Tuesday, November 13:  Yesterday the university announced the holiday for the Islamic New Year.  The date is on Thursday, November 15, but since that’s a weekend day, they have granted us Saturday off for the holiday.  Hooray, a 3-day weekend!!

The Hijri New Year, also known as Islamic new year, is the day that marks the beginning of a new Islamic calendar year, and is the day on which the year count is incremented. The first day of the year is observed on the first day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar.

The event also commemorates the death of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Imam Hussein who, along with his family and followers, was martyred by Umayyad Caliph Yazid I in the Battle of Karbala in 680 on the tenth day of Muharram, according to Wikipedia.

I planned to visit Abu Dhabi on what I thought would be the National Holiday, around November 18.  However, they haven’t yet announced the official National Holiday; I’m sure that will also be a last minute announcement.  It will probably come in a week or two.

So, at the last minute, I planned an escape to Abu Dhabi.  I just reserved my hotel.  I haven’t really planned anything yet, except to see the snow-white new mosque there, to check out the gold souqs, to peek at the super yachts and the super malls.  I don’t have much money after just going to Ethiopia, but I can always look!

I’ll write more about my visit, with photos of course, upon my return.

Happy Islamic New Year!