Saturday, December 17, 2016

Dubai: USA Elections and 19 Second Graders

We are here in Dubai visiting with our family. Our son and his wife are involved in education where my son is director of a proprietary American school. His wife is the assistant elementary school principal. While we are visiting here we hear and see "the other side of the coin" when it comes to how the world works. It is very interesting.

So you need to know that I have not been sick or mad or anything of the sort. We are here in the UAE visiting and it turns out the challenge of simply signing in to the VNP on our families internet can stop us in our tracks. I have been taken to tasks by ATT for using more data than I should. The habit of picking up my phone to have a small conversations with friends is so engrained is a problem. The "data cops" sort of shut me down. Thank heavens they didn't just let me go for the gold! Wow.

We talk non-stop for a couple of days getting ourselves reconnected. In this particular case, politics was on the table immediately. My family is Democratic and my daughter-in-law's is Republican. We all agree on everything because we work from a middle ground. The shock of the election resounded through the world in Dubai much like it did in America.

My daughter-in-law was still in a place of shock and dismay when we arrived last Monday. As she talked about the classrooms in her school the only emotion she could convey was the one we all felt on 9/11. The children of all ages simply were devastated and she found many hiding and crying. I could understand how she felt. I was in the classroom on the day that JFK was assassinated. 

I was confused. I simply had not thought about how those Muslim families of the 19 second graders she found weeping saw what had happened in our country. We live in our little world and really don't connect as much as we should with the normal world of others around the globe. And please trust me, this is a very normal modern Muslim country. These people do not support terrorism and block immigration of people from any Middle Eastern country that has even the remotest connections the extreme Islamic groups. Unlike the USA, they can block ultra conservative or terrorist groups with no problem. The Neo-anything would not be tolerated.

The little children were hiding under the stairs. When my daughter-in-law found them, they were sobbing. They told her that they feared for their families living in the United States. She said that they knew that their aunts and uncles would be treated badly. It scared them because they had listened to Donald Trumps words on their television just as we had. They knew and they saw and they cannot un-know it ever. I suppose they were as changed at that point just as my students were all those years ago when our President Kennedy was assassinated by a man that it turns out had connections with Russia.

Now time is passing, parents or the children here continue to watch and wait much the same as we are. Their world is so connected with ours that it is hard to see when one begins and another ends. 

Had you thought about this? Did you feels any connections with the children around the world that are not that much different than yours? I wonder if we will ever understand that our country is capable of destroying not only themselves but everyone around the globe as well. And please don't go to a place where two wrongs make a right. I can see how that would happen.

It is just a thought. My vacations continues. Of course I will share pictures and details of this adventure. We will journey into Jordan where we will visit Petra, the Jordan River, Mt. Nebo and the Dead Sea. Life goes on but it seems that, once again, it will never be quite the same. 

Merry Christmas everyone. 



  1. I have made two trips to Greece this year to volunteer at a refugee camp: 600 Afghani Muslims. 150 children. I see their faces in my mind. I get what you are saying.

  2. Thank you for this very thoughtful and thought-provoking post, Barbara. From the start of the current US Presidential Election until now, I have kept children around the world strongly in my focus (I was an international school administrator for 14 years). It greatly concerns me what has been modeled for them on the media, the internet, conversations all around them...and everywhere that they turn. I have been waiting for this to die down and get better. We all need to keep the world's children in focus as we move forward.
    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a peaceful 2017!

  3. I too have been having a hard time since the election. I really feel for all those who are different in any way at all. Those poor little ones! My heart goes out to them, and I've been trying to keep a positive outlook but it's been awfully hard as I see the people he is surrounding himself with. :-(

  4. My daughter-in-law told those small ones and the olders as well that it was their job to make the world a better place. This experience is meant to teach them what bad actually looks like. In the end they will follow a better example and be good people. I liked that a lot.

  5. Obama said last night that his hope was in the next generation. They have been awakened and energized. I like what your daughter in law told those children about their future. Some of what is going on now reminds me of the Sixties. A generation was awakened then, too. What she told them will empower them and turn fear into courage. (What a great adventure you're having!)

  6. Frankly, I am not surprised at the intensity of the emotional response from so far away. It reflects a more globally connected mindset than I think most Americans have: something that happens almost anywhere on earth affects others. As a society we are much more inner focused and ethnocentric than is healthy for our role in the world.

    Thanks for sharing, Barbara.


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