17 June 2014

Dubai Creek, heart of a changed city

Beneath a glitzy skyline, wooden boats ply Dubai Creek, the historic heart of a city that was transformed in little more than a generation from a tiny pearling and fishing port to a global trading hub.


From early morning to late evening the creek is abuzz with daily commuters and tourists riding in abras, the wooden boats that have been used for more than a century and are still built by hand nearby. The 25-cent passage from one bank to the other is one of the only bargains left in a city where much of the population is expatriates lured to the Gulf emirate by job opportunities.


Unlike the rest of the city, the Dubai Creek area has until now been left relatively untouched by developers, offering a glimpse into the modest beginnings of a city that is now a byword for wealth, excess and overnight development.

"The creek is very much the heart of the city, physically and metaphorically," says Yasser Elsheshtawy, associate professor of architecture at the United Arab Emirates University. "You know, that's really where everything started."

The city is awaiting the results of a bid for Dubai Creek to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a $544 million creek-side project has been approved by Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE vice president and prime minister and ruler of Dubai, that aims to transform the area into a cultural and artistic hub for the city. 

Here are images from Associated Press photographer Kamran Jebreili of Dubai Creek. 
(AP)
In this Monday, May 26, 2014 photo, traditional abras, or taxi boats, cross the creek waters from Bur Dubai to Deira, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Beneath a glitzy skyline wooden boats ply Dubai Creek, the historic heart of a city that was transformed in little more than a generation from a tiny pearling and fishing port to a global trading hub. In this Thursday, May 29, 2014 photo, an Asian laborer carries imported goods to a dhow at the creek in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Beneath a glitzy skyline wooden boats ply Dubai Creek, the historic heart of a city that was transformed in little more than a generation from a tiny pearling and fishing port to a global trading hub. In this Tuesday, May 13, 2014 photo, an Iranian sailor climbs down a ladder from his dhow for uploading goods at the creek in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Creek has constantly been an important harbor for small and medium size dhows which sail to the ports of the Persian Gulf region, the countries of the Indian subcontinent and East Africa, loaded with different goods which are re-exported to these various regions. This Monday, May 26, 2014 photo, shows abra taxi boats leaving their station in Bur Dubai to take passengers to Deira in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. From early morning to late evening the creek is abuzz with daily commuters and tourists riding in abras, the wooden boats that have been used for more than a century and are still built by hand nearby. The 25-cent passage from one bank to the other is one of the only bargains left in a city where much of the population is expatriates lured to the Gulf emirate by job opportunities. In this Tuesday, May 27, 2014 photo, an abra, or boat taxi, driver performs the evening payers on his boat at the creek in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Beneath a glitzy skyline wooden boats ply Dubai Creek, the historic heart of a city that was transformed in little more than a generation from a tiny pearling and fishing port to a global trading hub. In this Tuesday, June 3, 2014 photo, a man rides his bicycle past the Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum House, a historic building by the creek, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The city is awaiting the results of a bid for Dubai Creek to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a $544 million creek-side project has been approved by Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE vice president and prime minister and ruler of Dubai, that aims to transform the area into a cultural and artistic hub for the city. In this Monday, May 26, 2014 photo, people shop at a souq by the creek in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Unlike the rest of the city, the Dubai Creek area has until now been left relatively untouched by developers, offering a glimpse into the modest beginnings of a city that is now a byword for wealth, excess and overnight development. In this Monday, May 26, 2014 photo, tourists and residents cross the creek waters which cuts through the heart of the city, on a traditional abra, or taxi boat, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. From early morning to late evening the creek is abuzz with daily commuters and tourists riding in abras, the wooden boats that have been used for more than a century and are still built by hand nearby. The 25-cent passage from one bank to the other is one of the only bargains left in a city where much of the population is expatriates lured to the Gulf emirate by job opportunities. In this Friday, April 25, 2014 photo, a lit boat on the creek waters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Unlike the rest of the city, the Dubai Creek area has until now been left relatively untouched by developers, offering a glimpse into the modest beginnings of a city that is now a byword for wealth, excess and overnight development. In this Wednesday, May 28, 2014 photo, people shop at a souq by the creek in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Unlike the rest of the city, the Dubai Creek area has until now been left relatively untouched by developers, offering a glimpse into the modest beginnings of a city that is now a byword for wealth, excess and overnight development. In this Thursday, May 29, 2014 photo, tourists and residents cross the creek waters which cuts through the heart of the city, on a traditional abra, or taxi boat, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. From early morning to late evening the creek is abuzz with daily commuters and tourists riding in abras, the wooden boats that have been used for more than a century and are still built by hand nearby. The 25-cent passage from one bank to the other is one of the only bargains left in a city where much of the population is expatriates lured to the Gulf emirate by job opportunities. In this Monday, May 26, 2014 photo, tourists and residents cross the creek waters which cuts through the heart of the city, on a traditional abra, or taxi boat, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The 14 kilometer (9 mile) Khor Dubai in Arabic or Dubai Creek, is a natural seawater inlet of the Persian Gulf located in the heart of city that runs South to East and ends at Ras Al-Khor wildlife Sanctuary. The creek that divides the city into two parts, Bur Dubai and Deira, has played a major historical role in the economic development of the region. In this Monday, May 26, 2014 photo, trading dhows for uploading goods are docked at the creek in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Beneath a glitzy skyline wooden boats ply Dubai Creek, the historic heart of a city that was transformed in little more than a generation from a tiny pearling and fishing port to a global trading hub. In this Wednesday, May 28, 2014 photo, with skyscrapers along the Sheikh Zayed highway, at background, pink flamingos look for food by the creek, at the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Beneath a glitzy skyline wooden boats ply Dubai Creek, the historic heart of a city that was transformed in little more than a generation from a tiny pearling and fishing port to a global trading hub.

Amazon boat trips beckon World Cup visitors

In this May 22, 2014, photo, a man sits on the “Almirante Barbosa” during a quick stop at the port of Manacapuru, near Manaus, Brazil. Boats like the Almirante Barbosa are the lifeline of Brazil’s Amazon region, where they transport passengers and staples ranging from rice to diapers, and deliver them to remote riverside villages inaccessible any other way.
Light plays off the Solimoes River, duplicating the verdant canopy of the Amazon rainforest on the water's surface.

The landscape that glides by the Almirante Barbosa is breathtaking, but almost no one aboard the boat pays attention. Nearly all the passengers doze in dozens of hammocks strung from the boat's rafters, lulled to sleep by the rocking motion, the motor's chugging, and the tropical swelter.

Boats like the Almirante Barbosa are the lifeline of Brazil's Amazon region, carrying passengers and staple goods ranging from rice to diapers to remote riverside villages inaccessible any other way.

They're also a great way for World Cup fans in the remote Amazon city of Manaus to make a quick jungle escape between matches.
In this May 22, 2014, photo, a man carries beer bottles to a regional boat in the port of Manaus, Brazil. Dozens of boats set sail from Manaus daily for destinations such as Belem, about 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) to the east, or to Sao Gabriel da Cachoiera, 860 kilometers (530 miles) to the west, along the Rio Negro’s headwaters near Brazil’s border with Colombia.


The lumbering wooden vessels are slow going - the Almirante Barbosa chugs at some 20 kilometers (12 miles) an hour - and trips can stretch out for days or even weeks.

While most tourists opt for speedboats for their jungle journeys, a riverboat day trip can give even World Cup visitors on a tight schedule a taste of authentic Amazonian life.

Carved out of the heart of the world's largest forest where the onyx waters of the Rio Negro and milky tea-hued Solimoes meet to form the immense Amazon, Manaus is host to four matches, including the game between Cameroon and Croatia on Wednesday.

In this May 22, 2014, photo, a small boat navigates on the Solimoes river near Manaus, Brazil. While most tourists opt for speedboats for their jungle journeys, a riverboat day trip can give even Cup visitors on a tight schedule a taste of authentic Amazonian life.
Dozens of boats set sail from Manaus daily for destinations such as Belem, about 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) to the east, or to Sao Gabriel da Cachoiera, 860 kilometers (530 miles) to the west, along the Rio Negro's headwaters near Brazil's border with Colombia.

Around the port, hustlers with loudspeakers announce their vessels' destinations and the various stops they will make along the way. Laborers wearing hats that look like Turkish fezzes jostle up and down the docks with giant loads atop their heads, the hats' flat surfaces helping balance impressive loads - sacks of beans and sugar, giant bunches of bananas, six-packs of beer.

Manacapuru, about 79 kilometers (49 miles) up the Solimoes from Manaus, is among the best destinations for an easy day trip - and a ticket that's just $11. There's not much to see in the town itself, but the six-hour voyage is stunning. Plus, Manacapuru is among a few destinations easily accessible by car, and a $65 cab ride gets day-trippers back to the city in an hour.
In this May 22, 2014, photo, men sit in the bow of a regional boat docked in the Manacapuru Port, near Manaus, Brazil. Manacapuru, about 79 kilometers (49 miles) up the Solimoes river from Manaus, is among the best destinations for an easy day trip. There’s not much to see in the town itself, but the six-hour voyage is stunning.


Potential travelers would be wise to board well ahead of the scheduled departure and bring a hammock. Stalls in Manaus' Adolpho Lisboa market in front of the port, and a row of shops behind the market, have hammocks for every budget, from $5 to $100-plus.

Travelers without hammocks will have a hard time finding a place to sit on the boat, and competition for on-board real estate can be fierce. On the often-overcrowded vessels, hammocks are hung from the overhead wooden beams and stacked two- or even three-high bunk bed-style, with adults on the lower levels and kids above.

In this May 22, 2014, photo, men chat as they travel in the “Almirante Barbosa” regional boat, on the Solimoes river near Manaus, Brazil. The lumbering wooden vessels are slow going _ the “Almirante Barbosa” chugs at some 20 kilometers (12 miles) an hour, with trips that can stretch out for days or even weeks.
Food is included in the ticket price, but gastronomical variety is not: Every day, there's bread and coffee for breakfast, followed by chicken, rice and white noodles for lunch and dinner. The only other food available is fare like cookies and chips at the boat's snack bar.

As dusk falls, the collective midday stupor lifts and the passengers gather at the railings to watch the sunset play on the water and the floating houses, bars and general stores of the riverside communities slip past. The men sip on cold beers as the women gossip and chase after toddlers. Fussing babies are breast-fed and rocked back to sleep by the gentle back and forth of the ship.
In this May 22, 2014, photo, a boy rests on a hammock as he travels in the “Almirante Barbosa” regional boat, on the Solimoes river near Manaus, Brazil. Potential travelers would be wise to board ship well ahead of the scheduled departure and bring a hammock. Stalls in Manaus’ Adolpho Lisboa market in front of the port, and a row of stores behind the market, have hammocks for every budget.


"I've been making this trip every two months for three years, and I have the choice: take a speedboat that gets me to where I'm going in four hours, or spend 18 hours on a riverboat," said Marina Vieira, a 28-year-old biologist conducting field research in a remote community up the Solimoes. "I always, always take the riverboat."  
(AP)
In this May 22, 2014, photo, regional boats travel on the Solimoes river near Manaus, Brazil. The lumbering wooden vessels are slow going _ the “Almirante Barbosa” chugs at some 20 kilometers (12 miles) an hour with trips that can stretch out for days or even weeks. In this May 22, 2014, photo, hammocks hang in the “Almirante Barbosa” regional boat, as it travels on the Solimoes river near Manaus, Brazil. Travelers without hammocks will have a hard time finding a place to sit on the boat, and competition for on-board real estate can be fierce. On the often-overcrowded ships, hammocks are hung from the overhead wooden beams and stacked two- or even three-high bunk bed-style, with adults on the lower levels and kids above.

Dempsey, Brooks give US 2-1 win over Ghana

United States' Clint Dempsey turns away and celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the group G World Cup soccer match between Ghana and the United States at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Monday, June 16, 2014.
Clint Dempsey scored in the first minute and rookie substitute John Brooks scored a late game winner as the U.S. defeated Ghana 2-1 Monday in the World Cup opener for both.

The victory gave the Americans some revenge against the tiny West African county that knocked them out of the last two World Cups and put the U.S. and Germany on top of the Group G, with Ghana and Portugal at the bottom.

Dempsey's goal came on a low shot just a half-minute into the match. Ghana dominated much the rest of the game, and Andre Ayew leveled in the 82nd minute.
Ghana's Christian Atsu, left, looks back at his net as United States' Jermaine Jones celebrates a goal by Clint Dempsey during the group G World Cup soccer match between Ghana and the United States at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Monday, June 16, 2014.


Just four minutes later, Brooks - a 21-year-old defender who came on at halftime because Matt Besler was injured - scored off a corner from Graham Zusi. It was the first time an American sub had ever scored in the World Cup.

"I said it to the bench minutes before, `We're going to get some chances still,'" U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "So we are still in the game after the equalizer, we just need to kind of push and push and grind it out. That's what they did. Here comes a set piece we trained over and over and over that stuff. And he puts it in, so well deserved."

Dempsey's goal made him the first U.S. player to score in three different World Cups and was the fastest ever scored by an American in the tournament.

United States' Clint Dempsey, bottom left, scores the opening goal past Ghana's goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey, top, during the group G World Cup soccer match between Ghana and the United States at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Monday, June 16, 2014.
Both goals were surprising. Dempsey's showed the kind of technical flair seldom seen from a squad that typically scores through set pieces. Brooks' game winner came after a long stretch in which the Americans were desperately trying to survive waves of attacks from Ghana.

DaMarcus Beasley, who became the first American to play in four World Cups, started the buildup to Dempsey's goal with a pass to Jermaine Jones, who fed it to Dempsey inside the penalty area.

With a nifty move to split defenders John Boye and Sulley Muntari, Dempsey sent the left-footed shot past goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey, where the ball bounced off the post and in.
United States' Jozy Altidore is carried off the field during the group G World Cup soccer match between Ghana and the United States at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Monday, June 16, 2014.


Already ahead after the game had barely started, the Americans looked well on their way to erasing eight years of frustration caused by Ghana.

The Black Stars regrouped at halftime, and the U.S. looked punchless on the attack after losing striker Jozy Altidore to an apparent hamstring injury in the 21st minute.

Ghana applied relentless pressure on U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard and finally drew even when captain Asamoah Gyan flicked a backheel pass to Ayew, who used the outside of his left foot for a powerful shot.

United States' John Brooks, second from left, scores his side's second goal during the group G World Cup soccer match between Ghana and the United States at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Monday, June 16, 2014. The United States defeated Ghana 2-1.
Ghana was still pressing when Brooks, 6-foot-3, soared over defenders to get his head on the ball. Brooks, who plays for Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga, appeared shocked to have scored, raising his hands to his head before falling to the ground to be mobbed by his teammates.

"What I can say is it was a very tough game," Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah said. "Playing at this level any little mistake can cost you dearly. We didn't deserve to get the first goal against us." 
(AP)
United States' John Brooks, centre, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the group G World Cup soccer match between Ghana and the United States at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Monday, June 16, 2014. The United States won the match 2-1.
United States' Clint Dempsey celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the group G World Cup soccer match between Ghana and the United States at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Monday, June 16, 2014. The United States won the match 2-1.

Nigeria held 0-0 by Iran in World Cup's first draw

Iran's Andranik Teymourian slides under Nigeria's Ahmed Musa to take the ball away during the group F World Cup soccer match between Iran and Nigeria at the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil, Monday, June 16, 2014.
Nigeria and Iran delivered the first draw of the World Cup on Monday as they ground out a scrappy 0-0 stalemate in their opening match in Group F.

The draw at the Arena da Baixada in the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba followed 12 mostly high scoring and attacking games.

After a first half in which Nigeria failed to capitalize on its dominance, chances were few and far between in the second.

In the early passages of play, Nigeria had shown menace, with much of its attacking thrust coming down the left with Emmanuel Emenike and Victor Moses combining to cause problems for the defensively-minded Iran side.

Nigeria came closest to scoring in the seventh minute when an Ahmed Musa goal was disallowed after John Obi Mikel was adjudged to have fouled Iran goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi at a corner.
Nigeria's Ramon Azeez goes up against Iran's Reza Ghoochannejhad (16) and Andranik Teymourian during the group F World Cup soccer match between Iran and Nigeria at the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil, Monday, June 16, 2014.


Iran grew more confident as the game progressed and came close to scoring in the 34th when a Reza Ghoochannejhad header required a sharp save from Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.

In the second half, both sides were guilty of sloppy passages of play, to the growing annoyance of the mainly Brazilian crowd. Players from both sides snatched at chances, and neither goalkeeper was troubled despite some frantic late pressure in the final minutes.

"They had 11 people behind the ball, which made it hard for us to create chances," Mikel said. "It's frustrating because they sat back."

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi said his team became anxious when it failed to score during a dominant opening 25 minutes.

But he added: "Respect to Iran, they had their game plan to sit back and defend and they did well."

Keshi, who played for Nigeria at the 1994 World Cup, is already anticipating a backlash after the draw.

"Win or lose I'm criticized," said Keshi, whose side won last year's Africa Cup of Nations. "A draw now, I'll be criticized. It's part of the game. In my country, it's win at all costs and sometimes it doesn't go that way."

The best chance either side has to progress in the tournament is to beat debutant Bosnia-Herzegovina, as Argentina is the firm favorite to top the group. Lionel Messi scored one of the tournament's best goals in Argentina's 2-1 victory over the Bosnians on Sunday.

Nigeria's Ahmed Musa, left, challenges Iran's Ashkan Dejagah during the group F World Cup soccer match between Iran and Nigeria at the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil, Monday, June 16, 2014.
Iran coach Carlos Queiroz said the result was "fair" and that his players deserved "sympathy and respect" for performing on the biggest stage despite the impact of economic sanctions on the country - which made it difficult to arrange friendlies.

"We're not here to perform the role of the happy loser," Queiroz said. "The fans need to know the conditions we have endured for three years to get here."

Queiroz wouldn't talk about the team's next game against Argentina.

"Now I'm so tired just let me enjoy this point we collected from Nigeria," he said.

The draw means the winless World Cup runs of both teams continues, dating back to France 1998. For Iran, though, this was the first time it had not conceded a goal at the World Cup finals.   
(AP)


Mueller scores 3, Germany routs Portugal 4-0

Germany's Thomas Mueller, left, celebrates with Mario Goetze after scoring the opening goal during the group G World Cup soccer match between Germany and Portugal at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Monday, June 16, 2014.
Thomas Mueller picked up where he left off at the World Cup, scoring a hat trick in Germany's 4-0 victory over 10-man Portugal in the Group G opener on Monday.

Mueller scored five goals at the 2010 World Cup, along with three other players, but he also had three assists and that gave the Bayern Munich forward the honor of top scorer in South Africa.

"To score three goals in the World Cup opener against such an opponent is great," Mueller said of his performance against Portugal, which was outclassed despite the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Mueller opened the scoring with a penalty in the 12th minute and, after Mats Hummels' headed goal in the 32nd, virtually put the match away by adding another shortly before halftime for a decisive 3-0 lead. Mueller added his third in the 81st.

"He is such an unorthodox player, as a coach you never know what he is about to do," Germany coach Joachim Loew said of Mueller. "For opponents, he is very unpredictable, he only has one thought on his mind and that is to score a goal."
Portugal's Joao Pereira, left, challenges Germany's Mario Goetze during the group G World Cup soccer match between Germany and Portugal at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Monday, June 16, 2014.


Ronaldo, Portugal's star striker and FIFA's world player of the year, threatened a few times early in the match but remained largely ineffective. He had been doubtful before the match because of a left-knee injury.

Loew commended his players for cutting off Ronaldo's supply of possession and keeping Portugal's key player out of the game.

With Chancellor Angela Merkel supporting in the stands - and later congratulating them in the locker room - the German team celebrated its 100th World Cup match with a rousing victory.

"After 20 minutes, we looked up at the clock and thought it was going to be a long day," Mueller said. "But we got into the match very well and when you lead by 2-0 in this heat and then even get the third, it was all over."

Germany always aims to have an impressive start and it certainly did this time. Four years ago, it started with a 4-0 win over Australia and reached the semifinals.

Portugal's Pepe , left, puts his head on Germany's Thomas Mueller during the group G World Cup soccer match between Germany and Portugal at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Monday, June 16, 2014. Pepe was red carded after this.
What must be worrying for Germany's opponents is the apparent ease with which Loew's lineup disposed of the fourth-ranked team in the world. Germany next faces Ghana on June 21 and the United States on June 26.

Portugal is becoming Germany's favorite opponent to beat up on in major tournaments. Germany won their 2006 World Cup third-place match 3-1, won 3-2 at Euro 2008, then beat Portugal again 1-0 at the start of Euro 2012. But this was the most convincing win of them all.

Loew said his team implemented his game plan very well, winning the ball in midfield and then quickly attacking.

"The match was over in the first 45 minutes," Portugal Coach Paulo Bento said. "Germany controlled the ball and they surprised us with counterattacking.
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (7) races past Germany's Mario Goetze (19) during the group G World Cup soccer match between Germany and Portugal at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Monday, June 16, 2014.


"They scored with great efficiency. They were not so superior as the result showed, and we made bad mistakes. We did not perform as we had expected."

Portugal was already 2-0 down before Pepe was red carded in the 37th minute for apparently head-butting Mueller when the German player was sitting on the ground. Pepe had stuck his hand into Mueller's face and the German went down.

"I got hit but after that I am not really sure what happened," Mueller said. "But whatever he did was uncalled for."

After the opening penalty, Hummels doubled Germany's lead when he rose above Pepe and nodded in a well-timed header from a corner.

Germany's Thomas Mueller, left, is greeted by Lukas Podolski after being substituted after scoring a hat-trick during the group G World Cup soccer match between Germany and Portugal at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Monday, June 16, 2014.
Germany capitalized quickly on its one-man advantage when Mueller made it 3-0 just before the break when he stripped the ball from Bruno Alves and drilled in a low shot.

Mueller completed the rout late in the second half, poking in from close range after Rui Patricio had fumbled a low cross from substitute Andre Schuerrle. He said the margin should have been bigger.

"We should have used some of our chances better," Mueller said, adding that it was hard to play in midday heat and humidity. 

(AP)
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo stands on the pitch as German players celebrate following Portugal's 4-0 loss to Germany during the group G World Cup soccer match between Germany and Portugal at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Monday, June 16, 2014.
German President Angela Merkel waves after watching the group G World Cup soccer match between Germany and Portugal at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Monday, June 16, 2014. Germany won 4-0.