13 July, 2006

Why We Are Here

What is it that makes life in the UAE meaningful from the perspective of an expatriate? As we are sometimes reminded, intentionally and unintentionally, this is not our country. How many times have we heard, If you don't like it you can leave. Whatever the feeling or sentiment behind such statements, I think it is worthwhile for the expat to reflect on the question of why he/she is here. That is to suggest that there is more to being here than is often voiced. In a word, participation in the community/society may be one way to find more meaning.


Anonymous said...

BD, hear it once more...........If you don't like it, you can leave.

secretdubai said...

There are a lot of reasons why people come, obviously mainly employment related. Even five years ago it was possible to come here in and do quite well, edcuate your family, pay for health (until May 2001 this was free) and save something for when you went home.

Now, it isn't. Conditions are worse in the city with the traffic and construction. The dirham is very weak against most people's home currencies - most non-Americans have effectively taken a thirty per cent pay cut because of the dollar plummet. Add rocketing rents, school fees, health costs, grocery prices, fuel prices: it's no wonder that people are dissatisfied.

And some people are leaving, because they don't like it. But not because they're "whingeing expats" or "ungrateful", but because the UAE has gone from being a wonderful place to work in to an expensive, uncaring hole.

So rather than blame the unhappy, perhaps we should try to understand the causes of their unhappiness? And question whether all these people really are rude/ungrateful/whingeing or have in fact been screwed by the system here.

blogrosh said...

Screwed by the system my man - we were pretty much screwed by the system and it's lack of laws and human tights.

Who's telling - someone like I, who was born, bred and raised in the UAE, whose parents (an architect and a doctor) spent 40 years in the UAE got screwed - and we all finally choose to leave the place we called home for the last 40 years.

BD said...

Some emotional words, blogrosh. Can you be specific? In what way were your parents screwed?

What I'm picking up from you is what I hear now and then--it doesn't matter how long you've been here or what you've contributed, it can all be snatched away at a moments notice.

I know that happens here, but is it the norm, or the unfortunate occasional occurance?

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