31 days of Creating Community when you don’t think there is one

I live in the Middle East in a modern city called Dubai, along with 2 million plus other people. A glitzy cosmopolitan hub famed for, amongst other things, the tallest building in the world and situated on the Persian Gulf, Dubai is one of the seven emirates (states/provinces) making up the United Arab Emirates. It has a vast variation in demographics with 200 different nationalities all living and working together. Add to that around 10 million visitors a year and you have a huge mass of humanity that don’t really belong and are just aliens passing through – however long that takes. I am not a native Emirati and nor are 90 percent of the population, leaving just ten percent as local citizens. We, the 90 percent,  are commonly known as expats. We have no heritage here and no heritage mostly means no extended family (if any at all), which can equate to zero automatic community and a scanty or absent support system.
My husband Lincoln and I have lived here for eight years, the first five without our family and the other three, oh joy of joys, with our children twenty minutes down the road. They followed us to seek their fortunes and favour in this land-of-sand, as do most. And for that we are so grateful as this is not the norm.
Being and expat can be hard and lonely. Being an expat in such a diverse culture and in a place thats is often referred to as a city without a soul is even harder and lonelier. Language and customs create barriers. Social systems separate. Long work hours fatigue and a longing for home and the familiar tribe isolate and then insulate in a world of what’s apps, skype and facebook.
I know this stuff. I speak from experience.
As I said yes (along with 1500 other wannabe bloggers) to the “Write for 31 days” challenge that fills every day in October, I’ll be looking for 30 ish ways to make a connection in my community.  And then writing about it.


I have no idea how this will work out, but hey ho and away we go!  I love surprises and seldom know the beginning from the end.
Here’s hoping you, my blog reading community, will come along for the ride and maybe, just maybe, be inspired to do the same in some or small way in your own special space.
Where ever in the world that may be.
Welcome and please feel free to click on and read each days writing below.
Community is connecting. Community is caring. Community is care-full.
Day 1:  Welcome
Day 2:  Head over wheels in love
Day 3:  Meet these men
Day 4:  So much to learn
Day 5:  Cupcakes in the toilet
Day 6:  Talking to Truckers
Day 7:  I am Malala
Day 8:  Does the sun move around the earth?
Day 9:  A dash of lemon and some salt
Day 10: Community Cupcaking
Day 11:  Dear New Mommy
Day 12:  Beautiful Belles
Day 13:  Full of Hope and Glory
Day 14:  It’s not ok
Day 15:  The bigger picture
Day 16:  Hello, Howzit and kissamee quick Saffa
Day 17:  A whole lot of sweetness and colour on top
Day 18:  Sweet Sami
Day 20: Meet my Man
Day 21: Facebook – I LIKE!
Day 22:  That stare was not there
Day 23:  Sweeping the Streets
Day 24: Of Sutures and Surgeons
Day 25:  News flash
Day 26: Nailed it
Day 28:  Deliveries on Demand
Day 29:  A little time in learning
Day 30: If they come they have to go
Day 31:  After all is said and done….go be a cupcake

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  1. Thanks Ali. Thought provoking, right on the mark. You’ve encouraged me to keep on sowing the seeds of positive energy and prayer in my little world. Your writing is wonderful. Have a great October. I’m following your every word! xx Michelle.

  2. Love this! I had to find community years ago when I lived in Germany with my 1st husband…it wasn’t easy; we’d only been married a few months when I joined him. But we found that community in others “like us” – US Military and their families; and in others that we met – our landlord, a German woman who had married a soldier; when he died, she took her 3 children and returned to Germany. We also made other friends…
    Looking forward to reading more of your finding community posts! {I am trying to catch up with a little more reading of the other 31 day posts!}

  3. Great idea and way to create community! I’ve been living as an ex-pat in Mexico for 12 years and understand some of what you are going through.

    1. WOW! Thanks so much for stopping by all the way from Mexico. The world is both a small and a very large place but we’re all the same same but different – as you well know.

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