abu dhabi sunshine

life, times...and opinions from Abu Dhabi

Saturday, May 27, 2006


I can't sleep. I'm tired, but my mind is racing...I had a conversation earlier that left me unintentionally emotional, scared, and deeply reflective. I went to bed and the tears just came...

I still want to cry, and a few tears are rolling down now and then...I'm so confused about my life; you shut out something long enough, it will resurface with a vengeance.

I don't know what I'm lacking in my life, but I feel like there's this big hole inside my soul. I need passion...and I don't mean just romantic passion, but a passionate life.

This place is deadening every nerve of my being, when all I want to do is break out and live.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

the game

Men...one little word, with so many implications.

Men can get me so high, and drop me to within an inch of my life the next moment. My flailing confidence has been shaken up one too many times by men, and each and every time I swear it will never happen again.

But people don't change. They learn, they become more guarded, but what's inherent will never go away. I fall easily and I get hurt, and like millions out there, I pick myself up and do it all over again.

I really do wish I could erase the bad stuff I've gone through with men and enjoy a new guy like I've never been hurt before; I'm so guarded and skeptical now, everyone around me sees it. I was never like this, I was so open and trusting with everyone, an extreme that also led me to trouble's way.

I just don't want to be at the other extreme. When a guy tells me that my insecurity is beautiful, I want to believe him with every insecure fibre of my body. I don't want to get ahead of myself and think of all the pain I may have to go through if this were to develop...but what relationship, long or short, but well-lived and fully explored, doesn't hurt?

It's all part of the game, and I am well aware of that. I just wonder whether I'm ready to get hurt again...in the game of men, women always end up hurt one way or the other. But it's fun, it's exciting, and I'm feeling the much sought-after butterflies...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

multiple personality disorder

Is it just me, or do people take on different personalities around different people?

Case in point, the office, with my all male colleagues.

With my Lebanese colleague, I'm comfortable, chatty, teasing, but I remain conservative. He will never hear my 'stories'.

With my newly arrived Egyptian colleague, I'm guarded but friendly.

With the amazing Indian, I'm philosophical, literary, more mature.

With the Brit, I'm fascinated, naive, open, and he's learned more about me in a month than the Lebanese has in almost a year. I'm as comfortable with him as I am with my girlfriends. He will definitely be hearing my stories.

I've never been one to mould my personality to suit people's needs. My dad would actually testify to the contrary, I'm quite headstrong and generally don't take crap from anyone.
Is it age? Is it society? Why do I modify my very own personality around different people?

I noticed this today while having a very work-inappropriate conversation with the Brit, and the minute the Lebanese guy arrived, I switched into conservative mode. I guess living here long enough makes you realise that despite how much you don't give a crap about what people think, you have to give a crap about what people think.

This is a small city. I've heard things about myself that I didn't even know I did, and the same goes for many people who've been around here a while. In my teenage years, I did all the things raging teenagers do. But now that I'm a 'working woman', these things creep up out of nowhere, and you never know when.

It's so weird, I never thought I'd watch anything I did for fear of it having repercussions on my reputation. Am I a hypocrit, am I being too careful, or am I doing the right thing?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Palestine humanised

The famed Ramallah-based Al Kasaba Theatre group payed a visit to Abu Dhabi last week to perform their award-winning play, Alive From Palestine: Stories Under Occupation.

The performances were simple, hilarious, sad, moving, disarming and ironic. The play came about after the theatre group took to the streets during the 2000 intifada to speak to the people and find a creative outlet for their plight.

The result was over 30 monologues, close to 20 of which were selected to make up Alive From Palestine: Stories Under Occupation.

Bar poor sound quality at the Abu Dhabi National Theatre and crying babies, the play was excellent; never too political, never disparaging and very often disarmingly funny. The group usually provides scrolling subtitles for non-Arabic speaking audiences, but this time around they provided us with a booklet. I can understand Arabic pretty well, but some of the accents (ie, the heavy Jerusalem accent) were too strong to follow.

The Al Kasaba Group has gone all over the world with their performances: Japan, Canada, US, UK, Australia, Sweden...At the press conference held the day before the performance, one of actors recounted a performance of Stories Under Occupation while in Brussels, during which the Israeli ambassador was attending. The actor rushed to speak to the ambassador at the end of his performance to ask him what he thought of the performance, to which the ambassador replied: "It was great, and these are dangerous words."

Dangerous in the sense that the Palestinian plight is humanised through the play, and becomes more than just a news item for the world to watch, ponder momentarily, and discard. Dangerous because the occupiers may see more than just pesky Palestinians intruding on their land. Dangerous because the rest of the world may begin to empathise with an overshadowed and forgotten population.

"We find time for entertainment, we play cards, or leaf through our tidings in yesterday's wounded papers. We read the horoscopes. For the year 2002, the cameras will smile for those born under the sign of the siege. Whenever yesterday comes to me I say: 'It's not time yet, go away, come back tomorrow.'" (excerpt from Alive From Palestine: Stories Under Occupation)

Chernobyl Legacy

This is a very powerful and quite disturbing photo essay. (click on Chernobyl Legacy photo essay)

I've watched it twice today, and like millions out there I'm thinking: how could the world have let this happen?

It's so hard to believe that these lives are unfolding at the same time as our little comfortable lives.

Chernobyl Legacy
by Paul Fusco
"On April 26th, 1986, Chernobyl's Reactor No. 4 unleashed a thoroughly modern plague that emptied cities, condemned entire regions, and seeped invisibly into the bodies of those exposed to its destructive presence.Photographer Paul Fusco faces the dark legacy of Chernobyl, focusing on the horrifying human consequences of the event that is now 20 years in the past."

Saturday, May 13, 2006


I hate the abundance of neon lights in this city. Everywhere you look, green, red, yellow, pink are flashing around dizzyingly. How could anyone have thought that this actually looks good? I hate that there are hot pink buildings in Abu Dhabi. Everytime I see them, I want to throw up.

I hate that my boss refuses to open up his tiny brain and listen to anything any one of his employees has to say. I hate that I experience momentary lapses of sanity and believe him to be a good guy. I can repeat something to him three times, but he will forget it within five minutes and proceed to get me in trouble.

I hate that I have to tell a colleague to be on time three times a day for an appointment we have, yet he still shows up an hour late. I cannot stand that he has an excuse every single time. It's called time-management.

I hate that my friend doubts everything I say. I hate that I don't have enough confidence in my knowledge. I double-check myself and my facts, and I end up being right. But she doubted me in the first place.

I hate that she criticises a coffee shop that I like, and puts down everything from the curtains to the lights. When I tell her to stop criticising everything and enjoy, she is offended. Had it been the other way round, she wouldn't have tolerated me for 30 seconds.

I hate that all hell can break loose in my family and that the next day, everyone acts as if nothing has happened. Meanwhile, I've gone to the depths of my insanity and back and cried my heart out, but I'm expected to go along with the act.

I hate that my room -my sanctuary- is adjacent to our kitchen. I hate it because our housekeeper has the most annoying, high-pitched voice in the world, and she can never shut up when she's in there. It doesn't matter that I'm sleeping, trying to work or just hanging out, she won't shut up.

I really hate hating everything. Just one of them days...

Friday, May 12, 2006

summer tactics

It's so hot.

Last night, from the 16th floor of a building on Hamdan street, the humidity was so strong that I could not see the building across the street. It's already suffocating, and we've only just begun.

Summer is here. Every time, I wonder how I survived the last one, and how on earth I am going to survive this one.

Chicane's "Autumn Tactics" is playing, and this song fills me with images of a fiery orange Mount Royal, of the teasing warmth of the Indian Summer, of the impeding winter. Maybe it will keep me cool for the next few months.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

How wrong?

I'm sure millions of men and women would love to see Becks milking it.

They wrote these headlines on purpose, right?

Friday, May 05, 2006

I'm a...

I've got hundreds of thoughts swirling around in my head, none of which will come out. I miss writing, but I think my mind's in overdrive.

I'm listening to the latest of version of 'One' by U2 and Mary J. Blige. Just like Khalil Gibran's "The Prophet", this song takes on new meaning through every phase in my life.

"It's too late tonight, to drag the past out into the light..."

Too late for me to rehash my feelings and think of everything my ex meant to me only a year ago... All day, I've been thinking that it's his birthday today, yet I can't find it in me to send him an email. I've never been too proud, but I am this time around. A broken heart can breed a bitch.

If I can make it through the next hour of this day without breaking and sending him an email, I'll consider myself more of a bitch than I thought I was. And I don't think it's a bad thing.