Posted by: Jean-Paul Behrens | December 9, 2009

UT photo contest, UAE national day, and more!

Hello!

I just got an email from Brooke Pawlak that I am a finalist in the UT International Photo Contest!! wohoo. I’m very proud to make it this far. I think the photo that made it to the final was the one I posted earlier on the camels with the sunrise on the background. Lets cross our fingers.

So right after getting this news, I went to UT’s website and read about the judge for this year’s competition, Keith Bellows, editor-in-chief of National Geographic’s Traveler magazine. In the article, Keith Bellows talks about the importance of traveling, and I cannot agree with him more when he says: “One, is to realize that travel is the ultimate learning opportunity.” My experience in Dubai has taught me many lessons in so many aspects and dimensions I don’t think I can list them all. You can read the rest of the article here:

http://www.ut.edu/detail.aspx?id=12999

Not only that, but I believe traveling fills one’s spirit in a way only by experiencing different cultures you can understand. You also start appreciating your own culture in a different level because you step out of it, and you can see it through other eyes. So it is with this in mind that I urge you reading this post, fellow Spartan, to go to the IPO in floor 3 of Plant Hall, apply for a semester abroad, and join the club of travelers. haha has a good sound to it doesn’t it? Club of Travelers…

Last week was UAE’s National Day, on December 2nd. They had a nice celebration on the streets called Maseera, even though it was prohibited by one of the Shiekh Mohammad’s son because of last year’s craze. I can believe it, and to prove it, I’ll describe this year’s celebration in one sentence.

The Jumeirah Beach Road was packed with SUVs decorated in the most lavish UAE paraphernalia and people you usually see as very conservative, jumping out of their windows a peace sign on one hand and a spray can on the other with smiles as big as Pacman’s mouth on their face, which would wipe out as soon as a cop car came by with their blue flickering blue lights.

In case you didn’t get that, you know you can always count on yours truly to get into action with my camera and take a million and one pictures. So this is what I have for you. You can see how patriotic people are… especially non-Emaratis (I was with a Syrian and Saudi friend and we were the loudest of all)

Check the guys face in the fourth picture haha priceless.

AUD also had a cool celebration on campus three days before that because since they knew everyone was leaving for Eid they did it before everyone left. I took a cool picture with a huge albino snake, and ate a national dish, called MARGOOGA. haha That’s a word I won’t soon forget.

Next week is finals week!! but I cannot bring myself to study :s I think my mind is in denial for the semester to end so quickly.

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