Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Global Day 2014 @ AUS

Global Day continues to be one of my favorite things about living here. It's an annual two-day festival celebrating all the different cultures and nationalities at the American University of Sharjah. Each country (mainly through the respective cultural club) designs a pavilion and then stocks it with activities, decorations, and friendly people wanting to teach others about the culture. Some of the pavilions sell trinkets, clothes, or treats from home, and many of them offer henna (to the girls' delight). Global Day 2014 was especially stellar, not least because I finally remembered to pick up some US-themed apparel when I was there this summer.

Heading out. The thing about being American here is, you can't really go all-out with national pride. So Jeremy left the flag bandana and affected swagger at home.

A Bahraini well.

 A Yemeni cityscape.

Some Iraqi...I do not know what these are. (A quick Google search just told me it's the Martyr Monument.)


 Tunisia! This girl is our next-door neighbor.

Morocco! Those divans in the background are to die for.

I remembered Palestine's pavilion being a cheery thing in years past - all Dome of the Rock and painting activities for kids. This year, it was: THE WALL.
I was kind of shocked they went so edgy. Then I talked to a neighbor and she said they had a similar theme last year, complete with a checkpoint staffed by a faux-soldier holding a faux-gun, so I must have missed that.

 Emirati girls dancing.

Musicians and magicians in India.

For the first time ever (in my admittedly imperfect memory), there was a USA pavilion! Wow. There was a red carpet and photos of Vegas and maybe the Statue of Liberty? I can't remember.


Oh yeah, it rained. Global Day is two days out of 365 and it rained on both of them.

There were many more pavilions, obviously, and I was struck by how ripped-from-the-headlines these countries are. Over here, you have a nation invading the Crimea. There, an Emirati policeman was killed in an explosion. This country is embroiled in civil war. This one is under military rule. This one is doing just fine, thank you. Such a range of emotions and opinions to be had.

Happy Global Day 2014!

My friendly neighborhood grocery store

March 14th, outsourced