Can I please get a picture of an Arab man?!

Trip Start Nov 13, 2007
Trip End Nov 24, 2007

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Flag of United Arab Emirates  ,
Saturday, November 17, 2007

Not sure I mentioned the call to prayer on yesterday's entry, but I must say that the call to prayer is one that needs to be mentioned.  It's unlike anything I've ever seen.  It seems like there is a mosque every 3-4 blocks and at certain times during the day one of them belts out the prayer for that moment over a loud system.  I'm not entirely sure which mosque takes precedence over the other with this ritual, but it's loud enough to wake you up from the deepest of sleeps.  That's what happened this morning.  I must have been so exhausted the other night that I never even heard it, but this morning I was stirred immediately.  I recorded the last part of the prayer and attached it to my photos.  I have no idea what he's saying and it's absolutely dark due to the time of day - 5 a.m.! 

After checking the Atlanta Journal Constitution, a few emails and just plain surfing, my Dad and I went to the Corniche to get a little exercise.  The Corniche is a long walkway that borders the edge of the city.  Folks walk, run, ride bikes, etc. there.  It's absolutely beautiful with its perfectly manicured gardens.  Here's a nighttime clip of the corniche.  It's the part that is lit up at the bank of the city.  It's spans 6 Kilometers of the city:

Surprisingly, even with the humidity, we walked/ran about 5 miles.  On our way back to the car we spotted about a dozen or so people on a platform doing Karate and three or four pick-up games of cricket in the parking lot.  The games of cricket were very exciting!!  The guys were all screaming and having a good time.  Very neat to experience.  Once home we I took a shower and then tried to take a nap.  Notice the word "tried".  On the holy day, they not only have the call to prayer periodically over the loud system, but they also have the what I believe the sermon of the week.  Needless to say, sleep did not come easy. 

Around 2:30ish we headed out to the Marina Mall, where most of the photos were taken adjacent to the parking lot at a place called Heritage Village.  We hope to go back there later this week.  It looks to be a museum about the Emirates lifestyle, culture and such.  Walked around the mall and took photos of the the artwork.  You'll notice that I took a photo of three Arab men accidentally on purpose (smile) by the dolphins.  Their faces were priceless!  I just smiled and apologized for "accidentally" taking their picture.  We had our traditional mall ritual - Starbucks! 

Headed to dinner with one of my father's coworkers at Le Meridien.  The hotel is right on the water, so you can imagine the view was pretty nice.  They have a courtyard that has different restaurants and bars.  Actually, they had a pre-teen club on Friday nights.  Loads of little ones were roaming around and American music waifed in the air during dinner. 

Later in the evening we visited the Carrefore, which is a hypershopping center.  It's similar to a Super Target, but much bigger.  It was BUSY!  You couldn't walk two feet without running into someone.  I suppose it was due to the holy day observance being over.  

We ended up coming back home, having a nightcap while having a theological discussion.  It was pretty special.  Nothing like being with family and talking...

Hope all is well with everyone.  I'm having a very relaxing, enjoyable time in Abu Dhabi. 
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