Posts Tagged ‘Middle Eastern culture’

Arab-themed Quilts at Local Quilt Show

May 22nd, 2012 6 comments

Today I trekked to my neighborhood quilt shop Craft Land to see a local quilt show. Dubai quilters, many of them students, created the quilts on display. It was a small show, but amongst the traditional quilts I found, as I do at every Dubai quilt show I attend, some Arab-themed and regional themed quilts.

The quilt below is “Arabian Inspirations” by Mary Nisbet.

Below is a quilt entitled “You Don’t See this at Home” by Maureen Wilson. It features all the symbols of the UAE, made with the colors of the sand.

These are details from the quilt “Reflections” by Leslie McKinlay.










Below is a quilt entitled “Pharoah’s Tent” by Ansie Vanderwalt, based on the traditional appliqué made by Egyptian quilters in the Tentmaker Quarter in Cairo.

This piece is in the category of wearable art–a jacket with appliqué of the skyline of Dubai. Yes, that is the Burj Khalifa.

This quilt has a regional theme; it’s called “Unforgettable Sri Lanka” by Mandy Peden. I like the elephant motif and the beaded trim.

Finally, here’s a spectacular quilt made by Suzette Pont, entitled “Circle of Friends.” Not Arab-themed, but one of my favorites.

The quilt show is running through this Saturday. It’s in Town Center Mall on Jumeira Beach Road. (Details to the left)

My next goal is to see the Dubai International Quilt Show, which I missed this year.

Question: Have you been to a quilt show in Dubai?


A Year of Blogging

May 20th, 2012 14 comments

Thank you to all the new followers and readers of my blog. I appreciate your support and encouraging comments. The past year has flown by—70 posts, so much to blog about.

Who knew?

Meanwhile, here is a review of some of my favorite posts from the past year, in case you missed one.

Cultural Posts

I started this blog with the post Sharing my Zeal, which explained my original goals. So, I’m wondering … have I brought down barriers between Arabs and non-Arabs? Well, my eldest son tells me I should simply work on bringing down barriers between myself and my Arab in-laws. Ha Ha Ha. Teenagers are so funny.

My most popular cross-cultural posts were the three-part series I wrote about Raising Arabic-Speaking Children. These posts generated a lot of questions and comments from other parents—many more successful with biligualism than we have been.

Another noteworthy post was Our Desert Dog. I was hesitant to blog about my pet, but my writers group encouraged me to go ahead with it. It indeed struck a chord, as some of the comments from readers were posts by themselves.

For those of you who are writers, you might appreciate my piece Writing about another Culture. I offer tips on how to avoid cultural stereotypes and clichés in your writing.

Food Posts

I started out the blog thinking I might include “a few recipes.” Well, I’ve gradually discovered that I enjoy developing Arab recipes and taking photos of food. It has thrilled me to learn that people actually prepare my dishes. Not only that—three other bloggers have blogged about testing my recipes—with positive results. Wow. That made me happy.

I guess my favorite food posts are the Ma’amoul recipes—Arab pastry secrets revealed! Also, I like my Grilled Halloumi Salad post. After all, I eat that salad nearly every day.

Look forward to more recipes coming up—especially during Ramadan. I’m now working on printable recipes. Stay tuned.

Book Reviews

I’ve stumbled a bit with my book reviews. However, now I think I figured it out: keep them short and sweet. Focus on new books that people want to know more about.

My most popular book review was a review of five books: Memoirs by Western Women Married into Arab Culture. I received lots of positive feedback on that. I also enjoyed writing a review of my favorite Palestinian memoir: In Search of Fatima. I love this book.

Travel Stories

The travel story of the year that I am most proud of is about our family trip to Mecca: My Umrah. I also liked my post Journey to Jerusalem, a story that will always stay with me.

Thank you again for reading. It’s been a fun year, and I look forward to another 70 posts, which I hope will not disappoint.

Question: What kind of posts would you like to see in the upcoming year?

Laughter Therapy with Aron Kader

April 2nd, 2012 16 comments

Like a teenage groupie, I anticipated the latest comedy show of Aron Kader in Dubai.

The first time I saw Aron Kader was during the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour about four years ago, also in Dubai. That troupe included the likes of Ahmed Ahmed and his hilariously inappropriate jokes, as well as Moz Jabroni, from Iran: “I am Persian. Meow.”

But the one who stood out to me was Aron Kader. Of course, I related to his family background (American Mom, Palestinian Dad). But really, it was his impersonations that pulled me in. He is the master of accents: Arab immigrant, American redneck, Australian, and more.

When I first saw him on stage, Aron came out telling jokes in heavily accented English. As he went on speaking like a Jordanian tour guide, I was thinking, Wait, isn’t he supposed to be American? Finally, he switched to his regular American accent. Wow. He fooled me.

I appreciated his take on George Bush. Oh, how we needed a laugh during the Bush Years. Most vividly I remember his interpretation of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin in Palestine—examining the Palestinian people in their natural habitat: “They are very territorial.”

So, Aron Kader was back in Dubai where he’s been offering a Comedy Workshop via Dubomedy and performing along with other comedians. The show on April 1st marked the fourth anniversary of Dubomedy, a comedy and urban arts school in Dubai.

The unofficial theme of the night was cultural differences. To be honest, I love making fun of different cultures and nationalities (particularly Arabs). So, I was in the right place last night at the Centerpoint Theater at the Mall of the Emirates.

The host for the evening was Mina Liccione, an Italian-American comedienne from New York, based in Dubai. I saw her perform once before at an all-women comedy show on The Palm Island. Now she’s newly married to fellow comedian Ali Al Sayed (both co-directors of Dubomedy). And as a member of a large Arab family, Mina has a wealth of new material, including Arab mother-in-law jokes: “We get along great. She doesn’t speak English!”

The show also briefly featured two emerging comedians, Omar and Ray. Next up was Emirati Ali Al Sayed, who affectionately mocked other nationalities, with a special emphasis on Indians, Lebanese and Jordanians. His line about Jordanians: “The nicest rude people in the world.”

And finally the headliner, Aron Kader. I was excited to see his new material.

He made fun of people who brag (more jokes about Lebanese). He explained why Arab houses are never haunted. (Arabs would invite the ghost to stay on as a houseguest.) Aron didn’t miss a chance to impersonate George Bush (his signature shtick), as well as Barak Obama (naturally not as funny—what to do?)

For me, the funniest part was Aron recounting his visit to his Palestinian relatives in Palestine. He illustrated the “thin line between hospitality and being held hostage.”

Oh, how I can relate.

Aron Kader is a comedian based in Hollywood, CA at the Comedy Store. He was the first person to formally teach comedy in the Middle East. He was one of the co-founders of the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour.

Question: Have you seen Aron Kader perform? Or any of the other Dubomedy or Axis of Evil comedians?