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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 54, Wednesday - Al Ain

*Just a note to say thank you all for reading my blog! I hope that you are enjoying it, however often you might be checking in. Also thanks to my 14 followers! I don't know exactly what all that entails, but it makes me happy, so thank you. :)*

Looking towards the main gate

Today I said good-bye to the university dorms and went with Dr. Asma Ketbi, who will be my host for the remainder of my trip in the UAE. Asma is a professor of Geology here at the university and I got to go with her to her classes today. She had one class of boys on the one campus and then we went to the other campus where she has her class of girls. While the students are kept separate, male and female, the professors can be either. So, male professors can teach male or female student, and female professors can do the same.

Sitting in the classes, I noticed something about the local style of dress. Here in the UAE, the boys wear head scarves which are white or white and red, and they wear them in a half-turban style (vs. the colorful full-turban in Oman or the white scarf with black rope coil used in Kuwait and Saudi). The girls here tend to let more of their hair show, many of them have bangs like mine which swoop to the side, while others simply don’t have the scarf so tight around their face.

After the classes, we went to Asma’s apartment in the city; tomorrow we will go her to house in Ras Al Khaimah.

Besides being a professor, Asma is also a well-known writer in the region. She writes mostly about culture and has a column in the newspaper. Many of her articles talk about American culture and we talked about traveling and different cultural experiences. I think we will have a lot to talk about over the next week and a half.

For dinner we went to a Moroccan restaurant where I had really good lemon and saffron chicken. This restaurant was basically in the town square where there was a fountain which had movements choreographed to music, both Middle Eastern and Western. It was really quite a show and I wanted to take pictures closer to it after dinner but by that time it had finished.

Asma & Me

After dinner, we drove up to Jabel Hafeet which is the highest mountain in the city. We had tea and juice at a hotel up there before realizing how late it was and heading home.

By the way, my henna is starting to wear off, so I documented it in case you want to know what the whole process looks like:

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