By Shaima Al Tamimi,
No word has been as popular in the twenty first century than “globalization”. It is no longer an idea but an active mechanism were all sorts of people come together to discover our differences. The essential reason behind this was trade but now as time grew it has become our new way of life.
In the United Arab Emirates alone, there are more than 220 different nationalities coexisting together. With their ongoing efforts under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayid Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, Emir of Abu Dhabi, the UAE has blossomed to one of the leading economies in its region. This is proof that globalization works. But with change comes greater responsibility.
Allow me to ask you this as an example. If someone said all Muslims eat pork, and pray at a mosque every Sunday morning would you investigate this, or would you rush to your new neighbor’s home, who happens to be Muslim, carrying pork on a Friday morning welcoming him into the neighborhood? Please do not, since mass prayers are held on Friday mornings and consuming pork is strictly forbidden in the Muslim religion.
That is why exchange programs are important. It gives people the opportunity to discover one another and break free from the intolerance that have once hampered humanity instead of aiding it.
It is not enough to acquaint ourselves with new cultures to say that we are friends, allies or even partners. We must portray gestures of good-will; and most of all we must listen to learn. This cannot be accomplished by old prejudices, stereotypes or prideful arrogance. It does begin however with cultural tolerance.
Another expression which grew immensely popular in the twenty first century alongside globalization is “melting pot.” Not to get the phrase confused, melting pot means tarring down all cultures within a domain making it resemble its native host. That is not what many people envision as globalization. We believe in a world as different or as natural as tradition. It is western culture and belief which made way for the invention of the locomotive. China gave us gunpowder, Africa innovated the warrior drums.
No one can ever say his or her culture is more sustainable than another’s. And no one should say they are the pillars of human civilization. We are so many people, fulfilling many accomplishments, sharing one world.
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