This blog attempts to explore the life of Arabs living in the Gulf. The characteristics that make them unique are the social, emotional and intellectual deficiencies that they have in comparison to their counterparts who got to live in their countries (face it, how many of your younger, smaller cousins kicked your ass and outsmarted you growing up?)
Through my exploration I talk about the constant anxiety that parents have for their children, their undying keenness to conform, and their constant fear of failure.
Although they have all lived at one point in their lives in the West, and they happen to be charismatic, eloquent, hardworking and optimistic, they find themselves leading a mediocre life, with mundane interests, and a lot of wasted talent.
In a time where there are very interesting events taking place in the region, and various proofs that competence and unconformity is needed for change, the people living in the Gulf find themselves engulfed in a position where their only contribution is financial personal gain and efforts to maintain solid social and family ties with their parents and children; something that is not driven or controlled by geography.
My inspiration came from two sources. The first came after hearing J. K. Rowling’s 2008 Harvard commencement speech tilted “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination”. She talks about how when she started writing the Harry Potter books (something worth mentioning is that she is the first and only billionaire writer) she was at a point in her life that was in every meaning of the world a failure. She just got out of a short-lived marriage, she was a lone parent, and as poor as you can be without having to be homeless. She says that that rock bottom was the solid foundation on which she rebuilt her life. She ends it with “… you might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”
After hearing that it occurred to me how cautiously I lived my life. I was programmed to avoid the unknown and always worked to equip myself with knowledge, perseverance, and persistence, not to make life around me better but to be able to face the hardships of life. However, the result of this upbringing/programming/mindset, is a life empty of hardship in all its forms. I found myself in a homogeneous shell, where everything around me is processed, packaged, marketed and sold, including the people. Every move in my life is calculated, calibrated, measured and compared.
Given all the above, it is common to find people lacking security, and instead having curiosity that is usually coupled by a never ending line of questioning that revolves around every element of everyone’s life. What usually supersede the line of questioning are external factors as blame to any of their shortcomings.
Throughout my writings, it was evident that we have a huge identity issue (putting aside that I am writing in English). It was most clear than when I saw a new, yet again, “imported” TV show of Arabs Got Talent, where you had a bunch of Arabs appearing in front of an audience doing the moonwalk, rapping, street dancing and popping that it came to me, we have a bankruptcy of creativity and a graveyard of identities.
Lastly, my second source of inspiration is a wide eyed girl who looks at me for answers, inspiration and insight. Her name translates into fulfillment, and as her father, it’s my duty to make sure she lives up to her name.
Therefore, I have taken it upon myself to embark on a journey unprotected, uncalculated, uncalibrated, and unmeasured with the sole intention of failing.
*wissdomblog.com wishes to thank its proof readers for their time and support: S.D., W.A., S.M., N.I., and A.Y.