After 32 hours in planes and airports, I arrived home on Saturday from my two week tour in the Middle East. My schedule was booked solid with performances and workshops in three countries; Kuwait, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, where I was met with warm welcomes and generous hospitality. Smiles and giggles were abundant as teachers and students learned some unusual food names from Louisiana, and even more giggles ensued when I attempted to pronounce Middle Eastern food names like balaleet, machboose, briyani and sammoosa. No matter how you pronounce them, these foods tasted delicious!
I did manage to find a few moments to be a tourist. I walked on the beach of the Arab (Persian) Gulf, shopped in souks in downtown Manama, Bahrain with my friend Fatema, saw camels roaming the desert and goats climbing rugged mountain terrain in Fujairah, UAE, saw a ski slope in a mall in Dubai, drove through two sand storms and shared meals with many new friends in the region.
The trip was quite memorable and enjoyable and I have been asked to return for another tour in March 2009. Shokran (thanks) to all of my hosts as well as all the educators and children who attended my workshops and performances. I hope to see you all next year!