Nawaf the Arabian knight
My grandfather has told me stories about the bravery of the Arabian Knights. They were kind to those in need and used to take good care of their beautiful horses. Grandfather says that the Arabian Knights’ favourite food was mandi. They would dig a hole in the ground very early in the morning and leave the mandi to cook all day until they returned to their camp at sunset.
Nawaf the Pearl Diver
Pearl diving is an important part of Arabia’s heritage, when people used to dive in the Gulf to find marvellous pearls. Arabian pearls were considered the best in the world, and could only be found in the summer months. Back then, it was a dangerous job – there was no diving equipment and divers had to hold their breath for five minutes at a time!
Nawaf the Falconer
Falcons are one of Arabia’s most iconic symbols, and have been used for centuries in Arabia for hunting animals such as hare. They’re still used for sport today. My grandfather says that falcons have amazing eyesight, which is why they are very good hunters. They fly very high up in the sky and see their prey on the ground from above, then they dive very quickly to catch it.
Nawaf the Date Picker
I love sweet, sticky dates, but did you know that date palms have been farmed throughout Arabia for thousands of years? They are prized for their tasty fruit, their wood, and their fronds, which were used to weave baskets, mats and cover roofs.
Nawaf the Palm Leaf Weaver
My family still uses date palm leaves for all sorts of purposes around the house, just like our ancestors. They’re great for building traditional ‘barasti’ fencing for houses and walls, or weaving baskets and floor mats.
Nawaf the Camel shepherd
People call camels the ‘ships of the desert because they’re so strong and patient. My grandfather says that a man’s wealth used to be measured by the number of camels he owned! Camels are incredibly useful – they would make long journeys in caravans for trading, and their meat and milk is really good for you.
Nawaf the Coffee maker
Coffee is our traditional drink and is an important ritual in an Arabian Majlis. My grandfather says it is a symbol of generosity. Coffee is brewed in a special pot called a Dalla, and is served in a glass cup called a Finjan.