The essence of every Emirati culture can’t be summarized in few words, however my professor once asked me that he wants me to describe the uae essence in 5 point excluding the clichés like falcon, desert and palm tree…. i wondered for a long time, longer than i expected, longer than you expect,, to come up with 5 points to communicate our culture, however after a long dig in the wrong places in my weird mind, and useless attempts to acquire synonyms, i saw the light that directed me to the ultimate right direction, a word of advice reader: what is right for me is never the right for anyone else, that is what we are, “Humans”, made to connect through our differences, so please feel free to add in the comments the five that best describe the uae for you,, as for me that light directed me to the roots of our existence and they are as following:
1) Grandma’s endless stories
2) Extended generosity
3) Family gatherings 365 days of the year
4) Neighborhoods close ties
5) And finally Hospitality
For me these clearly captured the essence of human ties in the uae culture, although its shame that very few of the emiraties keep these points a center of there lives. each one is now replaced with the following:
1) Friends gossip
3) Family gathers 2 times a year (during eids)
4) Laptops and phones are much important
Of course this is not the case of all emiraties, but many of the young “hip n’ cool” generation are. The pride that each person has to be from his/her root is something always encouraged. Its is rather amusing to listen to people talk about their originality by remembering their defendants with hope for progeny that will pass the torch to the next generation. It is very soothing to know that this sense of pride in also deep within in the Emiratis, which is one of the reasons that made me prepare the previous list.
then again when that pride exceeds the level to become intolerable then its just Annoying. Pride is part of humanity, a person is bond to be patriotic about his/her personality, identity, existence, and even nationality, but when is it time to say enough, when does that pride becomes just pure Negative Extreme Patriotism. Even i can’t determine the exact time and extent that turns that Pride into Extreme, however i know that we are naturally born as humans who are bond to feel that pinch of conscious that tells us this is not about me anymore, its not about Emirates anymore, it may have never been about that, its just something bigger to be observed by some superficial brains. I am also a very proud Emirati, i am proud to be from this land, to admit its good and bad qualities, to be rooted in its sand and scented by its essence, but i would always keep that fifth point, that hospitality, Alive. That original hospitality that consist of a blend of our culture with our religious qualities, a hint of respect, and a lot of dashes of smiles. this blend helps us communicate our thoughts, opinions, and information with others. Our ways of communications might change, we move from one on one meeting face to face, to letter, to phones, to meeting millions in cyber space every day. That doesn’t mean that we can’t show our hospitality by our personality anymore, it just means that the doors of creativity is now wide open for our wild minds to explore by living a new adventure every day. It doesn’t make us underestimated, it is just something that is larger than life. and since we spoke about the UAE’s essence i can’t not mention the figure that will always be a part of this picture, the late H.H. Shiekh Zayed or as we knew him (baba Zayed), i would like to end this post by one of his qouts that says “”لقد ترك لنا الأسلاف من أجدادنا الكثير من التراث الشعبي الذي يحق لنا أن نفخر به ونحافظ عليه ونطوره ليبقى ذخراً لهذا الوطن وللأجيال القادمة.”” Our ancestors left us the legacy of our heritage that we can take pride at, preserve, and develop for it to stay an asset for this nation’s future generation”.