Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ring out 2011, ring in 2012

Dubai rings in the New Year... at Burj al-Arab
Adieu 2011, Bonjour 2012. My friends and I ushered in both years on a beach in Dubai watching fireworks from two of the most iconic buildings in the world – Burj al-Arab and Burj Khalifa.

In the same way as fireworks, the New Year kicked off with sparkles and explosions interspersed by intervals of quiet and some darkness. But as with sparklers, you always look forward to the next bang.

The Old Year was thought-provoking on the personal and general levels. The Arab Spring, the continuing economic meltdowns, the Acts of God, the new challenges and innovations and the people we lost or welcomed to the world during the past 12 months… are now locked in our minds and hearts.

On a personal level, the Old Year was stimulating, with its ups and downs.

Dubai's Burj Khalifa rings in 2012. Photo by my friend Derrick Pereira
Luckily, my sister, my brother and his family, my extended family and friends are in good health and working, which is the biggest blessing. I hope that carries into 2012.

After a difficult start to 2011, I was fortunate to spend six months on and off in Beirut on a job. I learned a lot and rekindled my love affair with the city I had left for 20 years thanks to the kindness and generosity of family and friends.

The fireworks at Burj al-Arab
And when the sparkles and fireworks fell silent for a few months in September, they shone again and I was offered another opportunity in Dubai that is going well.

Mich Café in the Old Year was a continuous challenge, enjoyment and passion. You, the readers, have been most generous with your time on the blog. This encourages me to keep going. I thank you one and all.

I look forward to the coming 12 months and all the adventures along the way.

Happy New Year, Happy 2012!