Luka, Jovan and I spent last Christmas and New Year in Dubai and had some extraordinary encounters that I would like to share with you in a few of my next posts.
New Year’s eve
“You can talk with someone for years, everyday, and still, it won’t mean as much as what you can have when you sit in front of someone, not saying a word, yet you feel that person with your heart, you feel like you have known the person for ever… connections are made with the heart, not the tongue”- C. JoyBell C.
Dubai, New Year’s eve.
We leave the beach party to head downtown and watch fireworks there.
The stream of people seems endless as we are moving from Dubai Mall metro station looking for the best view of Burj Khalifa to watch the famous fireworks. All highways through Dubai downtown are now closed to give space to over a hundred thousand people excited to witness spectacular fireworks, which Dubai is famous for. The crowd slowly moves. I observe some tourists there, but most of the people around us are locals.
Some of the western tourists approach us and say that we shouldn’t be there because it’s not safe. They are leaving.
I feel quite opposite, safe and somehow belonging to this place, with these people.
Excitement and joy of the crowd is contagious. Anticipation on the smiling, joyful faces.
New Year, new beginning, new opportunities, new hope…
Let the dying year take with her all that doesn’t deserve remembering.
Let’s forget all the misery of this world and be happy in this moment.
People dancing…People sitting in the street…People standing…People waiting…People embracing each other…
As we move with the crowd, I see an empty spot on the road with good view of the magnificent Dubai icon and head for it. Wearing my glamorous, pink Ted Baker dress and high Karen Millen heels, I stick out and am not prepared for almost two hour long wait for fireworks spectacle. I need to sit.
Around the available spot three young women and a young man dressed in traditional Arab clothes are sitting. The young women’s eyes, the only part of their face not covered by niqab are following me curiously.
I nick and smile, they nick back gesturing us to sit with them. One of the young women offers me her seat pad to sit on with a smile in her eyes. I smile back…She helps me fold my dress so it doesn’t get dirty while I take a seat on her generously offered pad.
As we sit and look at each other, occasionally smiling the young man offers us sunflower seeds from the bag that they have been sharing. We accept with a smile.
After a while Jovan takes out a bottle of mango juice from his backpack and offers to them. One of the women accepts with a smile and nick.
The time drags slowly towards closure of the old and opening of the New year as our extraordinary group keeps sitting in silence, talking with smiling eyes and welcoming gestures.
The Arab women and I couldn’t be further apart culturally, by our age, religion, geography, the way we dress in public…but still- this shared instant has brought us together in a universal togetherness. Our foremothers’ voices echoing through eons.
So there are we 7 familiar strangers sitting across Burj Khalifa, in Dubai, on New Year´s eve, sharing the bag of sunflower seeds and bottle of mango juice, smiling at each other, silently bridging the cultural and historical gaps of our time.
Our two worlds have come closer if only for this short, shared moment of strange connectedness.
As the Old Year was spending its last moments our hearts met and connected shortly before they flew away like faraway stars into the Dubai night.🌸
Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing my post🌸
📸 Images by my son Jovan.