Edelman in the UAE, just like the country, is very diverse: more than 80% of people are expats, and many of them are not Arabic or Muslim. Luckily we have a team, Arabizing Edelman, to help us understand the region and Arabic culture from a business and cultural perspective.
Some examples: during the recent Eid Al-Adha holiday, the team shared information about the traditional hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca. They brought Arabic sweets for everyone to try – they’re delicious. And one member is teaching a class of basic Arabic after work.
As a Fellow, it’s my goal to learn about culture in this region, so I love the idea of Arabizing Edelman. The chance to immerse myself in the new is the great benefit of the Fellows program, and I hope that as a result, Arabization, Indianization, Brazilianization and all the other zations will spread throughout the company.
Beyond interesting facts and history, I’ve learned about what matters to the people in this region. Family, relationships and religion are incredibly important, and friends and colleagues I’ve met are excited to share more with me about those parts of their life.
PR professionals have the joy of being in an industry where we learn a little bit about a lot. Extending that excitement about discovery beyond our home towns and countries helps to expand our minds and, at the end of the day, understanding other cultures benefits us from a business perspective as well because our clients are as diverse as we are.
Julie Wilder is a Global Fellow in Abu Dhabi, from Los Angeles