A Beautiful Moment in the Sands of Time
Jumeirah Beach in Dubai, UAE is usually very popular with expats and travelers wanting to soak up the nearly year-round sunny skies. One weekday, I was sitting alone on the beach along the shores of Dubai, just contemplating life while everyone else was out shopping in one of Dubai's 68 (and counting) shopping malls or visiting the world's tallest building. Then there was this fantastic moment when I turned, and saw this Emirati man and his two camels strolling down the beach. They are there most days, offering camel rides and golden Facebook photo opportunities to anyone keen enough to climb atop one of the awkward beasts. The three of them strolled right by, barely looking in my direction as if I were not even there. I was able to grab my camera quickly enough to snap this one and only shot from my seat in the sand, and by the time I had looked up again, the three nomads had already began to pass me by, staring down the seemingly endless stretch of golden beach in front of them. It was a magical moment. For more than 5000 years going back to the mysterious Magan civilization, shepherds and nomads have wandered these sands with their camels. There was nothing fake about this man and his hairy humpbacked chums; the slow meandering seemed to be part and parcel of their nature. With the multitude of modern and eclectic skyscrapers of Dubai right behind me, yet out of sight as I stared over the Persian Gulf, I forgot about the malls and stared back into the sands of time.