In celebration of ten years serving the global education community we are highlighting ten to know in education in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) in 2017. The UAE was selected since the founder has been based here the majority of the last ten years. Each person will be shared throughout this year. Our second person to know is ArabBaba.
I’m not your typical ArabBaba (Baba is Arabic for Dad/Father/Pop or whatever else you might call it). But I am, ArabBaba. I’m a proud dad to 2 beautiful and crazy little girls Saffiya and Mackenzie (and I’m married to their even crazier mom).
We live in Dubai (the luxury sandbox of the Middle East!). And, I’m here to share my experiences as a stay-at-home Baba in a part of the world where it’s just not ‘the thing to do’. My wife and I made the choice years ago that if we were having kids, we were raising them – not someone else. My credentials? I’m a teacher by education and experience. My most recent experience has been involved in Health & Safety & Security for the last many years. But, my Baba credentials are what I feel is the best thing about any CV. And, since my time in the UAE, I have partnered up with KHDA, Teach Middle East Magazine, #RMRUAE as well as various blogs and websites as contributors, freelance consulting and content writing as well as being interviewed by DubaiEye twice, featured in Gulf News and The National and many, many more things.
I keep my balance by sharing my views on parenting, children, education and being a Stay-At-Home-Baba. It was and is a difficult choice. But, my view has not changed. I’m able to spend time watching my girls grow, having play dates, being the ‘odd man out’ (literally) at “Mommy Coffee Mornings” at Starbucks, getting really weird looks from men as I haul around a pink flowered diaper bag, chase one daughter, feed the other and still manage to actually maintain my friendships with adults (at least on the phone).
I have seen their ‘firsts’. I have had them cry, need me, hug me, ‘body slam’ me, vomit on me and hug me like there is nothing else in this world that would ever be any better. I wouldn’t change a second of the last 6 years (well, maybe 1 or 2 seconds…. especially if vomit was involved). And, I look forward to continuing to be the influence my girls need for as long as I can.
As an Arab man, I have pushed the envelope, been criticized (by family, friends, our cats, the public and even government employees) and have sacrificed because I believe in being a father first. This is my story and I hope you want to join along for the ride.
This is meant to shed light on a choice that should not be taboo and that we should embrace. I’m ArabBaba and I’m here to promote fun, trials and tribulations, ask for advice, offer my thoughts and maybe show a few people out there that we are not that bad and that we, as fathers, do want to be involved and should be. Along the way, I hope a few Arab Baba’s will join in the opportunities more and more to influence our children for a better future.
Instagram: ArabBaba ThatsMe
“The ups, downs and sideways of being an Arab stay-at-home Baba.
Arab Dads can rock it too!”