Tag Archive | "Arab"

The Afro-Arab Divide


From South African Corespondent Hassan Isilow…

African scholars are trying to bridge the current gap between North-Africa which is predominately Arab and the rest of the continent, through research aimed at regional integration.
This was revealed during the launch of a book entitled Regional Integration in Africa: Bridging the North – Sub-Saharan Divide. Published by the Africa Institute of South Africa, which is in the forefront of this campaign.
“This book came as a result of a research project conducted by the Africa Institute of South Africa. It examines the North African countries strategies of involvement with the rest of the continent and their integration initiatives,” said Dr .Matlotleng Matlou, Chief Executive Officer of the Africa Institute of South Africa.
Speaking at the launch of the book held at the Department of Science and Technology head offices in Pretoria, editor of the book, Dr Hamdy A Hassan, Professor of Political Science at Zayed University in Dubai, explained that the book tried to examine why there was a gap between the predominantly Arab North Africa and the rest of the continent.
Hassan believes the book will help many policy makers and academics on the continent to understand causes for the divide and address them appropriately. According to Hassan, the book looked at major issues involving Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania. “These countries, in most cases, have been treated as separate from sub-Saharan Africa. However, the historical interests indicate that the North African countries have been and still are closely connected with the rest of the African continent,” he said.
Representatives from the embassies of Brazil, Chad, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Germany, Kenya, Mauritania, Romania, Sudan, Senegal, Swaziland, Saharawi and Venezuela participated in an open discussion debating the contents of the book and its relevance to the current political climate in North Africa and the rest of the continent.
The book consists of two parts with the first five chapters written in English, while the last six chapters are written in Arabic.


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Islamophobia for Dummies


Islamophobia can best be described as an irrational fear of Islam and Muslims. The term was originally coined in the late 1980s, but became commonly used after September 11, 2001. Much has been said about the so-called “Ground Zero” mosque proposal in New Your City as of late.  RELATIVITY Online’s The Brady Report has seen Kyle Brady chime in with his own well-informed position on that matter as well.

What has often been left out of all the discussion is that the mosque is in fact already there and has existed for decades, pre-dating the former World Trade Center Towers themselves. Such is an example of how the malleable American public has been force fed a fear campaign by those who oppose much of anything to do with Islam and many are swallowing it whole. With that said, there are those who see the opposition of the mosque for what it is; most notably The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart. The Jewish Comedian turned trusted news source has championed the effort to reveal the ridiculousness and hypocrisy fueling all those who oppose the mosque, which is actually being renovated into a cultural center. Once again, Stewart reminds RELATIVITY of why we see him as America’s best News Anchor. Wonder if we could convince to do a guest editorial?


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Photo of the Week: An Undying Pride in Jordan



Photograph taken by David Anthony Hohol

Photograph taken by David Anthony Hohol

Pride can often be both seen and felt, as in the photo above. Taken in Jordan’s capital of Amman, in the Eastern side of the city, the merchant sits in one of the many outdoor fruit and vegetable markets scattered throughout the impoverished end of town. While the West End is home to Starbucks, Movie Cinemas, and Shopping Malls, the East, almost entirely made up of uprooted Palestinian refugees, represents the true soul of Amman.

His chin pointed outward and an ever so slight smile stretched across his round face, the man in the photo reveals the undying dignity and pride in the face of hardship that has come to symbolize the steadfast spirit of the Arab World.


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My Guardian, My Dictator


saudi woman

From Saudi Arabian Correspondent Eman Al Nafjan…

In Saudi Arabia this past August a campaign was launched titled “My Guardian Knows What’s Best for Me”. The aim of the campaign is to stand against women who are demanding to be treated as adults. Yes you read it right, a campaign that demands that the status quo remains as is. The campaign is headed by two  princesses and has two rivaling websites. And since it has gotten a lot of attention and some rumors that the two princesses were fighting over whose idea it was, the “Who are we” page has been taken down on one of them. The goal of the campaign is to gather one million signatures from Saudi women who support it. On the bottom of the main page of the weaker website is a button that says click to vote and when you click it, it automatically counts as a vote of support! The other website’s button actually asks for specifics like name and city. The stronger website is here and the weaker one here.

Below I’ve translated Dr. Elham Manea’s piece on the hows and whys of this campaign: 

I swear I almost smiled, but how could I smile?
Then I said to myself, that people are people, in their wisdom or weakness, here or there, no difference.
So I contemplated rather than smile.

Some Saudi women have decided to express themselves.
They wanted to take a stand against human rights activists calling for Saudi Arabia to give women some (not all) of the rights that are enjoyed by their Arab counterparts in neighboring countries. So they came out with a new campaign titled “My Guardian Knows What’s Best for Me”.  
Do we blame them? All they wanted was to fix a problem they know nothing of, and thus made it worse.  It would be strange to expect anything else from them. You cannot miss what you’ve never had.

Most of them belong to the Saudi aristocrats. Their leader is a princess. Their hands are velvet. They live in palaces and villas. How could we blame them for not knowing the reality of average Saudi women?

These campaigner are only worried about Saudi women. They are protecting women from themselves.They are protecting us from activists, activists who have lived the reality of being a Saudi woman in the East, West, North and South of Saudi Arabia. They know how we suffer, and how we are subjected to humiliation on a daily basis. Luckily, these activists are not princesses.

These activists believe we should be treated as adults and humans and not as children and minors, and not as digraces to be covered. Activists who are tired of this reality of suffering and daily humiliation and so they call for the guardian system to be absolved.

These campaigners who stand againsts activists see nothing strange in the fact that we are the only Muslim country that bans women driving. Isn’t it funny that Saudi Arabia is unique in this odd religious aspect? But it has always been so. They don’t wonder as to how a woman’s freedom in our country has been choked and strangled a thousand times over,so that the poor soul cannot make a move without a male’s permission, a male who’s only distinction is his genitals. To the degree that we see nothing weird about a twenty year old being reprimanded by her ten year old brother.

My guardian knows what’s best for me, seriously?!

They do not see anything strange in that the women of their country cannot make the smallest move without their guardian’s permission. They have no right to leave their houses, to study, to go to a clinic…without their guardian’s permission. And the guardian is a woman’s father, brother or any related male until she marries. And then her guardian becomes her husband until either one of them dies. Her guardian may marry her off at ten, hit her, abuse her or may be kind to her, it’s all up to luck. Her life like a watermelon, it might open up to be red and sweet or bitter and rotten.

These campaigners live like princesses and the restrictions that stifle average women daily, do not apply to them. Have they ever faced a PVPV  commission member who stole their very breath. If a PVPV commission member even set his eyes on them, he would shake from fear, because the only power that the PVPV recognize is the power of your guardian. These men know nothing of religion.

My guardian knows what’s best for me, seriously?!

They never wonder and they never question. Instead in a naiveness that is to be envied, naiveness reminiscent of Marie Antoinette, they are bothered by the demands of the women who have suffered. And so they send to the king, asking him that this system of injustice be maintained.

They say “Who said we need to be human?”
“We do not want rights that contradict our customs!”

“Stop their demands!”

“Cut their tongues!”

“Silence their voices!”

“Leave us as we are!”

“An object in a degree closer to the animal! (With all due respect to animals)”

And surprisingly, I am not surprised. Not surprised by the campaign.
And you know why?
Because the history of  movements demanding women’s rights throughout the world, was full of similar campaigns to this “My guardian knows what’s best for me”. For every woman who demanded her rights, stood more women who cursed her, in the name of tradition, in the name of customs, in the name of religion (whatever that religion may be), and shamed her for seeking change.
This campaign is not strange.
It is similar to another campaign carried out by women in Switzerland in the twenties and then again in the fifties and sixties against women’s right to vote. They too used religion, customs and traditions as an excuse to stop development.

Even in this, they are not unique.
People, as I said before are people,in their wisdom, and strength and in their weakness and simplicity.
Here or there. No difference.

But my guardian does not know what’s best for me.
I am worthy of making my own decisions.
And only I know what’s best for me, even as I bow my head in respect to my father.  

Those campaigners insist on staying minors.
That is their decision. But who said that they speak on behalf of Saudi women?


Click here for Eman al Nafjan’s Bio


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islamic_20caligraphy_20allah_208From Lama J…

I grew up in a family that used the word “Mashallah” (God’s blessing) all the time. I’m sure many non Arabs living in the region have heard the phrase many times over and that’s because, it’s a very Arabic thing to say.  When you see a nice baby, a lovely car, or recognize the good work someone did, you say”mashallah.” everything is mashallah.” For us Arabs, it gives us a nice feeling when saying it and those we say it to are always happy to hear it.

The reason we say this to show we are not jealous, to cancel out any envy or resentment, even if unintentional, directed towards the person to whom you are talking.  I feel sad to see this wonderful word being abus buy many jealous people who can’t help it, when they see other people feeling happier, or life is treating them better.

Our jealous and envious natures make us worse. For some reason, I find a lot f this in my region. It seems so many of us just cannot be happy for others. People are turning into jealous monsters and their bad thoughts can hurt others. God says in his Holly Quran “You get rewarded, as per your intentions.” In other words, if you think bad thoughts, you will get bad in return; if you think good thoughts, good things will happen.

It seems almost normal these days that when someone buys a new car and they’re happy to tell your friends, they have hear in return that they have chosen the worst brand. When we’re happy to find a good job and want to tell people about it, we often hear something like, “Oh really? They offered me a job there as well, but this company is loosing allots of money and not paying salaries so I turned it down.”

A friend of mine commented back when I told her my finance (my husband now) proposed to me she said oh believe me he will never marry you. Is that what you say to someone who is happy? Is that what you say if you are happy for them?

Recently, another friend of mine who knows I’m now working on my immigration papers for Canada told me the city I am planning to live in hates the Arabs. “People will talk about you behind your back, they will stare at you… point at you when you walk down the street.”

But why? I’m not carrying a sign up that shows I am so and so. Why would someone say this to someone who is happy? He also told me that Canada is a terrible place to live although he’s Canadian. “What’s going on here?” I asked myself.

I find this kind of behavior almost creepy and more than a little odd. We are an envious people and we just can’t see others making themselves better. I think it just kills some of us to see someone happy.

When I think of all I have, when I think of my friends being happy and wanting more, all what I can say mashallah. I only wish more of us would do the same.


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Reformist Hamza Yusuf claims Muslims are Closer to the Real Muslim Way When Living in the West


Muslims are all too often referred to as being radical, but some Muslims are referring to one of their own in such a manner these days. Hamza Yusuf, born Mark Hanson in Washington State in 1960, is an Islamic scholar and professor currently lecturing in California. Yusuf offers a more tolerant and open-minded perspective of Islam and one with which some conservative Muslims strongly disagree.  Famously quoted as saying “the worst enemies of Islam are not the Israelis, but  themselves” and claiming that “the real Muslim way is life is best found in the West,” he is seen by some as poisoning traditional Islamic values. Others see him as the future and the symbolic figure of a much needed Islamic reformation. You be the judge.



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Death in the Name of Allah


photo courtesy of AP

photo courtesy of AP

It’s become a sight all too common. Madmen in Indonesia, India, the United States, the U.K. and more, committing acts of terrorism and claiming they do so in the name of Allah and in the defense of Muslims.  RELATIVTY OnLine’syoungest contributor, Abdullah Adulsalam Belal, offers us a heart-wrenching view the effects and reminds us all of sense of loss that lingers on long after.





How do I feel when people blow themselves up in front of innocent bystanders, hijack planes, bomb hotels, or crash planes into buildings and all in the name of Allah? It makes me sick.


The word Islam translated into English means peace. The religion itself is a peaceful one and Allah does not tell people they have the right to kill other human beings, unless they are defending themselves. Allah punishes those who take the lives of others, or their own lives. Killing others or killing yourself is forbidden in Islam.


Terrorists think they can use the Islamic Religion to justify their horrific crimes against humanity, but they are wrong. I’m angry with those who kill innocent people and then say it’s in the name of Allah. How can anyone say such things? In the name of Allah?? How can those criminals wake up every morning and look at themselves in the mirror? Don’t they have a conscience? How small-minded are those who think they can play God? Don’t these cowards have children? Don’t they have families?


I remember September 11, 2001 when hijackers crashed two planes into the twin-towers of the World Trade Center. I was just 9 years old and too young to understand what happened. Now I’m nearly 18 and about to start college.


I’m ashamed of what they did on that day; ashamed and angry. How could a Muslim commit such a hennas act? My heart goes out to all families who lost someone dear to their heart, because there are people out there who think if they kidnap someone, bomb cities, or hijack planes everybody will listen to them.  These people apparently believe they can force people to do anything they want, that people will be scared of them, and as a result they can control the world.


But all of you terrorist out there, wake up, the world will not rest until we’ve wiped out you all out for good and the day will come.  Who could have known that September 11, 2001 would be the day on which the world would change forever? Before the attack, Arabs liked to go to America to peruse higher studies, to live and to work. Many Arabs travelled there with their families. Back then we felt quite safe in going.


Now everything has changed, as some American people view Arabs as their enemies. They think all Arabs are terrorists, men and women alike. Many of us don’t feel safe anymore. I would love to see America one day. I still look at it as the land where dreams can come true, but there is a part of me that worries I won’t be welcome there.


I’m scared that some Americans will view me as a terrorist or even attack me for something some crazy Arab terrorist did. I can understand their pain and anger, but please, don’t judge all Arabs by the actions of so very few. Those Arab people, who in the name of God kill, are not real Muslims. They just use our religion for their own evil doings. Whether in this life or the next, every last terrorist will get what they deserve.  


We here in the United Arab Emirates embrace people from all walks of life, we respect other people’s religions, and we don’t want to harm others. We want to help those in need and spread the message of peace and love. Our religion does not teach hatred, it teaches us to care, to forgive, to love and to respect one another. In short, it teaches peace.


I’m proud to be an Arab. I love my religion and I’m proud to be a Muslim. I would never harm another human life. Once again, I ask you all please don’t judge us all because some Arabs use our religion to play out their dirty games.


I pray to God for all the victims of crimes committed by terrorists. May there souls rest in peace. I hope that the American people try to get to know who we really are and that they will learn and understand that it’s not our religion that kills people. I love America and the American people. America is a great nation and the West as a whole is something the Arab world should strive to emulate. I hope that one day the American people, and the rest of the world, can say the same about us Arabs.


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Palestinian To the Bone


ab-rapperisrael-001From Lama J. . .


 I decided to start my article with a phrase taken from a song that belongs to a Palestinian rapper called D.O.N.  He was born and raised in the United States, but is strongly connected to his Middle Eastern roots, especially those that stem from Palestine. His mom and dad, like many Palestinians, immigrated after the Israeli invasion and he was born as an American citizen.  I guess if he were born in this part of the world, would he really sing a song about being “Palestinian to the Bone.”?

I am a Palestinian, with a Palestinian mother and a Palestinian father. My grandmother was Turkish. I’m not sure if I can brag about my Turkish side to try and impress people, as Turkey isn’t really considered a country from the “Classy Category”.  I guess I need to look for someone else in the family to connect myself to, so people can look at me differently and think how great I am. How about my German uncle’s wife? Or my Australian cousin? Maybe my American second cousin’s wife is even better? Wouldn’t be better to say I am a Palestinian-Jordanian, but my mom is American? Or maybe my father’s family side is half German? I guess my future kids will be the happiest ever. They will be able to proudly say they are Canadians. I’m not sure if they’ll like to make a small addition, BUT my mom is a Palestinian… isn’t that what makes some Arabs classier than other fellow Arabs these days!!??

Sometimes it really annoys me when I chat with some fellow Arabs from different countries in the Middle East. It starts when I ask the question “Where are you from?” 90% of the time I hear in return, “I am Lebanese BUT half French” or “I am Palestinian, BUT my mom is American,” or sometimes “I am Syrian, BUT my dad lived in Spain for almost 10 years.“  Egyptians, Jordanian Lebanese, Syrian… we all do it and immediately put it into every sentence.  Some can’t even wait for people to ask them where are we from, so we can start talking about it. Why do so many of us strongly feel the need to add “BUT” every time we talk about ourselves? Why do the words “I am a Bedouin or a farmer” sound so heavy to us? Why do we have to justify it immediately by saying “but I’ve lived in the city all the time”? Why do we feel the need to brag about the Western side in our families, rather than our Arabic roots?

It’s like many of us are erasing our roots and replacing them with fake ones we think sound classier. Have you ever heard of a happy marriage, because the wife was half Italian or the husband was half Sweden? If everybody here is related to the West, then who was living here in the first place? Of course, I am generalizing, but it’s happening a lot. Many even push this way of thinking on our children. Many Jordanian families are teaching their kids to speak in English at home. Yes, it’s good to learn English, but using it as the primary form of communication with your children, even though the parents are both Arabs, is a little bit weird. But hey… it looks classier when our kids speak in English or French in front of the guests. This shows how educated the parents must be.

I guess I will be Canadian one day and will start saying “I am Canadian to the Bone!”  but am I?… I mean really!!

If we read Arabic history and recognize the amazing achievements made by our ancestors, it makes you want to say again and again, “I am proud to be an Arab!”  If we see how great our religion is, how wonderful our Holy Book is and how rewarding it is to be connected to Islam, this makes you want to say loudly “I am a Muslim!” So what’s the problem??

This habit of trying to class ourselves up stems from not only families or language, but even our food. If you are a shawrma fan or falafel fan, you may look little cheap, but if you dine Sushi every night with your Saki drink next to you, then your classy. You can also talk about your adventures in Japan, or how much Saki you can drink without getting drunk, but can we really talk about how many times we have made our prayers on time without missing it, or how beautiful the trip we took to Syria was last summer? If someone visited France for the first time, he will talk about it again and again to his friends and families, but would this be the case when you visit Jordan?

An Egyptian friend of mine, who is a holder of a Swedish passport but born and raised in Egypt, always talks about the Swedish experience and seems to hates admitting he’s an Egyptian. Another friend of mine always likes to talk about his French grandmother; a cousin of mine who just became a Canadian citizen finally can’t remember some words in Arabic and sometimes I need to translate things for him to refresh his memory. Seven years in Canada is a quite long and one can easily forget the Arabic he spoke for thirty years beforehand, so I’ll excuse him sometimes. On the other hand, my Canadian husband is always talking about his Ukrainian family roots, not knowing that Ukraine doesn’t go under the “Classy Category.” Maybe things are different in that part of the world, maybe people there wants to brag about their Arabic or Eastern roots. 

The question here is… are we hiding from something? Is being an ARAB embarrassing to us? If your wife is a non-Arab, will your life will be better!?? If your grandmother is Italian, would you be happier?  I’m a woman just into her thirties, who has visited almost many countries and speaks different languages, but always mention that I am a Palestinian Muslim from Jineen. I discuss religious issues with many of my friends, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. I tell them sometimes you can be both civilized, educated, sophisticated AND an Arab Muslim… and that this is the real spirit of Islam. 

When I was in Germany for almost 4 years and had many German friends, I never wanted to hide my identity. Even when people used to tell me you’re different than most Arabs, you’re more like a German, you work hard, you’re committed, sometimes I took it as an insult as it made me feel that this is what Arabs are famous for!!  Being lazy!!  Sometimes when I had visitors I would excuse myself and go to my Friday prayer. This made my German friends respect me even more, knowing that I am proud of what I am and that I am not trying to hide it to look more civilized.

I was watching a Lebanese woman on YouTube who was making a speech in front of the culture centre in New York City. She was talking about the Lebanese background and Arab heritage. I felt so sad when she kept on repeating that Lebanon is a piece of Europe and a small piece of Paris. What’s wrong of being a piece of the Middle East? She couldn’t stop bragging about the French part of the family, totally ignoring her Arab side in the process. I wish I could talk to those people who created the “Classy Category.” I’d like to make a deal with them… maybe we need to add the Arab World and make everyone relaxed about it.

Take a deep breath and think about how great our families are, how wonderful our lands are and the historical legacy we are blessed to have; think of how many prophets were here, of the beautiful pyramids, the rose city Petra, the Holy Land of Palestine, the ancient city Damascus and the modernizing Dubai. Do not forget that this is our ID people, our dignity. We are all ambassadors and responsible for how other nations see who we are and how we are proud to be Arabs. With that said, we need to start with ourselves and be proud of who we are before we expect others to respect us. So wake up ARABS!! Be who you are and be Proud!!



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Two of a Kind


From Abdullla Abdulsalam Belal…

Are interracial marriages a problem in today’s society? Do the children of interracial marriages suffer more than others? Are they doomed from the start?

I believe interracial marriages can work and that everybody, man or woman, should have the right to choose who they want to marry, regardless of religion or nationality. There are many skeptics who think that mixed marriages are bad for children, but problems also occur in relationships where both parents are from the same ethnicity.

I’m a child of an interracial marriage. My father is an Emirati and my mother is German. She comes from the former East Germany and was raised in a small coastal community near the ocean called Rostock. A part of me considers myself to be an Arab, but there is another part of me that tells me I’m also German. I have an Arab name, I speak Arabic, (even though it’s not perfect) and I’m a Muslim. Yet there is another part of me, who talks, thinks, and acts more like a European. I think that my mother has more influence over me and my siblings, than my father. My mother was an atheist before converting to Islam on her own. She raised me and my siblings as Muslims and taught us important values, which many teens in our society lack. I think she’s done a great job.

My mother is always around and my father only occasionally comes to stay with us. The reason for this is that my father has two wives. His first is to an Emirati woman, with whom he has several children. My mother is his second wife. He works very hard to provide for both of his families. He spends most of his free time with his first wife and their children, however, since they live near his workplace and we live quite far away. If he finishes work late, which is most of the time, he feels too tired to drive all the way up to see us. He promises that in the future everything will change and he’ll have more time for us. I recently graduated from high school and will start college in the fall, so I don’t think that I will ever see this day. When I was younger, we used to go out on picnics together, have barbeques on the beach, play football in the park, eat out in restaurants, or visit relatives. I really miss those days. I wish that my father and mother, as well as my siblings and I, could spend more time together as a family.

I know I will never marry two (or more) women, because I don’t think a man never can be just to both, even if he intends to be. In the end, one or both will suffer and this isn’t fair.

Nowadays, it’s become very difficult for an Emirati man to marry a foreigner. The government says it’s not good for society. They often ask if a local boy marries outside his country, who will marry all the local girls who are waiting to get married? I say, why not let the local girls marry from outside our country, same as the boys? Life always changes and nothing stays the same. People should start to embrace those changes, instead of fighting them. Interracial marriages are not a disease that will wipe out an entire nation, but it’s sometimes treated this way in my society. It’s seen as unacceptable by some and something that must be stopped.

Why? Some say children from mixed marriages are more delinquent than children whose parents are both Arabs. Does anyone really believe this is true? Some say most of these mixed children don’t speak Arabic. I have to say that during my school days I wrote and read Arabic better than most of the Arab children I went to school with, whose parents were both Arabs. I even got certificates from schools, which state that my Arabic writing and reading is excellent. Many so-called pure Emiratis in my classes never reached the same levels as I did. I will say that I don’t speak what would be called fluent Arabic, but I do understand everything and communicate with others without any problems.

Some say there are many behavior and attitude problems that come with being a child of a mixed marriage. I say what about the children of so-called pure Emiratis? I think there are some who need to be educated about having good manners, respecting the elderly, their parents and their teachers. Some need to grow up and act more mature, to think more independently, and to learn only hard work pays the rent or the luxurious lifestyle so many chase and think they’re entitled to. At the end of the day, those that seek the easy way need to stop cheating their way through things and taking shortcuts through life to get what they want.  Further still, some get involved with drugs, alcohol and crime; and some barely speak Arabic anymore, preferring to speak only English.

That doesn’t mean that only pure Emiratis are lazy and get into trouble; of course not.  Many children from mixed marriages think and do all of what I have listed above. These attitudes and behaviors come from both sides, and in the young people of countries around the world. I only want to point out that nobody is perfect and problems can arise in families where both parents are from the same nationality. Problems occur everywhere and in every country and none of this has anything to do with the fact that someone marries outside their own ethnic group. I think some people in our society need think twice before claiming the mothers of interracial marriages have a negative influence on their children, that they kill the Arabic language, or that they are bad mannered and no use to local culture. My mother has guided me towards being a good man, a good Muslim, and good Emirati, all of which I am very proud to be. 

Those of pure descent also face many problems, but nobody ever talks about it or badmouths them. In fact, many people here choose to cover things up, so nobody outside the family knows what is really going on inside the house. Many pure Emiratis listen to English music, they like to talk English, and love many things from the Western World. Who influenced them? Why do they follow Western Culture? Nobody is telling them to adopt the same Western lifestyle, or to wear Western clothing, or to eat Western food or to listen to Western music. Why blame the foreigners and why put the blame on interracial marriages?

 It’s always an easy thing to do, putting the blame on others. I think we all should try and live together in peace and respect our differences. Don’t judge others only because they are different from you – just learn to accept. A mother always tries to do her best in raising her children, to teach them well, and to prepare them for life. It doesn’t matter if the woman is poor or rich, if she is educated or never finished school.  It’s the mother’s love for her children, the way she cares for them, that should counted and not her language or nationality.

Why not fight the real problem, instead of questioning mothers who are only trying to do the best they can. I am not ashamed of my parents. I love them both dearly and I don’t care if anyone thinks marrying a foreigner is wrong, because I don’t believe it is. I don’t know from which country my future wife will be, but one thing is for certain – I will follow my heart and not any set of rules and regulations, when deciding on the woman I want to spend my life with.



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Abdulla Abdulsalam Belal


abdulsalam2Born in Dubai, UAE Staff Writer Abdulla Abdulsalam Belal is a recent graduate of one his country’s most prestigious prep schools. Set to begin his first year of college, he hopes to major in media studies and communications. In his young life, Belal has seen his small country go from a empty patch of sand, closed to the oustide world and steeped in tradition, to the Hong Kong slash Las Vegas of the Middle East. Fueled by dynamism and plurality, Belal’s unique perspective is fresh and unsullen, his thoughts revealing the future of his country and perhaps, the Arab world as a whole.


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Picturing RELATIVITY- see all photos


  • CANADA: AN EXPAT HEAVEN With our ever shrinking global village, migratory work patterns are becoming more and more a part of people’s lives. Work in one country, summer in another, then try yet another. Thinking about it? Canada, Australia and Thailand are the best places to do
  • NO KIDDING, CONDOLEEZA! In a video at the recently opened George W. Bush Library, Condoleeza Rice confirms Bush was both aware and condoned torture. Guess there’s no need to lie your asses off anymore, is there Dipshit?
  • NO MATTER WHAT, IT'S WORTH IT With its Tex-Mex menu, Taco Bell is one of the most popular fat-food chains in America. No matter what happens after you eat it..
  • TURKISH AUTISTIC ATHIESTS “Autistic children do not know believing in God because they do not have a section of faith in their brains,” claims a renowned Turkish Sociologist. Gotta love nut-jobs, like this asshole! They’re so entertaining!



Does the fact that Barack Obama is black and the son of an African Muslim contribute to the radical nature of those who oppose his policies?

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