It’s Eid in Doha! No families.. just friends. Mostly friends who are made up of smaller families with children. When one is away from home, one has to seek out friends. They become new family, especially in a country where no one is certainly going to jump for help during a crisis unless they are friends.
Almost all of my family-friends here are Egyptians. It’s amazing how one is just attracted to people of his own background wherever he/she goes. For instance, when I was in Egypt, I’d be attracted to people who have a lot in common with me. Quite often, I would catch myself flocking towards those coming from same social chip and those who think the way I do. We have to be able to speak the same languages, with the literal and metaphorical sense.
Now that I have moved to a very cosmopolitan community like Doha, I do have lots of acquaintances from various cultural backgrounds and ethnicities, yet they are just work colleagues or networks. But for close friends, I still lean towards those who are closer to who I am and what I do. Mostly, the nearest circle to me is made up of Egyptians, and even those are filtered so that the closest are those whom I would have picked up back home. As we get further away from the core (me), the circle diversify and the relationship bond becomes weaker.
At work for example, I am always irritated to see people from the same country hanging together in a staff meeting rather than trying to get to know their colleagues. Their insistence to stick around people like them, beats the main purpose of the event, which -obviously- I have been working so hard on!
Yet, I find myself pointing a finger, forgetting the golden rule that three others are pointing back at me! I am not sure if there have been few exceptions, when I’ve had or still am developing relations outside of my regular criteria frame, but even when I try, the cultural differences seem to always come in the way, somehow at a certain point along the road.
Is it just me, or is this just the way it is? Do you happen to have a close friend who speaks a different language from yours? And I mean that literally, as in a person who has a different mother tongue and knows nothing about yours, because this also implies you are both different in so many other aspects.
Let me know.