Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Put yourself in their shoes for a sec

OK! I have had enough! I am really fed up of ‘local-bashing’ in every single medium of communication that exists in this society.

I have nothing against serious constructive criticism being provided or engaging in a mature and respectful debate . It’s when I hear random racists outbursts which have absolutely no purpose other to incite pain and hatred and further deepen the dark and murky pool of ignorance, bigotry and prejudice that I wonder whether its just a selfish effort to empty out ones closet full of psychologically disturbed and irrational thoughts.

I have nothing against talking about what an individual perceives to be a serious issue with regards to the citizens of this land. By all means please bring them into the open so that we can recognise them and, more importantly, resolve the issues. Some readers of my blog might accuse me of being a hypocrite and claim that I am racist towards emaratis as well. I beg to differ! If you read my blog and cannot tell the difference between random rants of hate and anger and constructive criticism then there is no point in trying to argue my case ;-)

What many people don’t do is to place themselves in the other persons shoes. EMPATHY! EMPATHY! EMPATHY! EMPATHY! EMPATHY!EMPATHY!

Emaratis have a lot of issues to deal with. I of all people love pointing them out. But I don’t hate them. Half of my social network is made of emaratis.

Racism is an amalgamation of a lack of education/information and lack of desire to educate oneself.

So next time you start saying “ All emaratis are fucking lazy bastards who don’t want to work”, ask yourself: “ why is that?” And then realise that there is a difference between that statement and its much more mature minded cousin: “Why does a stereotypical emarati have a tendency to be work less than a stereotypical expatriate?”

One aggravates the blazing flame of racism. While the other has an educationally inquisitive nature which will set you on a path of cultural understanding that will dowse that blazing flame of racism within.

If you still don’t get what I am say, then I give up ;-)

20 comments:

samuraisam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
samuraisam said...

I'm tired of Expat-Bashing.

You have the common misconception that this 'bashing' only goes one way. Bullshit.
For the past 15 years of my life, I've had thousands of locals title me as being a "britany" or "engleesee" or "rusee" despite the fact I am not from the UK or Russia, or America and I know that they know perfectly well where I am from. The terms they use can be derogatory. I've had local people as recently as a month ago try and berate me for being uncircumcised ("ahahaha, you are not khut!!1") (and no, they have no conclusive proof, they just assume it based upon my skin colour) or try to make fun of my skin colour.

No, not all locals are like this, and no, not all expats are local-hating; but, make no mistake about it; this is the UAE and everyone hates everyone else. Realistically I wouldn't expect anything else given the environment here.

Anonymous said...

We wear slippers mostly

Anonymous said...

Lets not blur the line between cause and effect here.

An expat working for a local would be made to toil 12 hours a day and seven days a week.

What do you think is the situation when a local works for an expat?

Don't you think there would be a drastic difference between the average number of hours worked a day by a local and by an expat

Few years back, I was working for a multinational in Dubai and had the previlage of training two locals (who were being offered double my salay incidentally). They were ernest, hard working but expecting them to show up on an off day - in case there was left over work - was an exercise in futility. For over an year, I trained them at the end of which their salary was increased by another half.
Happy story??? Nah, they left after an year to join another company. The company was smart enough (this time round) to hire two expat trainees as replacement. They have come round beautifully, become full fledged operators and doing very well. Employer + Employee both happy

Perhaps there is excessive bashing, but maybe just maybe its not all down to mere racist outbursts.

So I would request you most kindly to avoid trying to trivialize the harsh realities of UAE.

rosh said...

"this is the UAE and everyone hates everyone else. Realistically I wouldn't expect anything else given the environment here."

Sam - I agree with most of what you've said. Like every basket, there are the good and the bad.

However, you've got me thinking on the above comment - i.e. why is it that everyone hates everyone else? I think this is true, at the same time I want to say this isn't true!

I remember the days growing up in this place - it was very VERY different. People (infact total strangers) often helped each other, smiled and made conversation. Hospitality was at its best. Sadly very different today - I have to admit, I DO sense hate and plenty of negativity from some souls these days in the UAE. I don't think the hate or frustration is directed solely towards Emi's - but to all in general. However I can’t seem to pin point where the hate stems from i.e. not sure if it's got to do with the traffic and rent woes or open racism and daylight robbery by greed mongers - however, it could be the fact that people from different parts of the globe learning to live together with new cultures and perceived restrictions – hence just seem plain disillusioned with ways of living here?

LE - I agree with Sam, the bashing goes both ways. There are Emi's and Expats involved in the bashing scene - primarily due to ignorance (or in case of some for pure joy or provocation) and perhaps partly just the frustration of living in a place where things seem to be changing quite fast on the surface and lack of proportional growth in the laws and governance. Sadly such environment is a fertile ground for greed mongers, and these days we’ve got plenty of them in this country.

If you look from an Emi's (or a local expat's perspective) they feel alien in their own home - i.e. have the ways of living, culture etc dwarfed by an tons of newer expat's ways of living, culture and so on (not saying one is wrong and the other is correct) – however, just imagine how frustrating that could be for anyone?

I could go on and one – however would like to emphasize - there are plenty of good apples in either baskets, and I wish there was more understanding and debate. Hate and bashing (nor the wanting to hear only positive comments) isn’t going to help anyone.

Having said that, this is still a very positive place compared to most nations – things are not as bad. There is a lot of positive if you look at this place from a broader perspective.

BuJ said...

Ah... localexpat!
if you can't beat em, join em!

good post mate.. and not for a second have i taken ur blog as a local-bashing place but i know a few that have.

rosh.. thanks for taking two steps back and looking at the big picture.. i guess u can do that easier given your travels and work etc even though it all started with the uae...

ah don't we all miss the days of lore...

A Blessing in Tragedy said...

Apathy apathy apathy apathy!

You, my friend, are a person that I hardly ever agree with but because of the head on your shoulders I respect even when you argue against me.

That said... I hate everyone, including myself. I (dont believe) but lean towards something sort of like Original Sin. Being from here or anywhere else, we're all filthy vile disgusting beings.

That is the truth.

Nice post.

Sam... so where are you from?

rosh said...

Buj I miss the days man, I really do – more so every time I come into the UAE. Yeah travels and exposure to different peoples and ways of life broadens understanding and perspective. It's helped realize how much better this place – and helps value what we take for granted and much more.

Still an infant at 35 this nation is by no means perfect, nor are some of its citizens - just look at the changes the past 10 years.

Most moving here just has to realize and understand that they’ve got to live with an infant’s process of – "learning to walk" and "learning to live" –"govern" and "talking to strangers". So instead of bashing and giving it back - take a blow and have a debate - give understanding a chance. Join in - join hands - understand one another, Emi and expat. It hurts much less and will do some good.

"That said... I hate everyone, including myself. I (don’t believe) but lean towards something sort of like Original Sin. Being from here or anywhere else, we're all filthy vile disgusting beings."

ABIT - seriously what is the point of hating yourself and hate for others? Has it brought you any love or good - and please don't tell me, you just love being “in” hate AND live for bad in life?

PS: please don't be calling all, filthy vile and disgusting (yes I am aware you are FREE to express as you please, want and more) - but not all of us are vile & disgusting you know - I don't think you are vile either : ) So try and chin up - see the positive around you - will do much needed good and perhaps we can have more poems from you :)

A Blessing in Tragedy said...

I'm not talking about you, or me, or him, or her... The human condition is flawed to such an extent that I wonder how much better we are to animals.

Yes, we are all vile filthy selfish creatures. and no, I am not a pessimist. I'm a realist. people usually think of me as a foriegner hating asshole till they meet me in person.. and figure out I hate my own cousin even more. (an example.)

Look around. you can choose to pick out the few good things you can find, but I choose to accept all the bad that we all do. like Iron maiden once wrote "The evil that men do goes on and on..."

rosh said...

"The human condition is flawed to such an extent that I wonder how much better we are to animals."

I agree - often we can be worse than animals. I used to think perhaps the one mistake (by God) was that he gave man "brains" - cause we do use it to become horrible of the most horrible creatures to fellow beings.

But then I kept thinking some more - and realized, we are can turn it around or put stop to being evil - because he's also connected our hearts to our head. There are good and selfless souls and deeds all around you - it just depends on which "eye" you use to see things with.

PS: I think if you choose to accept all the bad around you - it should make you a better person - and want to see the better or the good in life. I feel that's the fundamental difference in a human soul and an animal.

rosh said...

""The evil that men do goes on and on..."

.....true, and so does the good - however, the good always triumphs over evil.

localexpat said...

I intentionally did not make an explicit reference to what you guys have been going on about: local/expat bashing goes both ways.
TRUE
I agree with it totally!
What none of you realised that this post applies to both sides of the ethnic divide( although not explicitly mentioned). I just wanted to see how many people would realise this.
As the heading says : Put yourself(local/expat) in their shoes for a sec.


what most expats don't seem to realise is the same ignorant views that exists about emis is reciprocated by the emis having ignorant views about expats as well.
I have had emi friends in my neighbourhood tell me that all 'whitees' are just here to bleed the country of it money and leave.

all i'm saying is its there on both sides of the divide and lack of education/understanding from both sides increases the divide!

CG said...

Face the reality, whites are seen by Emis as a threat. And why not? White women have taken the local men and produced a milk shake of kids, white men who came here a few decades ago, just to bring technology and to train the locals have stayed and multiplied in numbers.
Expats in general see locals as lazy and to be honest a lot of them are, but I also think it is about priorities. Locals put family first, it is cultural and religious. Expats give their jobs more respect than their own mothers.

rosh said...

"Expats give their jobs more respect than their own mothers."

Duh! not true cg.

But interesting to hear your thoughts on Emi and "white" men...... it's the first time i've heard of this logic?

Samawel said...

Thanks for saying something. Bashing (going both ways) is extremely annoying. It happens to me when people don't realize that I'm an Emirati (because I don't fit the perceived stereotype) and go on bashing my culture. Constructive criticism should be the thing to go for going both ways.

BuJ said...

ah.. CG.. funny comment about the milkshake :)

samawel.. i feel u wallah...

Shalom said...

I have a book recommendation for you: Beyond Culture by Edward T. Hall.

For me, after the Bible, this is the book I would look to for inspiration on dealing with the smorgasbord that is the human race.

Going by a few of your posts, I think you'd appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with this article about empathy, people just don't realize that everything that they criticizes could happen someday to them! Thanks for the article!! you've helped me to finish my homework about empathy!!! =)

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