This inaugural post in a new series on overseas voting is by Peter Neisuler, a career diplomat who has worked in the U. S. diplomatic service for over 15 years. In addition to his official duties, Peter, his fellow-diplomat wife Mariana Neisuler, and their children are all volunteers for U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) and Overseas Vote. Their views are presented in a personal and non-partisan capacity and do not represent those of the U.S. Department of State. In Peter's words: "This is the first in a series of blogs about how our experiences serving the U.S. abroad have shown us how important it is to vote. We''ll be writing about our experiences in Dubai, Macedonia, Russia, and Jordan."
Diplovoter: Silk Stockings and Powdered Wigs in the Dubai Desert
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, has a strange climate. Its glimmering skyscrapers and malls rise on the desert sand, their air conditioning a welcome relief from the pitiless heat – which gets well over 100 degrees for much of the year. Worse yet, because it’s next to the sea, it’s humid – but never rains. Probably not a great place for the 18th-century fashion trend of powdered wigs and silk stockings to take hold…Or is it?
As a junior officer in the U.S. Foreign Service in Dubai about 15 years ago, I got an unusual request from an Emirati friend in the Ministry of Education: could I find and send him a picture of the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia? As Americans, we’ve seen images of the event in our history books with the silly-looking 18th-century clothing adorning the otherwise gravely serious representatives.