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.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My First Omani Wedding . . . A Distinctive Arab Experience

The Bride’s Love Seat
The female security guard discretely slips me through a side door and gestures for me to sit at the table in the corner. The Arabic music is pulsating and the room is reverberating with the nervous energy of 400 women. Suddenly, the lights dim and everyone turns to watch. A bride, dressed in a Western-style long white wedding gown with matching trailing veil has a death grip on her bouquet of roses as she takes very slow measured steps down the center aisle towards the “Bride’s Love Seat.” Her unsmiling face is devoid of emotion.

Following the bride are several bejeweled “bridesmaids” moving en mass like a swarm of bees following their queen. Rising above the pounding music, warbling female tongues emit the zaghareet, the high-pitched ululation made by Arab women to congratulate the bride. The level of noise is deafening but I am not going to miss a moment of this.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Making the Most of Your Expat Experience

Moving is recognized as one of the most stressful activities known to man.

Add to that moving to a foreign country, and the anxiety scale goes wild. One needs a lot of coping skills to survive and enjoy expat living.

I am delighted to pass to you a great article, Making the Most of Your Expat Experience, written by my good friend and fellow expat Holly Warah, a 12-year resident of Dubai, UAE.

Holly writes a blog, Arabic Zeal, that is packed with very useful information of interest to expat.  Whether you are newly moved or considering the opportunity, Holly provides you with some great insight.