Monday, 29 November 2010

Lovely Jumeirah

I visit Jumeirah so frequently in this mild November weather. Jumeirah is not my new girlfriend though I would like it very much to imagine that I have one. It is kind of sexy name, don't you think? The name is so feminine, seductive and ancient. I googled up and  discovered that Jumeirah is indeed ancient. The name carries significant history of this region. This is what has been written about it, "This affluent suburb to the south of Dubai city is the location of an important archaeological site dating to the early Islamic period. Large houses built of beach rock (farush) covered with lime plaster have been excavated at Jumeirah by a team from the Dubai Museum. Based on a study of the pottery found at the site, Jumeirah seems to date to the first two or three centuries of the Islamic era. Thus, it is in part contemporary with the sequence at Kush in northern Ras al-Khaimah, and with Jazirat al-Hulaylah. Jumeirah is, however, the only complete settlement with well-preserved architecture yet excavated from this important period. A selection of the finds from Jumeirah can be seen in the Dubai Museum."

So it comes as no surprise that Jumeirah has always been a favourite place now and then. It is now an iconic place for beach goers. A place one can view the tallest building looming inland. A place to chill out, to just let go, to get half naked (sorry nudists, they can tolerate bikinis here but nothing less) and get soaked by the sun and seawater. A place that inspires people to come out and play.  

 These guys would probably said happily to each other, "Yalla, it's a beach day!" in Urdu

Burj Khalifa standing tall in the background. From here one can really tell how tall it is.

Me and my sundowning moment

These young Arabs were taking their wudhuk prior to Maghrib prayers

The water gets colder at night and soon it's going to be too cold for nightswimming

Friday, 26 November 2010

Staring At The Sky

As I was driving absent-mindedly along the familiar street without congestion and the anxiety of being late on a fine lazy day, I looked up at the sky more than once, to catch the natural work of art. I didn't really look at it rather seriously until my Scottish pal, John, on the passenger's seat, gazed at the sky so intensely and said to me that God has saved him from the miserable rain and cold weather of Edinburgh this year. He is so glad that he is here and then he will spend several months in the exotic city called Chiang Mai in Thailand. He said the people in Scotland get so depressed in the winter up there, consumed piles of fries and fried stuffs including fried Snickers bars and they will die young of depression or on the unhealthy diet. I was laughing at his pathetic view of his own country and countrymen. That was when I looked at the sky again and the word  mashallah popped out from my head. Indeed, the sky was so blue and beautiful with the uncommon white tinges and smudges. I smiled and said to myself, right now, there's no other place that I want to be other than this sunny city with the mild winter weather.

I have been deserting this playground for a long while and I just came to know two of my favourite bloggers are no longer here to share the same sky. The flamboyant young architect had left the emirates and so had  the awesome mother of two. I have never met both but somehow it seemed like I knew them in person from just reading their stories. I wish them happiness in their new playground elsewhere. It also hits me that another virtual friend who makes magical mocha with her signature recipe, has come to stay close to the city, not sure where exactly, but close enough for her to stare at the same sky. I wish her bienvenue and all the best in making a wonderful living in this arid land.