Having been brought up by a strictly Nasserist father and very socialist mother, I was always brought up to believe that there is no such thing as class.
“If you work hard enough, you can get anywhere” I was told. To some extent that is true, I doubt that my forefathers would ever have believed it possible that their offspring would one day be living in the UK and studying at Oxford but then circumstances change with time and I have always said that I owe my mere existence to Nasser’s revolution.
However, looking at a friend’s engagement photos I was distinctly reminded that there is still such a thing as class. While I inspected her dress, and the lavish party and many guests, it dawned on me that as a ‘westerner’ one is allowed to transcend some divisions in the Arab social system. Living here means that one mixes freely with anyone who happens to call themselves ‘Arab’ and the massive differences in currency mean that places that would ordinarily be inaccessible to anyone other than the privileged classes, hold their doors open.
Arabs in diaspora seem to almost attain a ‘classless-ness’ because of their distance from the society. Is this why people emigrate?