Monday, November 24, 2014

Two things

1. The UAE is doing a polio vaccination drive in light of recent polio outbreaks in Syria, Iraq, and Pakistan. The vaccinations are free without regard to residency status or health insurance. Interesting.

2. A student here proposed to another student after a performance of Shakespeare's Antony & Cleopatra. Very cute, right? I am fascinated by cultural differences, so much so that I wrote a thesis about them, you may recall. Notice in the video how the dramatic engagement moment ends in...a kiss on the hand. But even that was too much for some people on facebook. There were a few comments like this:

"Huh, I wonder how her family will react when they'll see this video. if he truly loves her just go and ask her family for marriage not on the stage in front of people."

"FYI, if this keeps going on and other people start doing it then it will affect AUS's reputation and families will consider [not] enrolling their daughters in AUS. No family specially a muslim one want to hear this from their daughter: 'hi mom and dad, I just finished my semester and guess what?! I got engaged.'"

(Ah, the old "hi mom and dad, I just finished my semester and guess what?! I got engaged" phone call. BYU does not have a monopoly on it, see?)

Not to worry, conservative Muslims. The groom-to-be clarifies:
"Hey, just wanted to let you know that I flew down to Saudi and asked her parents first and only once I had convinced them did I go down on one knee to Mona. It's important not to jeopardize the relationship you have with your family before you start something as important as Marriage."

I find this all fascinating. It's this weird juxtaposition of the west and the east and it's interesting how everyone reacts.


Suzanne Bubnash said...

Great that the UAE is being proactive about polio. Such an unnecessary disease.

The wedding proposal? Sorry to hear those kinds of antics are spreading. I can't think of anything as mortifying as a public proposal. It's bad enough when the couple has talked about and committed to marriage, but way worse if that's not the case and she's put on the spot. Ugh.

Liz Johnson said...

Yeah, I'm really sad to hear about polio outbreaks. So glad that they're offering those vaccines.

I admit saying "awwwww" as I read the story about the proposal. This coming from somebody who was proposed to while sitting on a couch in her grandmother's basement watching "Shanghai Noon."

Susanne said...

I enjoy cultural differences so much, too. So glad you share these things with us!


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