The UAE and
are located many thousand miles apart. Their people speak different languages, have different cultures, live by different values. But today, Carnaval (one of the most celebrated holidays in Brazil ) brought these two countries a little bit closer. Brazil
It was approximately 1pm in the UAE when the sun rose in
. While everyone here was already halfway through the first day of the week, people in Brazil Brazil hadn’t even noticed Saturday had long gone as they watched Gaviões da Fiel, the sixth samba school to perform during the second day of parades in . The theme selected? São Paulo . Dubai
For exactly 01:04 minutes, the members of this samba school sang and danced the story of Dubai: a land that started with pearl trade, that discovered huge amounts of oil, that diversified its economy and helped encourage businesses by offering incentives and establishing free trade zones, that made several architectural statements and that became one of the main tourist destinations in the world.
I must confess I don’t really do Carnaval. Only once in my life have I gone to the 'sambódromo' (place where the samba schools compete every year) in
and I don’t remember ever going out to follow the 'blocos' (groups that perform around the streets with thousands of followers behind). But I do like the concept of Carnaval. Rio de Janeiro
Carnaval brings people together. The poor and the rich, the old and the young, members of different religious communities, political parties, soccer teams; they all sing, do the samba and celebrate as one – even if only for a few days.
In addition, the samba schools that compete against each other in
Rio de Janeiro and also help educate people. Every year, each of them select a theme and tell a story through lyrics, rhythm, costumes. They manage to take information into the homes of people who would probably not get information elsewhere. São Paulo
So, congrats to all the schools in
São Paulo, who performed Friday and Saturday, and good luck to the schools in my beloved , who will perform today and tomorrow. Rio de Janeiro
Meanwhile, I am here trying to figure out what would be Sheikh Maktoum’s reaction to… hum… the… hum… Brazilian... hum, let's say, ‘representation’ of Dubai…