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The Project:

You should think about the cultural encounters in the UAE over the past fifty years and try to think ahead to what the UAE might look like in 2050. As you know, the UAE has only been an independent nation for 42 years. Before that, the area was part of colonial empires: the Ottomans and then the British. Since independence, the UAE has developed through the influx of a large number of foreign workers to the point that the Emirati are greatly outnumbered by the number of ex-pat workers. On a given day, you could easily see people from all over the world living here: British, Canadians, Australians, French, German, Japanese, Chinese, Syrian, Tunisian, Yemeni, and Philipino, as well as any other number of countries.

This will involve some research on your part. I ask you to talk to members of your family or relatives and to get their perspectives on what changes in culture they have seen over the past fifty years.

If you are fortunate enough to have grandparents still living, they would be an excellent source for this information. Otherwise, you should interview people who are 45 and older. As you interview these people, think about what each is saying and look for patterns in their thought. You are required to interview TWO individuals. After your interviews, organize their points and prepare a one-page single-spaced paper discussing the two most-common points the people you interview make.

Make sure that you have a thesis and that you include quotes from your sources (people you interviewed).

Do not think that a one-page essay should be easy to prepare. Only a thoughtful, detailed, and polished work will receive a passing grade and above.

Using your knowledge of what happens over the long-term in cultural encounters, prepare a one-page analysis of what you think the UAE will be like in 2050.

While composing your answers, try organizing your thoughts around the following problems:

Will the blend of cultures continue smoothly, or will problems arise that stop it? Will Emirati culture remain as it is, or will it change over time? Will the UAE remain as unique as it is now, or will other countries catch up and follow the UAE’s model?

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