First, the top Sheig in each Emirate is referred to as “The Ruler”. Each of the seven Emirates has a ruling family. The guy in Abu Dhabi controls the most oil so he is the richest. But is the UNITED Arab Emirates and they all share in the wealth, to a degree.
By Islamic law, all practising Moslems must give 2 1/2 % of their “excess” income to help the less fortunate. The sheig in Dubai decided that his emphasis would be on international commerce, banking specifically. He also has the most westernized laws regarding little stuff, like being able to have a beer with a meal. This happens in controlled environments, for instance hotels and clubs, never in a restaurant in a mall . The ruler in Sharjah decided that he would use his wealth on cultural things. And Education. Consequently there is a plethora of museums to visit, and an amazing aquarium. And consequently, Mary Ann has a great job in a very modern University. In an area called University City, there are at least three large Universities, The American University of Sharjah, and two campuses of the University of Sharjah, one for men, the other for women.
Now, if people back in the states ever fall prey to the Christian Right or their wing nut toadies like the Tea party, you will find yourselves living just like I do now. (Mind you, I do not mind it. I remember one night about 1 a.m. trying to sleep while the disco blasted my house saying that I wish I could move to an Arab country with no alcohol, and no friggen discos. Guess what? Here I am.) But the same people in the religious right who would not hesitate to push the button to turn this place to radioactive dust would, if given the power, take America down a similar path to this Islamic culture. How? Internet censorship, nothing resembling a love scene on television, arrests for shows of passion in public, extremely serious sentences for crimes with little or no coddling of criminals, modesty in clothing, and everyone in church. Doubt that do you? Just listen to fruitcakes like Robertson sometime and try to discern the difference between the Christian right and the Islamic culture. You say you don’t want to live like an Arab? Vote liberal.