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The HerStories Project

It’s been a big week out here in the ‘Dhabs, I have to say, starting with the Rain Day two weeks ago. What is this “rain day,” you ask? Well, my dears, that’s when the serene desert skies bust open and it pours, like a veritable rainpocalypse. Or at least, that’s what you think it is if you grew up in the desert. For those of us who grew up …

mosques

Just at the afternoon adhan today, I was out walking in the neighborhood near my office, searching for candy a nutritious snack to carry me through four hours of back-to-back meetings. I am struck always, in Abu Dhabi, by the juxtaposition of glassy office towers against the ancient worlds summoned up in the call to prayer, the way the modern quite literally bumps up against the old. I am struck …

Saturday’s Snapshot (surat al-sabat): لقطة السبت

Today I found the plant souk: a long row of seemingly indistinguishable shops selling–yep, plants.  Caleb and I explored, walking past booths crowded with greenery and men saying “yasmeen, madam? frangipani very nice, madam, you want? inside and outside plants, madam, come and see.” For 140 dirham (about thirty-five dollars), Caleb and I got two desert rose bushes, a jasmine bush, a small mint plant, and three bags of white …

Malls as far as the eye can see…but what about a science museum?

Today in The National, I’m writing about the speed with which Abu Dhabi is growing: everywhere you look, there are construction sites, cranes, earthmovers.  But the construction seems dedicated to malls and apartment buildings…I’m wondering whether someone couldn’t design a children’s science museum?  When it’s 44C in the shade, wouldn’t it be great to take the kids “science-ing” instead of shopping?  Click here to read the article–and let the newspaper …

31 DBBB: Day Two (on day four but who’s counting): the upside of the nanny state

I live in what we might call a nanny state.  In many instances there are limits on internet access, there are very strict rules governing alcohol consumption because it’s a Muslim country, there are signs outside the mall entrances that list the codes of conduct. I don’t have to wear hijab and while it is suggested that you dress respectfully, no one polices the streets measuring hemlines or tells you …