Monday, April 07, 2008

More Lives Lost on UAE Roads ...

A couple of posts ago I mentioned how very dangerous it is here on the roads. Last Thursday another 12 were wiped out near Al Ain. The Gulf News item with photo is linked to the title above.

I think the most dead I dealt with while a Traffic Accident Investigation Squad officer all those years ago was five. I can only imagine what emotional impact 12 must have had on the emergency services and police officers here, despite Lou Safian's suggestion that, "Death and taxes are with us always, but death doesn't get any worse."

Over the weekend another pedestrian got wiped out on Sheik Zayed Road, the most notoriously dangerous road on the planet, especially for pedestrians.

At Abu Dhabi a foolish fellow drove himself and his young daughter to death when he lost control while using his mobile phone and drove into a pedestrian underpass ... thankfully it was 2 am and there were no pedestrians. You can bet that his two year old daughter was unrestrained or she may have stood a chance.

A large price to pay to answer a telephone message, which was probably unimportant anyway. Certainly not that important that you'd lose your life for it.

Despite millenia of evidence to the contrary, many people here think that Allah will protect them. There's no such thing as "have faith in Allah but keep the gunpowder dry" here, it's all, have faith in Allah. Period. Don't bother to do anything to help yourself.

Wherever he is, with six billion people to look after, it's obviously too huge a task to make any real headway.

There's also the equally crazy notion that whatever happens to you is "Allah's will" which absolves followers of the notion from any responsibility for anything, including their own lives; even wearing seat belts, because to do so, as one believer told me, "is to show that you have no faith in Allah."

For those of us who have faith in ourselves, belt up and drive sensibly while keeping a sharp eye out for the believers, all we can hope is that when Allah get's it wrong, we won't be in the firing line.

As Ned Kelly said before he dropped on the gallows, "Such is life."


1 comment:

Cairogal said...

I think that belief that precautions aren't necessary because God will take care of you is a cultural interpretation. I've heard one over the years that goes something like this:Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel! Not a religiously based expression, but a useful one, nonetheless.