Welcome to the Middle East
Trip Start Feb 28, 2011
22Trip End Jun 01, 2011
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Where I stayed
Over the next few days I met up with my friend Devy, who I met in Bangkok and who lives in Abu Dhabi. We toured the city and went to the Abu Dhabi mall and walked the Abu Dhabi Corniche, which runs along the water and has views of Lulu Island. The city itself has beautiful public beaches with clear water. Across the street from the beaches is Markaziyah Park, which has a mosque in the middle and endless gardens and fountains. From there, I walked to the Emirates Palace Hotel (which is a seven-star hotel) and then the marina and heritage Centre with the tallest flagpole in the U.A.E. The city itself is huge and full of skyscrapers that made it feel just like any American city.
One of my favorite moments of this trip was the first time I left the hotel and walked around the streets. I was walking through a city in the Middle East by myself and it was an intense feeling. I don't think it would have been the same feeling if I were walking with someone. I walked into an old Islamic bookstore and asked to buy a Qur'an. They gave me a crazy look and showed me to the shelf where all the Qur'ans were. During my time in Abu Dhabi I could hear the speakers throughout the city and experience the feeling of an entire city being called to worship throughout the day. Being an American it is not to often that I hear positive words about Islam so I wanted to find out more.
At this point in my journey I have began to realize some things that transcend across all major religions that have transformed me
I have felt an overwhelming inner knowing during the past two months of my life and I can only attempt to describe it as a faith and Islam describes it as something that will enable us to see the benefit of whatever situation we are in, even that of ill-health or a reversal of fortune. Laying flat on my back, sick in India, looking up at the stars, I was able to truly understand the meaning of that line. I realized that the outcome to any situation will always be the perfect one, and that excuses will be of no use or benefit. I left a great job because I lost my inspiration and since I decided to follow my dreams. My heart has been open and allowed all these life-changing experiences to come into my life. I have been able to look inside and understand that when your following your bliss, your heart is pure and able to receive inspiration just as the message of Islam states
"We are each our own film-maker; we are the actor, director, cameraman, producer, and audience, but this can only be understood if we stop identifying ourselves with the myriad roles we act out in this life. On the final day, nothing will veil us from seeing ourselves as we really are" So in the words of Jay-Z, "When the director yells, 'cut', I'll be fine, I'm forever young". Dying to one's self is to become alive and cannot be found in the accumulation of possessions.
"I have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing."-Dr. Wayne Dyer