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Two stories in yesterday’s Gulf Times caught my eye.  They illustrate the vast, vast difference in the haves vs. the have not.   

On the FRONT page the first reports on Londoners not liking the summer’s intrusion into their neighborhoods at night.   

… wealthy Middle Eastern visitors are disrupting the neighborhoods when they fly in their Bugattis, Ferraris and Lamborghini’s in private jets for ear-splitting races along boutique-lined streets and leafy squares.    

It all sounds a little like my neighborhood.     

Here‘s what the Daily Mail said in a similar story “Invasion of the Bling-ionaires”.   

Imagine being so rich that you fly your $1M car in your private jet WITH you on holiday, to wile away the days of summer …..    

from the Daily Mail - 21 August 2010

The other story is found on the BACK page of the Gulf Times.  Highlighted is the plight of laborers in Qatar, many of whom are Muslim, trying not only to cope with sweltering heat and humidity but are also abiding by their beliefs of fasting during the 30 days of Ramadan.  No eating or drinking during the daylight hours.   

from the Gulf Times - 21 August 2010

In Qatar there are rules in place that prohibit companies from having laborers working outside during the hours of 11:30am to 3pm, from June 15 to August 31st. Though most workers are uninformed of any such laws, as stated in the article.     

Some are then forced to pay extra to receive a meal at Iftar, which is the time they can finally break their fast (Iftar was 6:07pm yesterday).    

Imagine for a minute, working outside when the heat is +40C or so and you’ve had nothing to eat or drink since you started your day.  IF your employer is following the rule of  law and sending you home during the mid-day heat, you then have to sit another 3 hours smothered by the sun as there are not enough spaces on the transport buses to take you back to your accommodation.  Instead of being able to eat at 6:07pm when you are finally allowed to break your fast you still have to wait until meals are served at 8pm or PAY EXTRA.  As one interviewed worker said,   

“We do not understand why we have to pay for our food in Ramadan, which is the month for charity,”.   

These uber-rich.  A life ….. where nothing is too much, anything goes, no responsibility need be taken but instead wasting your life looking for some sense of fun, excitement, pleasure.     

These poor.  A life …. of poverty, work, unquestioning of authority,  a keep-your-head-down-and-not-cause-trouble attitude and just hoping, hoping that you can make your life or your family’s life a little bit better by your sacrifice.  Your suffering.   

How disparate is life for each.  

Primarily, for no other reason than that’s what they were born into.