A giant sexless story-telling statue?!?

The designers plan to install speakers throughout the park, allowing people to tune in to the giant as he plows through recordings of traditional stories and legends. For those who might find the sight distressing, the statue would sport recreational rooms and a library located at the base in the Giant’s ankles. One wonders whether the architects took the metaphor “to study at someone’s feet” a little too seriously. In a city almost exclusively dominated by state of the art, air-conditioned phalluses, such a statue would not only be sexless, but be equipped with a series of elevators that would transport one through parts of the body where few Fundamentalists dare to tread, while from its viewing deck, situated in the Giant’s hollowed-out cranium, one would be able to enjoy Dubai’s skyline as it stretched out to where neon lights spider over the rust-colored dunes in the distance.

Only in Dubai. And even there, I find it hard to believe that this is actually going to be carried out (the author does not specify a construction company or a timeline, and a cursory Arabic google search turned up no information about the project). In any case, an interesting and idionsyncratic piece, which also includes a discussion of the popular poetry contests sponsored by Emirati sheikhs--although some of the author's claims (about the relationship of Arabs to the word and to magic, for example) struck me as a little broad and a little off.
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Ursula Lindsey

Ursula Lindsey is the managing editor of the Arabist blog. She writes about culture, education and politics in the Arab world. She lived in Cairo from 2002 to 2013 and got her start at the ground-breaking independent magazine Cairo Times. She was the culture editor of Cairo magazine in 2005-2006 and served as special projects editor at the independent news site Mada Masr in 2013-2014. She is the Chronicle of Higher Education's Middle East correspondent. She contributes to the BBC-PRI radio program The World, and has written for Newsweek, The New York Times, The New Yorker online, Bookforum and the blog of the London Review of Books.