Saturday, 14 April 2012

To write a book or not?

For years people have been telling me to write a book on my years in UAE and maybe one day I will start it, because in all honesty my life in UAE really was unique, especially so as I was not married to an Emirati yet still got to live the full Emirati life style.

Of course when I write it I have to change all names of people because many of the locals I knew and socialised with are still alive today and are still prominent members of UAE society.

Some could say my life was quite glamorous, I guess it was in relation to my previous life in UK, but that was only surface glamour, the reality was often far far different and I plan to expose not only the good but also the bad when I finally get round to writing.
I have read some books based on UAE life and the only one I found interesting was "Mother Without a Mask" which delved into the real Emirati culture and traditions rather than the typical adultury, bling, poor girl wants rich arab scenario.

Back in the old days I was know as The British Bedu, thats what the locals called me. I adopted local dress (not just abaya) from about the 2nd year I was there because it just made life easier. I learnt how to camp in the desert bedu style, hunt for local mushrooms and vegetation you could eat, how to hunt with a falcon, how to entertain, gained a love for wearing the oud attar so famous in the Gulf, I learnt about the mentality of the locals and what offends them, how to behave etc. I did not strive to do all this, it was just part of my life and I learnt it along the way.

Designer handbags, shopping, having the latest and best of everything was not my scene, back then it was not really important to anyone to be honest. People preferred to camp out, have a BBQ in the mountains of fujeriah, sit on the beach with a 5 Dirham fishing line trying to catch hamour, sit around playing drums and oud and having a sing song, that was the life of choice, not as it is today with spending hours in a shopping mall or glitzy restaurant trying to outdo everyone, bragging about what you have, who your married to, how much money your husband has etc. Back then money was not talked about, you basically knew who had what by the car they drove but money was just not discussed.

I remember the old Nad Al Sheba race course, when I see racing in UAE on the TV now, you have all the glamour dolly's out there dressed to the nines, with their hardly there dresses on, hair extensions, makeup you could scrap off, its transformed into what racing is like here in the UK. But back then you just turned up as you were and enjoyed the race, you did not care to try to outshine everyone else or get noticed. We often sat in the royal box and I used love it because you got lots of nice little snacks etc lol, it did not bother me or excite me at all that Sheikh Mohammed and other shiekhs were sitting just a few rows in front of me, I was more interested in the cake being offered by the waiter. I never really dressed up either, mainly because it was a last minute decision to attend. I often just had on a traditional emirati dress and never felt out of place because no one else had really bothered to dress up either.

I have been gone from UAE 8 years this July. Yes my heart still hurts terribly, I have still never got over having to leave, but I had no choice because of my daughter. I ache for the old days which have long gone, I re-live them often in my dreams, days that will never come again because of the massive changes and the influx of half the world who see UAE as a place to play, not as I did as a magical, mysterious country full of rich culture.

So I wonder sometimes if I wrote a book if anyone would be interested to actually read it. Are people interested in the Old??? or do they just want to hear about the glitz and glamour of today?
I think to be able to write a good book about life in UAE you need to have experienced the old in my opinion.

There are three things I miss the most about UAE. One is my late partner Omran Al Shamsi, who was my best friend, soul mate and my everything. second is the sound of the call for prayer especially the early morning one and lastly is being unable to sleep and getting into my car and driving in the early hours of the morning from Dubai to Fujeriah and back again, watching the sun rise over the mountains as I drove with music from Mahad Hamed playing on the tape deck (yes it was so long ago cars still had them).


Anonymous said...

Ofcourse - I would love to read it...

My Great Escape said...

If you decide to write a book, I would definitely read it. I would love to see things from someone's perspective.

Amal said...

Please do :) I would absolutely love to read a book about your time here in the UAE!

Sylvi said...

I also left UAE, one year ago and miss it so so much. please write this book, I will read it for sure! With a great interest.

Coral Crue said...

i would definitely be buying this book!!! please do write

Musandam Khasab said...

I have read some books based on UAE life and the only one I found interesting was "Mother Without a Mask" Dubai Desert Safari i love it very much

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