On the evening of August 13, came the news. It must have been in the making behind the scrutiny of us commoners, in the corridors of power for a while. But to us it came as a big surprise and a bolt from the blue. The United Arab Emirates was to normalize relations with Israel in return for the latter deferring the plan to annex parts of the Palestinian West Bank.It was big news. A result of a “historic agreement” between the United States, the UAE and Israel. It has already made front-page news. Comments are being written and will continue to be written about the reasons, implications and more in the coming days and years ahead. Thomas Friedman has called it a “geopolitical earthquake” in the Mideast, in his New York Times column. Others have opined about whether it would “reestablish” President Trump as a “deal maker,” about what it would do for embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and speculated if it would provide the UAE with a bigger role on the world stage. I could weigh in on this and add my two bits to the ongoing debate, but that is not my place. Neither is it the intention of this article to give any strategic perspective. This is just to say what it would personally mean for many people, including those living in the countries involved.I moved to the UAE from Israel about nine months ago. As you can probably guess, this means that I am neither an Emirati nor an Israeli. Many people were a bit surprised, to say the least, when they got to know of my move. But life often brings interesting and unexpected turns.We were ready to embrace it.It was only when we started with the nitty-gritty of the move that we realized how strange this was going to be. Our friends and contacts would not be able to just pick up the phone and call us (the lack of diplomatic relations between the two countries meant that phone calls between them were not allowed) to advise us on what to plan for and expect. Our stuff needed to be shipped from Israel to a destination outside the UAE before it could come to us. Even our dog had to take a detour and have all her papers and vaccinations re-done in a third country before she was allowed entry.All through this process, we had Emiratis and other UAE residents helping us. Once we moved here, it was easy settling down and making friends (And thank God for that! Who knew COVID-19 would arrive and we would all go under a lockdown for months?). From day one we felt that warmth and ease of living in this country. This is a welcoming country. Emiratis have great confidence in themselves and are undaunted by being outnumbered by expatriates in their own country. In fact, they wear it as a badge of honor that people from nearly every country in the world have made the UAE their home.But even as I made new friends in my new home and got comfortable, I often missed those whom I had left behind in Israel. They too had been just as warm and welcoming to me when I had moved to their country. It bothered us that we could not travel easily to meet each other, or just make a quick call and speak. On August 16, 2020, that suddenly changed. I dialed a number from my phone’s contact list that had not been used for months. My friend picked on the other end and screamed, “Who? You? I can’t believe it!”This new agreement is a big deal. It will probably have many ramifications in the months and years to come. I hope most of them will be positive for all those involved (including the Palestinians). But today, I just want to celebrate being able to make that phone call.The writer is a journalist who moved from Israel to the UAE last November and writes a blog under RahRahiRasta.com.