Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Peaks & Valleys"

Brian; United Arab Emirates

Architecture in the UAE;

The tallest building in the world; The Burj Khalifah

Housing in Fujairah

A highway bridge in Dubai

On campus at The American University of Sharjah

Inside the dome of the main building at AUS

Campus minorette, AUS

Part of Dubai's amazing skyline


Newly constructed in Abu Dhabi


 A mosque in Fujairah

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi

A fruit stand in Fujairah

An unexpected temple to the art of Belgian brewing in Abu Dhabi

My favorite type of towers

Jordan on my Mind

Danny; Aaman Jordan
This morning we drove from Abu Dhabi to the Dubai International airport. The UAE is really an amazing place full of old world customs and a modern infrastructure. Amazing buildings, international brands and a 4G network.

We were met by our favorite Dubai airport handlers/facilitators whose job it is to wisk us through the airports different challenges. After a well deserved Starbucks stop, we boarded the plane to Jordan. We are going back there for five days and have some great events planned including a trip to Petra tomorrow. After we landed we got our sim cards all set up and did a happy dance before we left for our hotel. It's great to be in the same hotel for five days and we went to our favorite local resturaunt for a quick bite. The weather is beautiful and cool. We feel like we've returned to our home base in the Middle East.

It's a three hr drive to Petra and we have to get up early. I can't wait to share stories about pics of our adventure tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Goodbye Dubai;)

Danny; Abu Dhabi, UAE

What an evening we had tonight! We played for the anniversary of 40 years of relations between the US and The UAE. There were dignitaries and ambassadors from countries all over the Middle East. We played in the grand ballroom of the Hotel and it was something I'll never forget. The music was so much fun and the audience was wonderful. They were clapping, singing along and Johnny even got a dignitary on stage to conduct the band. Even more fun than the show, was meeting the ambassadors from all the different countries and the Americans living here in the UAE.

Johnny with the US Ambassador to the UAE

This country is so wonderful and everyone who comes here to live and work is better off than where they had previously lived. Natural citizens all go to college for free, there is free health care for everyone and the technology here is remarkable. Everyone is so nice to us and we feel do welcome. I just met an Emerate in the elevator who asked me if I was American & he said he went to grad school in Oregon and he loved it there because it was so beautiful and different from the landscape here in the UAE. He was so cool and we spoke about the beauty of both countries and how I thought the desert was amazing. Everyone I've met on this journey has enriched my life in some way, sometimes just with a smile or a short conversation. I am so thankfull for all the friends I am meeting and will stay in touch with on Facebook.

Remember earlier I spoke about the Falcons and how prevalent they were in this society?

Friendship us the right word for what I've experienced here and will treasure for many years. Art and culture bring us all together and remind us what we have in common. We all create, sing, dance and celebrate life. Isn't that what life is all about?;)

Abu Dhabi

Danny; Abu Dhabi, UAE

We just drove from Fujairah to Dubai and then on to Abu Dhabi. Our hotel is in the center of the city, overlooking the Gulf. It is said that there is so much new construction in the UAE, that the national bird is the crane;) Actually, I think that the Falcon plays an important role in this culture and often on flights, you will see someone with one on their shoulder. For this reason, you can't bring a cat or dog on board, because as you might imagine, it could cause quite a distraction to the hawk;)
We have an hour of downtime before we have to set up in the ballroom, sound check and play a special concert for the Ambassador and his guests. This capital city and hotel are spectacular and again we are being spoiled by this countries hospitality.

On the drive to Abu Dhabi, we saw beautiful desert landscapes dotted with palm trees, camels, bazars mosques and interesting rock mountains.

This Gulf ball is all tee'd up;)

Sheikh Zayed Mosque

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Danny: Fujairah, UAE

Today we drove through the desert (all of the UAE is a dessert) from Dubai to Fujairah, where we played two workshops at the Fujairah Men's College. They bussed in the women from the Fujairah Women's college for the first workshop. There is a strict segregation here between men and women at the schools. Tonight we are playing a concert at the women's college.

This student was playing Hotel California;)

The women were actually more engaging that the men, both groups were shy at first, but the women broke the ice sooner and were braver about asking questions.

College students are the same everywhere and here's another pic that illustrates my point;)

These guys were playing fuss ball and joking around in the student center. Look familiar? ;)

Here are some familiar everyday things we saw on campus, see if you can recognize the brands;)

After the two workshops, we had a wonderful lunch at the cafeteria and made so many new friends.

We got back to our wonderful hotel on the Persian Gulf, which is called, the Arabian Gulf by people over here.

Isn't this Bazzar;) I bought some beautiful gifts here at the hotel.

We had about an hour off and after I had a nice round of Gulf;) we headed off to do an interview with two bright and charming media students from the Women's college.
The school just built a radio studio with support from the US consulate.

These students did such a great job with the interview! We had a great time and all agreed that we are all bound together as humans. Building bridges based on what we all have in common is a good practice and that music is a great way to unite people.
We reminded each other how how lucky we are to be doing what we love, how blessed to travel here and meet such wonderful people and live in such a wonderful world.
Thankful for this moment, right now with you :)

We then did a sound check and got ready for the concert here are some pics from this evening;

After the concert we were given some awards by the college and it's students. We were also given an award from his Highness

What a wonderful world indeed:)