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Category Archive for 'Abu Dhabi'

With its stunning cover, contrasting the architectural details of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque with the elemental sand which is its underpinning, Denise Roig’s collection of interconnected stories opens a vibrantly exotic and alien world to English-speaking readers. Illustrating the disparities of social life within the United Arab Emirates as lived by those who make up its oil-rich economy, these stories highlight universal themes within domestic circumstances which every reader will be able to appreciate: a pastry chef from Egypt, so poor he has to sleep inside a flour bag, wants to present a special gift to the sheikh he admires and who employs him; a Filipina servant woman begs to borrow a cellphone from a neighbor woman in order to escape her abusive circumstances; a doctor delivers the baby of a fourteen-year-old girl, who has no idea what is happening to her; a limo driver voluntarily takes the obnoxious son of his employer to see an experimental “green city” where both learn an important lesson; a newcomer to Abu Dhabi endangers the status quo by “overpaying” her help; an Anglican priest, a Catholic bishop, and a sheikh meet to discuss how to bring the country into the twenty-first century in terms of its thinking. These are just a few of the characters who come and go and sometimes overlap within stories illustrating the contrasts between the lives of the sheikhs and those of their help, and the foreign professionals who live in the middle.

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