We arrived in Abu Dhabi late on Thursday night. What a welcome from Grace and Rob. It was even warmer than the Middle Eastern atmosphere that engulfed our bodies as we disembarked the Etihad aircraft. Their life in this city is obviously blissful and their home in the suburbs a true sanctuary. One of the most incredible revelations was that they never EVER need to lock their house door, and car keys could be left in an unlocked car. Crime is not tolerated it’s true, but the underpinning philosophy of the locals is that they wouldn’t take anything that that didn’t belong to them! Amazing.
The visit to this Mosque was mind blowing. A spiritual experience. An education. My limited knowledge of Islam derived from working as a community midwife in Blackburn meant that I was pleasantly surprised to be allowed in the place of worship. As a female and a Christian, admittance would normally be prohibited. A pre-requisite was that we wore robes, Robin and Paul wore white, and Grace and I black (hijab)….with head cover too. We adorned the clothes in the intense heat, and made our way wide-eyed through the lavish golden temple. When questioned by another, the guide gave an interesting rationale of why women couldn’t pray at the Mosque, with a perfectly planned positive spin. My cynical feminist spirit was aroused many times during our stay in AD. But I could not fail to admire the peace and perceived safety of being there.