Stereotypes can be deceiving: Charity event No. 1

The past few days has seen a lot of "negative" press about Emirati youth. For me it has culminated in an article in the New York Times about Emirati males – and how they are falling behind. Now, I know more Emirati male university students than about 98% of ex-pats here, all those “experts” with MBAs (OK, I have an MBA, MBAs are good – but  an MBA makes a person an expert in NOTHING) or PhDs in Chemistry or something – none have taught an Emirati male in their lives. I have a Phd in the Strategy of Innovation – I am published in the field. I have a chapter coming out about teaching Management in the GCC and another in Innovation in the UAE – if you want an expert on education, innovation and all that other good stuff look here! And I have a different view of things…

Fine, mini-rant about the use of “experts” to tell reporters what they want to hear is over.

I want you to look at this photo and tell me what you see?

Raising money for the Red Cresent (and pretending to be Messi)

Emirati boys, playing a video game – (yes it was soccer/football). I bet you were thinking lazy bums, they can’t stay away from video games. WRONG – well half wrong – they do like video games (like young men AROUND THE WORLD). But this video game session, was six hours long, was planned, organized, led and will be improved tomorrow (more game choices) by a group of young Emirati men. It is a fundraiser for the Red Crescent (those lazy boys were paying money to play). It is the first event a few of them have organized – yes, they have not been challenged in high school – and they have done an amazing job. Some details.

The plan for the event was sent a few weeks ago, I thought the price they intended to charge was high – but I let them keep it (of course I was right and they reduced their prices very quickly to market demand after the games began). The ogt the set-up, borrowed the games and the controllers from family, advertised through posters and ZU email, got all the required permission (and believe me, that is a lot of steps) – and organized shifts all day to get it done and get it done well.

They did not have experience running an event like that – but they did a great job and will change a few things up and do it all again tomorrow. Then write a report with photos, because I like photos.

So – yes, they have not been given many opportunities to shine – but once you do give them an opportunity they will light up a whole city with their hard work, creativity and “get it done” ness.

Smile and courage, Dr. Connie (more events on the way!)


  1. Dear Dr connie
    we as students don't want to be in the spotlit because we want to Focus on our study's, but if the time and situation was needed we all will be delighted to be Involved in an events that will lead for the batter of all.

    your student
    Khalifa Saeed Al Shehhi

  2. Instead of raising money for the Red crescent you may undertake collaborative projects with local grassroot organizations in the developing world. Good initiatives!! Smile and courage!!!

    1. Excellent idea! I wish I taught less than 4 courses a semester to have the time to coordinate this - these co-curricular types of initiatives are 100% on the faculty and are not considered as part of "workload" - but maybe as I get alumni "on my side" we could do this .... and of course smile & courage, without it nothing would happen!