Friday, July 2, 2010

Student Art in the UAE

Halfway through this Emirati teenage girls programme! A funny sketch I did during one of my uber-long breaks.

I have learned in the Emirates that it is important to stay on the good side of your students. Often, this is a tough job. But my morning class adores me and therefore it's a pleasure to teach them because I really enjoy them. The afternoon class is a different story, but I'll try to focus on the positive. Rafeea brings me fresh Jasmine flowers she steals from the neighbours bush as she waits for the school bus every morning. At the end of each day I add them to my growing pile on my work computer. Rene says it looks like an Indian funeral took place at my desk! But I like it. There are many more flowers since I took this picture.

So we are officially halfway through the programme here in the UAE and I am officially knackered. Part of it is that we are at school for ten hours a day, (but unfortunately only paid for six) and the girls are pushy and demanding, as usual. No wall flowers here! Any of you who might have the impression that these girls are oppressed little ladies who have no opinion about anything ought to come and spend fifteen minutes in my classroom. I dare you. I will be happy when all of this is over, I admit, though some of the girls are quite sweet.

This will be a short blog. See reason above! I'll put a blog of new pictures up later when I can string two sentences together coherently. But here are some "art highlights" From this week:

The girls did some assignments on countries and nationalities this week. I photographed some of my favourites. They are crazy about football and the "Waving Flag" song, which, is Canadian for those of you who don't know!

This is supposed to be a bull. I don't know why but it makes me laugh every time I see it.

Noodles from Japan. Let's not mention that the noodles were supposed to be from Korea, and the sushi was from Japan. Or that Germany is apparently famous for bananas, a point I tried to argue was wrong, and failed miserably in the faces of passionate young women, who had apparently tried and loved German Bananas.

One of my students drew this for me on the day we discussed wishes. She wishes I could marry Tom Cruise, apparently. I tried to explain scientology to her, which to a beginner speaker or Englsih to conversation was pretty much, "Tom Cruise, Crazy. Religion, very crazy." I think she meant to write "marriage" in the heart at the bottom of the page but instead wrote "Morg." which I like to translate as "Morgue." which would be somehow fitting I think, for a marriage with Tom Cruise.

More later! I'm off to Abu Dhabi in the morning for lebanese food with friends!



  1. Cute, I love the German bananas bit! 8 more days of teaching left! Did you guys go on a field trip?

  2. Nice post, i like it.Cross Border Art Gallery is operational since 2013 and is located at Mina road, Dubai. Cross Borders is known to have possession of masterpieces including breath taking oil paintings, sculptures and still captures,show importance of Art in Dubai.