Here is a story that our speaking group circulated the other day. Evidently Dr. Black shot a photo of a sign that read “No photography” A stupid act? Maybe, but it is something I might have done because, being overly creative like Dr. Black, it would seem like a funny thing to do. That little kid in my mind might say, “Shoot a picture of a sign saying don’t shoot a picture.” That’s funny! What could be less harmless. And now Dr. Black has been in jail for several weeks trying to find a way out of this dilemma and possibly facing five years in prison.
EXCLUSIVE: American grandfather, 70, facing five years in jail in Arab Emirates for taking picture of ‘no photography’ sign pleads, ‘Just get me out of here, I want to go home’
- Architect Dr Robert Alan Black was lecturing at a conference in Abu Dhabi when he innocently took a picture of sign banning photography
- 70-year-old from Athens, GA, was held by police in United Arab Emirates’ capital for seven days before a translator alerted his family
- He has finally been able to speak to his son, Scott, and ask for help to be released to see his family
This is one of those happenings where you sit there thinking, “There but for the grace of God go I.” I’m sure glad I am here safe at home enjoying life and no longer chasing around this world making presentations. Ah, but would I accept such an assignment today if the enticements were right and it sounded right? Probably I well might and so my concern is great for a fellow speaker who I had contact with just a few months before because of our shared interest in creativity. This is a dangerous world we live in and in many, many ways. Efforts are being made through The State Department and other channels to free Dr. Black, apparently with no positive results so far. This just came in, CPSI has set up a legal defense fund to help in this effort. GoFundMe.com for information.