Dr. Syed Ali to Speak on Dubai's Migrant Workers at MCLA


NORTH ADAMS, MA - Dr. Syed Ali will speak on "Permanently Impermanent: Dubai's Migrant Workers" on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA).

The event, to be held in Murdock Hall, room 218, is free and open to the public.

Ali will discuss what it is like to live where more than 90 percent of the population are foreigners. These residents have no chance of permanent residence or citizenship, including those who were born there. He will explore why foreigners in Dubai -- upper class and working class, from the developing world and the West -- willingly give up political rights such as free speech and due process to live precariously, and often their whole lives, on short-term visas that can be revoked at any time for any reason.

An associate professor of sociology at Long Island University in Brooklyn, N.Y., Ali's main research focus is on migration -- why migrants leave, and what they do when they get to where they're going.

In addition to his work on Dubai, he has conducted research on the culture of migration in Hyderabad, India, and assimilation patterns of second-generation South Asian Muslims in New York and second-generation Turkish Muslims in Western Europe. He is conducting research for a book that compares assimilation of second-generation Muslims in New York and London.

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