Arabs in the UK… Coordination is a Necessity, not a Luxury
By Adnan Hmidan
My ten-year experience in Britain is nowhere near comparable to those who have spent over three or four decades of residence in the country and were fine examples of integration and assimilation into the society. The United Kingdom has even seen many Arabs or individuals of Arabian descent achieve several leadership positions at the level of municipalities and parliament, as well as acquire work in various state institutions.
It is the high degree of fairness and transparency in the British system that allows such achievements. It helps competent persons in proving their potential, away from any mediation and favoritism, and naught but a small percentage of complications that fluctuate according to different circumstances.
But going back to my personal experience, I would argue that I was, and still am, largely involved in the community of #ArabsintheUK and various other Arab communities. I participated in and contributed to activities with the people of #Morocco, #Algeria, #Mauritania, #Libya, #Tunisia, #Egypt, #Sudan and the States of the Horn of Africa, including #Eritrea, #Somalia and #Djibouti.
I also engaged in the activities of our brothers and sisters from #Yemen and connected with the people of the Gulf states such as #SaudiArabia, #Oman, #Kuwait, #Bahrain, #Qatar and #UAE, just as I have with our people in #Iraq, #Jordan, #Lebanon and #Syria. I was particularly dedicated to everyone’s cause in #Palestine, and often partake in the events and engagements associated with it.
Listing all those countries was not an arbitrary move on my part. I wanted to emphasize that the Arab community in the #UK encompasses representatives from each and every Arab country, and yet coordination between them remains to be seriously lacking.
We can hardly find a tangible presence of Arab communities in the general condition of the country. An indication of that can be seen in the meetings that British political parties hold with the leaders of foreign communities in the country, or more specifically, the exclusion of Arabs from these efforts. Political parties overlook the Arab society all over #Britain, but that is even more apparent in #London, where the highest percentage of the community resides.
You will find that areas in the #UK that are characterized by clear ethnic diversity tend to take that into account in the issuances of their health and security centers, by making the effort to translate their writings into several languages. Often times, however, you will not find the Arabic language among them.
In other societies, minorities, and communities in #Britain, you may find various social activities and meetings with the aim of connecting young men and women in the presence of their families, for the purpose of promoting #marriage within the social environment. Yet such activities are also absent from the society of #ArabsinTheUK.
The truth is that the omission cases of the #ArabsinTheUK are too numerous to mention here, but it is not the quantity or quality that makes us surrender or stop trying. On the contrary, we have seen how Arabs from different countries have gathered in London, Manchester, Birmingham and other cities on more than one occasion such as #EidPrayer, Arab concerts, or demonstrations of solidarity with #Palestine and other Arab issues.
The matter is neither difficult nor impossible, but it requires continuous efforts, self-denial and distancing oneself from the idea of positions and titles that nibs any project in the bud. The attachment to titles makes it as if we are transferring our countries’ disputes to our Arab society here, despite the different facts and circumstances and the nature of public order in the #UK.
I remain optimistic that the upcoming days will see elevated Arab coordination in Britain, and this website under the name #ArabsInTheUK is a practical effort towards that goal. We hope it will serve alongside other sites in the Arab community to strengthen coordination and increase cooperation between us all.
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