Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

1 - Memory and Class: Memory Construction of Bangladeshi Diaspora in the Arab Gulf Region

Friday, July 6
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: Jacaranda II, First Floor

Bangladeshi temporary labor migrants in the Arabian Gulf region are a variegated community. Over the past four decades, several hundred thousand working-class migrants have moved to the Gulf region to escape poverty and change their economic fortune. Middle-class professionals have also moved to the Arabian Gulf region for the same reason – to upgrade their economic situation. Both these groups depend on nostalgia and memory construction as a psychological support in a foreign land. However, when these two socio-economic classes construct their memories of their homeland, a certain amount of divergence is noted. The working class migrants have a deep sense of romanticized view of their homeland mainly because they have no other recourse than to return to their country of origin. They also display a heightened sense of patriotism and commitment to their motherland. For the educated, middle class, professionals the narrative of the homeland is different. They do not show the same level of loyalty, nor do they romanticize their views of the homeland. Treating their present location as a transit point, many of them seek migration in Canada and Australia and take a pragmatic approach towards their homeland.  Sometimes, they tend to project their country of origin in a negative light in order to justify their decision of non-return and further migration. This paper compares strategies of memory construction of the Bangladeshis in the United Arab Emirates that will shed light on our understanding of the relationship between class and memory construction and preservation.

Send Email for Habibul Khondker


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Send Email for Memory and Class: Memory Construction of Bangladeshi Diaspora in the Arab Gulf Region