I’m told we are at the frontline of seismic change. The sentence might sound like a hyperbole like no other, but I feel there is some truth in there. I believe a wind of change is blowing our way and soon it’ll sweep over all of us, taking in its wake all our preconceived notions and well-nurtured wisdoms. Shaking us out of our glazed, desensitised, vacuous state, it will compel us to roll up our sleeves, jump into the trenches and get our hands dirty in the effort to clean up the mess we have created over the years. It will no longer be someone else’s job, it will be ours.

And then there are moments when I feel we are test-driving that future already. A future that seems ominous and overwhelming right now, but there is no denying that it is laden with untold opportunity and optimism as well.

But in order to move forward, it is imperative that we break the shackles of stereotype. As Amal Al Agroobi, the Emirati filmmaker, explores in her film Half Emirati, prejudice makes us myopic, turning us into bonsais of our true selves. As we judge those who are different as less, we not just discriminate but forsake our chance to come out of the well of ignorance, held back in the darkness of our decayed mindset.

Just like change is a constant we need to accept, diversity is a reality we cannot deny.

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