Being discriminated against is one of the bad feelings in life and when its based on your race its a whole different story from feeling inferior and being looked down on. I had always love being black and previously when i hear other people of color ranting about being discriminated against i thought they were over exaggerating and that society had evolved and no such thing still existed,Not until i experienced it myself in a foreign land. It was an awful experience and generated a low sense of esteem in my mind.
Never did i hate being black than i did when i lived in the UAE for over a year. I thought it being a major tourist arena and a rich country nothing of that sort existed there and that everybody was treated equally but beneath all those glitters to attract tourists there is discrimination sipping deep into the bloodstreams of the black community there. Going there for a few days for vacations wouldn’t expose you to that side of it but when you want to live there and make something for yourself that is when you encounter the ugly truth if you are a person of color like me.
It started with my search for accommodation. There is this popular classified site owned by the olx company where accommodations and jobs were listed. I found many rooms i was interested in but i was in for the shock of my life. I called the number provided beneath the ads and the response from the other side will confirm the room is available and then generate into the nationality i was. At the mention of Africa the room suddenly becomes occupied ‘sorry ma’am, the room is unavailable’ were the response from polite ones. Those who are rude will tell you straight ‘we dont want blacks in the apartment’. It was calls after calls after calls till i found a room in an apartment with a well traveled owner who didn’t care about nationality whom i recounted my experience to and he wasn’t surprised as he explained it was the other of the day.
A few days later i went to the same website and this time the nationalities wanted for an apartment were written beneath it and others had no Africans written boldly beneath it. i thought it was the only negative thing i could encounter and looked towards my stay with enthusiasm settling in and looking for a job. sadly about 95 percent of jobs listed on there was also specifically for a group of nationalities and few to none wanted blacks which was low paying and the conditions were bad. it was the same for a maids job which was recounted by a Tanzanian i met ,most of the employers didn’t want blacks working for them.
It was truly a sad situation and i regretted living there all the days i spent. Still hopeful there was better chances of living there but i was still met with different acts which was discriminatory and one i still recount was when i went shopping with a Bangladesh friend in a supermarket. As we entered,my friend went to check out a different category of the shop whilst i went to the makeup section looking for the right shade of face powder for my skin that i didn’t pay much attention to the employer standing over me.I thought he was maybe arranging the stuff on the shelves but as i advanced to other sections of the mart,i realized he was actually following me monitoring my every move and making sure i didn’t steal anything.i was shocked as there were CCTV cameras but yet i was being followed. There were other shoppers and i being a black i was the one being followed. On our way back home i kept thinking f i made the right choice of living in a discriminatory country.
living there i heard stereotypes of blacks being labelled as prostitutes as some of them were involved in the act. There were many nationalities involved in prostitution but since our skin color was the more obvious every black female was labelled as such.I encountered a comment by an elderly Arab man who said all blacks can take any ‘dick’ another when i was stopped from going up an apartment by the receptionist since he thought i was a prostitute,the gazes following me down on the streets and the ‘how much for the night’ at restaurants. it wasn’t that i was dressed explicitly but yet even in the most decent of attires i was still mistook for one.
I restrained against having male friends as even walking down the street with a man means am a hooker.One disrespectful incident was when a delivery guy asked me to kiss him at the door,why cause all blacks are prostitutes. A Nigerian friend whom i lived in my flat was sent out by the hotel worker at the door where she had an interview for a job as she was a black and blacks were prostitutes even in her office wear.
Any truthful person who is black and living in this country making a living for herself has recounted the same discriminatory acts in one way or the other.The UAE due to my experiences will never be a country i will ever go back and when my friends back home ask if they could migrate there,i cant be open with them as they will feel i don’t want them to share in the glory of earning money. What they don’t know is the only glory there is to be shared is that of being discriminate against without them knowing what they had signed u for.
This had lead me to believe that all that glitters is really not gold in the sense of the UAE and i have found myself googling for discriminatory news against blacks in countries i consider going to as i don’t want to be faced by such incidents ever again.
I am black,a proud one and should be treated equally.
STOP RACIAL DISCRIMINATION!!!!