My Little UAE National Day Adventure

Yesterday (December 2nd) was the 39th national day of the United Arab Emirates. National day celebrates the day in 1971 that six of the Trucial States signed a treaty joining them as one nation. Ras al Khaimah joined in early 1972 and we became the Seven Emirates. Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE. We're from Dubai, one of the six other Emirates that include Sharjah, Ras al Khaimah, Umm al Quwain, Ajman and Fujeirah (write that down, there's a test later! kidding, kidding..)

Our National Anthem. I tried to find one with older pictures, but it was kind of hard!

My dad thought that a good way to spend national day would be to take us on a journey to the souq, in the heart of 'Old Dubai'. It's always interesting to go out with my dad. He knows so much about the city (having lived through all the big changes), and listening to his stories, it's almost impossible to imagine how much things really have changed! He would tell us stories about how they used to drink well water and they had no running water, and they would have to move to a house with palm tree leaves for the roof to keep cool during the summers! He also has lots of stories about my grandfather, who was a pearl diver at one point!

My dad decided to take us to an area called Naif, where the big souq (market) is. I hardly every venture out to this part of town. I tend to stay in the sparkly, new Dubai areas (like in the video) It's always so nice and humbling to see other parts of the city.

I didn't even know they had a museum!! My dad is wearing a Kundora, that Emirati men traditionally wear, and an Agahl, their traditional head piece. Sorry, I didn't get any pictures from the front to show you!

Lots of flags at the souq! This is the renovated one, it only opened in October. It's much smaller than the old one, but nice and new (and air conditioned!) Back when I was a kid, it was all just small outdoor stalls!

A local ice cream shop in the souq. I'm assuming it's a play on Ben and Jerry's. 'Bin' means 'son of' in Arabic.

 Sikkat Al Khail. My dad told us that back in the day, this was the road where they used to have horse races and parades for weddings and celebrations. A 'sikka' is a pathway, and 'Al Khail' means 'horses', so Sikkat Al Khail roughly translates to 'the path of horses'

I didn't buy much. Apart from touristy gift items (which I don't really need) most of the stuff being sold is cheap, mass produced Chinese products. I just bought a few sparkly hair clips (perfect for the holidays!)

'High class fashion', so fancy!!

My sister didn't like this claw clip, but I can't resist hearts and sparkles!

All in all, I had a pretty good day out. Being mixed has it's issues (my mom is American), the Emirati culture is so strong that sometimes you can feel like an outsider if you stray from the norm. I'm lucky to have such a supportive and loving immediate and extended family. Through out all of this, Dubai has always felt like home. I know that no matter what my life brings and where it takes me, this is the place where I will always be able to find my feet. 

OK, so this has turned out to be a very long post! I'm sorry, I just wanted to share a little bit about where I'm from with you all. I hope you enjoyed it :)

Love and kisses!

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