Jetlagged and beyond jetlagged, seeing as I – as per usual – didn’t sleep at all on the flight here, I am wired and of course excited to be in Dubai. Can’t sleep. Did I miss one night or two nights, with the time difference? So confusing. What day is it? I should be exhausted. And I was. But I think I subconsciously knew I would be woken up at 4:30 a.m. for morning prayer.
And so I was.
Whew, that’s early. I might have just fallen asleep. Morning prayer, and then prayer five more times throughout the day, is loud. It’s emphatic and melodious and quite nice really, except it takes some getting used to, especially when it startles you awake. Earplugs will be a regular. Echoing on loud speakers across the city and from mosques in the entire UAE, you can hear it wherever you are. There is a mosque every 100 feet.
I wait until the Arabic singing has stopped, and close my eyes again. But then our local imam starts up again, summoning to the neighbourhood that prayer was starting. I learn that the first section of singing is to rouse everyone to come to prayer, and then the second part was like a last call of sorts. Just when you start to fall asleep again … I can hear the other mosques echoing in the distance, the different imams singing, the different voices, the varied melodies. It’s all quite cool. Loving it despite the tired.
TIP: Bring earplugs but embrace your environment.
Published journalist, world traveller, big thinker, fun haver