The conveyor belt at the suitcases’ X ray machine before the check in cunter, Dubai Airport:

One by one, the bags started to rise and fall over each other, the place was getting crowded, lots of people in one place trying hard to find and pick their bags, thats when I noticed that the little blue box containing our phones and wallets was about to get nudged out of place and all the things would fall into those little silver rollers. “Please! Hold the machine! just stop it for a second.. our things are falling” I said to the Emarati lady (clown face) operating the X ray machine. Her reply was: a disgusted look, a very obvious change in her face features that implied even more disgust, and a squeaky whiny “Whaaaat?!!”. Me and INM asked her again to stop/hold the machine coz we can’t find and pick the bags when there are lots of other bags piling up by the second.. She stopped the machine to say “I can’t stop the machine!!” “You just stopped it!” INM pointed out. She gave another condescending reply and showed disgust. We picked our bags and started walking toward the check-in counter. We were a good distance away from her when I said to INM “she don’t know how to operate the machine” (mat3arf teshte’3il).

Next thing we know, someone barked nearby and came up to us. He was a nobody, a tiny officer, who I think was employed to fill a void that never existed. He was Emarati too. The guy (greasy hair) heard my comment to my friend about clown face and was offended on her behalf. She did NOT hear me. He raised his voice and began motioning with his hands and asked many questions. “Yes I told my friend that she’s doesn’t know how to operate the machine. I don’t think she’s doing her job properly, thats just my opinion” I said to greasy hair, and he started to bark even more and asked for our passports (the passports were with Mishary, and he was at a counter very far away from us) He demanded the passports and INM went to bring them. Long story short, the guy took our passports, asked about our take-off time, and we told him that its on 8:20. He gave us a look that said “You might not be on that plane when it takes off.” Seeing him in that pose trying a bit too hard to fake authority was a sight out of a sitcom.

A little while later many officers came and started questioning us. We told them what happened. No one believed us. Greasy haired nobody said “He yelled at her to stop the machine then yelled again and told her how she’s not doing her job properly and how she can’t operate the machine. He was yelling at her!” Me and INM couldn’t believe our ears. The guy was lying his face off! We asked him if that is exactly what happened? “Wallah thats what happened!” He lied. We raised our hands as to say “We can’t compete with a lier”.

The questioning lasted a good 30 minutes. Me and INM stood our grounds. We did not offend clown face. She did not hear us. We did not want her to hear. greasy hair heard us and he told the girl what we said. But now that we’re painted guilty and liars, I stopped talking to the guys and asked clown face one question..

Me: Was I standing facing you, yelling at you and saying….etc?
Clown face: You said mat3arf teshte’3il.
Me: To you? Did you hear me? Was I standing there and yelling at you with those words?
Clown face: she was portraying 2 looks now. *disgusted look* and *I can’t believe he’s talking to me and no “sorry” came out yet* look.
Me: Did you hear me say that to your face, Was I Yelling?!!
Clown face: What difference does it make!? You said it!!

You see if I got to prove that she did not hear me and that I wasn’t even addressing her with my remark, let alone YELLING, I would prove that greasy hair was lying and clown face too was not saying the whole truth and that they had no case. The other officer sensed where I was going and stopped me “You don’t get to ask questions, only we do.”

Clown face: At first I was ready to forgive them but now I want to take them to the airport police office! (Her demand was ignored by everybody).

She was expecting a “I’m sorry” from me. Poor thing.

Nothing got to me till now, nothing. Not until the fat officer started handing us our passports.

He said many things. 2 things stood out:

1- Keep your opinions to yourself the next time, We don’t want to hear them.
2- We, emiratis, don’t insult employees while they’re doing their jobs (the way he said was a direct stab at my country and it offended me as a Kuwaiti).

I was offended by Dubai’s airport employees. We were talked down upon. Implicitly called liars many times. Treated as if we were criminals.

And all that for what?

For asking clown face to hold the X ray machine to stop the bag piling on top of our stuff and then telling my friend (far away from her) how I think she’s incompetent.

ma agool ila…. Malat 3albamyah.


This entry was posted on Sunday, August 17th, 2008 at 1:39 am

26 Responses to “The One With The Incident At Dubai Airport”

  1. um-mit3ib says:

    w aham shay mara7 esafroonik coz gilt inha mat3aaref itshaghel ;p

    ana a3tiqid inik ga3ed etqes 3alaina w bil sij inta 6ag’ha ba3ad;P

  2. Master says:

    allah ey3een lo sabha!!!!

    wallah yemken lo sabha a7san

  3. GlenBoy says:

    To be really honest Yousef… As expats we do face a lot of unnecessary harassment from the Kuwait Immigration Staff and Customs Authorities… Its like everytime they see an Eastern Passport in our hands they say to themselves … ” OK NOW… HOW DO MAKE THIS HARD ON THEM? ”

    But I am really sorry that you couldnt just jump over and punch the clown face right in the nose. LOL

  4. Mark says:

    Reading your post I think you were actually in the wrong here.

    The way you called people names in your post like “He was a nobody, a tiny officer”, “clown face” and “fat officer” shows that you don’t have respect for people which is sad.

    If she heard you or not that’s not the point, the fact that you insulted her and one of her colleagues heard you is enough.

    If this had happened in London or New York you would have been treated the same way if not worse.

  5. popcorn says:

    humanity needs more time to evolve. we should be ashamed of ourselves

  6. Dodo says:

    shawegatni ilbamya!!!!!!

  7. Glen says:

    Thinking bout what Mark said… I’d agree with him.. It was wrong on ur part calling her a clown… n yep if dis was London or the States…. It would have ended in a much worse way….

  8. 7zaya says:

    WHAT THE HELL! You can’t criticize people at airports now?! Are you friggin kidding me! Ever heard of disgruntled passengers or are those considered a Socratic novelty in today’s worldwide airport conditions? It’s one thing to yell at someone but to ask them to stop a belt or say that they don’t know how to do their job should be no means give them a reason to threaten that they won’t let you get on the flight!

    You know what? This is what happens with some people when they get authority. They have such huge insecurities that they CANT WAIT to find the first guy to use their authority against! Ba3dain inta shimsawee a5af bass qaal adabik willa sabbhum! They really are not doing their job if they bothered that much with hassling some random disgruntled passenger!

  9. liluokalani says:

    All I can say is SCREW THOSE EMARATI BASTARDS! For God’s sake they don’t know shit! They always seem to have a grudge on Kuwaitis.

  10. Hamad says:

    GCC officials hate each other old case.. try KSA customs and you’d wish that you got arrested in dubai

  11. Yousef says:

    um-mit3ib yeah can you imagine that?! she does her word horribly and I get stopped for calling her out on it..

    Master lol I know!

    Glenboy I get so embarrassed seeing the way they treat easterners in Kuwait’s Airport.

    Mark I need to point out 2 things:

    1- “shows that you don’t have respect for people which is sad.” Thats unfair. I do respect people, but I don’t respect the people mentioned in this particular post. We were yelled at, They disrespected me, my friend, my country and the way I was raised. I would’ve called them more names if it wasn’t for my family reading the blog. Now, Mark, Do you really think calling people, that did you wrong, names is a sign of not having respect toward all people?

    2-“If she heard you or not that’s not the point, the fact that you insulted her and one of her colleagues heard you is enough.” I did not insult her. I told my friend that she’s incompetent, thats not an insult until I face her and say it to her, and even then its hardly an insult. Another question for You, Mark, Do you think every post you do complaining about a service or a person is an insult to that person?

    popcorn I guess.

    Dodo ‘3adana feeh bamya ilyoom 😀

    Glen This was not london or newyork, this happened in Dubai. in london or newyork I probably would’ve sued. and what are you talking about! I’m wrong for calling her a name in my blog?! are you serious??! and besides, you just called her clown face in an earlier comment! lol 🙂

    7zaya Apparently not only being overheard saying she’s incompetent is bad, but calling those disrespectful people names in MY OWN BLOG is wrong too…

    they weren’t doing their jobs, period. To top it, greasy hair was hitting on clown face righy infront of us and she was laughing out loud (real loud, like a $%^@) when he took our passports to her and asked her if she wanted to “punish us.” He is a nobody and scum of the earth for taking advantage of his job to get closer to clown face.

    liluokalani I love Emaratis, I lived in the UAE for over 3 years and they’re one of the nicest people on earth.

    Hamad the whole hate and misusing authority thing is stupid.

  12. U2 says:

    That’s a problem we have here…. there is no clear line between what is wrong and what is right… what is an insult and what is a complement… and so on! One thing is of sure that airport staff has so much power since 9/11 and some of them taking misusing it. East or West, it’s a best practice to keep low profile and keep your temper under control while at the airport or onboard….

    Anyway, sorry to hear about your experience Yousef…. but you could have avoided the whole episode by being more discreet in expressing your opinion about her……

  13. K says:

    this is all bad! and its your side of the story even!!!!

    who u think you are to talk about people like that?

    why are you better than them?

    maybe she was a trainee, maybe she was PMSing, maybe she had death in her family?

    or just because she was working there you got confused and thought she’s working for you???

  14. Glen says:

    OK Yousef… PEACE LOL 🙂

  15. Yousef says:

    U2 I think there is no clear line between what is an insult and what is criticism. But I agree, I could’ve avoided the whole thing If I knew someone was there listening to what I’m saying to my friend.

    K The last couple of comments you left are very out of place and many people told me to ignore you and I did, But I just wanna know something, why are you so bitter?

    Glen hahah 😛

  16. 7zaya says:

    Jee I wonder what would have happened if you tried flirting with her just to spite him. They’d probably put you IN FRONT of the plane 🙂

  17. K says:

    bitter? i wanted to know why do you always review food and restaurants? is that bitter to you? and regarding this topic, you were either mean or playing spiteful, take your pick

    and no need to ignore me, i won’t be coming back here anymore. so there

  18. armagadon says:

    welcome back in KUWAIT yousef. that was a horrible experience with the cloun face 🙂 … i have one question for u , what did u feel when landing in q8 airport ?? relief ha ..

  19. Yousef says:

    7zaya lol now that would make a great episode for tash ma tash 😛

    K Oh well.

    armagedon hehe thanks yeah it was a relief 🙂

  20. Zabo0o6a says:

    “Malat 3albamyah” Sa7 lsanek ! 😛

  21. Adrenaline says:

    Lesson learned:

    Next time look around you and hide your mouth with your hand before commenting such comments, Teash wa takul Grehaa 😉

  22. Intlxpatr says:

    OK, why did you use a photo of okra/ladyfingers/bamyi to illustrate this post? Is there some double entendre that I am totally missing?

  23. pumkinah says:

    well, in my opinion u didnt do any thing wrong u told ur friend privately about ur opinion about her and thats not a guilt !! .. we cant all get along together even as a family some times we criticize each other and yes we get angry and some times we dont talk to each other and think of it as an insult but when we calm down and rethink about it we will find out that it was right but maybe said in a bad way.. in ur case it was`nt bad at all! because u were`nt talking to her at all!! and u didnt want her to hear that!

    and one thing for MARK dont u some times calls people names ? funny names? i dont think thats being bad or abusive to them. people do this all the time.. and he didnt do that in public in front of the girl and the officer!

    if we wanna talk about respect, i want to apologize to all the people foreign or citizen’s in Kuwait if they get insulted by some one, sick people don’t have a nationality or religion !
    am sorry that from now and on we cant tell our emotions and opinions out side our homes!

  24. Yousef says:

    Zabo0o6a lol

    Adrenaline yeah i guess 😛

    Intlxpatr I don’t know how to explain it… its a Kuwaiti saying, used to degrade a topic, a person or a situation. Not much of a degradation, more like put into place, you know..

    Malat 3albamya.. literal meaning: damn the bamya. lmao.. it makes no sense.. sorry 😀

    pumkinah 9a7 ilsaanich wallah.

  25. Intlxpatr says:

    Thank you! I knew there must be some connection, and I could not make that intuitive leap.

    So it is maybe to put something in perspective? Implying something is not such a big deal?

  26. 7zaya says:

    Yousef, I’d like to see you try to explain in English the Kuwaiti expression “slaima it9ikhum” 😀