My Abu Dhabi Life

I took these pictures to give you an idea what my daily life is like in Abu Dhabi. I also wanted to remember the extraordinary people with whom I shared my time here.  

Mary, who runs the front desk at the Royal Ramee Hotel. We bonded over being from the Philippines. I love seeing her face every afternoon when I get home. I think the feeling is mutual.  
Guard at the entrance to Khalifa University. We always wave and smile, even though we don’t know each other. I’m not awake until I see his face.
Second guard. I wave at him, he salutes me.
Larry Davies, a pal from Peace Corps Kenya, who lives here now. He treated us a to Korean Dinner! How is it that Larry and I have both happened to call Kenya and Abu Dhabi home? We also had a meal together in Seoul back in the late ’80s. I know our paths will cross again. Kwaheri kwa sasa, rafiki!
Two great ladies behind the counter at Subway on campus. They giggle a lot over the fact I was born in the Philippines, too.
The barista at Costa coffee shop on campus. I often buy sandwiches and fruit from him because my coffee needs are covered by the man in the next picture.
My sweet colleague Prabul, from Bangladesh, who is the “coffee boy” for our building. He brings me two cups every morning — one cup at a time, of course. We always smile and greet each other. 
My wonderful (and pregnant with her fourth child) colleague Areej. She is spectacular, inside and out. She manages the events for KU. I really love this lady and have enjoyed many lunches with her. She’s introduced me to food from all over the Arab region. She speaks her mind about everything — and is usually right.


This is Mohamed, our photographer. He is a prankster, and keeps us in stitches. Mohamed has lived in New Jersey, Switzerland, Canada, Germany, but calls Abu Dhabi home. Glad to call him friend.
Amna. Stunning. Smart. Sweet. She works full time as a graphic designer for KU, while getting her Master’s degree at the Sorbonne here. She is an incredible artist and young woman. I simply adore her.
This is Momen, head of PR. He makes sure the Arab press writes about KU nearly every day. Momen can seem grumpy because he’s a fierce worker, but he has a heart of gold. He’s also a superb photographer and an avid SCUBA diver.
This is my Sumita. Yes, she’s mine. No, she’s very much her own person. Sumita’s parents are from India, but she was born in Abu Dhabi. Sumita is our web guru. I have learned much from her about content and web management. To say that I will miss her is an understatement.
This guy. Omar. Boss . VP. A man I will never forget for his humor, his talent and his empathy. I’d work for him again, any time and anywhere. So lucky to call him a forever friend.
Erin is from Cape Breton, but has lived in the Gulf Region for 10 years. She also taught English in South Korea. We sat across from each making sure all the English at KU is grammatically correct. Erin has two adorable young children. She’s sworn to add my plant to her list of things to do.
Sayed. I still can’t pronounce his name properly even though it seems simple enough. I also can’t say enough about this guy. He’s our chief designer and event planner. Sayed is best known for saying, “Why should I care?” and “It’s okay.” I will best remember him for the beautiful person he is.
Mohamed switched our faces on this one. It’s uncanny how much my face on Sayed seems normal. From the day I met him, I thought he looked like a Bercaw. Here’s the proof! This photo also serves as proof of the fun we have together.
Our parting shot. I’m waving goodbye. Mohamed is clowning around. Suffice it to say, I would never turn my backs on these people. Goodbye Team! Shukron for the memories.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Allan Nicholls says:

    Great photo memory!

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Momen says:

    Oh my God Nancy! I feel so bad that I missed you today. I’m sure we will stay in touch though and I would love to hear from you often. If I was ever in the same place where you are, I will make sure we meet so please do the same too. Thank you for all the hard work and great memories. God bless you.

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