A Wave of Diversity

A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community, or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.

I once delightedly boasted of Dubai’s cohesive society – a medley of well-educated British businessmen, Emiratis adapting their lifestyles to the ever-changing social landscape, Southeast Asian workers fuelling the massive demand for cheap labor, and other assorted expatriates living their dreams out in the new land of opportunity. Despite the radical differences between the many cultures here, it seemed that everyone coexisted remarkably peacefully. Some even suggested that, besides the Emiratis, we had collectively formed an expatriate culture, a mesh incorporating the distinctive aspects of each individual ethnic group.

But when the divides are tested, I have found Dubai to be as cohesive as identically charged magnets. Recently, I have been astounded to find that, even among my own friends, our bonds are largely determined by our ethnic and religious commonalities. This was painstakingly obvious when, a few weeks into my senior year, I admitted to a close friend of mine my doubts about religion and God. I felt comforted by his willingness to listen with an open mind, despite his staunch beliefs on the existence of a greater being. The next day, however, as I extended my hand to shake another friend’s hand, he yelled “don’t...

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