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Posts Tagged ‘U.A.E.’

As said in my earlier posts, I have lived in U.A.E. for many years, which means I had the privilege to meet people from various different nationalities.

Once I was with my friends at the DubaiCreekPark when we came across an elderly couple from U.K. They were tourists and since it was winter at that time they were loving the weather (because the winter in U.A.E. is like the summer in U.K.).

We talked about places in U.A.E. and some known places in U.K. which me and my friends knew from the stories we read at school (At that time I hadn’t been to U.K.).

Then our conversation went to the differences in our lifestyles. They said their son and daughter in law live in a house with one son, who’s very cute. But it’s not like it is in most Asian countries where after retirement, parents stay with their kids. They said it’s very unlikely that their daughter in law would tolerate them for more than a week. And they said, most of their time is spent in travelling. Their next stop being Thailand. They complained about the teenage girls being pregnant in U.K. and overall the lifestyle of the youngsters over there. I and my friends were a little shocked as we thought that the European people preferred this way of living. They preferred to stay on their own.

Anyways, when I went to DubaiPharmacyCollege after some years. There were teachers from Pakistan, India, U.K., France etc. We were sitting in the college’s cafe and again a similar debate started. But this time the teacher from U.K. got emotional, stood up and said: ‘I bet none of you people staying away from your parents call them everyday. Well, let me tell you, I call my mom every single day’.

Plus, the Indian teacher told us about how even in our countries we see numerous cases where the people tell their parents to get out of the house. Even here in Pakistan every once in a while there’s a case being shown on telly where they show parents living in Edhi.

So, I don’t really think we should pinpoint people from specific nation and say they don’t love their parents as much!  The kids that do love their parents will show care towards them in their own way and those who don’t, won’t. (regardless of where they are from).

Najma Aijaz

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I recently attended dars (religious lecture) where the mentor was explaining about how important it is to not waste time and utilize it well.

There were once 2 men in Delhi (India) who were visiting a Muslim scholar to take an oath/pledge. While they were at the mosque they began comparing the size of their mosque’s wodhu tank (wash basin) with the wodhu tank at this mosque. They were not aware how the Muslim scholar looked like, so continued discussing that, while the Muslim scholar was nearby and heard them.

When they came to him to take the oath the scholar said to them to go and measure their mosque’s wodhu basin (wash basin) with this mosque’s wodhu tank before taking any oath!

The 2 men uncertain at first, realized that the scholar said this because they were wasting their time.

Clock tower in Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Just yesterday I heard this incident and today I got to know a colleague of mine, Saad,  who’s senior to me was telling us about his article ship days (intern ships for chartered accountancy students) in KPMG company. He told his company he would not be able to work before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m. and on the weekends (Saturdays and Sundays). The reason was that he had a job in Hyderabad (2 hour drive from Karachi– the place he was in). He taught students accountancy in Hyderabad and used to go there on Fridays nights. There were times he used to reach Karachi on Monday mornings straight at the office! Plus after some time, during his article ship days, he opened his own institute under his dad’s name (because it’s not allowed for students doing article ship to open an institute). He spent time over there as well and still does. He teaches many commerce related subjects and I have attended his classes for one of my subjects, corporate reporting. I found him a really good teacher. That’s obvious as he has masha Allah worked so hard for where he is now.

Even at dars, the scholar said we can’t imagine the sawab we get from Allah (SWT) treasures when we recite Subhan Allah. So why not should we recite Alhumdulilah, Astaghfirulla and these beautiful words more often (while at the car, while sitting idle etc or even specifically taking time out to recite them.)

I read Railway Children by E. Nesbit during childhood and remember a part of it: When Peter’s at the bridge doing nothing he says that doing something in a place makes it much more beautiful and lively.

So let’s  utilize our time and make our surroundings more beautiful and lively 🙂

Najma Aijaz, 15th April 2012

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As I said in my previous post, these are the photos of the Global village:

Rides

Watches

Titanic?? 🙂

Aren’t these cute?

Beautiful

These photos are captured by my dearest friend, Ayisha.i.photography:

Description: Photography is an art of capturing moments. Some photographers capture the drama of the moment, some capture the beauty, some capture the mood, some capture the essence. My mission is to make memorable moments, everlasting.
Gear used: Nikon D3000 [Lenses: 18-55mm & 70-300mm]

Ayisha handles all types of photography that includes:
-Events (Corporate, Personal, Schools, Festivals)
-Family (Portraits, Picnics, Get-together)
-Portfolios (Fashion, Model, Conceptual)
-Product (Conceptual, Artistic, Commercial)
-Facebook profile pictures too.

For bookings and further information email Ayisha at : ayisha.i.photography@gmail.com or

you can simple browse through her facebook page Ayisha.i.photography: http://www.facebook.com/Ayisha.i.photography to view photos taken by her.

P.S.: Ayisha is based in U.A.E.

Najma Aijaz, 3rd April, 2012

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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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On my way to school everyday I remember watching this tower and making up stories about it with the other kids: 

There were a number of watchtowers constructed at strategic locations in U.A.E. during the early 19th century. They were built to detect approaching enemy and serve as a first time of defense. Lone towers, such as this one, which lies on the outskirts of Shamal, usually had high up ‘doors’, requiring a ladder or rope to enter.

Najma Aijaz, 18th March 2012

 

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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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Perfumes are very popular in the Arab world. Back in 2009 my roomie, Sahar,  was from Sudan.  She was very fond of scents.  She used to lit Oud in the evenings and I began liking it. It used to make me feel lighter.

Oud 

Fortunately I have brought Oud with me here in Pakistan. I haven’t used it as yet. I am waiting for a special moment. It’s only now that I am here I realize there are so many little things and details that I know of the Arabic culture. I mean obviously I am born there but it’s only now that these things seem different to me, because they aren’t here. People rarely know stuff called Oud.  Plus here, like my neighbours, use Agarbatti on special occasions. But it’s not the same. I don’t like Agarbattis! 

Agarbatti

Anyway, this isn’t what this post’s about. I used to travel everyday to school and then to college passing by The Perfume Roundabout in Fujairah. I used to think it’s called The Perfume Roundabout because there are perfume shops near by but recently I saw it’s pictures on facebook and realized this is not the reason! And I thought I was observant about things. 🙂 I remember I used to wonder why it’s made this way:

It’s only a few days back I ‘noticed’ that the hand is sprinkling perfume! This is what Arab people often did at their place. They used to use the above object and sprinkle it on people and their homes. Beautiful isn’t it?

The Perfume Roundabout as it looked at night during the UAE 40th National Day celebrations:

Najma Aijaz, 21-2-2012

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