My Nostalgia for the Middle East

The Middle East has been like a long time friend of mine. Having lived and visited most of the countries in that region, with Yemen, Bahrain, Oman, and Egypt being among my favourites, and cities like Beirut, Cairo and Shiraz being among my top ten favourite cities in the world.

Whenever I come to the Middle East it always feels like I am "coming home",as there are many things which attract me and I get a sense of being lured back each time, especially if I hadn't been back for a while.
I will attempt to share just a few of the enchantments which keep calling me back again and again.

 The neon signs at night illuminating in Arabic writing while wandering around at night.
(internet photo)

Enjoying local comfort food with friends. A place which stays open until late and has a men's feel to it serving simple, uncomplicated fresh hummus and warm "eysh" or خبز (bread) and tea!

Smiling and flirting at handsome guys who are sitting and having coffee in a Sana'a cafe, and watching them smile and flirt back!

Driving with a bunch of local guys out into the desert, far from the city lights and watchful eyes enjoying the immense power and peace of the desert, frolicking around the way fun guys do, and either camping out under the stars at night, or returning back to the city    
 internet pics

Call to Prayer (Adhan) sounds in stereophonic symphony at night throughout huge cities like Cairo, (enjoying the sounds and the feeling without adhering to the responsibility and obligation attached to it)

Enjoying sheesha with local friends, whilst listening to old favourites from Umm Khalthoum or Warda in a ramshackle looking sheesha cafe until very early in the morning.

 internet pic
internet pic

Following behind the coattails of my friend into a lavish lunch at the villa of a royal family member.

(internet pic) 
Going wild in a gay club in Beirut until late at night and spending the night at your Lebanese friend's place.

Hamam party anyone? I have had fun experiences in hamam in Morocco, Yemen, and Istanbul.

A certain male to male "connectedness" feeling, from the checkout man and the baker who knows what you are going to order immediately as you enter the supermarket to fun loving friends who stay with you and snuggle up and lying with you together sharing a cozy sofa and making you feel like you are precious.

Experiencing ancient Persian splendour in a journey around Iran, and tasting different foods!
 camel curry ( my pic)

Being called out by my friends to go with them cruising around together in their flashy car, late at night. Driving wild, carefree, and going no where in particular, but just being together.

I've never been to Israel. I need a new passport to go there I suppose, ( unless I should enjoy being in the interrogation room to explain my passport stamps)

We all know that the Middle East is changing and so is the rest of the world.  It is my wish that through all the changes there will continue to be good, good food, good long lasting friendships, and an openness to welcome in the new as well as embrace traditions which are cherished, and remain nostalgic throughout life!
We should all share respect, and kindness to whomever we meet, as kindness is love. Love is peace and we need to spread this worldwide.


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