if the men have managed somehow to evade the police, they cut the fencing and wait for one of those trucks. When they see one truck hurtling towards them, they jump in front of the truck hoping that it will stop. Many lives are lost in this way, especially the children, because they are harder to spot and tend to work in packs. Other times the Junglists throw something in the path of the truck. Whatever the methods, the objective is the same: create a Dugar- a traffic jam of lorries.
When the cry for Dugar is heard, distinct whistling noises spread across the camp and the Junglists start to move in the direction of the Dugar. They have half an hour to try to get through the gap in the fencing and clamber into the trucks that pile up before the police arrive. It used to be two days before they came but now they are here within half an hour. The police have little choice but to fire rubber bullets at close range because they are outnumbered and most men will have knives as standard issue; how else are they going to cut the fencing? Sometimes the hot tear gas canister gets thrown back by an Afghan wearing gloves and the police get to taste its acrid smell. Most men fail and laugh about it afterwards, showing their bruises; it’s gallows humour, the same humour you find in war torn Syria- a bitter dark sort formed in the hearts of cynical men.
Empty Trucks in Calais- CRS were hidden in the shrubbery
Empty Trucks in Calais- CRS were hidden in the shrubbery-Author
More recently the authorities have cut the camp down to size. The camp used to be one kilometre by half a kilometre, but the authorities have bulldozed two thousand Hoovervilles which promptly moved to the southern precinct. They then destroyed the southern precinct so that in eight weeks the population in the northern precinct increased fourfold. But it is not all bad news: the buffer zone now serves as a great place where Afghans can bowl googlies and be struck for six. They can shout ‘no ball’ or ‘Howzat’ as if they were playing at Lord’s cricket ground to their hearts’ content. Others, like the Eritreans and the Syrians, don’t quite understand cricket, and you hear them making comments as to why you need to keep your arm straight when bowling. They stick to the simplicity of football.
When one of the Syrians try a ‘muhawala’- an attempt to cross the English Channel- it is as if the man is going off to the war front. I met Ammar cutting onions at a soup kitchen. He is a pensive quiet man, thinning prematurely at the top. He smokes rolling tobacco sitting on the roof of the soup kitchen. Men say he should be on suicide watch or on anti-depressants. It is hard to tell whether this is the case. Ammar is from Qusayr, Syria. He escaped after his city fell, his family is scattered all over the world. His mother is in Egypt, and three siblings in Lebanon, Sweden and the UK. He says he doesn’t care for any country and will return to Syria, “better to die there in dignity”. But despite this, he is still going to try to get to England.
The fenced motorway to the port and the camp. Author
The fenced motorway to the port and the camp. Author
Ammar in the soup kitchen- Author
Ammar in the soup kitchen- Author
Ammar serves dinner to the Junglists who form an orderly queue at seven o’clock. And then wearing his crocs, with a bag donated by a French girl, he bids farewell and off he goes into the night. He is convinced that he will make it to England tonight. Perhaps we will never see him on this earth again. He’s jumped trains, clambered onto trucks, by hook and crook tried it all and failed. And yet tonight he is convinced he will make it. Everyone thinks they will be the one. There is another, Ali, sitting in front of a shop. He is visiting the Jungle. He made made the journey from Afghanistan through Italy, stayed there long enough in Naples for him to speak Italian. He too, ripping up a naan, says he’s been trying. He once made it to England but was sent back. But he is going to try again, “Fanculo tutto il mondo” he says apologising for his swearing, “only England will do. Germany, France, Italy is (sic) racist, they treat us like animals.” And then there is fourteen year old Hani, from Aleppo whose parents were killed by the Syrian regime, he too tries every night. He too has tried to get on the Eurostar which, if it catches you, doesn’t even stop. Apart from a slight bump, no one onboard will know that a child died on their journey into St. Pancras International.
Evening in the Jungle, Calais.
Evening in the Jungle, Calais- Author
It seems impossible to pass through the fencing, the walls, the buffer zones and tunnels, but they do. There is something quietly quixotic about them as they try night after night. They embody the indignity of the ‘have nots’ against the ‘haves’, of human folly and yet at the same time hope. Has England become an obsession or does it contain some hidden street paved with gold? In the UK a refugee will receive five pound twenty a day, he will rely on food banks and suffer hardship but he is safe and that is worth its price in gold. After all, these people have journeyed from Eritrea, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and many other countries escaping brutal dictators and war. The English channel will not thwart them. In fact, during the night, the Syrian corner of the camp is lit up by a twelve foot flame seen by all. Initial fears that the shanties are ablaze are dispelled by the sound of whooping and singing. One of their brothers have made it to London. How? God knows, but the story is a testament to human resilience.
If Ammar makes it he has to convince the UK authorities that he has arrived with out knowing that he has been transiting through other European countries. More than that, he hopes that he hasn’t been snapped up by one of the men working for the British intelligence services. Junglists are aware that many people at the camp work for the intelligence services because friends who have made it, have seen them at Dover police station fraternising with the officers. In truth, the security services have no choice. The Jungle is a security concern, especially in the wake of Paris and Brussels.
For Ammar, though, there are easier ways. He can seek asylum in France and then be put in Camp Salaam with its the pristine white containers and warm showers. But Camp Salaam feels like prison. They are kept there till their application is processed. Those that apply seem to be from the Francophone world so France is the most logical destination to seek asylum. In any case, they probably do not have any finger prints any where else in Europe. If they do, the Dublin Agreement III requires that the host country send them back to the first European country of entry. They will be deported from that camp and find themselves in Serbia or Greece. This is what the Junglists fear the most; being sent back. These refugees prefer the freedom outside of Camp Salaam, but the freedom of the Jungle is fused with the ever pervasive smell of human excrement and rank green water that gather in pools where brown rats have pool parties.
***
The Prophecy of Micah
The Prophecy of Micah- Author
Even though there is no capo in the camp, somehow things just fall into place. There is an anarchic sort of order here. One would expect the Junglists coming from such different cultures to be at each others’ throats. But they behave very much like the prophecy of Micah, in the Old Testament, whose message is displayed in the camp for everyone to see:
“They shall all sit under their own vine and the fig tree and no one shall make them afraid.”
Each community rests with their own. Each area is loosely identifiable. The Kurdish area has its flag fluttering red, white and green with the sun in the middle. The Afghans with black, red and green, the Sudanese more so for their practice of playing dominoes at all times of the day and burning incense.
The Syrians have no flag, neither the flag of Assad, nor the flag of the revolution flutters here. Most are barely men, sons of farmers who joined the uprising in their teens. It is hard not to love their generous spirit. They continuously fill your cup with coffee and tea. Many of them, as Umm Sulaiman says, hail from “Der’aa al-manquba”- “The city of Dera’a that is riddled with holes”. It is the same city where the Syrian uprising began.
And yet, after five years, the revolution, at least from the Jungle, is hard to discern. In April 2013, the former Syrian Brotherhood Spokesman Zuheir Salemwarned: “If Assad stays, you will see Europe flooded with fifteen million Syrian refugees.” This is coming to pass. But Syrians do not unquestioningly apportion all the blame on the regime or its barrel bombs for the failure of the revolution. The rebels have had five years to cobble together a credible opposition and they have failed miserably. Syrians can’t quite figure out why the revolution has failed. Some of the refugees say, without providing a shred of proof, that DAESH or ISIS is the creation of Shi’ite Iran with its head quarters in London. Others blame America and others blame themselves. Abu Umar from Idlib, pulls on his cigarette, sitting in his tidy hut and says: “Is there any government in the world that isn’t oppressive now? Is it not the case that my cousin took the bribe, my brother tortured prisoners, my neighbour did such and such? We are given rulers that we deserve as the Quran says.” Abu Umar believes that Syria’s solution can only be solved once Syrians achieve inner piety.
The men from Dera'a celebrating
The men from Dera’a celebrating- Author
But though they have no common flag, there are still strong kinship ties. Umm Sulayman, for instance, has no one. She looks like one of those Okies from 1930s America. Her children, one six year old boy and one two year old girl, play barefoot in the sand. Her husband was killed by the Assad regime and now she relies on her countrymen and the Jungle to support her. There are men like Jamal, an engineer from Newcastle, who ensures that her camper has enough gas, that they are fed and that her two children are looked after. Like the Okies who dreamt of going to California, she hopes to join her family in England. But in truth; there is no possibility of that. The lawyers can’t help her, the Dublin Agreement III again is the problem. If she arrives in the UK her application for asylum will fail. She has to convince the immigration officers that she did not stop in any other country. If her story is not airtight the immigration officers in Lunar house, Croydon, will put holes in it.
In the camp, religion does play a part in ordering the lives of the Junglists. One greeting of salaam, one prayer to protect their family breaks down barriers and suspicion. There is one church and seven mosques. Masjid al-Mouhajer is the one the Syrians go to. The central mosque is the Umar mosque, a tarpaulin structure, set up in order to unify and give a sense of solidarity amongst the Junglists. Umar mosque was the brain child of a Syrian, Abu Omar, Jamal and other imams who came together and encouraged the men to set up a mosque for the sake of fraternity. It is this mosque that helps to diffuse the tensions that flare up in the camp periodically. The mosque is led by Imam Katibullah, a Pashtu with piercing grey eyes who speaks Arabic, walks the camp in his black shawl, panjabi and Pakhool, and gives pastoral care to all and sundry and seems loved by the camp.
At evening prayer, it is as if all the ills suffered by the Muslim world gather; there stands its past glories and its present misery and its future hopes, all united behind the Afghan Imam, Katibullah. Watch the men pray and raise their hands to their Maker and you see that some pray for paradise and some, dare one say it, pray to England, and some pray as if tonight will be their last day on Earth. And sometimes it really is their last day.
Whilst the politicians in Westminster wrangle over what is to be done, the people of England show the same generous spirit that accepted refugees in the past, whether Hugenot Protestant, Jew, Pole or East African. This is acknowledged by the Junglists. One guesstimate puts it that ninety percent of the volunteers are from Britain. They donate disused caravans that go to the most vulnerable. There are makeshift medical clinics offering primary care, youth clubs, legal advice and other services, all funded by these volunteers. Names like Sophie, Claire, Iona are mentioned with intense reverence and affection and, though some of these volunteers do not believe in saints or God for that matter, they are trusted like saints and many children are given to their care. But there is also a sense that whilst these men and women give to the refugees, they too seem to gain something. It is hard to tell as to exactly what that is, but as Jamal says: “they cannot go back to their societies and live normally after the Jungle.” Whilst some volunteers come to experience the anarchic freedom, the hospitality of the men with nothing, perhaps even to savour the cannabis, you get the sense that they too maybe searching for something.
There are also those like Jamal who are clear as to why they do it. Him and his wife and a handful of Malaysian volunteers feed a thousand men a day and run it purely on the good will of those across the English Channel who donate food and goods. He sold everything to set up a soup kitchen and is also the camp’s handyman. Why give up everything, I ask? He replies: “My father used to read a Hadith of the Prophet at bed time, which stayed with me: ‘no one of you really believes if you go to bed with a full stomach and your brother’s stomach is empty’”. And so Jamal, his wife and a bunch of volunteers serve food to the camp every evening. But it is not enough; most newborns in the camp are still undernourished.
That is not to say that there is not ugliness. The camp is etched with the pain and desperation of its inhabitants. One Junglist, an Iraqi from Salahdin, who looks like a cross between a guitarist from Nirvana and an army major, complete with blond beard and bob tail, chops onions and serves the poor and yet he goes to bed seeing visions of both his brothers having their throats slit in front of his very eyes. Abu Uday, a Damascene, has the picture of his six and three year old in Lebanon hanging on his wall, as a permanent reminder of his duty towards them. Two days ago six boys were found in a Hooverville in great distress. They had been raped. Children disappear in the camp. Jamal tells of a story where a mother abandoned her six month old infant and it was looked after by the camp; moved from family to family. A phone call came, and the voice claimed to be the newborn’s family, Jamal rushed to the hospital where he was told to go with the child. But on the way, they stopped at a cafe and he was asked to hand the baby over to some men; he realised they were people smugglers and pulled out. There was a notorious Kurdish smuggler known as Hajji, he was hated in the camp. Before making it to England Hajji had already spent considerable time in an Italian prison smuggling people to Italy from Libya and had set up shop in the Jungle. It is the presence of these undesirables that means that the camp has ears and is rife with intelligence services who do not know who these men are and what their motives are.
Night: Going to England- Author
Night: Going to England- Author
War has no doubt changed the character of these people. Jamal recalls a scene described as if it was from the battle of Agincourt, where the Afghans squared up to Sudanese and battled each other with flaming projectiles, sticks and knifes. Sixty men were injured, ten were hurt critically. The fighting occurred right in between the mosque and the kitchen, the latter being used for first aid. None of the Afghans knew why they were fighting; it was merely in solidarity with their compatriots and the Sudanese likewise. It turned out that it was a dispute over a bicycle: an Afghan had not paid the ten euros owed. And so the Sudanese came to collect and a medieval battle started. The Afghans went to aid their man and the Sudanese theirs. Hajji fired two shots in the air, only the playing of Quranic verses on the loud speaker from Masjid Umar calmed the situation down, and the next day, battered and bruised, the same men were hugging each other and asking each other for forgiveness. As Jamal explains, when you have witnessed twenty years of war it corrupts you. It becomes instinctive to fight, that’s why the French police are puzzled as to why the Afghans just react by fighting and throwing stones when there is no need to. They have seen nothing but war.
Author
Author
The jungle has the good, the bad and the ugly. And no doubt politicians will continue to build bigger walls that cost millions to keep them out. There is a sign in the Jungle asking the question: “Is me majnoun [mad] I am thinking about the world. I hope that we can be treated equally.” But the Jungle is not unique, there are more Jungles being built all over the world. The same phenomenon can be seen in Buenos Aries, Santa Fe and Rio De Janeiro. In Lima, poor Chileans scale the 10 km wall to glance at the Haves, they are all Junglists. All over the world walls are being built to keep out the needy, the destitute and the poor. At some point those walls will fall, and if England is not careful, perhaps Micah’s Prophecy may come true in London, just as it did for Jerusalem. As for the Syrians they will keep on coming, English Channel or no English Channel, if this conflict is not resolved.
Tam Hussein is an a ward winning investigative journalist and writer published by BBC, C4, ITV, Guardian, Huffington Post, New Statesman etc.

Film Analysis — The Gods Must Be Crazy

godsmustbecraycrayAt first glance, “The Gods Must Be Crazy” is an innocent comedy, full of guiltless slapstick and overtly-prolonged gags. Billed as “an epic comedy of absurd proportions,” it has become a worldwide cult favorite, earning millions, and Rotten Tomatoes ranks it at an impressive 95%. The 1980 film, directed by Jamie Uys, contrasts two distinctly different societies: the “Bushmen” of the Kalahari desert, and the civilian urbanites of post-colonial Africa. It acts as an allegory for the impact of technology on society; both its benefits and its pitfalls.
The film begins by presenting the stark differences between the “primitive” culture of the aboriginal Xhosa-speaking Bushmen and the “modern,” technologically-superior culture of the modern world. The Kalahari desert is a foreboding place, the film states, yet the “little people” who call it home live simple lives without law, violence, or turmoil. This quiet, uncomplicated life is juxtaposed against the fast-paced, complicated world of technology by the arrival of none other than an empty Coca-Cola bottle. (The symbolism here is unhidden.) The appearance of the new object, something that Nature Herself could not provide, brings strife to the small tribe, inciting coveting, jealousy, and even conflict to the once peaceful community. Xi, a village leader and the original discoverer of the “evil thing,” begins a long quest to remove the bottle and the troubles it causes from his society.
Xi, our lead protagonist, played by Xhosa actor N!xau, is introduced to an eccentric cast of characters, each representing a different cultural standpoint towards technology and its companion modernism. Kate Thompson, the alluring yet finicky journalist (an homage to Farrah Fawcett), is imported from South Africa to work as a teacher on a mission settlement. Andrew Steyn, the clumsy but affable biologist, uses technology to study the elephants of Botswana, or rather, their dung. Sam Boga, the hapless latin revolutionary, is an obvious allusion to Che Guevara and an overt demonization of communism. Finally, Jack Hind, the suave and swarthy capitalist, is a master of technology, bouncing his tour bus throughout the savanna with ease, yet is portrayed as the bad guy.primitive brakes
From a purely sociological perspective, the film discusses the inherent costs of technological progress, and thus,“modernism.” As Xi interacts with Western modernism, he approaches it without preconceptions of technological meaning. In a society without ample water, what “is” a Coke bottle, if not a musical instrument, pattern maker, or weapon? Through the naivete of Xi, the film outlines the costs of technology plainly. We see rushed travel by faulty automobiles and a ludicrous scene of a jeep that just won’t stay put. We see scientists that get stranded by rivers that could easily be waded across, clothing that gets caught in trees when its wearers’ concept of decency denies the ease of temperature-appropriate dress, and predatory, lascivious males made to look like heroes simply because their -ahem- tools work better. What is the price of all these technologies? Do their benefits outweigh the costs?
Evil Symbols of Cultural Hegemony
An important theme underlying the entire film is a strong narrative regarding the inherent cultural value of possession. Xi’s tribe lives in the Kalahari desert, an area with scant resources. However, rather than pitying themselves and decrying their apparent lack of advantages, his people cherish everything that the gods made for them. Nothing could be either “good” or “bad” to Xi’s isolated community, for all things simply “are” as they are supposed to be. His people would not wish to acquire advantages over the other members of the community because all members are held in the same egalitarian regard.
In fact, when the Coca-Cola bottle, an item that could not be shared equally, arrived in the simple society, it caused turmoil, bringing the trials of the modern world to the humble society. Xi’s people had never known greed, anger, or aggression. Those are sins of a world that allows its members to “own” things. A society that allows– even encourages– possession is never satisfied with the things it owns because the value of ownership is not in having things, it is in acquiring them– in acquiring an advantage over others. The cultural value of possession has but one name: Power.
In 1998, Neil Postman offered an admonition to all of those who might bow to the god of technology. He suggested “Five Things We Need To Know About Technological Change,” but his most important warning is his admonishment of the unequal distribution of technology. Throughout the film, whether for good or for ill, there are concentrations of material technological resources. Some characters find themselves in conspicuous positions of authority over others because of their mastery of material technologies. Despite this, we find no acknowledgment of technology’s negative impact on society from the characters. No one seems to notice what Xi does. Because a culture that values possession also values methods that increase the likelihood of acquiring more possessions, technologies are naturally concentrated into narrower and narrower communities of people. Both Jack Hind and Sam Boga use their material resources to express their power upon others, inflicting both shame and violence.
This, of course, brings us to a different, but extremely important way to view the film. From an historical perspective,Sam Boga The Gods Must Be Crazy is an unvarnished bag of cats. The film was written and directed by South African Jamie Uys in 1980, during the worst decade of apartheid. It is easy to judge the actions of the past through the lens of the present, but we won’t go down that road. Rather, when viewed from the comfort of the present, through thirty years of perspective, the film offers an interesting alternative take to its intended message. As such, it is a poignant snapshot of a troubled moment in world history during the troubles of post-colonial African nationalism, the collapse of Western Industry, and the height of the Cold War.
First and foremost, the white South African culture of 1980 can be described as patronizing at best (perhaps even genocidal for lack of a better hyperbole). From the first moment of the film, the narrative is rife with racially and ethnically derogatory paternalism. The uncivilized “bushmen” are actually the Xhosa-speaking Saan people, pushed ever-further north by European colonial incursion. The Saan people who are depicted in the film had to shed any modern clothing or amenities they owned in order to look more “native,” and the incessant clicks and pops that are dubbed over the Xhosa dialogue are shameful. Yes, there are sounds in the Xhosa tongue that do not occur in English, but dubbing extra ones on top of the dialogue is an irritating ploy to make the language sound more exotic.
Only antagonizing the film’s salient patronization of black people, even though the story evolves through the protagonism of a native African “bushman,” it is still an ethnocentric “white man’s story,” viewed from only one angle. In the end, it is love story between two white people, and black African people have no real voice in its development. Even the narrator is Caucasian. Everywhere throughout the film, the white man is regarded as the bringer of civilization to Africa. They are the “gods” who drop Coke bottles from on high. The white man wields technology, and thus culture, and is consistently in a position of authority. The only positive aspects of native African culture are its “backwardness” and “innocence,” like Adam and Eve in the Garden. Is this surprising when one realizes that violent apartheid segregation would not end in South Africa for another decade after the film’s release?
StuckApart from the obvious patronization of the black people, the film is painfully gendered. Kate, though merely a journalist, is chosen to teach at a mission school. What are her qualifications? Is this simply because she’s a woman who can read and write? Of course, to travel to the desert of Botswana, she packs only dresses and high heels. She is ashamed of exposing her body, even despite being painfully caught in a Watuba tree, and ultimately falls for the nutty professor, because– well– he’s available, I suppose.
The film could also be analyzed for its interpretation of Communism. Boca, the character obviously based on Che Guevara (who participated in the Congolese resistance to Western neo-colonialism) is the villain of the story. Interestingly, while the ideals of Communism support the overarching message of the film, it was released during the height of the Cold War, in which South Africa was embroiled by its apartheid policies. Though Communists such as Che Guevara would agree with Xi’s call for shared wealth and egalitarian community, both it and the brutal subjugation of apartheid are conveniently skipped over in the film.
The film does have redeeming qualities. Though I have denounced the ethnocentrism and inherent racism underlying the entire story, it serves to outline the cultural complexities of South African apartheid. Though technology and its natural inclination to encourage the acquisition of greater concentrations of capital are criticized in the film, it is interesting to note that apartheid was overcome in large part by a global consciousness, activated by the technology of the modern mass media. The film also serves as a continued warning at the advance of technological progress. Technology still acts as a vehicle of possession and of power. From a materialist viewpoint, something as simple as a Coke bottle might bring down a civilization. In the end, perhaps it is Xi and his Xhosa speaking “bushmen” who are the more civilized. They had need neither of Coca-Cola bottles, nor of movies to show them of their absurdity.
Xi