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Done by: basma balfaqeeh & shereena al sayegh. Introduction. Rags to riches is a story written by Mohammed Al Fahim . It’s a story about how people lived their lives a long time ago. Topics we will talk about : The simple lives of the Bedouins

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Done by basma balfaqeeh shereena al sayegh

Done by: basmabalfaqeeh


shereena al sayegh


  • Rags to riches is a story written by Mohammed Al Fahim. It’s a story about how people lived their lives a long time ago.

  • Topics we will talk about :

  • The simple lives of the Bedouins

  • The food they ate

  • The shopping they did

Simple lives of the bedouins
Simple lives' of the Bedouins

  • How it began:

  • In 1946 Abu Dhabi’s population nearly reached to 6 thousand people

  • Mid 1950’s population dropped because of the collapse of pearl industry

  • Also many citizens emigrated to Al Ain, Liwa and other parts of the gulf

  • How they lived:

  • Tribes kept to their own camps which were separated from other tribes

  • Harsh weather made people hesitant to live in Abu Dhabi

  • Women and children moved either to Al Ain or Liwa. While men were pearl diving.

  • Barely anyone stayed in Abu Dhabi because of lack of fresh water, high humidity and poor living conditions.

  • People wore the same clothes in winter as in summer.

  • Winter time the whole family huddled in one corner to stay warm throughout the night.

  • In summer they used to sleep outside for cold breeze.

  • How they transported:

  • Long distance trips were made on the back of a camel

  • Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah were reached by a boat

  • It took approximately 7 days to travel between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain or Liwa.

  • Took 3-4 days to reach Dubai

  • Usually people travelled in a caravan of 20 - 30 camels for security and companionship

  • Until late 1950’s no one owned a car, except a few ruling family members

  • Their houses:

  • Made out of palm fronds, wealthier families lived in clay houses and Sheikh lived in a palace

  • Houses were grouped together for security, companionship and warmth during the cooler months

  • People built houses away from the sea to protect them from the cold wind and high humidity in summer

  • Mats were used as flooring in the tents and huts

  • Woven mats were used for sitting, sleeping and insulating the tents. Also they were formed into roofs for the huts.


  • The souk had 2 rows of shops facing each other, about 30 shops in total

  • The size of each shop was about nine square meters

  • Some shops were made of mud and some out of palm fronds

  • Most sold the same goods; usually sold rice, flour, sugar and coffee also textiles

  • They used to tailor at home since they didn’t have ready made clothes

  • There were no merchandise that interests children, such as: toys, sweets and biscuits

  • 1963 some shopkeepers brought sweets, biscuits, dried powder orange juice and marbles for playing

  • Various shops started selling lemonade in bottles


  • Cooking was done over a wood fire, which was a chore to women

  • Finding fuel for the fire wasn’t easy to find being in the desert

  • Gathered any drift wood they found from the sea shore

  • They added the wood to flammable material gathered from the few date palms in the area

  • Also brought wood from the Bedouins

  • Mostly ate rice, fish, yogurt and dates

  • Rice was imported from India through Dubai

  • Dates were imported from Bahrain

  • They didn’t eat meat since they needed the animals for the milk

  • They never ate fish for dinner because it will rot

  • Al Ain and Liwa never ate fresh fish, they ate it dry

  • Men and women ate separately

  • Liquid refreshments consisted of tea and Arabic coffee

  • If needed they borrowed food from neighbors if a visitor came