Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Exotic Arabs

When you come to live, visit, or even work in an Arab country, you will probably be the minority there. Except of course if you go to Dubai, where foreigners are the majority.

It might be a new and different experience for you and things may seem exotic, but remember, that it is you who is exotic in their country.

Telling an Arab that they look exotic is NOT a compliment. They may look exotic to you, but they look like the guy/girl next door to everyone else. You may wonder why people may look at you when you go out in public in an Arab country; because it is you who look exotic to them.

Exotic is anything out of the usual, and to categorize people as exotic because they come from far away lands while you are now in the far away lands does not really make sense. 

Just because western culture and behaviour are globalized through the media and other means, does not mean that the people who were unfortunate in the media are exotic.

Just because this place you call the "Middle East" has camels, Bedouins, and endless amounts of sand, does not mean that we appreciate being called exotic in our own countries.

After coming back from vacation, my American colleague told me that I had gotten darker (we call it a tan where we come from -sarcasm). She then said : "It's okay; it makes you look more exotic." I mean come on, we are living in a country where everyone has a similar to mine, and I am being called exotic! 

Try being more culturally aware. Thank you, exotic Westerner from a faraway place.