People migrate and resettle in different countries for the purpose of achieving better living conditions, job opportunities, or education. Hence, the world is evolving and becoming more multicultural. Yet, despite these changes, there is still a high number of discrimination or a lack of acceptance towards certain individuals of diverse backgrounds. Stereotypes, biases, and even cultural norms create barriers for many aspiring young people. This blog tells us the story of Emira Chaieb, from North Africa, who is one of many individuals that had to overcome a lot of obstacles to follow her passion as an aspiring lawyer.
Emira Chaieb is originally from Tunisia but was born and raised in Austria and is currently studying law at the University of Vienna. Austria is a country that is recognized around the world for its unique traditions, language, and norms, and despite all these disparities Emira never lost the roots of her cultural background and ethnicity. Her parents ensured that Emira and her siblings experienced both Arabic and Austrian culture, thus, due to her diverse upbringing, she speaks German, Arabic, English, and French. However, as a Muslim girl she was exposed to an Austrian-dominated district in Vienna with a lack of diversity.
As a result, she was unable to interact and express her culture. It was only until she switched schools where Emira was able to connect with other children who shared similar backgrounds and experiences. Very soon, she discovered the Third Culture Kid community and established many friendships. According to Emira, if people share commonalities and identify with one other, communication and understanding of each other’s values and norms are facilitated and cultures can be embraced to a greater extent. Yet, she also reinforced that limiting connections to people of similar upbringing affects the diversity of interactions and experiences. She believes that being open-minded to cultures and backgrounds provides new insights into different people, and thus strengthens knowledge and increases appreciation of multiculturalism.
Throughout her educational path, Emira experienced demeaning remarks from teachers who disregarded her passion for becoming a lawyer, primarily due to her religion and culture. Discrimination heavily influences the career objectives and the confidence of children. In addition, the expectations of women being traditional housewives in her culture put further pressure on Emira. Yet, despite all these discouragements, Emira was determined to break the stigma and cultural rules that impede women from establishing a successful career and becoming independent. The future lawyer emphasized that people should not limit their choices to meet the expectations or satisfaction of society. Neither should anyone adjust to a group or community in order to be accepted.
Up to the present day, there is a prevalent existence of displeasure with diversity and culture. Many individuals still have faced criticism or a non-acceptance due to their background. Emira highlighted that every human being, regardless of their gender, culture, or religion must have equal opportunities and people should not create a new version of themselves to fit in. William Sloane Coffine Jr once stated, “Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without.”
SIETAR Austria and Raw Culture greatly appreciate and want to express gratitude to Emira Chaieb for participating in this journey of spreading awareness of Third Culture Kids and sharing her personal experience. We wish her all the luck in her future career.
You can connect with Emira Chaieb: https://www.instagram.com/emirachaieb/
Furthermore, we are grateful to Weirong Li, founder and CEO of Raw Culture, for working to increase the value of diverse cultures.
References and Sources:
YouTube Link to Expert Talk with Emira Chaieb:
Information about Raw Culture’s Community for TCKs:
Get early access to Raw Culture’s TCK job platform here:
Cover image link: