In Dubai, I am fascinated by the absence of racism. Asians, blacks and whites, all live there in peace

How did you end up in Dubai?
At first as a tourist, but I liked going back, of course it’s a whole other world. The advantage for us is that it is sunny and warm. So I went to the sun. It’s beautiful here in the spring and summer, but probably still worth it in the fall, sometimes November or maybe February, to go warm up a bit.

I agree and why not in Dubai. Have you heard of Dubai before visiting for the first time?
Sure. Indeed, a few years ago there was clearly only a desert, and practically now in Dubai they are celebrating their 50th anniversary. So this is absolutely incredible progress.

There are some interesting things, like slander and insults that are punishable by imprisonment. So I think we would have about half the nation in the base.

Jindřich Tošner, physician, obstetrician, gynecologist and publisher and poet

They are such marvels of construction.
There is the famous Burj Khalifa residential tower, which is over 800 meters tall, the tallest skyscraper in the world. There is a very remarkable building, the Museum of the Future, it is such a large ring that is covered with verses of poems by Arab poets.

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You must have liked it.
Yes, but of course I don’t speak Arabic. But it’s a good idea.
They say that anything said about Dubai or New York is probably true. You can love Dubai, but you can hate it, depending on how and where you get there. If you are just somewhere by the sea in a hotel, in a resort, it is like in the Canary Islands or elsewhere. It is good to rent an apartment or a small apartment privately and get to know a little more about life there.

I know there are also artificial islands in the sea.
Of course, but I think there will be quite a problem with the water flow, and it’s relatively far from the metro. You only have to drive there, so I definitely wouldn’t want to live there. Dubai must also be seen differently in a political context. There are no political parties, only the Enlightenment absolutism of the ruling Al Maktoum family. It has its pros and cons. The point is that the leader is truly enlightened. This is the basis. And then there are other interesting things, in the Emirates, for example, slander and insults are punishable by imprisonment. So even if you set up an intermediary for someone, you can go to jail. Which would be about half the nation in our base.

Burj Khalifa in Dubai

It is also said that people in public are not allowed to get their hands on it.
But if he goes, I must say that Dubai is already European in many ways. People say that the Arab Emirates only thrive on oil, but that’s not true. Oil represents only 17% of revenues and the rest is made up of finance, tourism, air and maritime transport and, of course, trade. But it started with oil, that’s a fact.

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So they go there for the sun, for the sea, for swimming. And the skis? They also go to the desert to see them, don’t they?
There is a ski slope about one kilometer long. It creates the illusion of a mountain village and I was amazed at how many people there are, how many kids and coaches. You can even learn to ski here. It is covered near a shopping complex. And it’s definitely worth going. They also have a winter stadium where you can see girls skating in burkas. They may have a hockey team, but I haven’t seen it.

How do people live there? Is it even possible to meet the natives and talk to them?
What fascinates me about Dubai is the absence of racism. We see Asians, blacks, whites, they all live there in peace. And I think there’s also great religious equality there, even though the majority of Muslims live there, but they’re very tolerant. No one is persecuted for being a Christian, at least I haven’t found out. The place of women in this society is also interesting. Men sometimes talk about envying Arabs for having 4 wives. They all imagine having 4 wives of 20 years. But few people imagine having 4 wives who are 70 years old and my age.

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He must probably be a rich husband, because he must ensure equal equality for all women.
As he buys slippers, four times, the diamond ring too. They must not marry Muslim women, and otherwise, when it comes to clothes, they walk in a burqa, they have beautiful eyes, it is said that they can say more with their eyes than others who are not veiled . And interesting are also the Arabs, who walk in white clothes, absolutely clean. I wonder how many times a day they change maybe it’s not possible they’re still so pure white. And another interesting thing is that it is criminal to have a dirty car. So you will only see clean cars. But it’s true that there is no mud, maybe just a sandstorm.

Have you been to the 2020 World Expo?
I even went there twice. It was certainly a huge project that ended on March 31st. The Czech pavilion was modest but pleasant. I was a little scared if people go there mainly for the sirloin and the beer, which is rare for others, but I think the Czech scientists’ project on how to convert moisture into drinking water has also been appreciated. Overall, our participation was good.

Jindřich Tošner in the studio of Czech radio Hradec Králové

And what about the muse of your poetry? She kissed you in Dubai?
The muse would have kissed me if it weren’t for all the other events unfolding now. Absolutely useless war, therefore Inter arma silent musae. It seems dishonest to write about love and nature now that people are dying somewhere. But I hope that everything will end and that I can come back to it.

Our guest was Jindřich Tošner, thank you very much for the observations from Dubai.

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