Are we living in an era where the art of storytelling has risen to some newfound prominence? What kinds of stories are inspired and produced by the cultures of the Arabian peninsula these days? How difficult is it to achieve a balance between life and work in this environment? These and other subjects are a part of this lunchtime podcast we recorded at the American University in Dubai this past winter.
Meedo Taha is, among other things, a storyteller based in Dubai. But before making a life in this city, his story went from Lebanon, to London, to Tokyo, to LA and beyond.
Imagine yourself at work one day when the boss comes to you, hands you a shovel, a gun, and says “the invasion is starting, you must defend your workplace.” It may sound implausible but that is exactly what happened to my guest on the program today.
Ali Al Shouk was your average working chemist when the invasion of Iraq began in 2003. It was then that a series of traumatic events and coincidences would begin, eventually leading him to a career in journalism and a place he did not expect to end up.
In between my taxi interviews Ali and I sat down together in Dubai to talk about his amazing experiences that made him who he is today.
Until now you’ve heard stories of individual taxi drivers and entrepeneurs in the UAE. Today Im going to bring you the voices of several taxi drivers, as they speak about probably the most common theme of my trip: LOVE.
Start talking with a taxi driver in the city of gold and chances are you will get to the topics of relationships, marriage, love and family. Many will tell you that all these things are very closely related and extremely important. Their outlooks and philosophies vary, from the very traditional to the free thinkers who would go as far as to defy their family. Stories vary from charming to frustrating, and from beautiful to deeply sad.
Today on the podcast, Love in a Dubai Taxi, stories and reflections on love from taxi drivers in the UAE.
He arrived in Dubai just as the UAE came into existence. He started working at the Dubai airport in a time where there were no computers and this town was nothing more than a stopover for flights on their way somewhere. In his 37 years as a Dubai resident, KJ Bhatia raised a family, developed a career, and enjoyed a front row seat to see a world of change in both the city and the region.
As luck would have it, one day as I was shopping for postcards, we struck up a conversation in his shop which would eventually lead to this podcast. This is one man’s story, a rare voice of experience, that runs parallel to the story of a nation. One of my favorite voices from Dubai, Mr. KJ Bhatia.