Traditions and Tours

As I write, I hear the “call to worship” outside. This “call” happens five times a day and can be heard all over the city. It’s a soothing, male voice, chanting the welcome of prayer time.

Today, Emily and I toured the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. We arrived as busses were unloading and people were scurrying to find the entrance. We waited in a quick line for the attendant to issue our abaya then we put our shoes in the cubby and entered the Mosque. Emily enjoyed the majesty of it all and snapped lots of photos. Since we had missed the guided tour, I told her what I learned. It’s an impressive, opulent place rich in history, pride and reverence.

Next stop was the Central Souk (large market). We went right up to the second floor and sat down for our consultation with our henna artist at Heritage for Henna.  Henna was one of the first beauty products ever developed, with its rich coloured dyes used in body painting across the Middle East and Asia for thousands of years. This ancient art form has been perfected by Heritage for Henna and developed into a skilled craft, preserving designs and decorations passed down through the generations.

Emily went first and had a lovely, improvised design on her left hand and wrist. The woman held a small pastry bag filled with a henna paste like a pencil. She “painted/drew” the design as she thought of it. She skillfully completed the design in about two minutes! Then she painted my hand. The paste came out very dark and in fifteen minutes started flaking off to leave an orange tint on our skin. We wiped it all off and kept it dry for three hours. As the day went on, the color started darkening.

More to explore…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Aloha,

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