Reuters has reported (17 August 2009) a rebuttal to Larry Ellison’s claim that the UAE site near to Iran proposed by Alinghi posed a safety risk.
Khater Massaad, chief executive of Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA), said:
“Today there is no state of war in Iran and this is a peaceful place so there is no problem at all. Why do we suddenly have to raise the concern of safety?”
Let the People Speak
“There are over four million foreigners living in this country. Nobody should have any concerns because Ras al-Khaimah is part of the UAE, which is one of the safest countries in the world.”
Getting On With the Job
Massaad said preparations for yachting's most prestigious race were on track with dredging work on an artificial island to help create a lagoon underway.
Why Bring Up Safety Now?
It is taking Emiratis by surprise to be defending their safety status and questions from Ellison and his ilk can appear to be attempts to sabotage the UAE location.
But Ellison is American and any mention of the ‘Middle East’ to most Americans raises warning bells about safety. For decades, Americans have been conditioned by their politicians and their media networks to think that all of the Middle East is dangerous.
It has often been said that America’s involvement in wars has provided the greatest contribution to increasing the knowledge of American citizens about international affairs.
Perhaps educating Americans about the safety of most of the Middle East and about the positive contributions of Islam will be one of the greatest spinoffs from holding the America’s Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
Sailing-No Iran Risk to UAE America’s Cup Venue Say Organisers, Reuters, 17 August 2009.
On Related Sites
Determining the Beginning of Ramadan in the UAE, Experiencing the Emirates, 18 August 2009.
Fujairah the Scene of a Fantastique Spy Escape, Fujairah in Focus, 18 August 2009.
Dr Geoff Pound
Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.
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Image: Glimpses of the America’s Cup and the Emirates.