To travel between Kabul and Dubai is to do more than fly between two cities. It is to cross into a new world. But, somehow, worlds connected. In Kabul, 4 hours ago, we sat in a crowded waiting room, with men from villages, veiled women, the dust of Kabul fresh on our faces. We arrive in Dubai to water fountains, Scotch that sells for $$2500 a bottle, marble, flesh, obsequious service. Could one become the other? Is Dubai the epitome of civilisation? Or might Dubai fall back, fail, falter?
There is an Arabic proverb: ‘My grandfather rode a donkey; my father drove a car, I fly a plane. My son will ride a donkey’.It cannot be a very ancient proverb, but it points to a truth about the impermanence of wealth.