Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wonderful Week With My Cousins

The following is a recap of my uncle's family visit (19-23/11/2008)

As much as last week was tiring, exhausting, hectic and crazy, IT WAS FUN.

My uncle's family came to visit us from Germany. His three sweet little kids are amazing. This was the fourth time for us to meet. The two boys and the sweet little girl are smart, loveable as well as naughty. Even though there are a lot of hotels in our area but my mother insisted on receiving them at our home. She wouldn't want to miss them not for an hour during their short visit.

The kids are taller and cuter now. You can't but love them. They are fluent in German and doing pretty well on understand Arabic but could do better on the speaking part (I have to admit they speak Arabic better than some Arab kids in UAE). At times they reply in German and think everybody can understand them. Thanks God I studied German for a while and I could catch a word and understand what they want but my poor sister kept telling them "in Arabic please" and they think she's joking!

Since it is very cold in German, and my uncle being a busy doctor, they hardly enjoy outdoors activities. Therefore, their visit to UAE is such a good time to do so. My mother assigned me to set a schedule for each day. I had to do phone calls and do some bookings here and there. Had to check websites and search for the best places to visit. And I was able to set, somehow, a good program for the week.

We arranged our schedule so the family would take a week off from work/schools to enjoy the reunion.

We drove to Um al-Quwain shortly after they arrived and checked in Flamingo resort to spend the night. The activities there included crab hunting, but unfortunately it was so cold and the tide was high that we couldn't catch as many crabs as we wanted. Actually only three guys from the group were able to do so. But we've seen how it goes. I stayed in the boat and enjoyed watching everything with my three little cousins.

Flamingo beach Resort

That was followed by a buffet and special crab dish for those who participated in the crab hunting. I tried it and it tasted like fish with a sweet taste.

Me introducing you to the first Crab I ever taste :)

We enjoyed jumping and playing on the green grass at night. My sister and I were 5 years old again. The place was empty and we almost had the entire resort for ourselves.

Next day was the beach day. It was too cold to swim. I enjoyed walking on the sand, collecting some shells while they tried some fishing and playing with sands. We checked out and went for sightseeing in Um al-Quwain. Then we passed by a nice place and we had to check what was it. It turned out to be another resort and we went in and took some photos. We thought we'll try boating but it was lunch break for workers there and we didn't want to waste time. Therefore, we drove back to Sharjah and enjoyed water jet skiing.

It was their first time to try jet skiing. Mine was the second. But after the long drive home and my sister being so not cool by trying some tricks gave me motion sickness and I forced her to take me ashore.

The third day was dedicated for some beach fun in Dubai but I didn't join the party. The next day was dedicated for Abu Dhabi. We went sightseeing here and there including Emirates Palace Hotel where there's an exhibition of new projects in Abu Dhabi. It was fun and I was one step away from camel back riding but everybody was scared and my uncle said that he tried it in KSA and it wasn't fun at all. Plus we were close to a donkey and a horse and the smell was horrible so I had to withdraw and leave that for another adventure.

On the schedule I dedicated a day for Sharjah's museums but things somehow that day got very messed up and we had the chance to visit only Sharjah Aquarium. Oh and we went horseback riding. This time my horse was Penny, a nice, cute white horse. This time I was very confident that I made Penny run all by myself.

Sharjah Aquarium

Two nights in a raw I told them the bedtime story "the rabbit and the turtle" (al arnab wa al sul7afat) which they two little ones pronounce it funnily as (al alnab wal sulfa7at). After jet skiing I helped their mom blowing their hair with the hairdryer. Such a hard job to keep a child to sit let alone stand still!

In Iraq, the child is not raised by his parents only; it's the job of the entire community. The extended family plays an important role, neighbors too. I believe my three little cousins have a thirst for interacting with family. I cannot help thinking of all those Iraqi kids being raised in different countries all around the world and what they have to miss about Iraq, the Iraq that we knew and spent our childhood. They enjoyed their visit and when I tease them and say "I'll keep you here and let your mom and dad go back to Germany" a certain look of eagerness shows on their faces but then they would say "No, you come and stay with us". And oh my how I wish to go and visit them in the near future.

That's all for now about me and my cousins!

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Blogger narjis said...

this is so wonderful..

الله يحفظهم و يخليهم


12/31/2008 8:29 PM  
Blogger attawie said...

الله يسلمك

12/31/2008 11:00 PM  
Blogger David said...

What a nice story Attawie. I'm glad you had so much fun with your little cousins! :)

The crab looks delicious! I have eaten a variety of crabs and I really like them. I like to eat lobster too. :)

We don't have an aquarium in Indianapolis, but the zoo has a building devoted to ocean creatures. There are many fish, octopus, sea horses, jellyfish, and more. It is a nice exhibit. Now, I have been to several aquariums in different parts of the U.S. I have enjoyed them all. :)

So, you are becoming a very confident horse rider. :)

I like the Iraqi tradition of raising a child with the help of the entire community. I wish the same were true in America. Most Americans live rather isolated and disconnected lives. This was not always true, but the society here is highly mobile. Moving hundreds of miles to get a higher paying job is often more important that making friends and becoming part of a community. Its a rather sad way to live, in my opinion.

I will return later to comment on your other new posts.

1/02/2009 12:22 PM  

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