Published: March 1st 2011
February 25th 2011
I was told by people in staffing of this wonderful resort bathed in sunshine, surrounded by plam treees and sand with water views. In this paradise, everything was to be catered for, and like the best Clubmeds, there would be little incentive to leave its happy walls and experience anything of the country around it.
I was a bit surprised to find this out-of-the-way resort was fully booked when I arrived. The room I had reserved had gone to another, and I was shown the Lilac room - mmmm. Luckily, within a week, I got an upgrade, and in just another 5, 6 or 20 months, I'll get an apartment.
The resort is surrounded by an entertaining theme park with a focus on guns and violence, where nothing can go wrong; go wrong; go wrong.
But beyond that there's a surprising city of friendly people, great food and interesting culture. No one speaks Arabic to me, because they correctly assume I struggle even with English. But I listen to them talk to others, and it is lovely. It has a melody that blends harsh sounds in a rhythm and tone that is relaxing and encourages attention. I've started
learning. My Arabic is not melodious, and perhaps it is not intelligible, but I like it.
It is also an interesting time to be in the Middle East. People have come on to the streets in most countries. A contact here described it to me as a "benign infection". The Prime Minister of Iraq suggested Iraq may be the safest place to be in the Middle East. Perhaps. It seems safe enough to me.
There are more photos below