Bloggin’ Banat

two arab-american chicks takin’ over the blogosphere

Brace Yourselves. Paris Hilton Is Coming to Dubai. June 2, 2009

paris-hiltonGod help us all. Paris Hilton is coming to the Arab world to look for a new BFF.  I thought my ears were deceiving me when I heard today that Paris will be going to Dubai to tape her show “Paris Hilton’s My New BFF”.  Sadly, my ears weren’t deceiving me.  It’s true.

Hilton’s reality show, if you can even call it that, first aired in the US on MTV and then a UK version soon followed.  The show’s premise is basically a search for a so-called new best friend for Hilton in which contestants go through a series of tests to see which one can best suit her lifestyle.

Later this month, the show will go to Dubai to film for about 17 days. This, of course, was only with the approval of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.  Is the financial crisis in Dubai really that bad?

The show’s contestants will comprise half of women who are Middle Eastern and the other half who are from other parts of the world who reside in Dubai.  According to co-producer Ish Entertainment, the show will be less racy than the US and UK versions. Basically, cursing, hoochy clothing and booze will be avoided.  Somehow, that doesn’t make the feeling of  nauseousness go away.

This will be Hilton’s first time in Dubai.  Producers intend to exploit that and tape footage of her reaction to her trip.

I’ve certainly never seen Paris’ show but just watching the previews for the upcoming US season is frightening.  The idea of Arab females competing to do whatever it takes to become Paris Hilton’s new BFF makes me cringe.  What’s even more frightening is the idea that this show will actually find an audience in the Middle East.  Yikes!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine


Is That a Pigeon In Your Pants, Or Are You Just Happy To See Me? February 3, 2009

Ok readers, admit it – You’ve either packed the suitcase yourself or witnessed this luggage being unpacked at your parents’/uncle’s/aunt’s house. You know what I’m talking about – those bags full of goodies from the Middle East surrounded  by rolled up socks and fanellas :-P.

Sometimes you just have to bring back your grandmother’s zaatar mix because that imported crap just won’t cut it. Or you bring back some dried mint leaves grown in your family’s backyard or the dried mlukheieh (both unfortunately resembling some other dried up plant…), or your favorite nut mix in that brand you can’t even find in NYC or Dearborn…or heck, sometimes you even say screw it, I’m bringing back that dang fig plant so I can try to grow figs in my backyard. I get it. It’s how we roll.

What I don’t get are morons like this guy who think it’s a good idea to smuggle live pigeons in his pants:

The 23-year-old man was searched after authorities discovered two eggs in a vitamin container in his luggage, said Richard Janeczko, national investigations manager for the Customs Service.

They found the pigeons wrapped in padded envelopes and held to each of the man’s legs with a pair of tights, according to a statement released by the agency. Officials also seized seeds in his money belt and an undeclared eggplant.

Live pigeons?? In his tights?? WTF?? What kind of pigeons are these that a guy would risk the family jewels just to smuggle in?

n_hall_pigeons_090203300w1Although the news story doesn’t reveal this guy’s background, it notes that he arrived in Melbourne, Australia on a flight from Dubai. Sure, he could be a Swedish guy, or a Japanese guy, or an Englishman flying through Dubai to get to Australia, but I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here when I say that the dude’s probably Middle Eastern. I mean, he also tried to smuggle in an eggplant for goodness sake. He probably just wanted to make the best darn baba ghanouj ever, I’m sure.

Besides, check out his hairy gams – there’s no questioning he’s Middle Eastern 😛

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine


First an indoor ski resort, then an underwater hotel…now a refrigerated beach? December 16, 2008

Filed under: Dubai,Norma — Norma @ 1:41 pm
Tags: ,
New hotel in Dubai comes complete with a refrigerated beach

New hotel in Dubai comes complete with a refrigerated beach

Love going to the beach but hate the heat that meets your tootsies every time you take a step?

Well, just mosey on over to the lap of luxury that is Dubai. They’ll take care of your precious toes with the world’s first refrigerated beach soon to be situated next to the new Palazzo Versace hotel opening in late ’09 or early ’10.

Clearly, nature is no obstacle for this lavish playground. The beach’s sand will be cooled via an underground system of heat-absorbing pipes and giant wind blowers…oy, the greenies are having a field day with this one, but can ya blame them? Apparently the refrigerated beach might generate enough carbon to affect the climate.

Wow, Dubai. In the immortal dubai1words of Amy and Seth…Really?


Dubai and Gaza…Worlds Apart. November 20, 2008

While Hollywood stars are in Dubai celebrating the opening of the Atlantis Palm Resort Gazans are facing a continuing, devastating blockade.  It’s a reality of extremes.


Dubai was host to a $20 million dollar party to celebrate the opening of the resort. Lots of A-listers and not-so-A-listers came out to attend this extravagant affair.  Robert Deniro, Denzel Washington, Charlize Theron and Lindsay Lohan showed up.  Hell, even Oprah Winfrey came out for this thing. So it must’ve been huge, right?  With the whole world suffering from a financial crisis isn’t $20 million for a party a bit much?  No; not according to Solomon Kerzner, who along with Dubai owned Nakheel, developed the resort.  He said “one might modify a couple of the things … but not significantly.” The $20 million dollars is chump change compared to the $1.5 billion it cost to build the resort.  The party was headlined by Kylie Minogue who performed and was reportedly paid 4 million dollars.  With that kind of money is that the best they could do?  They could’ve at least tried to get someone like Michael Jackson.  Oh, wait. No; he’s being sued by a Bahraini prince and is probably tending to another piece of his face that’s fallen off.  Too bad. Also part of the affair was a huge fireworks display that was seven times larger than the one at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.  Ugh. This kind of over-the-topness is disgusting.


Meanwhile, not that far away, 1.5 million Gazans have been living under a blockade for months. And to make matters worse (as if they could get much worse) UNRWA had to suspend its operations last week due to a lack of supplies coming in. Residents are now going without electricity, water and fuel.  They’re even running out of flour to make the most basic of food staples-bread. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, called on Israel to have essential services restored immediately.  She said “Decisive steps must be taken to preserve the dignity and basic welfare of the civilian population, more than half of whom are children.”  But Israel has never abided by international law so why would/should they start now?  It’s not like they’re afraid of the consequences because there are no consequences.  It’s all just a bunch of hot air to them.  Israel has also banned the international media from entering the Gaza Strip.  Over 15 media agencies filed a protest with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The Defense Ministry claims that the media isn’t being singled out but that it’s due to a broader decision to close the borders. However, the media has been let allowed in even during worse conditions and heavy fighting previously. It doesn’t add up.

So I guess this is just another day in the Middle East; some going with too much and many going without.

With Thanksgiving a week away we should all be grateful that we have life’s basic necessities, compared to so many in Gaza who don’t.