Tuesday, April 1, 2008

And then there was the wedding...

As I was leaving the dinner last night, I was walking with my colleague Chris O'Neal and as we came around the corner in the convention hall, we noticed a large number of Arab men and a red carpet. Chris noticed that there were some musical instruments and before we knew it, music and a sort of chanting began. We found out that it was actually a wedding party - the male half anyway. We were mesmerized by all of this. The pictures do not do it justice. Chris ran to the hotel and got his video camera so I'm hoping get that video file from him. The melody was contagious. Apparently, this is how most weddings take place here. The women were somewhere else in the hall (this convention center is HUGE) doing something similar but perhaps not quite as demonstrative as the men. This went on for a good 20 minutes or so. Another colleague (an Emirati) explained everything to us and even took Chris and I over to the groom to tell him congratulations in Arabic - "Ma Brook." It was totally cool and a member of the groom's party took a picture with me. Once they were done, the women joined them long enough for the bride and groom to get together. Then those two leave and the two groups have their own celebrations. Oh, and the red carpet....that was there in case a Sheik showed up. Many times one will attend if invited.

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