x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

The cruellest month

'April is the cruellest month,' wrote TS Eliot in The Waste Land. Going by the events of this month in the UAE, it seems to be so true.

'April," wrote TS Eliot in The Waste Land, "is the cruellest month" and surveying the unexpected events of these past few weeks, we find ourselves agreeing with the American poet.

Just this month, the UAE was shaken by two earthquakes in as many weeks. From Ras Al Khaimah to Abu Dhabi, buildings swayed for several minutes and many residents were evacuated. For most it was their first encounter with a quake.

But nature had more than shaky ground in store. The month was book-ended by stormy weather, as the blue-hued skies over our cities turned a slate grey. On the first weekend, wild weather descended on the Emirates, damaging businesses and flooding roads. Its last, though far less unstable, brought more rain to the country, and surprisingly more grey clouds.

Along with the rain came a sandstorm, with the sky above taking on a post-apocalyptic scene, a blank yellow and orange canvas marked by skyscrapers.

Sure, the temperatures of this April have been mild, the days quite pleasant. But between diving for cover under tables, dodging puddles in the street and squinting through sand, was it a fair trade?

We concur with TS Eliot, and can only say to the calmer, heat-soaked days of the summer: "Hurry up, please. It's time."