Stretching along the Bassin Louis Blanc in Paris there are clusters of multi-colored tents, sitting idly, practically steaming in the May heat. The canal water lurks by quietly, and next door, Parisians sip beer or coffee at a trendy bar turned breakfast spot during the day. The bar is called Point Ephémère, French for ‘ephemeral’: fleeting, transient, temporary.

“I was going to have my throat cut in Afghanistan.” …

My best friend missed her flight because she needed to see the Eiffel Tower. She simply would not have been to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower. On the day, the train takes just a bit too long but when we emerge from the Bir-Hakeim metro station, finally, the tower emerges like Goliath pouncing upon our fantasies…

From the beginning, my relationship with the island was clear: it was my home. Still portraits of its paved yard, the dank corridor leading up to the gym, the revolving main door with black brush along the bottom edge — all of them are still vivid in my head, permanently lodged in my memories…

The sum of the cafe spaces in Abu Dhabi exist as microcosms of the city itself. They can be places where a wide variety of people from different social classes, ethnicities, cultures and nationalities can come together over a cup of coffee (or karak or Moroccan mint tea) and exchange dialogue, make conversation, learn and thrive off each other, whether that’s intellectually or culturally, or just make idle chit-chat and simply be. And isn’t that a miniature prototype of Abu Dhabi itself and the “multicultural crossroads” we all love to speak of in the brochures?