Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be moving to a foreign country to live, let alone a country in the Middle East. Over the 2009 Christmas and New Year’s holidays, my husband Roger and I discussed what we wanted the next part of our life to be like. He thought that before retiring, he would like to do one more airport project but only if he could find something very interesting. I half-jokingly agreed that would be fine but could he try for an exotic location? As usual, Roger came through and soon we were headed to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. This blog is a recap of our "leap-of- faith" wanderings around the Middle East and beyond. We joyfully share these expat experiences.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


What a way to celebrate International Women’s Day meeting the most fascinating woman in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)!  – an Arab woman suffragette (a female advocate of the extension of equality to women)! This 90-year old dynamo is still the “Little Earthquake” she was nicknamed as a child.

Maryam Behnam, an Emirati Woman of the Year, was the keynote speaker at the American Women’s Association (AWA) of Dubai’s luncheon celebrating International Women’s Day. Held at the Dubai Ladies Club, the packed house marveled at the energy and spirit of this remarkable woman who has advocated for women’s empowerment in the Middle East  for more than 80 years . . . yes, this means she started when she was 10! Actually, it appears even her birth “rocked the world” as she was born in Iran the year of the terrible earthquake in Bandar Lingah a harbor in the Hormozgan province of Iran on the coast of the Arabian Gulf just across the “eastern tip” of the UAE.