My name is Rahed Alfalasi. I was born in April 11, 1991 in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of United Arab Emirates. My father was born and raised in Dubai, however, later moved to Alain before finally setting in Abi Dhabi. My mother was born in Abu Dhabi. My grandfather was a peasant farmer while my mother caught falcons which she sold to royal families and other people in the upper class within the vicinity in order to cater for their upkeep. My father was motivated by the hardship of my grandparents. This led to him to the determination of working hard towards attaining a good life. He tried everything possible to make an improvement in his life. He ventured into athletics as a soccer player without success. My mother was a career woman with high interests in teaching. Despite the challenges that she underwent, she managed to succeed and became a teacher of geography in high school.
The degree of social change and the development of nations are generally measured by the extent of women’s liberation in that country. The Muslim Arab Society may emerge as uncivilized nations with regards to the liberation of women. My country is adherent to values and practices of the Holy Quran. This has dragged the nation backwards in gender equality when compared with developed nations. My mother underwent a series of challenges in advancing her teaching career. She was among the few women who taught at that time. Most women were not allowed to gain access to social places. The ministry of education preferred hiring teachers from other countries instead of tapping the potential of women from across the nation. This is a retrogressive practice to an extent that it hindered my country’s growth.
In my country, men and women are accorded different responsibilities. The most important role of women is nurturing, bearing, educating and securing of children. This was proved when my mother had to quit her teaching profession of six years in order to give her full attention to our third born brother. It is believed that the women’s involvement in public life should not occur at the expense of this key responsibility. Men are held with the role of providing protection and gathering for the needs of the family. My father entered into the automobile business so as to sustain the family. The business was successful and enough to cater for the family needs.
The social attitudes and traditions about women in my country are the most difficult and slowest to change. There was gradual erosion of the rights of women. The extent of this erosion is considerably varied as a result of circumstances like politics, economics, foreign invasion and infusion, level of development and creation of social structures. Most women social groups are advocating for the rights of women. Their desire is that women should be accorded equal treatment and equal opportunities similar to men. The situation is currently different. It can be observed that women are obtaining the freedom to work in places they desire. Besides, they have also acquired a fair status. Even though the main responsibility of women is still the upbringing of children, those that chose to perform other tasks are given the necessary support.
There is no family member who has ventured into the political arena. The politics occurs in a framework of presidential, federal and complete monarchy. Abu Dhabi remains the politically strong emirate because of its population size, portfolio of overseas assets and hydrocarbon wealth. There are no political parties or organizations that are democratically elected. Abu Dhabi has its own central governing body and executive council that is under the chairmanship of the crown prince. Under the constitution of the United Arab Emirates, Islamic religious law and Sharia laws are the pillars of the law. They are applied to all family and criminal matters. In criminal cases, Penal Code is used in case the evidence required by Sharia law is considered adequate.
There is no formal system of bail in my country. Defendants are guaranteed the right of a legal counsel once the police are through with their investigations. Trials are carried out before judges and federal Supreme Court hears all cases involving national security. Political organizations are not allowed to view for any position in my country. Besides, there is no popular system of elections since the Federal Supreme Council is the one responsible for election of rulers. My country was among the Middle East countries that responded to Iran-Iraq war in 1981. Ever since the discovery of petroleum, there have been rising tension between my country and Iran over the sovereignty of Abu Musa, which is an island that separates them and us. My country was able to provide humanitarian help to Iraq and foreign armed forces to Kuwait following their long-standing feud. As a nation, we are signatory to various international agreements like the sale of defense services, aviation, investments, taxation, postal matters and mapping. My country is politically stable and has never been to any major war.
Our economy is mainly reliant on oil and natural gases. Revenues generated from the oil exports are used by the government for financing its key infrastructures. However, fishing, forestry and agriculture are other economic activities that can also generate income in my country. Because of the adverse climatic conditions, agriculture is not largely practiced. My grandfather was a peasant farmer who failed to raise his family to the status of middle class. The temperatures are very high in summer and the soil is poor with high acidity levels. The development of cultured pearls killed the pearl industry. Fishing is practiced but purposely for domestic needs. During my parents’ reign, fish products were only sold to royal families and other upper class citizens. The situation has changed and this group is now capable of rearing their own.
My country is also dependent on mining and minerals. There are also numerous hydrocarbon products. Mining has reduced the reliance of oil along for revenue generation. There are several manufacturing industries across my country. The tourism sector is also experiencing rapid growth. Through Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, my nation has been able to provide assistance to developing nations. This is achieved through the issuance of project loans, technical assistance, guarantees and equity participation.
The automobile sector in my country is well developed. My father tried a couple of businesses that did not flourish. His luck struck in this industry. The business is quite amazing and has enabled us to acquire a proper income. It deals with the sale of cars and trailers. The presence of oil has ensured that the citizens are rich, thereby offering ready market. However, starting a business in my country is not easy. Children often inherit businesses from parents and operate them after which they hand over to future generations. For those who have the desire to start businesses in my country, it is a bit challenging since it entails many consultations. This was a problem that my father faced because he lacked someone to assist him through the processes.
I am a brown man, born into a middle class family. My father’s business is able to sustain our needs. It has enabled us to rise to this status. I went to school in Abu Dhabi school where I obtained a high average grade that helped me to secure a university scholarship in Iowa State University. Currently, I am studying Computer Engineering. In the United States, I am facing the issue of racism which is not prevalent in my country. All citizens are given equal treatment regardless of their color. My issue has been even much complicated by the fact that I have few friends in the United States.
Racism has become part of America. It has some rich history and has shaped the United States to become what it is today. This is justified through slavery, efforts to eliminate Native Americans and civil war. As people from various parts of the globe moved to settle in America, conflicts arose. Some people wanted ownership of their entire land. For these to be achieved, they had to eliminate Indian traders.
Slavery has a great history in the US. In Africa, there was the scramble for resources. Several factories were doing quite well in European countries and there was mass movement of labor. White farmers were left without laborers. This enhanced the thriving of slave trade. Africa was considered as the uncivilized continent where people could be drawn forcefully to go and work for white farmers. Slavery enhanced racism in America. People were separated by color. The civil war between the Northern and Southern citizens is well documented. The issue of segregation was so common that it impacted the death of large numbers of blacks. Civil rights movement fought for equality as stipulated by the constitution of America. There was no equality in healthcare, schools and even employment.
The experience that I have had with racism in the United States is worth remembering. Before my encounter, I only read about it. Iowa State is the first place where I lived. During my stay there, citizens were friendly and very nice. I freely associated with people and formed friends with them. At the university, I was able to get a friend who really valued me. I planned several adventures and one day together with my friend, we decided to take a drive to Florida. This was the longest road trip that I have ever been on.
Our journey went on quite well even though we faced numerous challenges along the way. When we were almost to get Georgia, one of our car’s wheels developed a problem. This forced us to hold on until we could get to the nearest gas station. I was anxious about the Florida adventure and barely did I know that I would be a victim of racism with regards to respect and treatment that is used to be accorded. We were very desperate for replacing the wheel so as to proceed with the journey.
I called one of the stores to find out about wheels. After giving them the description of what we needed, they gave me an assurance that they had two wheels in good shape. Without taking much time, we made way for the store. Matt (my American friend) went in first. He was assured that the wheels were there and my entrance came as a surprise. The store keeper roared at me saying that he was not selling anything to me because I was a brown man. The words were not very easy for me to take in. There was no chance for explaining myself. It was one of the ways in which racism is manifested in the American society today. I was already in trouble and this kind of treatment even worsened things for me.
The United States is home to people of different racial backgrounds. As time advances, people get used to each other. Technology has brought the world together into a global village. It is just a matter of time before people begin considering themselves as global citizens. This will be beneficial to the United States since people will no longer be confused by culture, race and beliefs. The election of President Barrack Obama in 2008 and his re-election in 2012 are acts of intent for change. Obama emerged as the first black to become the President of the United States. It is an ideal example for the minority groups in America to be elevated to such positions.
The legal structures that that tie racism to the America society have been broken down. Racial prejudices are also declining. The key issue that is preventing complete elimination of racism is the fact that young people are not addressing it. Escaping from a problem will not solve it. Racism is real and prevalent almost everywhere, although its manifestation in the United States is quite worrying. The young generation should come together and address the issue.