I said it was a shame that Queen Elizabeth of England didn't come to the Higher Colleges to speak. I said I was looking forward to the next mandatory lecture. Well this is what I get. Yesterday, Tony Blair came to Abu Dhabi Men's College and I was required to watch him speak. To be perfectly honest, this is one that I wanted to see. The day began with me not being allowed to park in my usual parking area. I was given the choice of parking in the student parking lot or in the far away CERT lot. I chose the latter.
We were told to be in the auditorium at 10:30 for the 11:00 arrival of the dignitaries. They arrived about 11:30. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology was also in attendance.
The Sheikh introduced Mr. Blair who kept his talk short. He mainly wanted to discuss the "Tony Blair Faith Foundation" and to present plaques to the donors. Here is one plaque that the recipient kindly allowed me to photograph.
Afterward, they had a formal cake-cutting ceremony, but I had to go to class by the time they were doling out the cake so I didn't get any.
After the ceremony I went to quickly eat lunch before my next class. I was sitting fairly close to the entrance with a mouth full of Subway sandwich when the procession including Tony Blair walked by me.
I found it interesting the number of British people who refused to attend the ceremony out of principle. I'm fairly unhappy with a number of past and present U.S. politicians, but wouldn't hesitate to see them speak. I'm just a sucker for the glamor surrounding career politicians.