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Happy … Holiday?

As someone who has now lived outside the United States for almost eight years, I’ve (almost) gotten used to living with a different holiday calendar. The UAE just celebrated the Prophet’s Birthday, for instance, but Veteran’s Day, Columbus Day, and President’s Day? Pretty much non-starters here. The UAE has the additional wrinkle of operating its holidays on a lunar calendar (with the exception of National Day), and that means that …

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

It’s hard to avoid “service” in Abu Dhabi. Labor is (disturbingly) cheap and it seems sometimes that there is always someone offering to wash your car, clean your apartment, carry your bags. But the other day in Lulu (a big grocery store chain here), I saw “service” taken to a new level: a worker unloading a shopper’s grocery cart at the check-out line. She was on the phone, he was …

Hot…It’s All in How You Look At It

The other night after dinner, Caleb waved me into the kitchen. “I have to talk to you in private,” he whispered. We went into the kitchen and he pulled me down to whisper. “Today at school, E. told me I was hot,” he said, cheeks pink. “She said she liked me like this,” and he waggled his hand back and forth. “Wow.” That was all I could say. I mean, …