Thursday, February 12, 2009

Arabian Gulf, Home or no Home ? Globalization Par Excellence

So you’ve been born in an Arab gulf country but yr not a “local” or “citizen” Yr Arab or say from the Indian Sub Continent you are basically confused about your identity about your belonging you can either pin point home as where you were born and raised or you can point it out to where your parents were born and you occasionally go every summer to visit relatives among other things.

Yup You may have been to Arab schools in the countries of the Arab Gulf or lets say Indian or Pakistani schools chances are you are much easier to re-integrate back into your “original” society and you have a much easir time saying am fully Egyptian, Indian or Pakistani and people don’t find you that much different or odd or guess yr not really a local of your parents origin.
It gets more complicated if you have been studying in what so called is “international schools” which are actually most likely either American or British schools with the same curriculum Americans and Brits study in their countries. You use to listen to American or British music or both watch their movies not only speak their language but also with the same accent that’s if you were to walk in a grocery store in there the cashier wont think twice you were born in there or least brought up from childhood there. Those folks tend to be the ones more open to other cultures and more likely to have been hanging out in school with a more culturally diverse group with in school.

Other teenagers who tend to relate more with where their parents come from and perhaps don’t have that perfect westen accent and tend to have hung out n groups with people of their nationality say the Egyptian group or the Indian folks or the Pakistani lot, then they are more likely to have it easier when they get back “home”.

Its tough since you were born in the Arabian Gulf it becomes even tougher if you can speak the dialect perfectly well and on the street people would think yr a “local” or “citizen” at least that’s from my experience which partly because my khaleeji (Gulfi) like complexion. Its way tougher when you say Home is in that khaleej country but you have no rights there once yr pops retires you can never go back unless on a contract or perhaps as a tourist but unlikely since the passport owners of the countries I have mentioned have different arrangements.

Im not saying that countries of the Arab Gulf should just give citizenship to folks like us that’s would mess things up, the social political and economic characteristics of these countries. Am Just trying to show this emotional and if you may humanitarian dilemma that am partly caught in and am sure many others are caught in it like myself. Sad reality is our parents in the eyes of these governments (as a whole or as a system or in a purely technocratic vision) are only here to serve a function for material return and once yr contract is done or time to retire your function no longer exists and so you too ought to seize exiting on their lands.

And even worse the those who grew up there their entire lives who are also looked at differently in their “home countries” whom could be pretty much culturally confused or least if they are conscious of it. Then you are torn apart where am I from ? Where is Home? Ironic its probably easy for those who lived in such contexts to settle some where in the English speaking west.

And on a side note Even much more pathetic when say to Egypt your parents have been paying “Taxes” or remittances to the government ( one of Egypt’s top sources of income along with tourism and the Suez Canal) and then when you come back yr expected to sever in the military .. As “paying back your country.” when I havent been using any of their crappy pathetic worthless government provided services and my parents paying their corrupt behinds.

Perhaps this is Just my own experience and am trying to be all generalizing about it, at least am pretty sure it is absolutely the case with Arab folks as much more is culturally common with folks of the khaleej. Alhamdullelah my parrents still work Home or if you want to critically call it my “home”

I think this could open up major issues of research for specialists and students of the social sciences but this is mostly my thoughts with a twist of ranting.



sara said...

YA'NY EIH EL HALAWA DIH!!!!!!!!! Thanks for taking of your time to define 'us all' :)

Maaaaaaaaaaaaaan! Poor us! And not poor us in a way kaman..

Bas ahla haga feena, inno place, or things in other words, don't mean much to us as the li'l things.. We've passed the big things & the small things count for most of "us" way more than the big things..

AlhamduliLlah for it all.. And for being different..

HOME for us is love.. And I believe love (as someone once defined it) is what your mind puts one fixed period after.


MASS said...

Well For me I feel like am a nomad I can never really settle in one place and build something lasting.

thats why I dont feel like I can naturally settle here, If I want to then I will actually have to take that embark-ment.

and I dont want to do it least our current politicaly oppressive context.

alhamdullelah it has its ups and downs

but I think folks like us are probably the most culturally open and genuinely aware in the world

emma said...

i think alot of people this generation, are in a similar situation, just need to broaden your axis a bit.
What about us that have both parents from a different culture, then your considered an outsider from both.

And even if you settle in the english speaking west, as you put it, dont think you will be counted as them, regardless of being born and brought up there, yes some countries could be considered a melting pot of cultures, where everyone is pro-assimilation, but when you come down to the reality of it, no your still an outsider.
In my opinion only defence is to accept and learn to deal with it.

This then touches on another topic- how far do you want to assimilate into your new chosen adopted culture- wheverever you go you will be surrounded by some form of culture that you either agree or disagree with their basic value system..even if you move to somewhere where there is a suposedly "mix" of cultures, its difficult to dissasociate your self from it.

aright i think my rant went on long enough

MASS said...

I cant exactly put my shoes in in some one who has parrents from different cultures but my best friend in highschool was half Kuwaiti Half british so I have a good idea.

but least to him Kuwait was home and he can stay there with no problems unlike myself getting displaced and all I have the state between me and "home"

Yup accepting it is perhaps easy, but I always take pride in my Arabness and I like to refer to my tribal leaniage through Muwayia Ibn Abi Sufyan may Allah be pleased with him.

many Americans I meet when I talk to them think am American. I use to like that even though i never said it back in undergrad but now am not really thrilled.

for the most part I am Arab even with is Jahili value systems. and waaay before I practiced Islam there were values for me that were vital.

anyway its not really an issue of cultural assimilation as much as its territorial assimilation. coz one could be adopted and the other not so exactly in the same manner.

or perhaps am mistaken with the above paragraph
I ll stop here.

Veiled Muslimah said...

I went to a British school with American teachers .. and well the accent has its ups and downs.

When people hear a munqabba speaking english in an accent... they get confused or shocked. :S

while on the other hand there is this faint relish in knowing I'm destroying the usual stereotypes [especially from non-muslims] about niqabis lol

good post though

MASS said...

yeah thats true about streotypes same goes for bros.

on a side note.. ehm
and its Muntaqiba! khalijis with all my love for them say it wrong!

it is NOT munaqaba. munqaba means she has poked holes in her and not in her hijab as muntaqiba refers

Creation said...

it is NOT munaqaba. munqaba means she has poked holes in her and not in her hijab as muntaqiba refers


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