My kids request picnics on the lawns, under the palms, outside their school. They eat their nicknack, sitting on their plastic cube shaped lunch boxes and they unwind. They chat about the school day, wave to their departing friends and parents as they munch "their dejeuner sur l'herbe" (lunch on the lawn) and count their blessings for the remaining blissful beautiful spring days in Dubai.
AlNaser is a sports center in the middle of OudMetha. It is a very large complex by Dubai contemporary standards. Central Dubai has very few institutions surrounded by gardens: AlWasel Hospital, Aviation Club, Emirates Towers, GrandHyatt and the AlNaser Sports complex that hosts our school AFLEC and AlNaser Leisureland with its vintage ice rink!
Our school may not have the fanciest classrooms, nor the most impressive school grounds, but it is located in a green oasis of palms and large football stadiums, which is enclosed in a popular neighbourhood including Lamcy Plaza, the American Hospital and some good hearty restaurants.
I have cumulated hours, waiting for my children in peaceful calm noons, before the school beg rings and the academic activity of the school spills into the parking lot and palmed oasis. I sit under a palm tree, reading or writing, to the dismay of my friends and relatives who work in indoor offices at that time.
In the late afternoon pick ups, my heart awaits the call to prayer that emanates from the small white mosque which is located a step away from the school. The muezzin's clear voice announces the afternoon and the remaining hours of daylight when my children and I will run around our city, golfing, dancing at ballet, swimming, yoga-ing, studying!