© Anushka Bose. All rights reserved.*
All pictures are from January 1st, 2017, at the Ras Tanura Beach.

Remembering the New Year at the Ras Tanura Beach

As I was going through photos on my phone, I came across pictures I took on January 1st, 2017, at the Ras Tanura Beach. A smile appeared on my face, and my nostalgia took me back to that winter breeze in Ras Tanura. After spending NYE in Bahrain, my family decided to spend a quiet afternoon at the Ras Tanura beach.

I can still feel the tranquility of the day. The palm trees blowing their misty and winter breeze, the sun shining through the boulevards, and a stillness in the air, resemblant of the world waking up from NYE celebrations. As I reminisced, many sentiments showed up on board, and I was inspired to write these recollections in a poem. I hope you like it.

As the waves flowed
The current seemed unpredictable
Sometimes strong
Sometimes weak
Sometimes still
Much like the human spirit

The water lapped at my feet
It enveloped the creases between my toes
And while the spacious wind almost stole my scarf
I felt a hug from the Arabian golden sun

In the distance I saw the orange roofed beach homes
Standing still in the citadel of the palm trees
And I wondered how lovely it must be to live here
With the shore as your backyard
You would never have to travel far to just get-away

Remembering the New Year at the Ras Tanura Beach
Remembering the New Year at the Ras Tanura Beach

I recall the aroma of Mutabal and Shish-Taouk
From the snack bar on the beach
And I became very hungry
Then my mother suddenly called my name
To turn around and smile for a picture
I posed as gracefully as possible with the wind blowing my hair and sand in my eye

With the gleam of the sun
And the stillness of the Arabian Sea
My brother and I walked along the shore
With chatter about life
About his recent adventures in DC
And his dreams of the future

The laughter we shared echoed through the beach
As the waves collected our joy
And crashed it back to the sea
Replicating the tempo
Of the moment’s elated beat

Remembering the New Year at the Ras Tanura Beach

As the afternoon got brighter
And our hearts got warmer
My brother and I drew a 2017 on the sand
To celebrate the first day of the year

We knew the water would wash it away
But the writing in the sand was an emblem for that moment
A moment full of joy, togetherness, and hope

With our return flights in a few days
We wanted to savor every fleeting moment

Then I thought,
Isn’t this life?
A drawing on the sand
Before the water washes it away

It’s a dismal thought
But there is liberation in the waves’ whisper
The temporary is always sad
But there is immense beauty trapped in the fleeting moments

Remembering the New Year at the Ras Tanura Beach

As we ate our shawarma in the shade
And sipped on Miranda
We talked about the peaceful start to the year
And prayed for happy new beginnings

After a few hours under the sea and sun
Our bodies felt the fatigue from the day
And we boarded the bus back to Dhahran
I lay half-awake watching the desert laden area we passed through
With camels here and there

The minimalist desert landscapes
Was reflected in the simple and mundane joy of the afternoon
Not much was needed
To feel at bay

We arrived home
With a heart full of love
Hope for the new year
And memories to smile back at forever

From a thousand miles away
And years down the road


Arabian Nights and Mornings: The Emblems of an Expatriate Upbringing in Saudi Arabia

Anushka is a Graduate Student at Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. She spent her youth growing up in Dhahran, where she attended Dhahran Elementary, Dhahran Middle School, and Dhahran Academy. She loves learning about new cultures and is fascinated by the diversity that brings us all together, especially the expatriate community, where the only thing that is common is that we are all different, in culture, religion, and the perspectives we hold. One day she hopes to publish a book on the third culture kid experience. Dhahran holds a big place in her heart.



*Any reproduction or republication of all or part of any images and written material is expressly prohibited unless the author of the material has expressly granted its prior written consent.