a few firsts

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.

Dubai Weddings Dubai Weddings

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a taste of Islam

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.


[traditional houses in Bastakiya]

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glorious buildings


[Sacré-Cœur Basilica, Paris]

When you travel in Europe you have probably noticed that often the largest and most lavish buildings (historically) are the churches and cathedrals. In some cases you can even see where the style of the building has changed over its years of construction, sometimes a couple of hundred (like the Cathedral in Toledo Spain for instance). The inside of the building (originally) would have been decorated with the finest ornamentation and craftsmanship of the period, sadly in some cases this has not stood the test of time, or been impervious to vandals and invading forces. But nevertheless, the idea was to offer a glorious place of worship for the masses. Well that and probably to show off a little bit in some cases, but “if you got it flaunt it” right?


[Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris]


[Cathedral of Toledo, Spain]

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Animal Rescue

If you would like to contribute a few dollars towards my TNR work with stray cats I would be most grateful

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