DUBAI, United Arab Emirates
by Mark Silva
.....As we were led in we saw Bush arriving from an interior door to the courtyard, where he was greeted by six young girls - they must have been under nine, because at nine they must go under cover and these girls were not covered but rather wearing bright gowns - half of them in fuchsia and half of them in turquoise.
..."Hi girls," said Bush, arriving to their greeting, as they burst into song. Their hands were henna'd with designs and Bush remarked on their "beautiful hands." After the song, two stepped forward with baskets of flowers and said "Welcome to Dubai."
The girls who greeted Bush and the ruler of Dubai are younger than nine, for at nine they must cover their heads.
They walked to the front bench in the center facing the rugs and now 12 girls, all dressed in the hot blue and pink gowns - fuchsia and turquoise, Dana Perino assures me - started dancing on the carpet before them.....They circled and swayed and made great flourishes to music, and the president smiled broadly, nodded his head to the rhythm and tapped his right black-shoed foot in decent timing. The dance lasted a while and Bush was beaming throughout.
"Shukran," Bush told the girls. Thank you.
The drizzle had ended by the dance's end, and then four robed men came out with hunting falcons on their arms - fabulous big birds of light brown tones with dark markings, and they approached Bush, who briefly took a bird on his arm and handed it back. "Beautiful birds," Bush said.
Shukran," Bush told the girls. Thank you.