A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

WP Writes About UAE Aid to Joplin, Missouri (My Home Town)

This blog is not about me and isn't a personal hobbyhorse, but back in 2011 I thought it relevant to note (since it would clearly affect my blogging) that my home town of Joplin, Missouri had been devastated by an F5 tornado. Last year, somebody burned down the Joplin mosque, the only one in Southwest Missouri, and I considered that worthy of this blog; as I did the encouraging degree to which the local churches and synagogue rallied round to help rebuild.

Joplin actually made the front page of the Washington Post yesterday, probably for the first time since the tornado, in a major feature about how the United Arab Emirates has been helping rebuild the town,  providing millions for a new neonatal intensive care unit for the new Mercy Hospital now under construction (Mercy's predecessor, Saint John's Regional Medical Center, Joplin's largest hospital, was destroyed by the tornado), as well as providing 2,200 Apple laptops to the students of Joplin High School (also destroyed and now meeting in temporary quarters, partly at the Mall). The article's online version also has a photo gallery/slideshow.

This is good news for Joplin and, of course, good PR for the UAE; I doubt if very many Joplin folks have ever been in the UAE (hey, this one has!), and Joplin usually only makes it into the Washingyon Post for bad news (like being destroyed by a tornado), and rarely onto the front page. So good for Joplin and very good for the Emirates. If they keep doing this kind of thing I won't complain if Dubai builds another indoor ski slope. Bravo.

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