Saturday, August 30, 2014

Abu Dhabi: My New Home

 Although this blog is titled "Semester in Amman" it encompasses many of my experiences outside of the United States. This post marks my arrival in the United Arab Emirates. The picture to the left is the welcome basket I received from NYUAD upon my arrival to the new campus on Saadiyat Island. It was a pleasant welcome after nearly twenty hours of travel. I will work for NYU Abu Dhabi as a Global Academic Fellow in the Writing Program throughout the 2014-15 academic year. The last time I posted was just over a year ago. At that time I was conducting research at the Archivo General de Indias in Seville, Spain. Residents of souther Spain call the region "el sarten" or the frying pan. The heat in Spain and Jordan was not enough to prepare me for the weather in Abu Dhabi. Before I arrived I was under the impression that I would be spending the next ten months in a dry heat, as I had experienced in Jordan. My glasses fogged up when I first walked out of the Abu Dhabi airport and now every time I exit an air conditioned building.

During my second week my fellow GAF's and I visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. It was awe inspiring. That day I also experienced my first sandstorm. If you look closely at the picture above you might notice the blurring effect of the sand that still remained in the air as the winds subsided. Below is the view from the center of the NYU campus.

Yesterday I visited Dubai with a large contingent of the NYUAD community. I took the elevator up the Burj Khalifa to the 124th floor. It felt like the glass elevator at the end of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. We ascended so quickly that our ears popped several times. I was under the impression that the elevator would take my group to the top of the tower. When we exited out onto the viewing platform I stared upwards to find that another 80+ floors towered over us! The Burj is truly a modern marvel. Before I write any more, I must cut this post short. Tomorrow is the first day of classes and it is getting late. Thanks for reading.