Saturday, December 21, 2013

National Day Craziness!

A little lesson in UAE Sheikhs
* "bin" means "son of"
* "al" basically means "of the clan or tribe or family" (I think)
center: Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan - the guy who united the Emirates & became the first President of the UAE in 1971
left: Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan - current President of the UAE 
right: Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan - Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces

Lulu's even made a flag out of produce!
Tomatoes - Green Peppers - Onions - Eggplant

Etihad Airways got in the mix down at the Corniche by doing some low fly-by's

Masooma and her son Nayle grabbed us a nice spot right on the water at Le Boulanger 
to have dinner and enjoy the fireworks!

Me waving the colors - Etihad Towers in the background, also lit for the occasion 

Alight show from the Emirates Palace Hotel

The parade of decorated cars, silly string fights, and general craziness was a sight to see!

Masooma, Nayle, and I decided to walk down the road to see if Heritage Village had any artisans selling their goods. When we arrived, there was a convoy of fully decked-out Hummers streaming out of the village.

 That's Masooma and Nayle on the right, taking a photo 

When the convoy finally ended, we entered and asked one of the girls who looked "official" what that was about and she said it was "no big deal" just something about a flag. The guy in the photo below overheard and was indignant! He then explained that it each Hummer had carried a Sheikh from each of the Emirates and the one with the flag he is holding had gone around to all of the Emirates during the  past week and had been passed from Sheikh to Sheikh until arriving here, in the capital city, for the celebration of National Day. Then after obliging us in a few photos, he put it back on it's post on the last Hummer, climbed in, and rode off into the craziness.

After finding that we had missed all of the fanfare at Heritage Village 
(except for getting a private photo shoot with an apparently very important flag)
we walked back to join Kim and watch the firework show.

Remnants of the previous day…driving to work in the morning

School entrance all dressed up, but no boys to teach
only about a fourth of the boys showed up to school, so after two periods
the principal sent them all home

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