Friday, December 12, 2008

Learning and Sharing Music

If you had happened to be at Wafi City mall this evening, you will have soon been tapping your feet. Popular Music Institute, one of the best know n music schools in Dubai was presenting its students at the annual winter recital. It was an evening to remember.

The young students of PMI put up a stellar performance establishing once again the quality of the musicians it produces. From F
unk to Jazz, the students presented a complete repertoire of skills.
My favorite of the evening were of course, the Blues Jammers who ended the show on a high. The star of the day (or rockstar?) was clearly the little bass guitarist Fernando Alarcon. Standing a few inches taller than his bass guitar, the rockstar jammed up beautifully along with Christoph, Trevayne and Tony to belt out a unique v ersion of Lucille.

My other favourite of the evening was Ms Jessica Williamson,
a rather inconspicuous little drummer who lets the snare do the talking.

Trevayne Fernandes did a wonderful job as the M.C. for the even ing.

The other performers include andrew Gerdak, Dylon Tong, Valentine Ortega, Seena Akbari, George Davies, Michael Coates Evans, Tyler Henrie, Abhik Sampat, Lewis Tanoyo, Farbod Shavarebi, Jordan Henrie, Neema Mahmoodi, Klaus Proschold, Joel Davies, Kailash Soni, Yashavi Zaveri, Pranti Zaveri, Christoph Mahler and Tony

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Mushrif Park

The long Eid holidays provided a good opportunity to explore places I'd not been to before.

Mushrif Park is a huge facility spread across 5.25 square kilometres located on the eastern outskirts of the city. Go across the Emirates Road on the Khawaneej Road heading towards Mirdiff. Look for directions about 4 kilometres ahead and turn right to get into the park facility.

Mushrif Park was created in the late 70's and was later refurbished in 1989 into its present layout. This park is a bit different from other parks in Dubai as it combines neatly manicured lawns and flower beds with the natural desert feel and foliage.

The large size of the park gives you the feeling of space and quiet. Even though it attracts as many visitors as the other popu
lar parks in Dubai, Mushrif Park always looks peaceful and without the clutter seen in other parks during holidays.

The other unique feature of this park is the vast areas left intact with their natural desert like feel.

25°13′10″N 55°27′02″E

Monday, December 8, 2008

Eid Mubarak

Dubai Photo Story wishes its Muslim readers EID MUBARAK on the occasion of Eid Al Adha

Eid al-Adha
is a religious festival celebrated by Muslims worldwide in commemoration of the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. The devil tempted Ibrahim to spare his son and go against the will of God. However, Ibrahim did as God wanted and as Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son, God intervened and instead provided a lamb as the sacrifice.

In commemoration on Eid Al Adha, Muslims sacrifice a lamb (or a goat) as a remembrance of this act by Ibrahim.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Art of making a Mushaltat

An overcast sky and light drizzles make an ideal time to dig your teeth into a Mushaltat. It was more by accident that design than we ended up stopping by at a pastry shop which infact makes 'customised' mushaltats to suit your craving for the day.

As the owner of the shop explained to me, mushaltat is originally an Egyptian snack but is very popular in Dubai. Its like a cross between the pizza and paratha, a flat bread made of refined wheat and stuffed with your choice of stuffing including cheese, sausage, chicken, za'atar or honey.

The refined wheat flour is first kneaded and rolled out into thin cakes. The skilled baker that wakes this flour cake in thin air to stretch it into a very thin sheet (see image above) which forms the base for the mushaltat. This act is performed like he is almost in a trance!.

It is then laid out across the table and is now ready for the fillings. We opted for the simple 'Kraft' cheese with a topping of honey. The paper thin sheet is that folded into a small square shape and ready to hit the oven. The owner swears by his decades old brick oven and stays clear of the new modern electronic ovens. The mushaltat is baked for about 5 minutes after which it got a fair helping of honey sprinkled over it.

So the next time you feel the urge for a quick snack, head out to the local bakery or pastry shop and try out the Mushaltat.

Monday, December 1, 2008

37th National Day of UAE

Here's wishing all citizens and residents of UAE on the occasion of 37th National Day.

In 1968, the United Kingdom decided to end the relationship with the seven Trucial Sheikhdoms which had been, together with Bahrain and Qatar, under British protection. Despite attempts by the nine territories to form a union of Arab Emirates, they were unable to agree on the terms of the union. Bahrain moved out of the proposed union in August 1971 followed by Qatar in September 1971.

On 2nd December 1971, the six emirates excluding Ras Al Khaima from among the seven agreed to enter into a union called United Arab Emirates. Ras Al Khaima later joined the union in early 1972.

Pictured above is Union House, a significant part of UAE history. The agreement to form the UAE, the Arab world's first federation of states, was signed by the President, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the late Ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister and Vice-President of the UAE, and Rulers of other emirates at a meeting in the Union House on December 2, 1971.

On 2nd December 2001, the now famous flagpole was installed at Union House to commemorate the National Day. The 120 metres tall flagpole holds a large flag measuring 40 mtrs x 20 mtres.


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