Thursday is the UAE National Day so our school had a celebration yesterday morning. It started out with everyone standing outside to wait for the police band to arrive then perform. Here they are playing the bagpipes in formation.
Once we got back into the auditorium, we were treated to a musical performance by some of the students. They played four songs beautifully. The first and third were classical Arab songs played on instruments from the region. I was very impressed with how well they were played and was disappointed that they weren't longer. The second song, sandwiched between the Arab music was "Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica. While it is a slow song, I thought it was an interesting choice. However, it wasn't as interesting as the fourth song, "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen. It was great to see how into the chorus the audience got and quite surreal to see the students clapping along and chanting "Hallelujah."
After the music, there were some students who read poetry in Arabic. Despite having no idea what they were saying, it had a really good rhythm to it and was entrancing. As someone who didn't know what was being said, I felt the poetry went on a bit long, though the students who hadn't sneaked out by that point really got into it.
The presentations were followed by a two hour buffet lunch outside in the shade. That was my morning classes shot. I was a little surprised to find my afternoon students showed up but there you have it. With National Day on Thursday we have a four day weekend. Combine that with all the planned celebrations this week, I don't feel like teaching so you can imagine that the students won't feel like studying.