Watched Globe Trekker tonight on PBS. They toured through Kuwait, UAE, and Oman. Such a balanced, down-to-earth look at this region brimming with change.
Kuwait seems so desperate to move on from the 1990 invasion, but also wants to desparately hold on to the memory. The environmental destruction wrought by the war from the torching of the oil fields is so tremendous. But they saved 90% of the oil from those fields.
The UAE is booming at an almost alarming rate. The traveller stayed at the Burj al Arab for about 2000USD per night 😯 Well, for this kind of price-tag, you do get your very own butler with your two-story suite, which makes it easier to drop that kind of money on a place to put your feet up after the exhausting business of travelling! So, the UAE has women’s only shopping centers–so cool! And the sand dunes…my goodness, just rolling hills of sand, over which camels once trod endlessly.
Oman appears to have a good balance between the old and new–appears less hectic, more livable, and absolutely gorgeous with its natural springs. Apparently there is a tomb of Ayoub (AS) outside the city of Salalah, and is supposed to be the resting place of the father of Sayidina Mariam (the Virgin Mary).
As the traveller Megan McCormick concluded: Kuwait is caught between looking over its shoulder, haunted by the Gulf War, and looking forward to Westernization; the UAE is hurtling full-scale into the future, with nary a backward glance; and Oman appears to have found its balance; and underneath it all, the unifying heartbeat that gives this region its majesty is the powerful force of Islam. I wish I had her exact words, she stated it so beautifully!
Well, that is a traveller’s perspective. I wonder how the locals perceive the changes, how the reality of living in the center of the world really feels…