Friday, May 15, 2009

Etisalat and the Mosque

The two subjects in the title aren't linked by the way - sounds a bit like an Enid Blyton story book. No, I called Etisalat on Monday evening to upgrade my broadband. We have fibre-to-the-home at our new apartment, so we can get 16mb broadband, so it has to be done, right? (question directed to males of course). Went through all the details and they said it should be activated in 48 hours and I can call back to check. Haven't bothered until today (Friday), but ran a speed test and seems no change so I called them. Surprise surprise, nothing has been done. No record of my conversation with them or any upgrade order. Fantastic. So went through the whole thing again and now I'm told it can take up to 4 days. I should expect a phone call. We'll see.........oh, and 16mb is going to cost Dh549, so that's like £100 a month! Fortunately my company will pay it. Seeing as I am their only employee in Abu Dhabi, it's cheaper than renting an office!

So, the mosque. We are now 2 tower blocks away from the nearest mosque. Great if you are Muslim, not so if not. Although, to be fair we have got used to it and even now sleep through the 4.15am prayer call! And you live in an Islamic state - just deal with it! On a Friday as well as the prayer calls - 6 in total (if you are lazy and can't get our of bed at 4.15 you can do the other 5!) - there is the Friday sermon piped out from the mosques. On Fridays, as this is the day 90% of the population are off work, the mosques are packed. The one next to us has an overflow area outside for praying and on Friday this too is packed. Therefore people get as near to the mosque as they can and pray there. So below is a picture showing them praying in a car park, under the shade of shop fronts and basically anywhere they can. You have to admire the commitment to their religion and the way it drives their whole way of life.

The mosque is behind the tower on the left, with it's outside area in the middle on the left.

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