Crime and Courts

Three held for parody video on Satwa streets

Amira Agarib And Amanda Fisher
Filed on December 10, 2013

Dubai Police source says the video will be blocked from appearing on websites in a bid to prevent the promulgation of fictitious stories about Dubai.

The Dubai Police say they arrested three people, including UAE nationals, after they uploaded a parody video film on YouTube about the dangers on Satwa streets.

The 20-minute film, entitled Ultimate Combat System: The Deadly Satwa Gs, begins with a disclaimer reading: “The following events are fictional and no offence was intended to the people of Satwa and UAE”.

Foreign media have reported one of the men is Sri Lankan-born American citizen, Shezanne Cassim.

The men are being held by UAE General Security as the investigation continues.

The film is still available on YouTube, but a Dubai Police source said police would block the video from appearing on websites in a bid to prevent the promulgation of fictitious stories about Dubai.

He said the three people, who told police in their investigations the film had been made just for fun, would be prosecuted for issuing the film as UAE security took the film very seriously due to the potential it had to damage the reputation of the country and scare residents and visitors.

The source said there were categorically no gangs in Satwa or any other area in Dubai, which was one of the most secure places in the world.

The “mockumentary” style film follows two martial arts experts, on a quest to find the ultimate combat system, visiting a school in Satwa where youth are trained to defend themselves through mechanisms like throwing shoes and using social networking to call for back up.

The head of the school is called Saloom Snake — so named, the video says, as his kicks are as deadly as snake bites.

He tells the martial arts experts that in the training they use knives, shoes and agals (the black cord that keeps the ghutrah in place in traditional Emirati clothing).

“In Dubai, especially Satwa, is very dangerous,” he says, as a handful of youths from different ethnic backgrounds train with agals.

Saloom proceeds to explain the different fighting techniques, emphasising social media is the most important tool in the martial art.

The film follows a ‘graduation ceremony’, with one pupil getting high ranking of the Argentenian footballer Lionel Messi’s football shirt.

“It makes sense now we saw so many people in Satwa wearing football jerseys,” the martial arts expert says in a voice over.

It also warns two women that walking in Satwa is dangerous and going on the street is not a joke.

A BBC story quotes Cassim’s family as saying the video was intended to poke fun at teenagers who posed as dangerous ‘gangstas’ but were very harmless in reality.

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