Who in the Hell Goes to Bahrain?

So many Middle East myths exist. My experiences in this region of the world almost always effortlessly debunks them. The Kingdom of Bahrain was a just tad more difficult in one area. The world’s oldest and ickiest profession, unfortunately, is legal in the tiniest nation in the Middle East. Renting yourself out in this otherwise […]

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The Sounds of Sharjah

A rooster crows most every morning at half past six somewhere outside my window. I look for it in the direction of its trumpeting screech, but instead my eyes always meet swerving taxis speeding past men in long, flowing cotton clothing who ride bikes with fat wheels past tall buildings of light brown plaster and […]

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Two Hours at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

Mosques in the Middle East vary in size from as small as a house built for one to as large as a town of 100. One of the largest and most architecturally magnificent is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. I traveled there a couple of weeks ago and found that this mosque […]

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One Thousand Camels Near Mirbat, Oman

In the Dhofar region of southern Oman, about 700 miles from Sharjah, I was riding down the road one day. Behind me stood Mirbat, a very small, very ancient desert town near the Arabian Sea, filled with crumbling yet still-inhabited buildings. The day was sunny and peaceful, as are most Omani days. Suddenly, a thick […]

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UAE Decency Laws and Hotels That Cater to Westerners

You know you’ve been in a conservative Muslim country for a long time when seeing someone walk down the street in shorts shocks you. I received a mild shock when I took a taxi to the other side of Sharjah to work out at a gym and then hang on the beach at a hotel […]

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A Hot Time at the Blue Souk in Sharjah

While whipping around the streets on a typical back breaking bus trip from Dubai back to Sharjah, I spotted two massive buildings with rounded rooftops. Each was identical and a couple of city blocks long, connected one to the other with a second-story skywalk. This, I said to myself, must be the Blue Souk. Days […]

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Dubai’s Spice Souq – Photo Essay

On my first trip into Dubai, the same day that I visited the famous gold souq after which I got almost hopelessly lost off the beaten path, I navigated through the far more colorful and enchanting spice souq nearby. Here, at the Deira Old Souq, a/k/a the Dubai Spice Souq, I found that the shopkeepers […]

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Off The Beaten Path in Dubai – An Accidental Find

In today’s travel world, ever-multiplying numbers are intent on climbing off the tourist track and onto hidden paths in the heart of nowhere. I am very much about exploring the unknown and am constantly plotting out journeys to offbeat spots. The first time I headed from Sharjah into the very much on-the-beaten path city of […]

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Al Qasba – My Favorite Spot in Sharjah So Far

The Qasbah. Before I arrived in Sharjah, UAE, I’d heard these words only in song, when Rock the Casbah by The Clash became a hit in the Eighties. I’d managed to love the music without ever giving a thought as to what experience a qasbah might give me. A few weeks ago, I began hearing […]

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Five Lifestyle Shifts, Cultural Variations and Comical Quirks in the UAE

I’ve only been in Sharjah, UAE for two weeks but am quickly growing accustomed to major lifestyle shifts, cultural variations and comical quirks. Here’s five aspects of life I’ve adjusted to already in the UAE. Venturing Outside Only At Night – The heat here is phantasmagorically intense. Venturing outside during the day is an exercise […]

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The Night Sounds of the Al Maghferah Mosque in Sharjah

I sit now in my apartment listening to the call to worship emit over loudspeakers from the Al Maghferah Mosque. The calls of mosques are common in Muslim countries and pretty cool to the ears. It is Friday here in Sharjah, UAE, the holy day for Muslims, a day on which the prayers of the […]

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Signs of the World – Sharjah, UAE

Sometimes attempts to bridge the language gulf in other countries are quite funny. This hilarity often results from signs worded in English in non-English speaking lands, with phrases and sentences that not only don’t quite convey what they intend but veer off into a direction they clearly absolutely could not have wanted. I am finding […]

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