Middle East meets West: Straddling life between the United Arab Emirates and Northern California.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
The Shelter, Dubai is my kind of shelter.
Usually, when I hear 'The Shelter', I think of, well, a shelter for abused women, or some asylum of that sort. But this place, is really something else.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, the place was 'created' (I had to use that word because it takes real entrepreneurs to turn a warehouse into what you can see in the attached pics) by the Bin Shabib brothers (founders and editors of Brownbook magazine).
They turned a warehouse on Umm Sequim road into an 'incubator' for artists and the creative minds of the city. Basically, there is a cafe, and just a really chilled out place to hang out, read, screen indie movies. It apparently serves as a meeting hub for NGOs such as Promise of a Generation, a Dubai-based NGO created by a couple of young Dubai-based women from across the globe. The members meet to discuss social issues through "respectful intercultural interaction to improve our own understanding of the world and our responsibilities in it."
POAG meets regularly, and they have a facebook group if you are interested in contributing to the conversation. That could be your excuse to visit The Shelter, as well!
I am from two countries.
Neither is really mine.
My body resides in a prosperous city with familiar voices,
but my heart resides in a country that now speaks a language foreign to my ears.
The less poetic version:
Born and raised in the United Arab Emirates. Next nine months in a small town: South Hadley, MA. The three after that in Palo Alto, California. I left my heart in San Francisco, because Israeli security would never let me leave it in Palestine.
And now I am back in Abu Dhabi, the sunny (and humid) capital of the UAE. God knows where I will be next.