Middle East meets West: Straddling life between the United Arab Emirates and Northern California.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
What's in a name? I just came across an e-flyer on facebook (see above) announcing a focus group event that is being hosted by a soon-to-be-launched Abu Dhabi-based magazine called (wait for it,guys)...UNFAIR. Seriously.
Besides the curious choice for a name, the people in charge of the magazine are hosting an event this Saturday (May 23, 2009) at the Shelter in Al Qouz to better understand their target readers: Arab women.
A quick sidetrack: I've never heard of the Shelter before, but apparently it is a warehouse that now serves the artsy community of Dubai and hosts some interesting events and lectures (in what seems a truley exquisite environment). I've just browsed their website, and have just added it to my 'to go' list. The place is the brainchild of the Bin Shabib brothers- the same Dubai-ian young folks who started Brown Book magazine (another interesting production from these two brothers).
Anyway, the magazine (not Brownbook. UNFAIR) is expected to launch in September, by the new media hub Two Four 54 (owned by Abu Dhabi Media Authority), and so magazine peeps are hoping to pick your brains on what you'd like to see in this new publication.
You should attend, if you are an Arab woman or are interested in regional women's issues, and contribute to the discussion. Maybe ask them why they chose such an obscure name- one that will definitley reinforce preconceived streotypes on the state of Arab women in the region, perhaps. Unless they have a very compelling reason for such a provocative choice.
Here's a map for Shelter ( to save you from the stressful maze that is Dubai construction).
I am from two countries.
Neither is really mine.
My body resides in a prosperous city with familiar voices,
but my heart resides in a country that now speaks a language foreign to my ears.
The less poetic version:
Born and raised in the United Arab Emirates. Next nine months in a small town: South Hadley, MA. The three after that in Palo Alto, California. I left my heart in San Francisco, because Israeli security would never let me leave it in Palestine.
And now I am back in Abu Dhabi, the sunny (and humid) capital of the UAE. God knows where I will be next.