How I Went From Being A White Girl Judging Arab Countries, To Living In One.

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By Susan Singer

I wrote this back in 2008 and things have dramatically changed, hopefully for the better, but the topic of how we jump to conclusions and judge on what is usually an unfair situation is still very relevant today…

As I stand in line to board Emirates Flight 97 Houston to Dubai, I noticed for the first time in my life that I was a minority.  I was about to embark on a new career in a foreign country, which meant I would be adding “ex-pat” to my resume.  How exciting! My duties consisted of creating strong business and personal relationships with the United Arab Emirates as a marketing manager for a new Dubai based insurance company. I would be learning their needs and desires to help enhance the customer service lifestyle in a city that does not necessarily believe in insurance.

What?!  Well, according to the locals life is, “Inshallah.” Meaning, if Allah wills. So, “If my car was broken into…Inshallah!” Many ex-pats do not necessarily feel that way and would appreciate the opportunity to have quality customer service like we have been used to in our home country. That being said, learning how other countries live and prosper through their traditions and culture are very intriguing to learn about. Especially in a start-up city that seems to be flourishing by the minute.

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Back at the airport, an emotion of fear ran through me.  My nerves tensed up.  I was a bit shocked by that sudden emotion and very quickly realized my fear turning into humility for the judgment I had thrown on the people surrounding me.  All because they dress differently than me? No, I am a smart, mature woman who can think for herself. However our biased news channels and certain newspapers that appear in front of my eyes on a daily basis did win me over at this very moment.  With all the articles, documentaries and speeches about  9/11, an educated American cannot help but feel fear.

How am I supposed to build relationships and create a healthy community personally and professionally when my first reaction leads to negative judgments?

An hour later, I was sitting comfortably on the plane in my Lululemon apparel, blond hair, pale skin, typing away on my Mac.  I had calmed myself by a release of self-forgiveness for judging the unknown and actually took the time to see each person through my heart.

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Judgment happens without us even realizing it.  A quick thought and then an emotion takes over.  Most likely due to our own insecurities.  Judgment is a normal reaction, but for our world to prosper we must take the time to find out where that feeling has come from and work through it. No human being deserves to be judged and put in a box just because they might remind you of someone or something you have seen to be negative.

Fourteen hours later, I landed in the desert, in a Muslim world.  The laws, the cultures, the wardrobe, food, and language were completely foreign to me.  I looked at this as an opportunity to grow. I had the power to create this experience any way I liked.  If I entered this country with judgment, I close myself off to the endless possibilities of living as an ex-pat.

Believing that we are all divine beings having a human experience will bring forth the wisdom we need to release any judgment we hold on others and on ourselves, while becoming the women we have always envisioned ourselves to be.

 

 

Susan-singer

East Coast sarcasm mixed with West Coast poise, and a touch of Middle East flare. Susan Singer finally put her lifelong curiosity in art, people and producing to the test.  She created her own production company ‘Susan Singer TV’ and developed her first show ‘Get Naked with Susan Singer’.  Susan has set out to create content that inspires and motivates her audience by sharing thought provoking stories and ideas of breaking free from a controlled life of living inside “the box.”
Connect with Susan: susansinger.tv  @susansingertv

9 Comments

  1. Pingback: How I Went From Being A White Girl Judging Arab Countries, To Living In One. - Susan Singer

  2. She is so right!! We judge on what we know through the media mainly. I’m glad to see she was able to know this, work through it, and experience a different culture without that prejudice getting in the way. It is not an easy thing to do. So hard to put that aside when we are fed that negativity daily. It is so easy to lump one type with all of that type! I blame a lot of this on the media, but we, as people need to form our own opinions on each individual. Trust is not a given these days!

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