Middle East Media Educator


For women of the United Arab Emirates, life has translated to extraordinary change. Just a generation away from a difficult desert existence, today’s Emirati women represent the embodiment of oil-rich living, as wealth has afforded most of them with lifestyles marked by advanced educations, fancy cars, professional jobs, domestic help, and increasing leadership roles in the country. As noted in a UAE federal report, “women have always been the backbone of family life and the social structure of the UAE and they continue to remain an integral part of maintaining the nation’s Islamic heritage and national culture” (UAE Ministry of State, 2008). For close to a year - 2006-07 - my task as a Fulbright Scholar centered on interviewing Emirati women about how their lives had changed in a region that went from abject poverty to extraordinary wealth in less than a half-century. Interviewees proved to be candid in their remarks, thus generating much interesting information about the way women have moved forward in an Islamic society. But some remained clear in their mandate that their names and photos not be published.