Sunday, 10 April 2011

Salam From UAE

We are having a wonderful time in UAE. This trip I have slowly begun to accept the huge changes to UAE since I left in 2004. Its not easy and I miss the old UAE but that is never coming back so I just have to accept the way it is. My husbands family are fantastic alhamdulillah, I love them all so much and they have all fully embraced me into the family. I adore my mother-in-law Ruwaida and also my sister-in-laws, Abeer, Nayla, Shireen, Mona and Tahleel. We have had quite a few girls shopping trips where I have treated myself to some really nice pieces of jewellery. I purchased a very long chain with a beautiful pendant on it which says MashaAllah and today bought my daughter a chain with Allah on it as well as a beautiful Islamic set which incorporates the Iranian stone Fairuz (not sure if spelt right) and little diamonds and the word Allah. My mum in law is the best cook and we have been eating loads of Palestinian dishes. We had a full sheep friday, something I used to detest, however it was so tasty and completly different to the Khaleeji way of cooking Lamb. Imane has fallen in love with Bamia a dish made with ocra and begs for it breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have found out that the way I speak Arabic is 100% Khaleeji, so my in laws are teaching me the Palestinian way to say things. I became a bit like a British Bedu while living in UAE all those years as I mixed with Khaleeji only. Its strange to drive around UAE now. Anyone who came to UAE after 2000 really has no idea about the old UAE. I know I harp on about it a lot but it was so different. You hardly ever saw a western woman adopt the local dress, now everyone seems to be wearing it. Malls were chock a block with locals, now when I shop its hard to spot one, but thats probably due to the amount of Malls here now. Back in the old days we had a limited choice either Lamcy Plaza, Al Ghurair, Wafi, City Center and Burjuman, that was basically it. Can you believe I used to fish behind the Dubai Sharjah road, its hard to believe that now, as it sort of resembles NYC lol and they have got rid of the sea that come through that way. I miss so many things. I have a photo of me which I will scan sometime as I dont think its on my blog. Its of me the first 2 weeks I was in UAE at the begining of 1990, I am standing in Mirdiff, there is nothing there, just desert and one solitary house far in the distance behind me which happens to be the house of my friend Saqar bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Now its unreconisable with all the buildings, malls etc. Ahhhhh the good old days, the days when hardly anyone knew about the UAE, now its a hot holiday destination. I remember the main tourists back in those days were Germans, I used to go to a popular hotel in Jumeriah but it was virtually empty most of the year because UAE was not known to anyone really other than a few adventurious tourists and mainly British expats who were contracted to work in UAE. While here I have been trying to get closer to Islam, after talking with my husband I have decided to start covering my hair again. I need to talk with my manager at work about security issues and they people I deal with (many very racist) but I aim to start wearing it very soon. I will no longer dress like I did before, like a Khaleeji as I am not living the life I had back then. My husbands family do not wear abaya unless they pop to the local supermarket, they dress modestly and cover their hair, thats it. Anyway its storming outside here in Sharjah, everyone is asleep except husband and I, he is studying and I am begining to feel very sleepy to I will call it a night now.


Anonymous said...

assalam alaikum.

It's nice to hear you start to get used to the new UAE :)

I lived in Sharjah 5 years ago, then we moved to Fujairah. Now whenever I go to Sharjah I both recognize it and don't: the places I new changed but are also so familiar. Only in the Gulf and UAE in particular can the cities change so fast. A lot of new buildings grew in Sharjah, some areas look crowded and not nice, I don't like it.. but I have to accept this new look.

Society changes as much as buildings.. Even I notice it and I still have not lived here for long. For people like you the changes have been tremendous.

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