This past November, You’re the Cure advocate and stroke survivor, Michelle Ballasiotes, had the privilege of attending the Non-communicable Diseases (NCD) Alliance Global Forum in Sharjah, UAE. Michelle represented the AHA/ASA and her mom joined her on this experience of a lifetime. Over the next few weeks we will be posting a multi-part series of Michelle’s reflections on the trip. Many thanks to Michelle for writing about her experience and allowing us to share it on the blog! Check back next week to read more about Michelle’s trip! Missed last week? You can find the earlier posts about her trip here.
Thurs. Nov. 12th:
The next morning we woke up to a downpour of rain, which was unusual for the area. We didn’t pack an umbrella, so I went to the gift shop and asked if they sold any and the clerk laughed at me. The roads got flooded since there are no drainage systems on the roads. My mom and I did a tour of Sharjah on a bus with Diana Vaca McGhie, the Global Advocacy Manager for the American Heart Association. I noticed lots of school buses on the road, but they looked slightly different than the ones here in America. There were two covered Souks (indoor malls with small stores) and a few larger malls with beautiful designs on the outside. I enjoyed seeing the intricate and beautiful architecture of the many mosques in Sharjah.
There were still palm trees from when Sharjah used to be a fisherman town before it got urbanized in the 1970s. There was also a beautiful small strip of land with hundreds of palm trees. Diana invited us to dinner, so we finished the day at a local restaurant called The Fish Corner. It was located on a canal near a Ferris wheel and it almost felt like we were in Venice! The weekend in Sharjah is Friday and Saturday, so it was equivalent to a Friday night in the US. There were lots of kids and families running around well after 10:00 p.m.!
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