There’s a very popular phrase used in the Arab world that usually ends every statement. And I’ve heard it a lot during my time here in Dubai.
“The screening will begin at 7:00, insha’Allah.” “Your welcome pack will be in your room tonight, insha’Allah.” “The shuttle is on it’s way, insha’Allah.” (though, the constant gridlock on the three main roads in Dubai is a big proponent for the lack of shuttle service. Monorail service begins in 2009!)
Translated in english insha’Allah means God willing and for most who work or live here the phrase is just part of everyday life. A good friend of mine who lives in Dubai gets a chuckle out of my questioning why there isn’t a more structured schedule at the fest. He says he gets it at his job (Q: Am I going to get those figures? A: By the end of the day, insha’Allah.) and it’s just a cultural thing.
That’s not to say people here aren’t hustling to accommodate everyone. Yesterday morning, as I and the other members of the press were waiting for the shuttle that takes us from our hotel to the Madinat Jumeirah (the main resort where most of the festival is taking place) our liaison was rippin’ this guy a new one trying to get answers to why the shuttle wasn’t here yet. The outcome: we were whisked away in three towncars.
More posts to come (and pictures!)… insha’Allah.