‘We called for workers and people came’ Max Frisch
Whether you work and live in Abu Dhabi or you travel to the capital of the UAE, you find yourself surrounded by people from all over the world.
My estimation is that on an ordinary day you brush shoulders with people of at least 10 different nationalities. When I, for example, go to work in the morning, I am greeted by the security man from Pakistan in my tower’s lobby. The taxi driver who takes me to school is very likely to be from Nepal. At school, I mostly work with people of my own nationality, which is German. However, I teach students who are mainly from all over the Middle East or Africa.
On the school’s premises, I cross paths with the janitors daily, who are from India, Nigeria and Bangladesh and my lunch in the cafeteria is sold to me by women from the Philippines. After work, I go to Arabic lesson with a teacher from Palestine. Before I eat dinner, I go to the gym and let the trainer from Sri Lanka torture me for a bit and if I wanted to, I could go for a massage afterwards and have a masseuse from Thailand take care of my aching muscles. The list goes on and on – you get the idea.
Now, my personal cruising radius is by no means enormous. Yet, it is the immense social diversity that makes life in Abu Dhabi so very exciting and exceptional. Thus, this blog was created to share some of the people’s differences but even more so to celebrate our similarities – the most basic one of which is our body temperature: 37 degrees.
Should you read the blog?
Yes. If you are contemplating to work-migrate to Abu Dhabi, if want to come to the Emirates’ capital for a visit, this blog will prepare you for it. If you have an interest in human beings and their way of making decisions and you are looking for more than the usual information about the Gulf Region, you will find plenty.
The focus of this blog lies solely on the people who help to run the Emirates: people who work in the breathtaking towers, in the gorgeous 5 * hotels, the numerous spas, parks, hospitals, schools or small shops lining up along the three to eight lane streets.
What is the blog about?
The focus of this blog lies on people who spend much of their lifetime, their energy and their sweat to help run this country and who will help to let it shine, sparkle and stand out in the future. I want to introduce you to people who have come from mainly Eastern parts of the world, parts that are not so known by us Westerners, people who have come out of sheer economic necessity, people who have left their parents, their children and/or their spouses behind, people who hold university degrees but work as cashiers or cleaners, people with set ambitions and high hopes for a better future, people who, like every single one of us, simply want to thrive and make the most of the possibilities available to them.
Call us workers, call us modern slaves
Every one of us has a story to tell, every single one of us has a dream about a better future. When foreign workers came to Germany in the 60s and 70s and German writer Max Frisch summed up the situation in the quote above so uniquely, he said something that I think could not be closer to the truth in the UAE today. My collection of portraits will give you a glimpse of what it means to chase your dreams in the UAE’s humming capital.
37 degrees in Abu Dhabi
The people who were interviewed were selected individually and answered the same five questions. All of them shaped my life and/or touched my heart in their own special way, and all of them have made my day a better one! May you – as much as I was – be inspired by their biographies and aspirations, may you be ultimately encouraged by their unusual life-paths. And I hope that when you have read the last entry, you will agree that we need to pity no one. I hope you will see that, despite our different cultures, religions or mentalities, we all have so much more in common than just the 37 degrees body temperature.