Sunday, 7 July 2013

Humaid: The Disgrace

Growing up, Humaid had always listened to what his mother and father told him to do; to a degree that he become their favorite child. However, everything good comes to an end, doesn't it? 

After graduating from high school and entering the police academy, his parents were never prouder than this moment. They told the whole family, relatives, friends, basically everyone they knew was told how proud they were of their son that will soon become an officer. The one mistake they did is that they did not have any other option for their son, thus he felt forced to join the academy. 

When he entered the police academy, he felt like he was an outcast and somewhat different than the others. The soon to be officers did not welcome him at all, as he did not share any interests with them. Humaid constantly for weeks tried to fit in, he also asked his father to get him a Nissan VTC as it was the cool thing in the academy, but everything kept failing. 

Months passed and Humaid got depressed more and more everyday he spent in the academy. During this misery, he kept talking to his friend Khaled who he met in his neighborhood few years back and ever since they became best friends. Khaled went to a private school and was more like the westernized Emirati individual, he recently entered a private university and kept rubbing it in Humaid's face on how he was having a blast. 

One day, when Humaid went to the academy he saw his class group all sitting together so he decided to go join them. Nervous but yet determined to fit in, Humaid took a seat next to them and started listening to what they talked about. Shockingly, they all started making fun of him and kept calling him names. As he did not have anyone by his side and obviously knew no one at all in the academy, he could not handle it anymore. 

Humaid immediately went to the administration and quit the academy and then rushed back home in tears not knowing what to do or what to say to his family; but the main question that revolved around his head is "would his family agree when he would tell them that he quit the academy". 

He reached home during lunch, he barged in the dining room and yelled "I quit the police academy". His father immediately got out of his seat and said "What are you saying Humaid?". 

Humaid: I can't take it anymore, it is not what I want! 
Father: What do you mean it is not what you want, you have always wanted to be a police officer. 
Humaid: NO! It is what you wanted not what I wanted! I want to go to a private university, I want to enroll in media, I want to be a journalist, I want to be anything else but a POLICE OFFICER! 

*At that moment Humaid's father slapped him so hard in front of all his siblings. 

Father: You are a disgrace to this family, you have made a fool out of us in front of the whole society. I no longer want to talk to you, nor will I help you pursue a degree in media. 

Humaid stood there speechless and heartbroken, even though he was expecting this reaction but when it really happened it just shook him. Non of his elder siblings spoke to him nor told him anything, and neither did his mother come to talk to him after being yelled at and slapped.

Humaid - The Beginning

Humaid comes from a very strict bedouin tribe, his family held on to the true traditions and values of the past. They believe in order to be respected one has to stick to his culture; as they see the more modern Emirati's ase a disgrace to the community. He has 5 sisters and 2 brothers, he is the sixth child in the house.

Growing up, Humaid constantly heard of what is not acceptable to do in the society. For instance, it was a disgrace to the family if one of the boys were seen in jeans; thus after reaching teen-hood Humaid never got to wear his jeans or shorts ever again, fearing that he would embarrass his family. It was also not accepted for boys to be watching western movies or following their trends, that is where Humaid was the outcast from the family.

His father has his own traditional business selling dates and camel milk, which is all from his 'factory' the family farm which he got from his grandfather. The business over the years grew and started expanding, and the family came to obtain a huge amount of profits. When Humaid was in primary school his  family moved from the farm to a villa in one of Abu Dhabi's neighborhoods, which somehow modernized the way he perceived things. 

Humaid's family had high hopes that he would be a policeman or join the army, even though they never asked him if he wanted to join the police academy. Humaid spent all his life in an all boys public school, he never got the opportunity to mingle with the females in the society and was usually segregated. During his high school years he was not the regular public school student, he was more exposed to the western media; even though watching it in his house was considered a taboo. When he got his own laptop, he felt as if the world was his oyster. He started getting to know all the foreign singers, watched western movies, started following the latest gossip. All the following excited him, but when he unlocked his room he had to act as if he loved football, motorcycling in the desert, fishing in the ocean, as according to his family that is what makes a true man. 

As the family was restricted and had their own values, they constantly put a watch on Humaid as they felt that he was drifting away from them. However, as a male he was able to deceive them by living two lives; the life he loves, and the life his family wants. The main problem was that till when will Humaid be able to live with two identities; that all changed when he dropped out of the Police Academy and decided to go to a private university.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Chapter 1 - The Boys

The boys I have come to know each had a touching story to tell, whether it was a hurtful one or one that made me smile. Before getting into details of their stories I would like to introduce the boys: 

  • Humaid: Comes from a bedouin tribe in the region. He is the oldest one from the group of the four boys, he is around 23 years old. Humaid has a very interesting story, his story involves the fact that he is somewhat mixed up of who he is. In other words he put it "I feel like I am two different individuals in one body
  • Yousef: When you first meet Yousef he seems somewhat arrogant and full of himself. However, once you get to know him better you feel that he has hidden something so big that has faced him at a point in his life. I will focus on what Yousef has faced in the following chapters, where you would be able to find out what he has gone through and judge for yourselves. A hint that I would give: Living with a rumor about you is not that easy as it seems. 
  • Saeed: He has always been judged ever since he was in high-school for seeming a bit to flamboyant and walking with the wrong group of people. The judgments followed him to university, but he could not careless of what people thought of him. Saeed had gone through something far more difficult than just shallow minded people's judgements
  • Rashed: The chameleon is how I like to call him. He knows how to act infront of each and every individual, he can be a party-person, and in the next minute a respectful Emirati man. The reason in why he is a chameleon is that behind those colors he is hiding something far more than just a party junkie. The hardest one from the boys to get his secrets out!
Each one of these boys have faced a harsh incident in their lives that has changed them forever, however it is all in their hands on whether they wanted to be that better person, or would they rebel against the rules and their families.

That is for you to find out in the following posts! 

Chapter 1 - Pilot

As girls in this region we tend to like to play the role of the victim during our teenage years. We tend to blame our culture on how it does not allow us to do anything, our mothers for always watching us, brothers for always keeping a close eye on our phones, and many more other complaints. 

Even though our society might seem a bit restricted for the girls, however in the end it is for every girl's own benefit. Since, every mother wants to see her daughter happy, living her life with a loving husband by her side, children filling the house with joy, and living a life every cousin would envy. 

We grow up getting yelled at for whenever we want to get a new hair-do, the mothers think that we would fall from every family's eye to choose us for their sons. While some may enjoy the privilege of cutting their bangs, shortening their hair; the rest are stuck with brushing their own rapunzel's hair.

Some of us will always have the nanny go out with her, being followed by a nanny around the mall while you are with a group of friends is not fun at all. Especially, when there are some topics you don't want it reaching to your family, even though it might not be about a guy but if it is translated by the nanny's language to our mothers we will be in trouble.

While the nanny following us in malls might be harsh, their are others who don't even get to go out that often; and usually have to go with the whole family and not with their friends.

The main issue is that whenever we ask our families when we can do the things we want to do, the answer is usually When you are in your husband's house. Which leads many of us to un-patiently wait for our knight in shinning armor, that would come and sweep us away from normal-land, to our fairytale beginning. (Got influenced by Disney, sorry!)

Coming back to us girls in the society and how we feel oppressed, things have gotten better nowadays. As a matter of fact, I believe that we are enjoying life more than the guys these days. 

Accordingly, all the focus the family puts on the females in the family and they start neglecting the boys of the family has some consequences. As they don't think a boy could be the cause of a bad family reputation, so why not just let him do whatever as long as it is not drugs (infront of us). 24/7 some not all but some boys are free to roam the streets, god knows doing what. While some others are neglected from their families and they do not make it feel okay for them to talk about their issues, since a man has to be "strong". Ultimately, there are many boys who are paying the price and struggling to go through the day.

This is where I come in Salama, a girl who studied at a public university in the UAE; and was lucky enough to find out some stories of a few boys that I would like to share with you. The reason why I decided to share their stories is due to the fact that most girls think that guys don't face difficulties like we do, they just can live their lives as free as they would like to, and have the upper-hand in this game. Sorry for bursting your bubbles, but that is not the case!

Focusing on four interesting individuals who I've come to known through their sisters, cousins, or even female friends. These guys each have a hidden story that I am sure would shock some of you! Each individual has faced some obstacle in his life that has influenced him either positively or negatively in the following years of his life. Who are they? They are the boys of Abu Dhabi!