428 عدد المشاهدات
Researcher, historian and advisor Jamal bin Huwaireb, CEO of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, called for the establishment of an integrated diving museum in the UAE, in order to preserve the history of the most important heritage profession; diving. It was practiced by parents and grandparents, and was the main source of livelihood for the inhabitants of this region for centuries.
In a heritage symposium at Jamal bin Huwaireb Studies Center (JBHSC) attended by a number of experts and interested audience, led by journalist and expert Jumah bin Thalith, Engineer Rashad Bukhash, Chairman of the UAE’s Architectural Heritage Society, author Dr. Shehab Ghanem and heritage expert Rashid bin Hashem, and others, the author touched on the journey of diving through history, and how grandparents lived on this profession before the emergence of oil.
He also dealt with many other aspects related to diving, such as the equipment and tools used by divers, navigational tools such as the “Arab compass”, the stars of the compass, the preparations before the diving trip, the diving locations, the types of ships, the types and names of monsoons, the types and names of pearls and methods of selling them, “al kifal” – the return trip from diving – and the role that “Al-Tawash” (diver) plays in selling pearls.
In his book, the author also included statistics and comparisons from different regions of the Gulf and the world related to pearls and their types, identifying more than 250 pearl diving locations with their coordinates, names and the depth of each. He also talked about the Emirati pearl, which dates back to 5500 years BC, citing the opinion of an Australian expert that the pearls of the Arabian Gulf are superior in their qualities and purity over other types of pearls in the world, especially the Ceylon pearls.
‘’However, the Japanese cultured pearls eliminated the natural pearl trade.’’, added the author.
Moreover, the author referred to the diving trips that were taking place in areas far from the Arabian Gulf region, such as the island of Ceylon, Socotra, and the “Dahlak” islands, which are located in the Red Sea and are 2000 nautical miles away. He also explored the fishing seasons classifying them into four seasons: winter, alssfry, alqayz and summer
In his book, the author talked about navigation in general in the Arabian Gulf, and the maps that were used in cruises to pinpoint the sites of diving, including the map of Sheikh Mani` bin Rashid Al Maktoum
He also tackled the biography of the famous Arab and Emirati navigator Ahmed ibn Majid and his great contributions to marine explorations and navigation throughout history. Ibn Majid combined theoretical science and technical invention. He was the first to develop the navigational compass in the modern concept, the first to suspend a magnetic needle on an axis for free movement, and the first to invent the “alkamal” instrument.
Bin Thani stressed the importance of preserving the heritage, as it is related to the original ancestral legacy. He also noted that he adheres to his heritage and his close relationship with the sea, and that he keeps many secrets of the sea he acquired during fishing trips with his father, which lasted for weeks, and that he was keen since childhood to catch fish in various local ways.
Bin Thani continued by saying: The fate of people of the UAE and the Gulf countries was linked to the sea, for it was the source of their livelihood through fishing and diving in search of pearls, and transporting commercial goods, indicating that the sea is a source of inspiration, love, comfort and untold pleasure, and a source for getting rid of negative energy and a source of food as well.
Major General Ahmed Mohammed bin Thani talked about this enjoyable and arduous experience saying: “The dream of writing about the world of diving came to me from an early age. I have always dreamed of writing a book containing all those stories and events about marine heritage that took place on my father’s workshop that I remember well. I spent 5 years preparing the book and using accurate information”
About the author
Major General Ahmed Mohammed bin Thani is the son of the marine environment. He was born and raised in an environment related to fishing, shipbuilding and pearl diving. In his childhood, he accompanied his father in the manufacture of wooden ships
He joined Dubai Police as a candidate pilot, then he moved to Bur Dubai Police Station. In 2000, he was appointed Deputy Director of the General Administration of Airport Security, and was appointed in 2004 as General Director. Later he was appointed as Assistant Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police for Airport Security.
At the end of the symposium, Jamal bin Huwaireb honored Major General bin Thani with the JBHSC’s Shield.