A Taste of Saudi Arabia

It was my brother Abdullah Almousa's birthday and as he is so often the life of the party, it was sure to be an evening of fun for all. We began at Al Shami restaurant for a feast of Middle Eastern cuisine and I had difficulty in putting down my fork even after I had eaten well beyond my full. The presents came next alongside of the flakey, delicious sweets for which the culture is known, but it was the last part of the ritual for which I was completely unprepared--all of a sudden, all of the men got up and began clapping and singing along to the Arabic music in the background. And as the volume and clapping increased, the dancing began; at one point, they even picking up Abdullah and began carrying him around in a circle. Soon everyone had joined in, in wishing Abdullah a fantastic birthday; it was truly a memorable evening. Happy Birthday, my brother; I am richer for knowing you!