When I think about inclusion, I look around me, in the workplace, at schools, in the retail environment, and I think how lucky we are in the UAE to have more than 200 nationalities calling this country home.
We share our foods, our cultures, our customs wherever we go.
At a recent team lunch at the Emirates Literature Foundation’s offices, I tasted delicious food from around the world for the first time, which included vegan, vegetarian, helal foods so everyone could join in and enjoy our ‘pot-luck’ meal.
Inclusion means speaking to whoever you may meet, finding out where they are from and what bought them to the Emirates.
Sometimes we might think it is easier to stay within our ‘bubble’, not make the effort. Please pop that ‘bubble’ step out into the world around us and celebrate being an inclusive person.
Learn some Arabic so that you can converse with Emiratis and people from the Arab World, learn some Hindu greetings so you can wish friends from India who celebrate Diwali.
A smile is one of the best ways to break the ice, regardless of language or nationality.
Let no one remain invisible; everyone deserves to be included in 2020 and beyond.
Three key characteristics of an inclusive society
· Celebrating diversity and difference
· Recognising that all humanity shares the same internal feelings
by Isobel Abulhoul, CEO of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Festival Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature