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+ "Faces at a Dubai Mall"

from Marcela Gaviria

click here for a larger map We arrive at 6:30 a.m. in Dubai to face 120-degree temperature. After a stressful evening trying to fix a series of mishaps, and then a seven-hour flight, we stumble into our hotel rooms and I fall asleep rather quickly. I get woken up by a Canadian lieutenant who tells me that we will be picked up at midnight and driven to some undisclosed location and then placed on a fast boat that will catch up with the HMCS Algonquin, a Canadian destroyer in the Gulf of Oman.

I'm exhausted, suffering from severe jet lag, heat exhaustion, lack of sleep and too much to do. It may be five or six nights before I get a decent night's rest.

A woman lifts her veil to sip coffee in a Starbucks in central Dubai. (Photo by Scott Anger)
We've spent most of the day at the City Centre Mall looking for clothes for Martin, who has lost his luggage, and for dimmers for Scott. The mall looks like it could be any mall in any American suburb. There is a Starbucks. A Hugo Boss. A Benetton. A Cartier shop. A Blockbuster Video. But the faces at the mall are as diverse as they come -- women fully covered in black veils, Arab men in long white robes with traditional red and white khafiyas, Pakistani men in their shalwar kameez, Western tourists in tiny shorts and tank tops. What strikes me is how clearly defined the social structure seems to be. Filipinos serve food and are salesmen. Pakistanis drive the cabs.

Got to run. The Canadians have arrived in the lobby. Left the blow dryer behind.

< previous dispatch  +  next dispatch >

(Aug. 13-14)

Zubaydah Is Dead
13 August, London

Armchair Jihadists
14 August, London

Gulf of Oman
(Aug. 15-21)

+ Faces at a Dubai Mall
15 August, Dubai, U.A.E.

HMCS Algonquin
16 August, somewhere in the Gulf of Oman

On Board the Algonquin
17-18 August, somewhere in the Gulf of Oman

Like an Elephant Chasing a Mouse
17-18 August, Gulf of Oman

Dubai to Karachi
20 August

A Firehose of Information
20-21 August, Dubai - Muscat - Chennai

(Aug. 22-29)

Old Hash
22 August, Islamabad

Nuclear Neighbors
22-23 August, Islamabad

We Believe in God
24 August, Islamabad

Paranoid in Peshawar
27 August, Peshawar

Bombs or Dust Devils
27-28 August, Peshawar

Rumors and Half Truths
28 August, Peshawar

Pakistan Border Lands
(Aug. 30-Sept. 4)

On the Road to Chitral
30 August, Dir Khas

Prisoners' Dilemma
31 August, Dir

In the Northwest Frontier
30-31 August, Dir

Border Town
2 September, Chitral to Arandu

Don't Go to Timargarha
1-2 September, Drosh to Timargarha

An American Informer
3-4 September, Peshawar

(Sept. 5-23)

Road to Nowhere
7 September, Islamabad to Faisalabad

Faisal Town
7 September, Faisalabad

9 September, Faisalabad

The Plight of Women
10 September, Faisalabad

A Little Noticed Gun Battle
10-13 September, Lahore-Karachi

The Madrassa
14 September, Akora Khattak

The Next Big Get
20 September, Karachi - Islamabad

A Circle of Trust
21 September, Islamabad

23 September, Islamabad

Saudi Arabia
(Sept. 24-Oct. 2)

Inside the Kingdom
24-25 September, Riyadh

My Baffling Question
27 September, Unizah-Buraydah

An Obedient Dissident
27 September, Buraydah

An Audience with the Crown Prince
2 October, Riyadh

(Sept. 25-Oct. 10)

Arriving in Yemen
25-26 September, Sana'a

The Wedding Party
27 September, Sana'a

A Talking Drug
28 September, Sana'a

The World's Most Ancient Skyscrapers
3 October, Sana'a

Americans Are Vampires
7 October, Sana'a

Waiting for Rahma
9 October, Sana'a

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