It's been a very long time since I've written a regular blog. This one will be quick since I'm a little busy today. Just a brief explanation of why I've decided to begin blogging again.
First of all, I'm an American and I live in the Middle East. My friends around the world, and especialy those in the States have been asking me for the past two years to please post some kind of regular updates about my life here, but I haven't. But better late than never, right?
Secondly, I understand that many people in the west have certain assumtions about the Middle East, about Arabs, that I would like to counteract. My husband, Ray, is half Egyptian, half Lebanese, born and raised here in Abu Dhabi. I'm an adult ESL teacher; probably 98% of my students are from the Middle East and North Africa and probably 97% are Muslim. They come from Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Oman, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, and let's not for get the UAE. To some people in the west, this could seem intimidating. For me it's now completely normal. During my time here in AD (Abu Dhabi), my perceptions of "Arabs" have evolved. Their religions and where they come from is secondary to the fact that they are my students, fellow humans, and friends. I'd like to hope that by sharing my experiences and their stories, maybe some perceptions and paradigms could be shifted.