Thursday, July 24, 2008

Eden in the Arabian Desert?

Desert Flower
by James F. Harrington

You are like a garden oasis, blooming in the dry desert. Your heart is warmer than the center of the sun. Your soul glitters like moonlight!

I want to take you into my arms, rush to my white Arabian charger, and together we will ride into the dark blue indigo night!

We would gallop past golden minarets, through all of time, past all memories, untill we reach the peaceful, quiet serenity of Jannat.

There we would settle down, under the soothing, cool shade of jade colored olive trees. I would sing to thee my songs of love.
We would lay on a carpet that possessed magical qualities. Ripe fruit would be in abundance. We would be forever in paradise.

Copyright 1997 James F. Harrington

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Al Shindaga Tunnel

The Al Shindaga tunnel is a tunnel that goes under the Dubai creek and connects the two neighbourhoods of Deira and Bur Dubai. Built in 1975, the tunnel was probably an engineering marvel of its time. It is still the only under water tunnel in UAE.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

An Abra ride

The Dubai experience would be incomplete without a ride on an abra. Abra is a traditional wooden boat and used to be the primary mode of transport across the creek that divides Dubai. Designed to carry between 15 to 20 passengers, the abras continue to ferry passengers even today. In modern times, it is a very important part of the tourist route but is also used by the common folk to get across Bur Dubai and Deira.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Wind Towers of the old Bastakiya District

As one walks along the Dubai creek, one cannot help but notice the numerous rows of neatly spread wind towers. Dubai was famous for its wind towers that lined the creekside. While a lot of conservation work has been done to retain the old magic, I dread the day when these beautiful structures will give way to ugly new develpoments.
Wind towers were engineering feats of their time. The wind tower is a four sided structure with vertical opening on all sides and a small roof on top. They were designed to trap air moving in any direction and funnel it down to the room underneath. The tower's inside tunnel is partitioned in a way that allows air to move around in different directions. A very simple concept that kept the houses cool in the hot scorching desert.
Probably still relevant amidst today's modern day energy and environmental woes.


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