Updated: Jan 12
By Bob Feferman
On November 10th, Partnership2Gether communities from across the globe were privileged to participate in an intimate conversation with four citizens of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.). The special event was moderated by Dan Feferman and Benny Scholder, co-hosts of the Jewanced podcast. For nearly two and a half hours, this amazing experience provided the audience with fascinating insights into a unique culture, and gave us hope for the future of Israel and its relations with the wider Middle East.
The eye-opening conversation definitely challenged any assumptions that we, the viewers, had about traditional Arab views on a wide variety of topics, from Israel to the role of women in society. That is because the U.A.E. is a much different place, and so are its people.
The first part of the conversation focused on the lifestyle of the Emiratis.
As a country that enjoys tremendous wealth, Emiratis enjoy a generous social welfare system. However, the guests made it clear that they work hard for what they have.
Norah Alawadhi said: “There is a misconception about locals, that we have money trees, or oil money.” Norah reminded the viewers, “We work really really hard. In each household, we’re striving to have businesses of our own.”
It was also fascinating to learn about a people who take great pride in their Bedouin roots and traditions while feeling very comfortable with modernity.