When we first moved to Dubai we noticed that a lot of the streets have no names. Its normal here when getting directions to base these on land-marks versus road names. And sometimes the landmarks no longer exist but are so well remembered by those that have lived here for some time that they are still used. Took me ages to figure out where Interchange 1 is for example. Even the location maps that companies send you will show roads and intersections with other businesses as landmarks, but sans road names. And you will be told something like – turn left at the new Spinneys (opened in 2005), second roundabout right, third street left where the big boat is parked outside the house with the green roof. No wonder we all get lost all the time right?
There is an article in the paper today that has made me very hopeful indeed. The sighting of a bright light in the night sky just before sunrise at this time of year traditionally signals the end of the summer heat and a return to more moderate weather.
Visible due south in the early hours before sunrise, Suhail, also known as Canopus, is part of the Vela constellation and is the second brightest star in the sky after Sirius. This astral body has always held a great significance to the people of the Middle East, it’s rise marks the start of the farmer’s agricultural calendar or droror, which begins with the star’s sighting and is then measured in 10 or 13 day micro-seasons known as dir. In addition it traditionally marks the start of the hunting season. As hunters had to endure days of travelling through the desert they presumably would have used this signal to know cooler weather was on the way and therefore a good time to head out.