Thursday, November 6, 2008
Yes We Did! Oh, Happy Day...
It's not like I have to tell you the news. (Thanks for reminding us Lisa!) But what I can tell you is that everyone in Dubai is going nuts! On Wednesday morning, Matt, Lisa and I set our alarms for 5:45am, dressed ourselves in red, white and blue, and headed to the UAE Democrats Abroad election results party. The room was full of Americans and interested friends, and we enjoyed a hot breakfast while we watched the big screen tv's. They had already called PA by the time we got up so I was in a great mood - and here's a big high five to my home state, I knew you wouldn't let us down! When the news on Virginia flashed on the screen, the room just erupted. Matt and I are sure it must have been our 2 ballots FedEx'ed from Dubai that made the difference. Shortly, there after, in between cups of coffee, the big screen posted those now historical words - that Barack Obama was our new President. Needless to say there was near pandemonium, and flurry of high fives and hugs.
However, it was when I left the room an hour later, that was really memorable for me. Everyone, and I do mean everyone - from the Filipino cashier at Starbucks, to the Pakistani cab driver, to the Indian finance guy, to the Romanian secretary, the Jordanian VP, to the Kenyan receptionist...couldn't stop gushing about how excited THEY were, and how they are so proud of the American people. That it was restoring their faith in how we view the world. Being an American in Dubai on Wednesday was like being a celebrity, people wanted to talk to you and share with you, and celebrate with you. Everyone in my office was on CNN downloading his speech, and reading the news the entire day. This morning at a company wide meeting the Executive Chairman of Tatweer (my direct boss), before he started his address asked all the Americans to stand up and then congratulated us on 'our' victory. As I stood there an looked out on a room of 150 different nationalities cheering for America, I thought of the words that my Sudanese friend yelled when I had come to the office yesterday, "Oh my god! You guys just did something historic!"
YES WE DID!