Even though the United Arab Emirates is considered the most Westernized of all Muslim countries, travelers should nonetheless beware. Run afoul of Shariah law and you’ll end up on a world of hurt. Just ask Alicia Gali.
Gali is a young, beautiful Australian woman who accepted what she thought was a dream position managing the beauty salon at the Le Méridien Al Aqah hotel, a member of the Starwood hotel chain. The hotel complex was located on the beach in Dubai, a gleaming, high-rise desert oasis of a city. Gali was embarking on what she thought was the adventure of a lifetime.
One evening, she was working on her notebook computer in the hotel’s staff bar when she was delivered a spiked drink. She awoke the following afternoon to a nightmare.
According to Yahoo News:
She had been savagely raped by three of her colleagues. Alone and frightened, she took herself to hospital. What Alicia didn’t know is that under the UAE’s strict sharia laws, if the perpetrator does not confess, a rape cannot be convicted without four adult Muslim male witnesses. She was charged with having illicit sex outside marriage, and thrown in a filthy jail cell for eight months.
Welcome to the Middle Ages.
Worse yet, not wishing to make waves, the Australian Embassy offered no help. She had been abandoned by her own country.
The full account of Gali’s ordeal is detailed in the following compelling video. Travelers beware. One shouldn’t be dazzled by a bright and shining city run by a tribe of people who still live in the fifth century. Welcome to Shariah law.
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