What is it about the ocean that is so calming to the spirit? Is it because its vastness makes us and our problems feel so tiny and insignificant? Is it because we are born from water? And maybe, as a result, we are looking for some sort of rebirth out of water? I don’t know. All I know is that sailing out into the Persian Gulf on that perfectly still morning bordered on - dare I say it - the religious. So much so that I almost forgot I was supposed to photograph it all.
Given that Abu Dhabi, along with Dubai, has become the architectural standard for vertical outlandishness and neck-craning beauty, it’s hard to imagine that none of it existed 50 years ago. It was just a tiny bedouin fishing village along the edge of an endless desert. It’s crazy. But the old world is still very much alive in this Jetson-esque city, as you can see in my photograph of a dhow sailing up the harbor. While the dhow is newly built, it was crafted the same way the Arabs built their dhows 600 years before Christ. I love that. The ancient Arab world colliding with the new Arab world.