Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Gold Columns and Reflecting Pool, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE
© Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

In the United Arab Emirates, the concept of wasta is well known. It is an Arabic word roughly meaning "clout" and refers to the practice of receiving favors from influential people. It is much like the saying "it is not what you know, but who you know." Recently, Becky and I were fortunate to benefit from an extraordinary dose of wasta. Her cousin and husband work for the Abu Dhabi Education Council, and were generous enough to bring us over to the UAE for two weeks on an unforgettable visit.

Over the next several weeks I will share with you a collection of my photographs from our Arabian adventure. All these posts are dedicated to Debi and Dale... 

we can't thank you enough for your hospitality, 
offered in the true spirit of Bedu tradition!

Pictured above is a contemplative moment at Abu Dhabi's Grand Mosque, one of the world's largest and one of the few where non-Muslims are permitted to enter. Just before I took this picture the call to prayer was sung by the muezzin. It echoed throughout the majestic courtyard and into the city... 

a beautiful and stirring moment.


  1. Wow Doug! That is one inspiring photograph. Can't wait to see other selections from you trip.

  2. Never ending feeling and some awesome light and colors.
    Really like this one.

  3. Wonderful shapes that are reflected in the water.

  4. this is a stunning beginning. i'm eager to see what you have in store for us. welcome home.

  5. good to have you back, doug, and after such a fabulous travel experience, too ! i was wondering if you had got lost along the appalachian trail ... ;-)
    this is a startling beginning to a series i'm looking forward to with great expectations. the harmony in colours and hues is most attractive here, as is the melting together of old styles and new building techniques ... something the UAE are quite famous for, i hear, having never been there myself (though i'm thinking - just thinking! - of spending new year's there one day ...)
    tonight, when my garden work is done, i'll go back a week or so of your images. i hate to admit that i've become careless in doing so lately .... but from now on, it's a daily visit again!
    welcome back again! i hope settling into the daily routine hasn't been too hard ... :-(

  6. wow Lucky friends, what an amazing trip!This image is spectacular Doug!Congratulations!
    Waiting anxious for seeing more pictures!
    Thanks for sharing,

  7. Oh my, Doug. I bet you're still pinching yourself. This will be a trip of a lifetime for me, too, as I follow you!

  8. Put on a pair of sunglasses along with a djelleba - and that could be you, Doug standing by the pool.Probably not, but a great pic nevertheless.

    Welcome back - and this is going to be a series that I will really look forward to seeing over the coming days - and hopefully weeks.

  9. Welcome back, D&B!
    Wow UAE looks like an amazing place to visit.

    Aren't those palm tree columns in the picture?
    How could Abu Dhabi outdo Charleston, eh?
    I'm truly gutted now. ;o)

    Can't wait to see your holiday photos!

  10. Wellcome, again.
    Ohhhhhhhhh! Shapes, lines, reflection´s plain of color.
    I hope your next photographs soo.


  11. Stunning shot. A beautiful travel I presume ?

  12. If/when you find yourself in Paris, find your way to the Grande Mosquée de Paris. Non-Muslims are welcomed there too and it is one of the most peaceful, tranquil and calming places I have ever spent time.

    As soon as I saw this picture, my first thought was that mosque. I took a few images that remain some of my favourites but none quite like this! The rhythmic patterns, the contrast of the clean architectural lines against their chaotic reflections, the blue and yellow hues and, finally, the single contemplative individual - they all combine to make what I think is an exquisite image.

    Glad you had a good trip and I look forward to seeing more.

  13. Beautiful, calm and serene - that looks like heaven to me!

  14. Colour, light and design come together here to produce a magnificent image! Must have been a wonderful trip.

  15. good to have that lonely figure for scale
    beautiful shot

  16. Feel like i'm in a palace here... great colors, reflection and subject. helps you see the vastness of the structure. beautiful...

  17. now that's gorgeous! great catch!

  18. Fantastic repetition of the pattern: it's a superbe and amazing architecture. The man gives an interesting scale. Great shot!
    Have a nice day.


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