Sunday, 21 August 2011

Tribes and More

One thing I used to hear a lot of from locals was scorn at local families who were not "Pure" Emiratis.
What could be classified as a "Pure" emirati? Well from my years in UAE I understood it to mean the Tribes that came to UAE originally when it was just desert and sea and settled there and began to create the UAE as it is today.
The ones deemed not "Pure" were those that came later from Iran, Saudi etc.

Most of my friends were from some of the original tribes such as Bani Yas, Bu Shams, Al Nuaimi etc.
The family I had most connection with because of "O" was the Al Shamsi's, of the powerful Bu Shams Tribe. The Al Shamsi's are related to the ruling Al Nahyan family. The late Shaikh Zayed's wife Shaikha Fatima is said to have the same tribal origin.
The Al Shamsi's were the independant rulers of Hamriya in Sharjah until they lost power after the invasion in the 1960's and Hamriya port became under the Rule of Sharjah (O told me this happened because the Al Shamsi's did not want to join what is now the 7 Emirates, how true this is I do not know but most Al Shamsi's I knew told the same story).

The Al Shamsi's today are still a very prominant UAE family and many of the ruling family are married to women of the Bu Shams tribe. Some of the branches of the Bu Shams tribe are families such as Al Owais, Taryam etc And supposedly the Bu Shams tribe ranches off from the Al Nuaimi's (the current Ajman rulers).

The Bani Yas tribe is one of the largest and the Al Nahyan family which is a branch of Al Falahi decended from this tribe as well as the Al Maktoums which are a branch of the Al Falasi.
The Tribes of UAE is quiet a complex thing to explain. I got most of my knowledge, be it right or wrong from long long talks over many years with the people around me.
The Bani Yas consists of several branches which are
Al Rumaithi
Al Falahi
Al Falasi
Al Hameli
Al Suwaidi
Al Marar
Al Mazroai
Al Mehairbi
Al Mehairi
Al Qeamzi
Al Qubaesi

So if not from one of the big tribes (from those I have mentioned or others that are famous for being the first to enter the lands now know as UAE and settle), does this deem the families as not "Pure"?
Well from all the comments I heared over the years it appears being from the original tribes deems you to be original Emirati. I used to get told all the time when I mentioned a family name "Oh they are persian really" or "They pretend to be Emirati but they are not one of us, they are Saudi originally" and the worst one "Break his leg and you will find Iranian Sxxt instead of bone". It used to really annoy me to be honest. I can understand the pride at being from one of the founding Tribes but at the end of the day if you are now Emirati then you ARE Emirati.

I dont think any family in the future can claim to be pure Emirati considering how many Emirati men now marry foreign wives. The founding families used to marry from their own tribes or from other founding tribes of the trucial states, kind of keeping things in the tribe/family. But by marrying outside of the tribe especially to someone not even from the Gulf then you have diluted that so called pureness forever so how can you scorn a family who have only lived in UAE for 100 or 150 years when your own family is being diluted around you?

Even now after over 7 years of being away from UAE, if you throw a local family name at me I can probably tell you where it originally came from, if its from one of the founding Tribes or from families who came much later to start business and stayed. Thats because I had it drummed into me for years and years and got to know just about every family name from the original Tribes.

Rascim is rapant everywhere in the world, claims of pureness to unpureness in the Arabian Gulf States, Caste systems in the Asian countries, even here in UK there are those that claim to be 100% British (oh do I laugh at that one). My family as far as I know have always lived in the UK but I am not 100% pure British, infact a family member recently traced our family tree on my mothers, mothers side and guess what??? We traced ourselves back to Turkish farmers in Turkey lol. On my fathers mothers side 200 hundred years ago from Spain and further back than that from Arabia, hence why I am so arabian looking and so is my dad.



Take America as an example, I have been told by a few American friends that they hail from the founding families so are 100% American and critise immigrants who now have USA passport for not being really American. Sorry, not true, who lived in America before the Europeans arrived??? It was the Native Indian's so if anyone is 100% American it is them, not the boat loads of immigrants who landed on the shores and claimed the country as their own and then who critise new immigrants for becoming citizens (probably gonna piss a few people off with that one).

Pride in where you originally come from is important but it does not deem anyone not originally from your particular country any less of a human or citizen or make you more important than them.

3 comments:

♡ αmαℓ said...

I agree with what you said, it's probably rare to find a bloodline here that is 100% pure Emirati. Either way, while I do find the tribal families very interesting, I wish people wouldn't be so proud of them at times and listen to Allah when he says not to take pride (when it turns to arrogance) in tribe or nationality.

♥●• Izdiher·•●♥ said...

Till now ?I did not know that .You have good observation .But Emirates and Khaliji Arabs are like that .Thanks for telling in detail.
Vist mine blog and follow me .
Take care .
Your new follower.

Blogger said...

Very interesting. What are the most common last names that are heard around Dubai?

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Louise
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