Al Ain has been getting itself all prettied up. This is Al Ain Fort which is now a museum. These forts were actually used as recently as the 1950s when Saudi Arabia was making big land grabs in the region and Sheikh Sayed (the father of the UAE) held him off with a combination of troops, who were station at these types of forts, and negotiations. At one point, the Saudis offered Sheikh Sayed $42 million dollars for one small area but were turned down.
As an interesting sidenote to the conflict with the Saudis, there are still undefined borders here and things seem to shift in the sand. Some friends of mine were camping the dunes last long weekend and were told to move by the UAE border patrol as the Saudis had spotted them and wanted them further back from the border. My friends have no idea how they were spotted so there may be some technology in use.
As well as copious amounts of lights and banners, there have also been fireworks and will be more around town before the week is out. These ones went on for at least five minutes and had lots of the national colours of red and green.
Our college had it's own celebrations yesterday. They started out with music and dancing done by an all male group.
Which was enjoyed by everyone...especially the kids.
I dressed up again for the occasion which my students thought was hilarious and they spent a lot of time taking photos of me and with me. I can't show any of the photos with my students here because that's not allowed (as I've mention in previous blog posts).
My friend Gerry also had a birthday this week so we all went out for a really good Indian dinner.
I hope she got her wish.