Warden Message # 6/2011: Stay Alert to Regional Developments
So I decided to create a map of all the travel advisories and restricted travel countries just so I didn't lose track. Here's what I came up with:
People keep asking if we are ok over here and the answer is yes, we are safe and sound. Here's a recap of how the upheaval in the region means here.
We are insulated from the overall "mood" sweeping the region. Dubai citizens are rich (not as rich as they used to be, but still). They are well kept and enjoying one of the world's best social welfare programs. So it seems that happy people are pretty much quiet people when it comes to the whole government overthrow thing.
Although, I'm working on a project right now that is completely stalled because the company sales people can't travel to: Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi, Libya, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia...the list goes on. So economically sales/trade have been hit.
European expats have been heartened by the fact that the Americans are taking a "wait and see" approach before entering into Egypt and Libya and working with other nations to figure out a more holistic strategy. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan haven't endeared the rest of the world to us. The rights and wrongs of such engagements are a policy discussion, to be sure, but there is a pervasive feeling that the Americans have been bungling things with their involvement in the past decade and that their involvement is now bringing even more hardships to these complex situations.
On the flip side there is someone on the news every night asking "what the US is going to do about this?". So there is a constant expectation that we will be the world's arbiter. It's a bit of a damned if you do and damned if you don't scenario. (As a complete aside, there are a lot of tongues wagging about Sudan/Darfur. Do we just pick and choose which people to protect and war crimes to stop?)
So that's my brief 'on the ground' reporting from Dubai!