ABU DHABI – A Trip to Emirates Park Zoo

We’ve realised that we actually visit a Zoo once a year and it must be somewhere around the world. Since we are living in Abu Dhabi, we decided to check out Emirates Park Zoo which is different than other places we visited because it is a petting and feeding zoo.

 

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They have shows and cute coffee shops and they release a few animals to walk around and it is also a clinic for injured animals.

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Emirates Zoo also has a resort where you can stay for the night. The place is wonderful for families and especially children because they will learn a lot. One thing I like about the Zoo was there were people walking around wearing a t-shirt that said ‘Educators’. So if you have a question to ask they are right there to assist you.

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1 Year in Abu Dhabi

As of 9th March 2019, Tim and I have been living in Abu Dhabi for a year. I can’t believe how time flies. Since I was commuting to work for 6 months, I didn’t get to discover Abu Dhabi till I resigned from work and became a house wife.

My whole life I’ve been living in UAE. My life was between Sharjah and Dubai for 29 years and then we move to Abu Dhabi and it’s just completely different in the capital. Well the capital is very traditional and the city is built for families unlike Dubai where it’s fun and has an amazing night life. I hated being in Abu Dhabi but after living here for a year, I appreciated a lot of things that I never had in Dubai and Sharjah.

I appreciated how quiet the city is, unlike the other emirates I lived in. Sharjah and Dubai were always noisy and there is always something happening. Also there is no traffic and everyone in the capital are just so laid back and calm unlike Dubai and Sharjah where everything is in a rush. YELLA YELLA YELLA*

*Yella means hurry

Other things I noticed about the city is that it has those quirky nice cafes and restaurants. Abu Dhabi is known for Oil and Gas however there is another side to Abu Dhabi, it is the city of Art and Culture. Louvre is located there and Abu Dhabi has got amazing galleries to visit and a lot of historical and cultural sites to discover. Tim and I spend most of our time in Yas Island because most of the Abu Dhabi events happen there.

Besides the typical hang out at the Malls, there are fun places to visit such as Yas Water Park, Emirates Zoo, Car Museum, Warner Bros, Ferrari World, Observation Deck at Etihad Towers, Yas Circuit and many more.

I’m starting to accept living in Abu Dhabi. I haven’t found a job yet but I’m enjoying my time learning a lot about this city that’s different than the other Emirates.

 

 

What Am I? The Journey To Discovering My Identity.

Being multi-cultural can either be someone who is from one race and has lived in different place/s other than their home country or someone who is a mixed race aka multi-racial. In my case, I am both a multi-cultural/racial individual.

For years, I’ve been struggling with my identity and recently I managed to figure it out. So here, I write a blog post about my journey to finding my identity.

What are you??” Is the impolite question asked by simple-minded people when they first meet me. My reply is always the same to that question by telling them my father is Palestinian and my mother is from the Philippines but I was born and brought up in U.A.E. BUT IT DOESN’T STOP THERE. They continue asking questions like ‘what is your religion?’, ‘do you feel more Arab or more Filipino?’, ‘do you have an Emirati passport?’, …….. the questions go on and on…….

So here is a summary about my ethnicity and religion, lets start with my father. His father (my grand-dad) is a Palestinian Muslim from Haifa and fled to Lebanon in 1948 which made him become a refugee. My grandmother, is Hungarian/Austrian Protestant who travelled to Mandatory Palestine in the 1940s to visit the biblical cities. She travelled around Bethlehem, Nazareth and lastly, Jerusalem where she met my grand-dad. They fell in love and eloped. I have never met her family because they did not approve of us for being Arabs and Muslims. Hence, we only learned the Austrian culture from her and her cooking. My father who is a Palestinian Refugee with Hungarian/ Austrian ethnicity was born and brought up in Beirut, Lebanon. That itself is culture diversity.
Now, lets talk about my mother. She is a Filipina from a Catholic Family in Illocos Norte and Esabella, they come from a province which very much influenced by the Spanish. My family eventually moved to Antipolo, Rizal and the household’s primary language became Tagalog.
Then my parents met in the United Arab Emirates where I was born and brought up. So I was brought up in a household of Palestinian, Lebanese, Emirati, Austrian, Hungarian & Filipino cultures and traditions.  I’d say because I lived in the Middle East all my life my mannerism may be more towards the Arab side but then there’s the Nissreen that loves Karaoke, Ballroom Dancing and Eating Rice. Because of all this cultural diversity I had in my household, I would see the world with a completely different perspective. There are communities for Filipinos, Palestinians, etc and  I couldn’t join any community because I didn’t fit in. My father said do not join a community but rather be friends with people from all around the world.
After my mother died, I suffered a lot internally and specifically my identity but I managed to not show it. I would have group of friends from so many different countries and I would observe everything they’d say or do and I was scared of society and I was so scared to be judged  because I was different so I had to think and act like them to be able to fit in but I wasn’t myself. On top of that all, RELIGION was an issue. My parents taught me not to discriminate about any religion or any religious sector and to always respect anyone’s beliefs whether they are Buddhist, Sikhs, Jews, Atheists, etc. So I’m Muslim and I’m not Shiaa or Sunni or whatever sectors there are because I don’t believe in that. To the Muslims who are reading this post, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) never said he was a Sunni or a Shiaa but called himself a Muslim so I follow what the prophet has taught rather than what society implements in the religion.
There were so many things that I would do different than others and I get insulted for that or teased. By the way, my mother passed away when I was young and my father worked most of the time to financially support us so I had to figure this all out by myself. Until one day, I was introduced to my friend’s friend and when I told her I have an identity crisis and her reply changed the way I think about everything and everyone around me, she said “you have the power to differentiate the bad and the good of both worlds and you have the best of both”. That hit me hard but the society I lived in did not accept change. So I fought a lot to state my opinion and I fought racism in so many different communities. There were times where I cried a lot but my dad told me “you cannot change everyone, you need to understand the way they think and state your opinion in a calm way; make them try to understand you but know this, not everyone can change their opinions. There are stubborn people out there so just show respect.” I was taught that everyone has an opinion and even if we did not reach an agreement we should always debate or discuss with respect. Mocking someone’s religion and ethnicity is not acceptable.
When I met my British husband (…and yes, I know I added another culture in my household) everything I view in this world has changed. I view things differently. I see everyone’s perspective and I managed to understand it. I do not mock or disrespect anyone but if I get upset it is because you have disrespected me.
We live in a world where we must learn from each other and not spread hate. There are things that I do not agree with in other cultures but I understand we are all not the same as long as we respect each others values and that’s the definition of a human-being.
So what am I?
The answer to your question is I’m just a human-being and that is my identity.

ABU DHABI – Visiting Louvre

If you ever visit Abu Dhabi, the Louvre is a must. Well of course, if you are passionate about art and history then it’s highly recommended.

The museum was designed by Jean Nouvel and the museum includes collections of ancient archaeology,  historical paintings and displays from the Roman Empire, Chinese Dynasties, Egypt and many more.

So take an amazing look at the museum whenever you pop by the capital. You will definitely enjoy the experience and the view. Seriously it is breathtaking and the architecture of the building is a masterpiece.

 

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ABU DHABI – Kayaking at Eastern Mangrove

When we moved to Abu Dhabi, we were excited about visiting the Eastern Mangrove. Apparently, it’s one of the best places to go kayaking in UAE.

This time, we invited my friend, Priyanka and her family to join us in our kayaking adventure. What’s cool about the place is that the Mangrove gives a sense of adventure and doesn’t feel like you are in the city.

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February 2019 Recap

I can’t believe we have entered the end of Q1 2019 and it feels like we’ve done nothing so far. Well I’m starting to get a kick start of what I want to do with my life and I’ve been just busy reading and doing lots of research.

For now, we will  put our travel plans on hold because we have lots of things and those plans will affect our finances especially that I’m unemployed it makes it difficult.

However being free also helps me manage our paper work and follow up with necessary documents. I can’t really share what we will be doing but once something comes to place then I will share it with you.

Destinations we’ve visited

Like I said 2019 will be quiet and we have nothing planned yet. However, Tim and I have been going out on weekends to meet up with friends and family so for 2019, we will focus on places we’ve visited in the UAE and particularly Abu Dhabi.

We might be travelling this year to our home countries but other than that nothing planned.

Highlights of the month

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  • Did a semi Abu Dhabi tour with my uncle. (Visited the Car Museum and Warner Bros

 

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What I watched?

Netflix Specials and Series:

The Fix: Humorous way to handle world problems. This show makes me laugh.

Narcos Mexico: I haven’t finished it yet but I’m actually enjoying it.

Perfume: I enjoyed the movie so I thought the series would be interesting to watch but I hated it. This is just my opinion.

Conan Without Borders: So I decided to head back to the gym and during my cardio session I watch Conan Without Borders to keep myself entertained.

The Umbrella Academy: The trailer caught our attention and when I watched the first episode I wasn’t impressed but I continued watching the series and actually enjoyed it.

Movies:

The Princess Switch: CHILDREN’S MOVIE that’s all I can say. My uncle and I decided to watch it because we both adore Vanessa Hudgens #proudfilipinos

Julie & Julia: A funny movie about cooking and I loved it.

Alita: When I first saw the trailer and saw Christoph Waltz; I was like I MUST WATCH THIS MOVIE and we did and I FELL IN LOVE WITH IT.

What I read this month?

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Catch 22: Almost done with the book but I’m enjoying it. It is a classic.

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Crazy Rich Asians: I enjoyed the movie but my friend, Renee got me the book and it’s slightly different but still hilarious.

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What music did I listen to?

What have I blogged about?

Honestly, I wanted to blog a lot more but my cat got ill and we had to take her to the vet. So she’s in constant pain because of the medicine and I usually stay with her most of the time so I didn’t really have time to write anything.

So this is a recap of February 2019 and will keep you posted with our plans and I hope we do get to travel soon 🙂