Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Another Dubai Mall Experience...

The list of things to do is never ending isn't it?  I needed to run a couple of errands, so I stopped by the Dubai Mall on the way home tonight.  Errands finished, I proceeded to look for a place to get my hair cut as I am letting it grow back long again and it needed some shaping.  Once again, I confirm why I am letting it grow – I have yet to find someone in Dubai who really gets short hair.

The mall is crazy crowded.  I see the summer sales have started.  I don’t know if it is Summer Surprises, but its too busy.  At the same time there are many activities throughout the mall.  A great reminder of how much there is to do here in the summer.  I know it’s a great time to visit family and escape the heat, but I really do not mind it.  Like everyone, I have those moments where I want to be outside all day, but we get that for a good 7 or more months out of the year, so nothing to complain about.  Just as if you lived in an extremely cold climate you would be indoors just as much as you are here in the summer.

As I was walking back to my car I came across a photography exhibit in the mall.  Ah, National Geographic.  Earlier this year they launched an Arabic version, so I think this is to promote that in Dubai.  While the quality of the prints were not very good and they were not presented in the best venue for viewing, the narrative and emotion of each one was still incredible.  Even presented badly these images were all so moving!

The more I looked, the more my heart sank.  While I saw beautiful images, I also saw poverty.  Extreme poverty.  People without food who were getting donations from militaries, people with out homes, schools that were nothing more than mats on a dirt floor, people facing winter without warm clothes.... The sick irony of me viewing these in the midst of materialism was unnerving.   I was further saddened as I was the only person who stopped to look while I was there.  

As I was looking, the evening call to prayer came on.  (Yes, it is typically played in the shopping malls at prayer time here).  It doesn't matter that I am not Muslim, the timing was uncanny and only emphasized what I was thinking.

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