19 September, 2006

Closer interaction between Locals & Expats

Samuraisam, this post is dedicated to you my brother :-)

In today's Al Bayan Newspaper, there was a column by Maisa Rashed Ghadayer about the Cultural Integration special report published by Gulf News a few days ago. I would like to share the last paragraph of this article with the fellow bloggers.
نحن في دبي خاصة والإمارات عامة نعيش مع الجنسيات المختلفة بسلام ولم يقع إلى الآن ما ينبئ بانشقاق في المجتمع، لكن ما نرجوه هو أن نسعى كمواطنين قبل الجميع، من أعلى المستويات وجميعها، بالإضافة إلى الوافدين باختلاف جنسياتهم للاتفاق على صيغ تقربنا من فهم بعضنا البعض وتدمجنا اجتماعيا وثقافيا بدل الاكتفاء بالاندماج الذي يفرضه علينا واقع المال والأعمال

I tried to translate it word by word, but at the end I myself was confused, I am sure fellow bloggers would have felt even more confused than me after reading the translation ;-)
Well, the main theme of the last paragraph is that UAE nationals & Expats of different nationalites have so far managed to live in harmony. But the need of the hour is that both nationals & expats of all nationalities should make serious effort to come closer to each other, to understand each other. She insisted that locals should make more effort than the expats in trying to bridge the gaps. People should interact more on social & cultural level instead of the interaction just limited to money & work.
I hope people from both sides start making serious effort to achieve the above mentioned goal. Friends, we have a very good excuse to make a start, Ramadan is almost here, make the full use of it in knowing each other better & try to remove misconceptions from each other's minds. Good Luck & Ramadan Kareem :-)


Sam Rocks said...

Thanks for the translation. I hope samuraisam ends up in jail for [sarcasm]writing about the UAE[/sarcasm]

marwan said...

When we consider who the majority is, where does the onus for integration lie?

And stereotypes are so easy.

samuraisam said...

DG: thanks for the dedication!
Interesting article; however, i think the 'other' person always needs to make more effort, you should be trying to find out more about other culture(s) rather than them coming to you

sam rocks: lol

shansenta said...

Well noted. The English translation appears in Gulf News dated 21/09.

I tend to agree with Samuraisam's views to some extent. For any country, an Expat is an outsider. Historical into some of the the "international" western cities would reveal that initially the coming of expats was seen as a threat to their identity. However later, in the interset of the economy, the attitudes were changed with firm initiatives from the city rulers.

An example... London is a melting pot today, not only because expats showed initiatives, but the local authorities took active interest in the various expat cultures, and promoted opportunities for other nationals to assimilate.

DG said...

Samuraisam, you are welcome brother. Agree with your comments :-)

Marwan, very well said. We have to make effort to remove those stereotypes from the minds of people.

Shansenta, why you think the debate appeared in the media (both english & arabic)? I think the authorities are mentally preparing the people (especially the locals), because I do believe some new measures will be announced in the near future to allow for the further integration of expats in the local society. The last census showed the demographic imbalance, which is increasing with each passing day. This is my opinion.

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