The US media spotlighted the secrets of the rulers of the UAE, especially Vice President and Ruler of Dubai Mohammed bin Rashid, whose wife and daughters tried to escape from the repression.
The 60-minute program on CBS aired an exclusive interview with an insider from the palace of bin Rashid and revealed previously unreleased secrets about the royal family.
Marcus Essabri, a close friend of the royal family in Dubai, especially princesses Shamsa and Latifa, daughters of bin Rashid, broke his silence in an attempt to help princesses, who are in danger, according to him.
Essabri told Sixty Minutes from exile that there is “another hope” to help the princesses. “I could not sleep at night … I have to do something.”
For the first time, an insider in Dubai will talk about life within the royal family, saying women’s freedoms are severely restricted and there are dire consequences for those who dare to challenge those in power.
“If I stay there, I do not think I could have survived,” he says.
The exclusive interview, which was aired on Sunday evening, comes after Haya bint Al Hussein, the bin Rashid’s wife, sought refuge in London with her two young children.
Princess Haya is not the first to try to escape from the royal family in Dubai.
In July 2000, 18-year-old Princess Shamsa fled to England, where she lived only weeks before being found and forcibly returned to Dubai.
Shamsa has been imprisoned in Dubai since then in a circumstance that amounts to enforced disappearance.
Last year, Princess Latifa tried to escape from Dubai. But her unusual escape plan was thwarted when the armed commandos raided the boat she and her friend used to get to India. Latifa was dragged and returned to Dubai.
The escape of the Jordanian Princess exposed the truth of the alleged “state of happiness” away from the false image promoted by the UAE media.
The escape of a third princess from the palaces of the ruler of Dubai to the UAE illustrates to the world the reality of the state and the extent of violations against women in it, the New York Times reported.
In addition to Princess Haya’s split from the royal family, there are lesser-known escape incidents of women who fled the UAE claiming domestic violence. However, this is at least a good occasion that exposes the reality of the UAE paints for itself as a haven for women’s rights in the midst of a Gulf that oppresses women.
In a new opinion article, Hiba Ziadin, a Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch, observes that women also suffer discrimination in divorce cases.
“There are many mothers in the UAE who have lost their custody of their children after divorce,” she said.
It is clear that women migrant workers in the UAE face additional types of atrocities, ranging from unpaid wages to overly extended working days to physical and sexual violence.
Fortunately, the horrifying reality of life in the UAE is hard to resolve with a little publicity. UAE media outlets are constantly promoting the supposed advance commitments of the UAE system while paying more attention to portraying the UAE as “one of the happiest countries in the world.”
Presumably, part of this is due to the presence of a Minister of State for happiness and quality of life, which, as expected, is held by a woman.
But on the ground, nothing is happy. The UAE is a police state in which everyone is constantly monitored, and freedom of expression and other basic human rights are denied.
The UAE government boasts that the country has “opened the first military college for women in the region, Khawla bint Al Azur military school.”
Countless women victims are not convinced of the UAE’s overwhelming commitment to the quality of women’s lives.
There is no doubt that the West is keen to support the modern and sophisticated image of the Emirates from all sides, from shopping malls with ice-skating centers to women’s rights, as it facilitates the justification of loathsome military cooperation with them.
In fact, the UAE is a model society with regard to the adoption of military capitalism, which attracts the global elite.
Recently, Mohammed bin Rashid celebrated a new decision to allocate 50% of seats in the Federal National Council to the UAE to women. “Women are half the society and deserve to represent this half,” he said on Twitter.
According to the US newspaper, the plight faced by women from the family of the governor himself, show that half does not mean equality for a state of grave violations such as the UAE.