Would You Stay At This Hotel?

Sharjah, UAE sits on the warm waters of the Persian Gulf, and its beach hotels are rather popular bases for exploring this emirate as well as the neighboring emirate of Dubai. I’ve seen many hotels around the world, but one I saw while in Sharjah blew me away. Not because of its exquisite rooms, unique […]

Full Story »

The Sounds of Friday Worship in Sharjah, UAE

Five times a day across the Middle East, people are reminded to pray when the call to worship emanates over loudspeakers from the many mosques that fill the land. I am Christian but find the lilting, echoing song of the iman quite enchanting. As Friday is the day of worship for Muslims, at approximately noon […]

Full Story »

A New World – From the Northeast to the Middle East

Shifting from the cushy comfort of Connecticut to the gritty solemnity that is the Middle East has brought eye opening newness to my life. Though I’ve been settled down here for three months, still I am not entirely accustomed to the sights that greet me every day. Each time I look out the window or […]

Full Story »

An Oasis in the Middle of a Desert City

Exercising outdoors in the midst of a congested city is a joyless function. I deeply love almost all aspects of throbbing city life, but exercising on crowded sidewalks directly next to four lanes packed with cars spewing forth chemicals is one activity I would like to never again undertake. Greater than my love of cities […]

Full Story »

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 […]

Full Story »

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 […]

Full Story »

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 […]

Full Story »

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 […]

Full Story »

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 […]

Full Story »

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 […]

Full Story »

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 […]

Full Story »