Hanan Sayed Worrell

Self-proclaimed global nomad Hanan Sayed Worrell has lived on four continents and traveled extensively around the world. The Lebanese-Egyptian-American is a cornerstone of the creative community in the UAE, calling Abu Dhabi home for the past 28 years. Her love for food, and the connections good meals can create, inspired her to write an award-winning cookbook “Table Tales: The Global Nomad Cuisine of Abu Dhabi.”

A member of the large American expatriate community in the UAE, Hanan recalls the first time she celebrated Thanksgiving in the country with family and friends. A uniquely American holiday, Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate what brings all of us together, no matter the nationality, culture or religion. Emiratis share these American values, but not necessarily the food that is typically served at a Thanksgiving meal.

As the American and international expatriate community in the UAE has grown over the years—today the country is home to 50,000 Americans and over 200 other nationalities—so has the availability of traditional Thanksgiving cooking staples. Watch as Hanan recounts her first Thanksgiving in Abu Dhabi.