So I knew there would be censorship here, but I didn’t know what censorship actually looked like. Honestly, I don’t see it impacting my daily life much. Sexual scenes are cut out of movies, meaning Catching Fire had a bit cut out of it even though there is not a single sex scene in that film. The part I’m referring to is in the elevator at the beginning, where the woman removes part of her uniform while flirting with Peta.
Photos of lingerie models at Victoria’s Secret are censored so that the poster in the storefront is essentially a skin-colored blob wearing lingerie. There’s some political censorship, but I don’t have the credentials to discuss that. It should be noted, however, that almost every person I have met has a favorable opinion of the Emirati government.
But of course, the Internet has not been unaffected. Some websites I visited in the US are blocked, and most of them were time-wasters with little educational content, so in a way it’s a blessing that they’re gone. Other students are more disappointed though, since services like Netflix and Pandora are not available here. A way other students have gotten around this is through a VPN connection. NAU, my home university, offers a VPN so that traveling students can access resources limited to the on-campus network. I suggest setting up a VPN before traveling abroad if you want to use services like Netflix globally, since many sites are limited to usage inside of the US. Click here for more information on NAU’s VPN.