So as I mentioned 2 weeks ago we celebrated UAE National Day here in Dubai on the 2nd of December. One of the things they do here on National Day is hold a Mass Wedding at St Mary’s Catholic Church. I had no idea this went on to be honest, I know they do mass weddings in China and other places, but that is about my only knowledge of them. So I was pretty excited to attend one when I was invited by a Filipino lady I have met here in Dubai.
This year Stu and I decided, well actually to be fair it was Stu who suggested, that we should try a proper traditional Iftar. We had been to Iftar last year at the end of our Fundamentals of Arabic course, but we wanted to do something a bit more interesting than the normal buffet-style meal that is on offer at most of the hotels during the holy month. Coincidentally Stu then read, and I also heard on the radio, about an Iftar meal being hosted at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) in the Bastakiya section of Dubai. This is the area in Dubai that has retained some traditional-style homes (complete with wind-towers) and is wonderful for walking tours. Iftar is the meal taken on breaking of the fast, just after sunset (Maghrib), during Ramadan. The timing of the prayer depends on the setting of the sun and is published in the newspaper each day. So we were required to be at the centre for 6.30pm, as Iftar was scheduled for 6.59pm that evening.