May 25, 2011

Gallup Explains it All

A recent Gallup poll of 18,000 Gulf citizens has revealed some interesting things about the folks we live among.

Emiratis are thriving, they contribute widely to charity and the women are well educated.

And, according to a story in The National, 36 per cent of Emiratis would not object to having a non-Muslim neighbor.

Of course that means 64 per cent of them don't want to be anywhere near us.

Countries like Lebanon and Egypt had very high interfaith acceptance, which has been attributed to the fact that they have lived among different religious cultures for a long time.

There are more than 200 nationalities here in the UAE, which makes for a very multicultural environment. And a very small local population.

A few people were optimistic and said they enjoyed living in such a varied society. But even a well-known cultural advisor frowns on mixing. "People prefer to live among their own because it's one of the ways to keep your identity and not have it diluted," he said.

So instead of welcoming us, teaching us their culture, the majority prefer to keep to themselves.

We are, after all, just the hired help.

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