Welcome to a special dispatch from Gordon Price, checking in from Expo 2022 in Dubai.
(With apologies for the sound quality. At a place like Expo, it was the quietest place he could find.)
One of the best things about a world’s fair—after you’ve visited the pavilions, tasted the food, listened to the music —is oddly, also one of the worst things: standing in lines. Because it is in those lineups where you’re likely to engage with people from other places in way you never otherwise would.
My best experience in that respect was a little different—not in a line-up, but at a visitor centre. I needed help trying to sign up for the bikeshare system. And it was there that I met Maliha Khan, who was incredibly helpful. (How helpful? She even offered me her credit card when the system wouldn’t accept my Canadian one. Turns out we’re not that global.)
Then, the real conversation began. “Where you from, Maliha?” (When over 70 percent of the people who live and work in Dubai are not from there, it’s a safe question to ask.)
And so began the basis for this podcast. Who Maliha is, where she’s from, and why she’s in Dubai. And really, it is about the global identity of youth, of women, of ethnicity, and of ambition and possibility in this age.
Which is why Dubai is this age’s version of the New York story of the 20th century. Like a magnet it is attracting the talented, ambitious young people from the fastest growing parts of the world— those who want opportunity, experience, and the possibility of the global good life. As Maliha says —she’s here to make it, not break it.
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Music for the VWPT Podcast is by Romina Jones, from her lp Elevation. Hear more from Romina at: soundcloud.com/andabeat