Today we also got up early to head to the beach (and I realized that this means that I have been to the beach four out of the eight days we’ve been here!) Marina generously offered to drive six of us Harvard kids to the beach, and this time we went closer to 10am.
It was so nice swimming and chatting in the water. We did see a few jellyfish, but overall it was a great beach day. It’s these moments of sitting in the beautiful water with the sun shining that I’m going to have to remember back in chilly Cambridge! After the beach we headed to pick up lunch from Zataar w Zeit (just like that first breakfast we had in Dubai!) We ate it on the ride back to the hotel, took super-quick showers and then headed off to AUD.
Wael and Sara had created a hilarious video recapping our experiences here at AUD. It was so great to watch it and remember ALL that we had done in the span of just eight days and to laugh at all our crazy inside jokes!
After the video, we headed to yet another mall. Inside the mall was a fitness studio and that was where we were going to have our belly dancing class! The class was taught by an Argentinian woman at a pretty fast pace, but nonetheless it was so much fun to be dancing alongside most of the Harvard students and some of the AUD students (and, even better, we were dancing to a Shakira song!) I was also very happy to get my body moving before the 20+ hours of travel we had coming up!
After the class we headed to Wael’s house, where his mom (and he!) had prepared the nicest dinner for us all, complete with appetizers, a main-course buffet and cupcakes for dessert! It was so wonderful being at a real house and savoring delicious home-cooked food before we had to enter the world of airline food, followed by the world of dhall food.
Once dinner was over, I was able to play DJ and of course put some Beyoncé on! Sara and I had a blast dancing (essentially in a corner of Wael’s lawn) to different Beyoncé and other upbeat songs. Move Your Body is one of my favorite songs ever (it’s essentially Beyoncé’s “Get me bodied” but she changed the lyrics to go along with Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign). It’s very upbeat and the lyrics literally tell you what to do. Sara and I went all out dancing to this song and others.
Afterwards, we put on Waka Waka and everyone started dancing with us! It was one of the nights I’m never going to forget – all of us, dancing the night away, under the Dubai skyline on a perfect summer night.
Unfortunately, though, we had to get back to our hotel to finish packing (and I wanted to shower again!) We got all ready and then headed off to the airport.
I had already called shotgun in Sara’s car a few hours ago (mainly so I could blast Beyoncé one last time) and we had so much fun singing along to Beyoncé on the way to the airport. Sara’s car for some reason has a really strong bass, and that made many songs (especially Yonce and Partition) that much more energizing!
The AUD students went through check-in with us, but we had to say our emotional goodbyes before heading through security. Yet again, I will save you those thrilling plane details, but about 24 hours after we left Dubai, we landed in Cambridge (we got back to our dorm rooms around 4:15pm on Sunday Boston time!)
I’ve been thinking, I’ve been thinking…. (no, wait, that sounds too much like Drunk in Love!) But seriously, I’ve been thinking about week-long periods in my life that have stood out for one reason or another, and I honestly believe that this past week in Dubai was one of the best weeks of my life. The combination of wonderful people, places, and events truly made this a week to remember! The AUD students were able to pack SO much into this one week and I cannot thank them enough for all they did with and for us.
In conclusion, I’d like to wrap up with a top-10 amazing Dubai moments list (in no particular order):
1) Riding a camel (and getting henna) in the middle of the desert
2) Learning about and exploring the futuristic Masdar City
3) Going to the beach multiple times
4) Visiting the beautiful Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
5) Seeing all the crazy malls Dubai has to offer (complete with an indoor ski slope, aquarium, etc.)
6) Amazing farewell dinner at Wael’s house
7) Going to the top of the Burj Khalifa and seeing the incredible fountain show
8) Cruising through the desert
9) Meeting president Clinton!
10) Belly dancing and then dancing with everyone at Wael’s party
Thank you all, once again, for such an amazing week and I really do hope that we all stay in touch!
For now, it’s time to finish up this spring semester – YALLA!
Until next time,