The other night, I did some work on my blog, behind the scenes. I spiffed up the ‘About’ page, and a couple of the other sections. I also knocked out a quick post – nothing controversial, just a conversation that had taken place with my sons at bedtime.
So you can imagine my surprise when I woke up in the morning and discovered my blog had been banned in the UAE!
Not the whole website, it turned out, but the latest post (below if you’re online). If you click on it in the UAE, you get the Du surf safely message, telling you that the website you’re trying to access contains prohibited material (!) Don’t worry, I’m not writing this from behind bars [laughs nervously].
I’ve no idea what I’d written that was so offensive, but I took this to be a blogging milestone – at a vast quantum leap of the imagination, could it put Circles in the Sand in the same category as the FHM and Maxim websites, which are blocked in the UAE, I wondered? Or, at an even further stretch, The Wolf of Wall Street? Martin Scorsese’s film had 45 minutes of unsuitable content cut, and in places didn’t even make sense. My blog only had about 300 words censored, but I do often wonder if my late-night ramblings about the non-stop party that motherhood is (joke!) are coherent.
Given that I’m pretty sure it comes across in my humble blog that I genuinely love living in Dubai, I can only imagine the censorship software was feeling a little oversensitive – perhaps trying to get its point across to all the newbies here in time for the new school year, and that it will gradually lose interest. Like a really bad teacher.
So, here goes … testing … testing … testing: I’m gingerly pushing Publish and hoping it was a one-off glitch. Fingers crossed. If you don’t hear from me again, I’m writing my novel in jail.