2005/10/18

The Greatest Asset of the Emirates

First, let me say that it is amazing how much better I feel today after posting about feeling homesick and blue this morning. I don't know if just admitting that that is what was wrong helped, but I have been much happier today. Thanks for everyone who either commented in person or in the comments to make me feel better.

Emirati's comments especially made me think of the best thing about living here: the people. I have had some bad experiences with institutions and bureaucracies (especially my bank-don't get me started!), but I cannot remember a bad experience with an Emirati as an individual yet (at least when they are not behind the wheel, but that doesn't really count).

Let me give you three examples, all in just the last 24 hours:

1. Emirati, whom I have never met in real life, reading about my feeling homesick, offers to get Pop-Tarts and Kool Aid.
2. My oldest son falls at on the escalator at Carrefour last night, cutting his leg slightly. Five people, hearing his crying, come to help us, including bandaging the cut and consoling him.
3. This afternoon the whole family went walking through the Al Ain Oasis. About ten minutes before sunset, a man that at that time had to be quite hungry and thirsty stopped and gave my children some of the grapes he was carrying.

All this is on top of the everyday friendliness and courtesy of my Emirati co-workers.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great to read you again Brn! I agree with you, the people of the Emirates are truly unique, this includes everyone! (I know it sounds weird, ALL are unique!). I've been touched by how people are ready to help out, even without them being asked to. Most of my co-workers are beyond kind and nice to me. I've also been impressed by how considerate 'total strangers' can be. Store clerks, staff at various institutions/offices that I dealt with, etc.
Being a perfectionist, the one thing that I'm still working on is dealing with a 'laidback attitude'. I'm doing much better than last year, but still!

sherilou said...

I am glad you are in a country of caring people. I know we all worried about you and the family leaving here, but sounds like you are in a BETTER envioronment!!! It's nice to know you are being looked after by "angles"

Mohamed Elzubeir said...

Ah.. well, kindness is found everywhere. I remember once being stuck on i35 on a cold december night when the tyre went flat. Had a spare but absolutely no tools to replace the flat tyre.

A cowboy (I kid you not, he was wearing the hat and boots, etc..).. very tall guy as well, pulled over his Ford truck, got out. Checked out our problem, went back to his truck, got his tools, REPLACED our tyre. I felt like a helpless woman, but was also overcome with gratitude.. considering that I had a shirt and a pair of shorts and was freezing my ass off. I had two female friends with me at the time as well.. so they did have a ball making fun of me for the following few weeks ;)

Point is, in my experience, Americans have proven to be no less kind/helpful/etc. than Emirati's. In fact, I would say that in my _personal_ experience, Americans fare better.

One should also point out that kindness is displayed with prejudice in the Arab world. I would dare say that not the same kind of behavior is displayed toward subcons, whereas that did not appear to be the case in Texas, again, in my personal experience.

Angela said...

Just wanted to say "Hey" and that I still enjoy reading your blog and learning about all of your experiences there. I miss the joyner crowd...and you too. Don't get me wrong, i love my job at pcc, but i miss being around all the good folks over at ec. Take care! AD

Anonymous said...

I agree with the statement

"One should also point out that kindness is displayed with prejudice in the Arab world. I would dare say that not the same kind of behavior is displayed toward subcons"

Desert Mermaid said...

One of my nicest experiences was a when a couple of emirati ladies in hospital were pummelling my lower back to counterpressure the cramps I was getting while I was in the waiting room.

Emirati said...

Emiratis putting the westerners first?

which would explain wey we adopt orphans from pakistan ? and why our biggest humanitarian relief effort ever was towards pakistan in the quake ?

bigk said...

The post about the ladies in the hospital reminds me of the time the kind, overly larg bouncers helped me find my way back to the street....

Melissa said...

What's going on my friend!!! I'm so glad that your transistion has improved. WE miss you! Sorry this is my first post but I've been out on medical leave. Keep laughing and enjoy everything you expierence there. Take care.... melwil

The Devil's Advocate said...

"One should also point out that kindness is displayed with prejudice in the Arab world. I would dare say that not the same kind of behavior is displayed toward subcons"

Bollocks!

It has more to do with attractiveness and apparent hygiene and apparent ability to communicate.

I wouldn't try to help a dirty, smelly, German (don't speak the language) but would run naked through barbed wire for a pretty, perfumed Asian-American girl.

It would be nice if everything was as simple as race, but that's just a card the weak victims use to divert attention from the fact that they are masters of their own destinies.

Anonymous said...

Not really devil's advocate. Prejudice exists regardless of educational bkgd or personal hygn. Put two with same demographics (language/hgn included) and two different races. Arabs will still be more friendly and helpful to you-know-who.

Plain and simple.