Our ode to the Abode of Peace

It has been six years since we first landed in Brunei Darussalam for me to begin working here for a leading institution and for my wife to make another place called home! To be honest, we were not exactly sure what to expect, it seemed like the expectations were like we had landed in a ‘Green Jewel’ after concrete Dubai! However, in these six years we have made such amazing and happy memories that it has been a really difficult task to pen them all down!

So one afternoon, my wife and I began counting these blessings, and couldn’t decide what was better; rising sunrays piercing through the lush, green dense tree leaves dancing with the early morning breeze, spectacular sunsets that wash the skies with its pink and crimson hues, picture perfect clouds on clear blue skies, the afternoon rains, staring through our sun-room whole tribes of monkeys weaving their way through the trees, talking lizards (they don’t in our part of the world!), shimmering gold domes of the iconic landmark Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque through the ‘Frame Brunei Darussalam’ from one side and the old Brunei kampong or water village from the other, humility and kindness that is second nature here, beautiful smiles everywhere, local and diplomatic friends made for the lifetime… and the list goes on and on!

Radiant atmosphere being repeatedly purified with rain drops, soothing greenery and serenity are all complemented by the ‘Bruneian at heart’ spirit and nature of everyone. We will always remember our Ramadhans here; rushing to the mosques in the rain for Sunnat Tarawikh prayers, and the whole country bathed in Zikir and spiritual tranquillity, a unique to Brunei experience. We soon understood the importance of ‘makan’. It’s not only generosity and hosting, but also the most heart-warming cultural experience. And it peaks during a month-long celebration during Hari Raya. If you have not visited at least 50 open houses and put on five kilogrammes – you are not enjoying the life!

Brunei enchants you, truly. Bruneian’s humility humbles you. And the warm welcome melts you. It is magical yet soulful, a true Abode of Peace. As our plane took off as the sun set, our hearts sank – loaded with so many fond heartfelt memories, profound yet happy to have been blessed with six years of the most memorable times of our life.

Terima Kasih Brunei! We will miss you!

Mubashar & Mehreen Khokhar