December 2nd, 2002

krazy kat

National Day, 2002

Torn, as I so often am, between posting here and on Tabnet. I guess I could crosspost, but... well. Crossposting. Yuk.

This is probably going to be more of the "what have I been up to recently" drivel that really belongs on LJ... but at the same time, I'm feeling more connected -- or at least fulfulled, in some indescribable maudlin way -- by posting on Tab.


I'm going to try to make it through this post without talking about Nausheen... THAT issue has been occupying too much of my time recently; and besides which, until things get resolved (or at least become less ephemeral and uncertain than they are now), I don't really want to cast anything into the technological permanence of the Great Network.

Er, ok, in the interests of not contradicting myself in the same breath, I guess I will permit myself meta-discussions of Nausheen :-)

December 2nd (i.e.: today) is National Day in the UAE... and this year occasions a Serendipitous confluence of that secular event with the Islamic holiday of Eid Al Fitr. Said latter celebration marks the end of the Holy Month of Ramadhan, and is The Big Annual Holiday... in the same way that Christmas is for Christians.

So we have the week off school. And I'm still here.

My parents are in... The Maldives...? or someplace? for Eid, so there's relatively little point in going back to Abu Dhabi. Besides, I have free (well, already-paid-for) food here. And free internet. And probably a greater chance of being able to study for final exams coming up in the last half of December (and for a few of which I desparately need to study) than I would have if back in Abu Dhabi.

So I'm hanging around campus for the holiday.

And I'm pretty much the only one that is. I think there are only two other similarly unlucky souls in my dorm... and maybe a dozen more around campus in total. The place is pretty dead.

And, well, friends... are either in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, or back in Pakistan, or Saudi Arabia, or wherever they came from.

Eid Mubarak.

Actually, it's not Eid yet. I expect it will be on Thursday. The two holidays don't coincide exactly but just occur in sufficiently close proximity that we're given one long holiday, rather than two shorter ones. We have all of this week plus next Saturday and Sunday, then return next Monday for a couple of days (which most people will probably take off anyway).

So yeah, it's still Ramadhan.

It's almost the end of Ramadhan, though. This is the holiest part of the month. With the moon on the wane, and Al Helaal pointed to the Future in the East. When Mohammad journeyed to heaven to bring the angels back to Earth... and so on.

And even though I am not, as I write this, a Muslim, it feels special to me, too.

Well, all of Ramadhan does. And I don't mean that just in the sense of the festive atmosphere that permeates the Muslim World (although there is that, too). But in the quieter moments. Yeah, I fast. I think this is well known already. But in a sense, I "always" fast; I only ever eat one meal a day... and usually after daylight hours anyway.

But fasting during Ramadhan is different. If you go out in the half-hour before Maghreb, with the sun low on the horizon and the pinks and oranges saturating the world... and you know that it's not just you, but everyone... who is also fasting. That something can be that personal and that widespread at the time. It's really peaceful, and satisfying.

I've taken to eating my Eftaar meal on the steps outside. There is a large number of birds residing in the trees in the plaza between our dorm and A-B block. I don't know how many... hundreds. And they raise such a cacaphony... right around sunset, in the half-hour before and after the Maghreb call, you can hear them cackling and screeching and raising a ruckus... almost as if they know. Although how could they? The birds eat whenever they want... Ramadhan doesn't mean anything to them.

But this is behaviour that they don't normally engage in; just something that occurs during Ramadhan. I noticed it last year as well. Maybe it's just the time of year and the changing weather.

Because the weather is certainly changing. I'm not sure I could handle a return to Canada.

It's getting cold. It's December, yeah, and it shows. Only in the very middle of the day is there any strength to the sun's efforts. I've taken to going around with two shirts on... and you know what? Today's temperature range is from 15 to 29 degrees. This is a Vancouver summer. This is t-shirt and beach weather in Canada.

And I'm freezing.

And a couple of days ago, the Indian Club held its Charity Night. Somewhat a success... certainly moreso than we were hoping. Well, I say "we" because I ended up being rather closely involved. As I've remarked on occasion, I'm pretty much the closest thing to being an active part of the Indian Club without actually being an IC member. More active, anyway, than many who are members.

Which is strange. I should totally join. I've been meaning to for a long long time; just one of those things that I never really get around to doing.

But anyway. The charity night went off pretty well. I was fearing for a long time that it would just never get off the ground, what with our disorganization and torpor. And then when at the eleventh hour it actually materialized, there was concern from all concerned that nobody would show up.

But, lo and behold, they did! And not only that, but they spent money! So we have almost Dhs.3000 for the Sadaqa (i.e.: charity). Which is always cool.

So much more to write, but every time I try, it comes out awkward and stilted and I end up just deleting it. So.

And besides, it keeps ending up returning to Nausheen (and associated considerations), anyway, which I promised myself I wouldn't do. Yet.

Well, that, and the bigger issue.


I love this song. It's so cheezy. But I'm a sucker for soaring strings and vocals... what can I say?

    I want to sing
    To sing my song
    I want to live in a world where I belong
    I want to live
    I will survive
    And I believe that it won't be very long

"Ha! They'll never find me down here!"
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