From the silly to the sensational - the big cat's out of the bag

Clearly a man with a conscience, Mahmoud Khaled resisted any thought of a lavish spending spree - an internal conflict I'd struggle with - and instead exercised his better nature by heading straight to the nearest cop shop.



By Kelly Clarke (The Week That Was)

Published: Sat 12 Jan 2019, 9:09 PM

Last updated: Sat 12 Jan 2019, 11:14 PM

A stupid, stupid man. That's how I described the 20-something driver who ran into my car back in November. He apologised by way of a gormless smirk, confessing he was on his phone and 'distracted' when our bumpers came nose to nose. The 'stupid' part was an internal thought process, of course. I wouldn't be so blatant to say it out loud. I'm more of a smile pleasantly and scorn later to friends over the dinner table, kind of gal.
Lucky that, considering that last week we heard about some verbal confrontations that landed residents here in hot soup. Over the last few months, at least two people have landed up in court for insulting friends. But the insults weren't peppered with offensive expletives like you may think. The word 'fool' ended up costing one man dearly: Dh20,000 in fines to be exact. And another is currently standing trial for calling a co-worker 'silly'.
Moral of the story, think twice before verbally bashing someone here. One silly mistake could leave you looking pretty foolish - or even worse, behind bars or out of pocket. Another story that piqued interest this week centred on the old adage, 'honesty is the best policy'. We hear the phrase all the time. My teachers at school overused it in some desperate attempt to breed a class full of butter-wouldn't-melt individuals; halos in tow.
But for one chap in the UAE, his urge to do the right thing resulted in a public applause by way of Abu Dhabi Police. The story got more than 23,000 views online in just a few hours. It was shared more than 12,000 times, too. The hero:
Mahmoud Khaled Al Shibli, an Arab resident in the capital. His good deed of the day - handing in over Dh40,000 in cold, hard cash that he found on the street.
Clearly a man with a conscience, he resisted any thought of a lavish spending spree - an internal conflict I'd struggle with - and instead exercised his better nature by heading straight to the nearest cop shop.
And if Google analytics is anything to go, those statistics prove that our readers like nothing more than a heartwarming, feel-good story from time to time. Or maybe not! Did you hear about the jaguar at the zoo? (and no, this isn't the opening of some corny joke). The headline 'jaguar attacks' caught the attention of more than 15,000 visitors on the Khaleej Times website within hours of going up; proving our readers love a sensational read, too.
On Wednesday, two zookeepers were pounced on by the stealthy, wild cat. It happened at Al Ain Zoo and human error was to blame. Someone left a gate open, the cat took advantage, and the result: two men walked away with some fairly nasty injuries, but thankfully, with their lives intact. Investigations are still going on into what exactly happened, but it's safe to say it was a lesson learnt. Moving away from the obscure and onto news a little more UAE specific, Emirates airlines announced that it would be taking away its chauffeur service from some passengers, spawning a new addition to that comical #dubaiproblems list.
On Monday, it confirmed passengers upgrading their tickets to First and Business Class through Skywards Miles will no longer be able to avail the complimentary chauffeur drive service from the middle of this month. The story was shared more than 12,000 times online, and no doubt started conversations trickled with frustration and dismay from some. But fret not. Those traveling on a redemption ticket will continue to enjoy that luxury lounge access, as well as the generous free baggage allowance that comes along with flying in style.
- kelly@khaleejtimes.com


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