Undercover Dance Parties

My sister Zakia, cousin Samora and I at the walk.

My sister Zakia, cousin Samora and I at the walk.

Last week the NSLI-Y students, along with the other group of American exchange students (here through the Kennedy-Lugar YES Study Abroad program) went to a charity walk to support the Oman Cancer Association. It was held in Qurum Natural Park, a beautiful park filled with some of the rarest commodities around; grass and tall trees. We were very excited to get out and see a new part of the city, as well as see what charity walks are like in Oman since things like that don’t happen very often around here. At home it seems like there is a charity event every other day but in my experience those kinds of awareness campaigns aren’t nearly as common here.

We arrived to a carnival-esque atmosphere, probably enhanced by the huge ferris wheel located on the edge of the park and the many children running around happily. The event itself was pretty standard, nothing too surprising except for the few men in traditional robes jumping and dancing to Zumba “warm-up” music, but then you get used to seeing strange things like that around here. After the walk which was in reality a 2km leisurely stroll around the park they had a raffle with some pretty lucrative prizes, including flat screen TVs and phone credit vouchers, which are actually extremely valuable around here.

As the festivities died down and the crowds trickled out, we discovered that the real party had only just begun. There was a DJ from the Top 40 radio station at the main stage and he had been playing pretty nice background music the whole time but as the crowd thinned he began turning it up a bit and suddenly there was hip hop blaring from the speakers. We were excited because although there is tons of American music and pop culture here, it isn’t often that it is acceptable to dance to it in public. But taking our cues from the people around us, we joined in, not initially realizing that we were at first the only girls dancing. When we first arrived to the event we were surprised at the amount of teenagers there, and although there were a lot of expats, we were initially confused as to why so many international high schoolers would choose to spend their evening at a charity walk for breast cancer. As the music amped up people started busting out some serious dance moves – there was a break dancing circle and I even spotted a conga line twisting its way through the crowd and it started making more sense. People were dancing and singing and it almost felt like we were at a concert in the U.S. It was great to indulge ourselves for a little bit but we were reminded of where we were when the event coordinator climbed onstage and informed the crowd that we would have to go home since she “didn’t want to be getting calls from our parents asking about where we were.”

It was 6:30 pm. L


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brad
    Nov 07, 2013 @ 14:02:44

    Going home at 6:30 is like living in Sarasota after a big night of shuffleboard. I love the updates. Keep them coming.


  2. Poppa
    Nov 07, 2013 @ 14:33:11

    Since I know you love to dance, this was really special. I know you made a mistake and really the party was over at 630 AM not PM–right!!!!??


  3. harold brightman
    Nov 07, 2013 @ 15:10:56

    love your posts..glad you got to dance..unclehar&aunteud


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