Deborah Williams came to Abu Dhabi (no, that’s not the same as Dubai) to teach at NYU Abu Dhabi.
Before coming to the Gulf, she lived in Manhattan, where she wrote a blog about the eternal quest for life-work balance.
(Spoiler: that balance doesn’t really exist.)

The name of her blog—mannahattamamma—comes from a Walt Whitman poem, “Mannahatta,” which starts like this: 

I was asking for something specific and perfect for my city,
and behold! Here is the aboriginal name!

Now I see what there is in a name, a word, liquid sane, unruly,
musical, self-sufficient,
I see that the word of my city is that word from of old,
Because I see that word nested in nests of water-bays, superb,
with tall and wonderful spires…


You can read the full text of the poem here.

Whitman’s description, amazingly, also applies to Abu Dhabi, a city that also nests in water-bays
and is populated with tall glassy buildings that have spires reaching into the clouds.

You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @mannahattamamma