Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's a Party Weekend in Dubai

Somehow the party commitments piled up this weekend in this multi-national, multi-cultural 'wonderland' that is Dubai.  First we'll be at a Filipino 18year old Debutante Party.  Next, it's a stop over at an Indonesian (late) Christmas party, and we'll cap it off with a Romanian Pig Roast.

All should be fun with friends from around the world... stay tuned for insights and pictures :)

First, pictures from the 18 year old Filipino Debutante Party... I was one of few people there over the age of 30. :)

18 young men (including myself) each brought a rose and danced briefly with the honored girl. I was asked while there... first time in a while I've danced with an 18 year old girl.

Guess what her favorite color is :)

Next on to the Indonesian Christmas party... hundreds were there.

Can't remember what the soup was called but it was fantastic!

And lastly, the Romanian pig roast. I only got a picture of the (poor) pig. But it was fun being with "frisbee" friends that evening.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

US Consulate Suspends Services in Wake of Unspecified Threat

I got an email last night while watching the US Presidential inauguration online.  It said that services would be suspended at the consulate today in light of unspecified threats against the consulate.  Here's the story on

The story states that there was no public notice given of suspended services but I got the broadcast email to all registered US citizens in Dubai so that doesn't seem correct.

Monday, January 19, 2009

2008-09 Global Village - Dubai Part 2; Obama Inauguration Special

Here a few more shots from Global Village in Dubai. And to cap it off you'll see below some photos of Obama and family. That huge poster and t-shirt were in the Kenya pavilion. They are tremendously proud of the Kenyan ancestry of Obama!

And regardless of your political "stripes", the inauguration of the first minority President of the USA is an amazing event. I'm praying for him and I hope you do too.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

2008-09 Global Village - Dubai

We enjoyed visiting Global Village in early January. It's like a "world's fair" of sorts. Hope you enjoy the pictures as well.

Lots of Landcruisers in the parking lot as we arrived.

The Yemen pavilion is one of our favorites. Lots of silver jewelry...

... and khanjars...

And Yemeni honey (about 15 different booths for that including some honey labeled "for married only". I think it's supposed to have "viagra-like" qualities. :)

I love the Indian shoe shops.

More pictures in the next few days!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Arif's Quranic Talisman

From 2008-10-12 Dubai Beach Volleyball Etc

I bought a new car recently. The 1983 Mercedes was just having to go to the repair shop far too many times PER MONTH! So I found a 6 month old Altima in the classifieds and purchased it from a guy named Arif.

Arif was a fascinating guy. Very "Dubai". I couldn't seem to place his national identity through his facial features or his accent. When I asked I didn't feel so bad for not figuring it out. His parents are Pakistani. He was born in Tanzania and grew up there for half his life. They later moved to Sweden where he got citizenship and grew up through adolescence. They now live in Dubai and were about to move back to Sweden (I guess it was too much good weather here :). Pakistani, Tanzanian, Swedish, Dubai resident. Very "Dubai".

While I sat next to him as we were waiting to transfer the car registration I noticed this little container on his arm (pictured above). I asked him about it. He said that it contained Quranic verses and was constructed by an Islamic Sheikh from Australia. The family evidently follows the teachings of this Sheikh in particular. When I asked it what function it served he told me that he had recently received it as a wedding gift. It would prevent other family members from getting jealous of your life and possessions (maybe your wife too?) by preventing them from even seeing those things in your life. I guess the thought is that it almost makes them "invisible".

Comments or thoughts on this from readers?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Newsweek Article on Dubai: Is the Party Over?

From Desktop

This very interesting article showed up in December's Newsweek. It was the cover story on the edition that was released in the Middle East and Dubai. I saw a whole rack of them at the Geant store in Ibn Battuta mall a month ago. The downturn has just been hitting Dubai in the last two months. Seems that we're hearing of layoffs almost every business day. Projects are being cancelled. A friend who runs a job search coaching business is having business boom for him; not a good sign for the economy in general here. A number of friends have noted that the slowdown has visibly effected the number of workers you see on job sites just driving down the road. I talked to a construction safety engineer this morning who told me that his company was instituting mandatory salary cuts starting with 2% for laborers and up to 40% for top level people. It will be interesting to watch and see how Dubai weathers this 'storm'.

Great Quote: On Conversion and the Church

A conversion is incomplete if it does not leave one
integrated into the Church. By this we do not mean any
particular part of the Church; what we do mean is that
conversion must leave one linked in loving fellowship with
one's fellow believers. Conversion is not something simply
between a man and Jesus Christ, with no other person involved.
True, it may start in that way; but it cannot end in that way.
Conversion is not individualistic. It is, in fact, just the
opposite. It joins man to his fellow men, and certainly does
not separate him from them.

William Barclay (1907-1978), In the Hands of God [1967]

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Jesus in the Temple: First Century Computer Representation

This looks to be a great resource!  Check it out.