In response to Alia……

This is the comment you will see if you click on the comments section for the post below. I was going to delete it like I have done in the past, but then I thought “Hey! Why not commit Blog suicide and actually address this?” Not to mention the fact that I will be ostracized and made fun of or hated by every one I meet …. oh, wait, that happens anyway…..so, here I go…..

“Well the men in white robes might just knock on your door if you keep on & on being cynical and sarcastic at them ,to the world on a public forum ,hinting they hardly work at all , in other word `useless` when their lifestyle has nothing to do with you even if that was the case which is not as you can`t generalize on a society being an outsider, or commenting about not being in a free speech environment anymore ,why is that so ? do you plan on defaming ,the Local National Arab culture, way of life , traditions, religion…….etc. Is that the only thing that you intend to write about ? if not i don`t see any problem . In case you have forgotten it is you who chose to come and live in the Land of the Men in WHITE ROBES knowing beforehand their conservative environment, morals , way of life …etc. and not the other way around , so out of courtesy as a temporary resident/guest whether they work or not …..dont see it relevant to your life here in any way.
Alia AlSaleh”
12:09 AM

May I start by saying; this is a fantastic example of run on sentences. This person must have been pretty pissed! That, and I can’t help but think they are wound really tightly.

I guess I must remember that this blog might be read by people who do not speak English as their first language. I am totally surprised that anyone is reading it at all…… To address the very first statement that I am being cynical and sarcastic “at” them, to the world …….. Well, I was being sarcastic. I was making a joke. Surely you have them in your culture? As far as the next statement, I NEVER said that “they” are “useless”, you did. I never questioned the lifestyle and I really don’t understand what the “Why is that so?” is referring to. Is it referring to my being worried about not being in a free speech environment anymore? If so, then clearly, you misunderstand. I have always known that I was moving to a place that does not subscribe to free speech and I have been worried about how my blog would be received for a long time now. If you would have taken the time to actually read the posts, you would have read that and maybe would not have been so quick to freak out. As far as defaming anyone or anything, I am not really sure where you got that. Again, did you read ANY of the post you are commenting on? I love it here and i love the people here. I am in awe of the culture and want to know more about it. I just don’t know who to talk to about it and I don’t want to offend anyone by posting my questions/comments HERE for fear that I may get comments like the one you just posted.
I have not forgotten that I chose to move here. Hell, it took my family and I a year just to make the decision and we are happy that we did.
If the only thing that got you upset was the remark about the working hours and my hinting that the men may not work at all, then I am curious, where do you live? I am just commenting on what I see in MY world. I do have Emirate friends who work and they work long and hard and they do well. I am not saying that all men do not work or that they work short hours. It was an offhanded remark (and one that is made by MANY expats who live here). It is something that I want to ask about. Why do I see so many men out in in the malls during working hours? Why is it that the men who work in certain fields go into work at 9 am and leave at 11 am while a lot of their expat counterparts are there from 7 am until 7 pm? Why do I not see Emirate men working at most places I go? Why is it that the man who owns my house seems to be home more than at work? Why? There are a lot of things like that which I want to know. But again, HOW DO I ASK SOMEONE? WHERE DO I GO??? I can’t talk to the men I see and the women won’t talk to me. I have two Nationals as personal friends and they are at a loss as to what to tell me. They work hard and are an exception to what I am observing in my area. You are probably an exception to what I am observing. I am sure there are a lot of exceptions. Again, I am just commenting on what I AM SEEING, not on the entire Local National Arab culture. And yes, it “is relavent to my life here anyway” because I want to understand the life here. I am not here to just collect my husband’s checks, I could have done that at home. Believe it or not, we came here to learn……

Besides, IT WAS MEANT TO BE A FREAKING JOKE…… I worry about your health if you let things that a silly little American woman types on her blog get to you like that. Why are you so hostile? What got you so upset that you totally ignored the rest of the post and focused on this one little thing? I love it here. I love the people. I am fascinated with the culture and the traditions. I want to understand the lifestyle here and I want to fit in and be part of it because I think it is important. It is also important to that YOU not let things like this get you so mad. There are so many stereotypes and misconceptions about Middle Eastern people in general and when there is a reaction like the one you had here, it does nothing to change the thinking of others. Have you ever heard the expression “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”? You would be surprised how far FRIENDLY dialog will take you…….

THIS is why I am scared to post anything. I am just not a fighting type of person. Things like this just drain me. I can tell you now that I absolutely will not sleep tonight thinking about this post and who I have offended now. I can’t handle things like this. I am a friendly and accepting person and I can not stand to be attacked like this. Geeze, and I’m worried about YOUR health!

And I was having such a good day…………

~Me

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3 thoughts on “In response to Alia……

  1. I didn’t think that your post was insulting either, but I have noticed in the past that when some Emiratis read expats’ blogs, they misunderstand or misinterpret innocent comments. You are right, I’m sure some of it comes from reading in a non-native language. But in their defense, I think a lot of it also comes from the fact that a lot of expats are constantly complaining and criticising. I have heard expats say things in public that have offended and horrified me; I can only guess how those commments would make Emiratis feel. I would think that it would not take a tremendous amount of hearing those sorts of comments to make one very quick to take offensive.

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  2. Thanks guys. I am just thrilled that anyone is reading the junk I write anyway… Brn, I agree about how a lot of expats speak of the country and the nationals. I get chills sometimes when I over hear conversations sometimes. I am amazed at the lack of respect and at the feeling of cliquishness (is that a word???) I get here and it sadens me to know that a lot of these expats will live here for many years and NEVER learn anything about the culture. I have almost given up on talking to other expats about living here for fear that I will get an ear full about how miserable they are here. My philosophy is if you’re that miserable, go home, ya know? Again, I will say that my family and I love it here and we are having a great time learning about and meeting people. Thnks again guys!!!

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