aC know ledg ments
While conducting a study of male infertility in Beirut, Lebanon, in 2003,
I kept hearing about the UAE, particularly Dubai. Many of the Lebanese
men I interviewed aspired to migrate to the Emirates for work— “the best
place to live in the Arab world”— and they intrigued me with their favor-
able depictions of this global mecca. It was in Beirut that the seeds of this
pre sent book were planted. I want to thank Dr. Michael Hassan Fakih and
Hamzah Tahan in par ticular for encouraging me to head to the Emirates
as a researcher. It was Dr. Fakih who introduced me to the assisted repro-
duction community in the UAE, even though his own ivf clinics— based
in Abu Dhabi and Dubai— would not open until months after my study
had been completed. I am deeply grateful to Dr. Fakih and to his Emirati
partner, Dr. Amal Shunnar, for their support and for their introduction to
Conceive, the ivf clinic where I ultimately carried out my research.
At Conceive, Dr. Pankaj Shrivastav did everything in his power to fa-
cilitate my study and to make me feel at home in his global clinic. I cannot
thank “Dr. Pankaj” enough for agreeing to host me as a researcher and to
recruit “reprotravelers” into my ethnographic pro ject. In addition, many
of the staff members of Conceive welcomed me warmly into their offices,
their labs, and their homes, which enriched my life in the UAE and the
pages of this volume.
However, it is the patients who traveled to Conceive who are at the
heart of this book. Nearly 220 men and women—from 50 different
nations— agreed to tell me their reprotravel stories, filled with hardship
and heartbreak but also with hope and aspiration. These reprotravel sto-
ries, shared with me in clinic back rooms and at hospital bedsides, reveal
the still arduous nature of infertility and its treatment in the twenty- first
century. My most heartfelt thanks go to these reproductive sojourners. I
hope that they may all come to meet the test- tube babies of their dreams.
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