Monday, December 15, 2008

Just Where (Do) I Belong (?)

It is an ugly feeling not knowing where you belong. It is an even uglier feeling knowing just where you do, and then being consistently denied that right of knowing, of belonging, by people around you.
The fear that some of my comrades still saw at me as an outsider crept most recently, in the form of an email (as a response to one my newspaper columns). The ironic thing is that my column was a celebration of the UAE's pluralism, and an appeal to reconsider 'tolerance' as an integral part of our national identity.
According to one reader, I wasn't even in a position to be writing about national identity, as I am a "foreigner" to this country. Yes, indeed. I am a foreigner who was born and bred here. My grandfather helped found this country 37 years ago, and I am now working in its capital, instead of pursuing my bigger dreams abroad.
I am unsure in what dictionary I would be a "foreigner", but I am certain that Oxford, even our Declaration of Independence would disagree.

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