Inauguration Day: American expats in UAE cheer for start of a new era in US

 khaleejtimes.com  01/20/2021 23:01:00   Staff Reporter /Dubai

American expats in the UAE were glued to television sets on Wednesday night as Joe Biden swore in as the 46th President of the United States of America ending a prolonged uncertainty and turmoil that rocked the world’s oldest democracy two weeks ago. Many expats said they were happy and excited and are looking forward to a new era.

For some, the end of Trump era came as a “relief.”

Barbara Knight, former Deputy Press Secretary to First Lady Laura Bush and currently a UAE resident tod Khaleej Times that the inauguration was "one of the few precious moments during these tumultuous times, where harmony has triumphed over the chaos and disorder that has seemingly characterized the end of the Trump administration.”

“I have no doubt that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will usher in a new epoch for America, one characterized by inclusion and social unanimity. I am hopeful that they will unite and repair, and remain emphatically focused on battling the pandemic, as well as the environmental and racial issues that have been ignored for too long," said Barbara who is currently a Senior Director, Communications & Marketing for McDermott International.

For Indian American Rupa Anwar from Michigan, the highlight of the night was the inauguration of Kamala Harris as the Vice President of United States of America.

“She is a woman – a well-educated, intelligent, capable woman like you and me. And she is an Indian American like me. So, I am very emotional and thrilled about her inauguration,” said Anwar, who moved to the UAE 12 years ago.

“She is level-headed and does not seem to be biased toward any race, community or nationality. So, she is going to make it good for everyone not just for Indians.”

Commenting on the end of Trump era, Anwar said she welcomes change. “It is not because Trump was intolerable. In fact, I did not have any problem with his government. The economy was doing great. But we are looking forward to Biden administration.”

Rose Anwar, Rupa's sister who also lives in the UAE, said, “Kudos to Biden also to pick so many well-qualified experts from minority citizens in his cabinet - right from his speech writer to the VP. He is a true patriot of the country who should be a great world leader also.”

“A history day and time for America! First woman with mix ethnic background person ever to reach the Whitehouse. Double brownie points for Americans finally! Probably the 2nd most powerful person in the world will be Kamala Harris. Very proud of her; specially being an Indian immigrant myself I can relate how tough and commendable it is to succeed and be recognized in a “man’s world!,” she added.

Another American expat, Chris Gemici said she is “happy and relieved” to see Biden becoming the US President. “I think myself and many Americans woke up today with a feeling of hope we have not felt in last four years! I had never paid that much attention to politics before 2016, but I am proud of all the work I put in to help get the vote out for Democrats Abroad this election cycle.”

Carlos Samuel, who works in the education sector said he is a “big fan” of Biden and is optimistic and excited. I think this is a great opportunity and the start of a new chapter, which is more promising in different areas. I believe, Biden will offer good leadership in domestic issues like better handling of Covid as well as for international leadership.

Vince. T, another expat said as an American expat in a very globally diverse country like the UAE, he is aware of America's role and position in the world. “So I look forward to Bidens administration insofar as he will take a more multilateral approach to global issues. Having spent 11 years here, I think globally and see myself as an American Global citizen. So an America first policy, while understandably from the perspective of many Americans , ignores global dynamics and nuances and is a long-term negative - economically and politically.”

anjana@khaleejtimes.com

Staff Reporter

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