Saturday, 17 November 2012


The Flag of the UAE (shown as artistically waving)
The Flag of the UAE (shown as artistically waving) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I've sort of been too busy with book posts over the long weekend to tell you, but the lovely people behind the co-curated '@WeAreUAE' Twitter account had a massive brain fit and lapse in judgement and handed the account over to me on late Wednesday night, lock stock and barrel. They even bust out with an Instagram account! It's mine, all mine precioussss, until next Wednesday!

What is @WeAreUAE? The idea is that someone new tweets from the account each week, opening up a kaleidoscope of different viewpoints, experiences and voices from the people who inhabit a given country. One of the world's more famous co-curated national Twitter accounts was @Sweden, which popped into instant notoriety when curator Sonja Abrahamsson used the account to ask a number of questions about what a Jew was. The questions were, as the New Yorker pointed out in its piece on her tenure, not so much anti-Semitic as childlike and born out of genuine curiosity. Nevertheless, she caused a storm that saw @Sweden draw followers like a follower drawing thing. Rather wonderfully, the Swedish Institute, one of the bodies behind the account, pointed out that Sonja was merely exercising the right to free speech that characterised Sweden - and apparently many of the people who arrived, drawn to the controversy, found Sonja actually quite charming and endearingly kooky.

I'm already having great fun with it all - and just in case you're waiting for me to do a Sonja, I'm actually taking the opportunity to celebrate the many things I enjoy and treasure about the country I have called home for the past  19 years.

See you at @WeAreUAE!

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