We work in a small village called Al Qua’a. It’s 75m/120km outside of Al Ain. I have been told that the village has a population of 15,000. Most of it’s inhabitants are members of the Al Darei family/tribe. They are originally from Yeman and Saudi Arabia, and they migrated to the UAE several thousand years ago in search of water. They have been settled in Al Qua’a for the past 30 something years after the late Sheik Zayed mandated that a village be constructed in Al Qua’s for the tribe. Amongst these tribes members are also families from Oman, Egypt, Sudan and Jordan. Some of them are teachers within community, while others are family waiting to receive citizenship. It was very interesting, for both of us, to work in a such a tight knit community. We learned a lot about the Arabic culture and Islamic belief systems. Below are pictures of my school and surrounding community.
**When conducting an interview with my friend’s father (which I am very grateful for as he could have refused to meet with me as I am a woman) I was able to learn so much about the history of the tribes people in Al Qua’a. He was able to tell me where separate sects of the tribe lived 1,000’s of years ago. I was thouroughly impressed. After sharing that information with me he looked at me and asked where was my family from. I told him the US as far back as I could trace but that I was aware of and acknowledge my family’s African roots. He looked so disappointed. While he understood and knew about the enslavement of Africans, he was still, very much so, disappointed in my inability to share my family’s history with him. I left the interview soberly reflecting on all I had learned.