Recently Movie Mania and CG had posts on "understanding" amongst all those you live/make up the UAE community.
Besides safety, the opportunity to understand someone from another culture, religion or background was a primary asset to those who grew up in the UAE. The ability to understand, comprehend and to an extent, accept differed ways of life is something which has helped most folks from the UAE, adapt better to foreign shores/travels.
My circle of friends comprised mostly of South Asians, Arabs and English - most of whom were Muslims & Christians and some Hindus. Often we understood the ways of life and cultures amongst our homes were "different" - however, each amongst us, learned to understand and therefore accept & respect such ways of life. Often, I'd have questions on certain aspects within my community/family as much as my Muslim/Hindu friends and in a way, we helped each other understand better.
Am not saying, we lived in perfect understanding, awareness & harmony with each other - quite honestly, most of us as children tried to do that and more, as any child growing up in such environment could. However, I've always sadly, accepted our parents lived within individual communities, for the most part.
But then, cultures always evolve - and given the prospect of having children grow up amongst a mixed community it shall give rise to a new culture of sorts, which is what I think exists in many fellow "uaeians" today. I believe Local Expat is a prime example.
Perhaps am going on a rant - the purpose for this post, was to direct some sense to disturbing comments at UAECB and SD's blog, 'cause most often it boils down to US v/s them. There is much hate & angst, and often am not sure where most of it is coming from. I don't think I've heard or felt such vibes growing up in the UAE. Most people who've lived there for many decades, still prefer living in the UAE - yes cost of living has gone up, so have traffic issues - but UAE continues to provide a safe, pleasurable place to live & raise a family. It is by no means perfect, there is much to do on several freedom aspects, equality, continued women empowerment, pollution controls, amongst much else to work on - however slow & steady things shall move towards the right direction, I believe that.
All said - nobody is perfect, a community has it's set of pros & cons. It's about taking an effort to reach out and understand one another - after all we are people, whose lives perhaps is created from the same source/creator, but born into different homes & cultures.