David Hines (hradzka) wrote,
David Hines
hradzka

APED: "the bright and shining towers of dubai"

If you haven't read Johann Hari's article "The Dark Side of Dubai," you really should. It's harrowing.

The pearl of all the Arab world, the very best they've got,
with silhouettes of cranes against the sky,
it's a land of milk and honey, and they're happy with their lot:
the bright and shining towers of Dubai.

Sheikh Maktoum saw the future Sheikh Mohammed brought to be,
a wonderment planned to delight the eye,
the money from the oil fields used to build for all to see
the bright and shining towers of Dubai.

It's wealthy. Education's free, and so's your doctor's care,
and the stores are full of wonders you can buy,
and above it all, to show the world how rich it is, how fair,
the bright and shining towers of Dubai.

And the people in those towers glow, and smile with perfect teeth,
adorned in jewelry, gowns, and in black tie,
across town from a man who sleeps uneasily beneath
the bright and shining towers of Dubai.

He'd come here from Bangladesh, to work, and he'd been thrilled:
he'd even paid out money to apply;
he'd sold his land, and gone in debt, and left his home to build
the bright and shining towers of Dubai.

And then they took his passport, and then they cut his pay,
and all his dreams began to go awry,
and he works for fourteen hours in the sun to build each day
the bright and shining towers of Dubai.

His water's salt. The room is hot. The food they serve is slop,
and he's beaten down if he should dare defy,
and at work each day he eyes the edge, and thinks about that drop
from the bright and shining towers of Dubai.

The truth about those towers would make your blood run chilled,
a charge the Sheikh would angrily deny --
but tell that to the man who wakes and numbly goes to build
the bright and shining towers of Dubai.

The pearl of all the Arab world, the very best they've got,
with silhouettes of cranes against the sky,
a town that's built on hope and dreams, and slavery and blood,
the bright and shining towers of Dubai.
Tags: a poem every day
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