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A lull! A short break between work and school means one of two things : trip or break.

This time? A little laying back, a little relaxing – and in this case, a little remembering… Yep, here come a few more Dubai posts…

Before we visited Jumeirah Mosque, we were warned not to be disappointed – this was not, we were told, like the Sheikh Zayid Mosque in Abu Dhabi, which we’d already seen. They were right – it’s very different. The value of this mosque isn’t measured in its trappings and decorations. While it’s beautiful, Jumeirah Mosque’s real value lies in its congregation and the experience its members provide to guests and visitors.

A British woman led our tour, which started outside the mosque with a description of the washing ritual that cleanses worshipers before they attend services. Before we went left, Chrystall took photos as Evan attempted the ritual himself.

Once inside the mosque, our guide introduced us to the building and its community. She covered basic principles like the five pillars of Islam, described services and demonstrated prayers. She also took a wide range of questions from the audience, which had a people from all over the world and different experiences and backgrounds.

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Tonight, the Burj Dubai opened, renamed as the Burj Khalifa. Many made it downtown to the event, including some of our team from ASU, and even more watched the event from all over the city including this group near the Mercato Shopping Mall in Jumeirah. But the event wasn’t just about a building opening – the 4th of January is 4th anniversary of Sheikh Mohammed becoming the ruler of Dubai – check out the last picture of the Burj al-Arab wishing him the best. A few more photos can be found by posters like nileshzw, who’s already linked photos to the Burj Khalifa’s location on Google Maps, as well as more coverage through Gulf News and Dubai City Guide.

If you look backwards at my blog, you’ll see why I’m visiting Dubai and some of the recent news I looked at before I came. I’ll be updating shortly on the trip so far – including how I ended up trying something completely new, spontaneous, and totally unexpected – so check back to see what’s been happening and what will happen next.

Also, while you’re here, tell me what you think about fireworks – what’s your favorite kind, favorite color, or favorite fireworks memory?

Burj Khalifa fireworks (January 2010)

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