Open Minds - 'Don't be afraid to ask'
I have been writing this column now for seven weeks, so I think it is a good time to reflect on what being 'open-minded' actually means in a civilised society.
Open minds means to accept, tolerate, understand and not judge. It means to not be critical, or dismissive, or to jeer, ridicule or speak ill of one another.
We, as human beings, do not decide our colour, our gender, our status, nor how, when and where will be our end. We do decide, and make choices, between wrong and right, good and bad.
What I’m saying to everyone out there who has a question about living in Dubai is please feel free to ask, no need to worry or fear, we are here to better understand each other and make Dubai and the UAE a unique place to live.
Our philosophy at SMCCU is, with the right attitude and understanding, we will be the ‘City of Humanity’ that houses the most diverse population and connects us through the basic commonalities among us, with respect for locals and guests alike.
No question is too silly, or offensive. This is what ‘Open Doors. Open Minds’ has been practising at SMCCU for 14 years.
Your question will never be answered with: “Whaaat? Are you Crazy?”.
So, “is it rude or offensive to show the bottom of your foot?” or “why can’t we hold hands in public?”, whatever is on your mind, you can ask either by visiting us at SMCCU or through this column.
Rest assured we will help better clarify where the misunderstanding or misconception might be, without prejudice or ill feeling.
Let’s remember, we are all one creation in humanity first and foremost. Here in the UAE we “Open Doors” for all to come together to have a peaceful life, 200-plus different nationalities striving to live in harmony, according to the vision of the great leaders of the Emirates.
Those who do good or bad, bring peace or mischief are remembered most in history, so we choose how we will be remembered.
So, yalla! What’s your question? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Nasif Kayed is general manager of the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. Every week in 7DAYS he addresses topics about culture and life. Do you have a question for Nasif? Email email@example.com