Tuesday, January 30, 2018

So Your Character is From The United Arab Emirates ... Featuring Nada @ Africanaah's Book Blog

It's time for this week's So Your Character is ... Post! This is a weekly segment where I interview lovely volunteers from around the world to give you a firsthand account of being a citizen of their respective country or having a disability. I'm hoping to encourage international diversity, break stereotypes, and give writers a crash course on how to write a character from these different places on our planet. If you haven't checked out last week's  So Your Character is from Malaysia ... be sure to hop on over there and give it a read!

Disclaimer: The content below may be culturally shocking to some. Each of these posts is as uncensored as possible to preserve the authenticity of the cultures of each of the interviewees.

(None of the Images are Mine)

I'm Nada, an avid reader and reviewer who spends her time bonding with books on a couch at some café.  My actual day job is spent in a university, at the IT Department dealing with computer issues and such. Besides reading/blogging and my day job, I also give Zumba classes in the evening which I totally love as it helps me connect and meet amazing people.

What do you feel is unique to your country? Landmarks? Celebrations?
Abu Dhabi is the capital of UAE which is well known for The Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Emirates Palace, Ferrari world, and Yas Waterworld.

Our major celebration is the UAE National day where you would see everyone wearing the country’s flag colors. It’s truly amazing.

Tell me about your country's environment. What are some of your favorite places?
You can never get bored in Abu Dhabi. I love how even after a hard working day, the city would still be alive at night, where people love to hang out at the mall, visit places, relax in café and enjoy the good food.

Tell me about your country's food. What are some of your favorite dishes?
We get to enjoy food of all kinds. It’s really diverse in here. Favorite cousins of mine would be Emarati, Italian, Chinese, and Indian.
Most importantly, I love to enjoy me a good dessert full of whip cream or ice cream.

Tell me about any different speech patterns in your country. Slang? Idioms? Words for things such as “biscuits” instead of “cookies”?
Abu Dhabi is a diverse city. You will find languages and different speeches. The main language is Arabic though but there are different accents to it. 

Describe briefly a regular day in your country.
On a normal weekday, I’d grab my cup of coffee in the morning and you’d find everyone mostly doing the same, getting ready for work, and ids getting into school buses ready for the day. After work or school, one can choose to take a nap or hang out before heading home. 

When the weather is good, you’d find the cafes by the beach full of people. We get to enjoy a movie outdoors.

How does your country compare to others, especially the States since my audience is primarily American? Environmentally? Politically? Culturally?
I’m not so sure it’s so different. But I always feel that women here have a privilege. It’s truly a “Ladies first” culture in here. You find a Ladies only taxis, parking, banks…

Briefly describe three of your country’s historical events that you feel are important.
  • December 2, 1971, is The formation of United Arab Emirates. They are seven cities joined to form a country. Which makes the UAE National Day.
  • February 25, 2005 Emirates Palace opens in Abu Dhabi.
  • January 21, 2008, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque opens to the public.

What are some stereotypes about your country that irk you? What media portrays your country badly be it a movie, a book, or a TV show?
It’s the land of gold! 
That’s what we are called. Though we do enjoy a good lifestyle, we do work hard for it as well. Money doesn’t grow on trees. You have to earn it.

What media portrays your country well be it a movie, a book, or a TV show?
We’re becoming quite popular in the movies. It’s a place where you go to for good business or to enjoy a good holiday especially shopping. I love that we are mentioned in books as well. I tend to smile whenever I come across a mention.

Who are your top three favorite fictional characters native to your country in books, movies, or shows?
My favorite is called Fareej Show. Four old Emirati ladies living in the neighborhood. They are just hilarious. The whole family gathers to watch it when it’s on for a good laugh.

Thank you, Nada, for this very informative post! Come back next week for a post about the Pacific Coast region of the USA!

Are you interested in participating in this project? Check out the tips archive to see which countries have been filled and if you're from a different country, shoot me an email at howellvictoriagrace(a)gmail(dot)com. I'm especially looking for Cuba, Venezuela, Switzerland, Kenya, Iraq, and Egypt.

Do you have any characters from the United Arab Emirates? Did this inspire you to write an Emirati character or set a book in the United Arab Emirates? Are from this or been to this country and you have further input? Feel free to share! Do you have any questions for Nada? Be sure to thank her!

You may also like:
So Your Character is From Malaysia ... Featuring Anna @ A Tsp & Naadhira @ Legenbooksdary

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