Next stop Qasr Al Muwaijii
A mouthful for an non Arabic speaker like me – so I’ll call it the Fort
Actually it is one of many forts built over the centuries to protect the oasis (Al Ain) and irrigation channels (aflaj) that were created by the locals.
This one was built by Sheikh Zayed the Great (1826-1909)
For those who care😜it is bounded by the Hajar Mountains (east) and the rolling dunes of the Al Runb’ al
Khali (west), meaning the Empty Quarter. Just how empty, I hope to discover next visit.
Traditional dancing by elegantly clad men enchanted everyone and watching the young boys watching their obvious heroes and trying to copy them enchanted me.
Once again the men and women displayed great courtesy and patience as we asked questions that I’m sure they have had to answer thousands of time (or just maybe not- such as, what so do you wear under your hajib? She, a skirt and t shirt. I did not ask him 😜)
If it were only women she would not cover herself and at home, in the presence of her father or brothers she would uncover.
No, it is not hot, it is very light fabric.
No, generally the women don’t wash the men’s robes. They are sent out to be cleaned and pressed.
High quality Egyptian cotton for those wondering.
With eyes now tuned to detail I note the beautiful detail in the hajibs- the sleeves embroidered in black, scalloped perhaps, hemmed artistically. But always subtlety.
Nothing subtle about the eyes though – usually heavily made up, with deep lashes, dark kohl, they seem to present smouldering power and meekness at the same time.
University education is accessible to everyone and I have been repeatedly taken aback when talking to a ‘lady in black’ to discover she is a practising dentist, engineer, doctor. Says something again about my preconceived ideas 😢
The adventure continues …..