It’s the end of the decade? Already?
Has anyone ever come up with a definitive explanation as to why time seems to speed up as the year draws to an end? The other day someone I was having lunch with mentioned that this month is the final one of the decade. It was meant as a nothing statement, but one that plunged me into a bit of an introspective crisis.
The end of a decade?! Done already? How can that be? I mean, I’m not sure we even got around to agreeing an official name for it. The tens? The teens?
Amid my journey inwards, it made me realise just what a seismic decade this one has been. Personally, I moved to Dubai; got married; became a father; landed my dream job (this one); cut off my lovely long flowing hair in order to get said dream job; made some friends; lost some friends; made a lifetime’s worth of mistakes, and two lifetime’s worth of memories. By all accounts, I officially grew up.
Yet there’s something about adulthood that feels transient, like all of this could disappear overnight. Maybe because the decade that is now ending has been a strange one, and, in fact, the fastest one I can remember. There was war, revolution, Brexit (well, kind of), a failed-businessman-turned-reality-TV-host became the most powerful man on the planet, and all the ‘Unfollows’ and ‘Dislikes’ we could be bothered to express while two-screening during a newly discovered Netflix binge, which ultimately did very little to change any of that.
But all was not lost. Enormous initial strides were made with regards to gender equality. We finally saw a shift in the global conscious with regards to climate change, accountability and sustainability. Creatively, we saw the shackles of lazy Arab stereotyping weaken, and the region began to blossom with self-expression.
If we haven’t gotten around to giving the last ten years a short-hand nickname—and we’re quickly running out of time—I would propose calling it the ‘Arab Decade’.
We saw cinemas re-open in Saudi, an Egyptian win an Oscar for Best Actor, and the first Emirati to go into space. It was the decade in which the region—and the planet—finally woke up to the potential of the Arab world as visionaries, creators and innovators. It was a decade when the region stopped being content with playing a bit part and demanded to be considered as the lead. It was a decade when the Arab world officially grew up.
And, next year we have the Expo.
With all that said, it is no wonder that there is an obvious party feel to this month’s issue. With events and invites flying in every conceivable direction, Esquire has you covered—as we have done for the past ten years. A quick leaf through will arm you with ideas of what to wear, what to buy, where to go, and how to throw an intimate dinner party in case all you want to do is stay in. Just be sure you find the time.