For 4 years, I was part of the Etihad Airways Football Team. I have worked, kicked balls, and traveled with this team. I was the odd one out, the only girl and a tiny Asian running around the field with these towering men.
I had a lot of bad experiences with men in the UAE, but these guys became my safe place. In a sport dominated by male egos, they have shown me nothing but acceptance, love, and respect. Every time I had a bad day in the streets with maniac “Mohammeds”, I would come home to the field and be embraced by the kind “Mohammeds”. Each one of them has made a special mark in my heart.
They were the hardest people I had to say goodbye to when I left the UAE.
I appeal to the men of this world, treat the ladies with respect, especially the ones seemingly different, strange, or socially-awkward. For you never know the impact you will have in their lives. Everybody is an influencer and the most effective platform is real-life encounters.