Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Tribal Affiliations

When we first got to Qatar, and started attending church there, we had a wonderful priest, T. Ian Young, whose Friday morning services (Friday was the Qatari Sunday) were exactly 60 minutes long, and the music was always uplifting. I learned some great children’s songs from him, and he always gave a children’s sermon before sending them out for children’s Sunday School while he gave an adult level sermon to the older attendees, like us.

During the service, Father Ian would pray, including the phrase “from whom every tribe in heaven and earth get their name” (from Ephesians 3:15) and it got my attention, it was my first awareness thinking of myself as from a tribe. I had always heard it as “from whom every family on heaven and earth . . . ” but living in Qatar, where family and tribe were the same, it made sense. It’s just one of those situations where we think of “tribes” as THOSE people, not as us. When you include yourself as a tribal member, things start to look a little different. (Thank you, Father Ian)

So recently AdventureMan has been pointing out local tribal affiliations on people’s cars. People have specialized license plates that tell us of their concern for Florida’s environment, or schools, or support of the arts, etc. People have stickers that show they are from the Auburn tribe, or the Seminole Tribe, or Gator people, or graduated from such-and-such university. They might be from this neighborhood, so says the sticker on their bumper, or they might support the orchestra, or the ballet, or they might belong to this Krewe or that. Once we become aware that we, too, are tribal, and have tribal affiliations, there is no going back.

May 21, 2012 - Posted by | Character, Communication, Cultural, ExPat Life, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Qatar, Values


  1. Thought-provoking post, as always. I loved recalling those days in Qatar. Happy to be part of your tribe 🙂

    Comment by Grammy | May 22, 2012 | Reply

  2. The Aqua-Babes tribe? The crazy-lady tribe? The Doha Singers tribe? The Women of the Church tribe? The “Let’s-Meet-Up-at-the-Beirut-for-breakfast-tribe? LOL, we have so many shared tribal affiliations!

    Comment by intlxpatr | May 22, 2012 | Reply

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