This is my last day here in Abu Dhabi, the United Arabian Emirates.
I reflect about my encounters with a very mixed Muslim World. Mixed in the sense that every kind of visible Muslim behaviour exists in Abu Dhabi. You may see women so strongly veiled that there is no face … just a black veil before a supposed face, the whole like in a black sac, a sac from the top to the ground.
I have seen only little small humans sacked like that, in Europe 12 year old girls have this shape, so we may think they are freshly married ‘girls’.
‘Normal’ Muslim women may have a veil with only a mall fence for eyes, even not the whole glasses are seen, if they have … up to a small collared transparent tissue on the back of the hair … or nothing at all. There are some black women with hairs strongly covered, maybe out of Somalia. The reaction of most of these women is the same, they may give a quick look, but they go fast their way. And I think they do not take contact to western women by themselves.
Men are different. From some angry closed faces giving you a quick look (most of them look like the stereotype of a Mudjahedin) to open smiles from some young boys out of Asia or Sri Lanka, between you have all variations of shy looks. Most of men are working people out of a strange country, some are typical Arabs in their white long traditional dress walking quietly their way. Older Arabs do not look at you as woman, younger ones may look very directly, with much attention, in the way I looked after World War II when I had seen my first black. Maybe they are not used to white haired grandmothers with jeans, a backpack and walking boots.
You may see all kind of peoples and countries presented, Asian, Orientals, I am told that only 20% of the residents here are indigenous Arabs, the other 80% are working strangers coming from all countries.
In any way, this Muslim world here is changing. The mix of all these different ways of Muslim behaviour makes them become aware of a changing world. And as now the Sheiks want build up a huge holyday world – in the beginning at least on one of the big Islands around this City – Western Tourist may mix up quickly the streets here and their few working European Residents. I imagine a crowd of German Tourists with their children and their half nude fat old wives.
I am eager to see this world here again in ten years.