I used to live in Dubai three years ago and decided, exactly three years later, to make a quick stop over en-route to Nairobi. It will always continue to amaze me how luxury the life is there! Villas, the warm sea, endless shopping, just the fact that you can ski in 45°C heat, paying no tax, the list goes on & on…
Perhaps it stems from my Jewish past and history, but seeing the conditions of the workers coming in like cattle from India & Bangladesh always did and will continue to sadden and humble me. There was a moment at my friends villa, while drinking champagne by the pool I began to question myself, (not including that I could never truly practice Judaism freely in Dubai), “This is the life. Why am I even going to Nairobi?” In the far distance I could see a worker from India, mid-day, landscaping the villa’s front lawn and I remember that there is a moral price to pay for the luxury.
This is what Jumeriah Beach, right opposite the famous Burj Al Arab Hotel, looks like on a very early Sunday morning (8:30 AM). I came to get the early rays and a warm, salty swim before the sweltering heat kicked in. The workers are just starting their day. Temperature was approaching 40°C (Roughly 102°F).
One reason (out of many) New York City will always be close to my heart is its innate ability to give everyone a chance at being a true New Yorker. Come to the city, live there for a few months, and poof! You are part of the energy.
Seeing people of various ethnicities, races, nationalities, and sexual orientations coming out to speak their mind on countless occasions all over the city confirms this statement. If they didn’t feel they were a New Yorker on some level, there would be no reason to take time out of their day to try to and create awareness for whatever might be on their mind. New York is an open forum to all, and only a few cities can compare on a macro-level.
Union Square Prayer Vigil organized by the Solidarity Committee for Advancement of Democracy in Iran.
February 20, 2010
A Bangladeshi woman supports International Women’s Day outside the United Nations.
March 8, 2010
Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade
In Irish culture, where being a LGBTQI is still extremely taboo, I was impressed to see these two men standing strong at the close of the parade.
March 17, 2010
Aids Activists Take the Streets when Obama Visits New York for a Fundraiser at the St Regis in Midtown Manhattan.
May 13, 2010
An early Friday morning protester outside the American Airlines Office on Lexington Avenue in central Manhattan.
May 21, 2010
On March 21, 2010, before the current Arizona Law came into effect, over 200,000 immigrants, brave illegals, advocates, politicians and friends from all over the country marched to Capitol Hill to pressure Obama and Congress to continue to push for Comprehensive Immigration Reform this term! Recent events in Arizona have spearheaded the CIR debate to the forefront.
To those who have been to the ‘Mall’ in Washington, DC before I will tell you that the place was packed and unified! It was a special moment for those of us who have been advocating for CIR for the last few years. Also, this wonderful Sunday of solidarity happened to the biggest protest in D.C. since Obama took office.