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Arab Migrant Communities in the GCC$
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Zahra Babar

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190608873

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190608873.001.0001

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The ‘Other Arab’ and Gulf Citizens

The ‘Other Arab’ and Gulf Citizens

Mutual Accommodation of Palestinians in the UAE in Historical Context1

Chapter:
(p.111) 6 The ‘Other Arab’ and Gulf Citizens
Source:
Arab Migrant Communities in the GCC
Author(s):

Manal A. Jamal

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190608873.003.0006

This chapter explores the fate of Arabs of Palestinian origin in the UAE, culminating in events surrounding the first Gulf War and the Arab uprisings. The specific questions this project addresses include: In the context of the UAE, which factors have historically shaped and changed the position of “other Arabs” over time? How have Palestinians, including younger generations, negotiated and addressed their sometimes tenuous relationship with the UAE? What do current dynamics portend for future relations between Emiratis and Arabs of Palestinian origin who live in the UAE? Two important observations emerged from this research which challenged existing assumptions about the status of Arabs in the UAE and the GCC more generally. First, there is an important generational divide which challenges many preconceived notions surrounding relations between locals and expatriates, sense of belonging, and issues of trust. The guardedness and caution that characterized earlier generations did not appear as salient or relevant for the younger generation. Second, and perhaps more importantly, this research reaffirmed the primacy of privilege associated with class and social status as it relates to citizenship. Although Emirati citizenship itself was not necessarily sought after, the attainment of legal citizenship in a stable country remained significant for the lives of Palestinian migrants.

Keywords:   UAE, Palestinians, Gulf War, Citizenship, Class, Social status

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