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Posts Tagged ‘tourism’

The entrancing performance of light, music and water that has changed the face of Dubai forever.

Anyone that happens to visit Dubai should check out the Dancing fountain at the Dubai mall. I loved it. I remember visiting it with my friends and family. Then whenever I used to feel tensed/lonely/depressed I used to drive to the Dubai mall and sit and watch the dancing fountain (usually on the weekdays when there were less people). It was soothing.

The songs that are played (or atleast were played when I was in Dubai were : a song in Swahili. I know it’s Swahili as my friend, Ilham from Tanzania spoke Swahili. Then there was the Arab world’s top-selling dance number Shik Shak Shok and the signature piece of world-renowned Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, Con te partiro (Time to Say Goodbye).

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Since childhood, every year I used to visit the Global village with my family. It was held every February as the weather at that time of the year in Dubai is cool and breezy, ideal for strolling in an open area.

For those who aren’t aware of what global village is:

Since there are people from many nationalities living in the U.A.E. there are  merchandises from different countries at the many national pavilions in Global Village.  Other than that there are breathtaking live performances, mouth-watering cuisine and authentic handicrafts,  thrilling rides, games and firework displays, to complete ones visit.

We lived in Fujairah, which is a 2 hour drive from Dubai. So I remember waking up at about 11 on a Friday for Friday prayers then getting ready to go to Global Village which opened at 4 p.m. Almost every time we reached on time because we had to go back to Fujairah too.

Firstly we used to head straight towards Pakistani pavilion, being Pakistanis, for food (as the clothes and accessories over there were ones we had already seen and  bought from Pakistan on our vacations.) I was proud that people shopped for marbles and clothes from Pakistan’s pavilion.  Each country’s pavilion demonstrates it’s culture:

Pakistani Pavilion

Indian Pavilon

Outside the African pavilion

Our next stop used to be the Indian pavilion because of it’s desi songs and dances. Then we used to head towards Chinese, Singaporean, Sri lankan (I insisted because those days my best friend was Sri Lankan), Japan, Syria, Jordan, Malaysia for shopping. There were scarfs, home items, and very many unique things. Like, there used to be a locket which had a grain of rice with our name on it. The man at the shop used to write whatever we asked for and placed the rice in a transparent locket. I don’t know what it’s called though. Some kind of calligraphy perhaps? 

Chinese pavilion

Towards the end we used to walk through the U.A.E., Saudi Arabia,Iraq, U.K., Kenya, France, Vietnam’s pavilions, not really with the intention of buying anything just plain sight seeing.

Our last stop used to be the rides section.

When we grew up I got to go twice to the Global Village in a year. One with my family and the other with my friends. Those days there wasn’t any entry fees so it was an ideal place for school-goers and teens. I remember I went with all of my 30 classmates and we wore our sunglasses at 10 p.m (we thought we looked cool and different :)).  No, I’m not being immature, I’m having fun. You should try it 😛 (Anonymous) 

  In the next post I will post more pictures of the Global Village taken by my dearest friend, Ayisha from Ayisha.i.photography.

Najma Aijaz, 2nd April, 2012

Fun. It’s this crazy thing where people smile and laugh and are generally pleased. I could have sworn I saw you smile at least once. 🙂  (Aggy Bird quote)

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‘The Monal is situated at a great place. The quality of food served is good and it is worth the price they quote. This is an excellent place for people who want some isolation away from the hustle of Islamabad city. It is best to visit the place for dinner. The view at night is definitely enjoyable and you feel good while having your food ‘:  Rabia T

The Best place, not only to dine out with evening city lights but to do a wonderful brunch on Sundays as well with pristine Margalla landscapes around. Food is very consistent and delicious: Ali H. 

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that it makes the world an interesting place to be, and full of interesting and different people.

I have spent my school years at Our Own English High School Fujairah, U.A.E. Since kindergarden I had classmates from various different nationalities. I had friends from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Phillipines, Sudan, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, India, China, Lebanon and of course Pakistan (my home country). There were even third generation kids. Like a girl named Sophie had her mom from U.S.A. and dad from Saudi Arabia. There was a guy in our school who’se dad was from U.K. and mom from Korea. And ofcourse many of my friends had one of their parents as Pakistan and the other as Indian/Bangladeshi.

Since I was brought up in this environment I didn’t notice the diversity much until I realised at my senior years that the environment that I have grown up in is somehow unique (than the other schools else where).

How this has made me as a person is also something special that I see in myself. I don’t judge a person by his/her nationality, language or color. I understand that there can be good or bad people in any nation or there can be good as well as bad qualities in a person.

There are some common attributes that I noticed in the students of various countries, for example:

Chinese: are truly hard working. My friend Siwen Zhu never used to sit idle. Either she used to be studying or making bracelets or even doing mathematics for fun!

Pakistanis: yearn for praise and appreciation for their work. They used to exceptionally work well when appreciated and rewarded and used to take part mainly in sports (usually no other activity)

Bangladeshis were exceptionally brilliant at mathematics. I am impressed. I mean I found in every class there used to be atleast one Bangladeshi topping the class in mathematics. I even found students who weren’t as studious or brilliant in other subjects but were toppers in mathematics.

Students from Phillipines were creative and neat. By this I mean neat and creative in every thing that they did.. from their appearance to the work that they presented in class. Many teachers used to select Filipino students to make charts for the class.

Indian students worked hard to be all-rounders. Mostly they were the ones that used to participate in extra curricular activites be it dancing, karate, singing, acting in a play, debate competitions. Most of the time it was the Indian students working hard for our school concerts and annual days. They used to be among the dancers, singers, actors, hosts.

I should also mention Sudanese students. All the sudanese students that I met were friendly and had some charm in them when they talked.. politeness, decency and friendliness was natural to them. Plus their English language skills were good.

Sri Lankan students displayed great care in avoiding conflicts and maintaining balance in everything they did. Almost all of the students that I knew wanted to be independent. And they used to work for that.

Wonder if similar attributes exist in the overall people of these nations as well?

I think they do. 🙂

Najma Aijaz, 7th March 2012

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… I’d have a garden to walk in forever.

I went to Al-Ain Paradise in Al-Ain U.A.E. The place got it’s name in the Guinness world records for the largest display of hanging baskets on 20th March 2010. Here are some pictures I took while we were at the place:

And ‘t is my faith, that every flower enjoys the air it breathes – Willian Wordsworth

Flowers are words even a baby can understand – Quentin Crisp 

Each flower is a soul blossoming out to nature – Gerard de Nerval 

Count the garden by the flowers, never by the leaves that fall. Count your life with smiles and not the tears that roll. – Anonymous

Najma Aijaz

10th February 2012

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I went to Rawalpindi from Karachi, for a cousin’s wedding 3 years back. I went with my relatives and our stay was for one week. The memorable part of the trip was  when me and my cousins sneaked out of the hotel, got a car some how, and went to Islamabad for some hours. ( We did this a day before we left for Karachi by bus).

Peer Sowaha, Islamabad, Pakistan

Faisal Masjid,  Islamabad, Pakistan

Rawal Dam , view from Peer Sowaha Point

Najma Aijaz, February 2nd 2012

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