long drive for women to keep culture alive
Last Updated : GMT 03:09:26
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Long drive for women to keep culture alive

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Long drive for women to keep culture alive

Dubai - Gulf

They drive around 150 kilometres everyday to keep the UAE heritage alive, to tell visitors of the wonders of this land. This is the story of a group of Emirati women in their 50s, who leave their families behind in Fujairah to come to Modhesh Fun City and Mall of the Emirates (MoE) to weave handicrafts and sell them and cook authentic Emirati food as part of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS). They do it to show the world the beauty and culture found in the UAE. Around six women from the Women's Committee of Dibba Al Fujairah's Culture, Theatre and Arts Centre, commute to Dubai daily in a minibus, despite the long journey and their commitments to their homes. Aisha Al Yammahi, Head of the Women's Committee, told Gulf News, that the main goal behind this initiative is to spread awareness about the UAE culture and traditions and protect them from fading away. "Besides that, these women make a living out of this participation, as they sell the handcrafts and the food they make. The income goes to them so they can support themselves and their families, especially that some of them are widows or divorcees," Aisha explained. She said these women also take part in school functions around the UAE, whenever requested, for free, to teach the younger generation about the culture. Aisha said they have been part of these festivals for the past five years. "We send five to six women to Dubai daily. Some of them on rotating basis, so they do not get tired, especially considering their age and other responsibilities at home," she said. "These women are very active and enthusiastic about educating people about the traditions of the country. Four years ago, we took them to Paris for the ‘Fujairah days' festival and they were happy to interact with people from around the world," she said. Mariam Juma, a supervisor at the committee and who also accompanies the women everyday, said there is always a demand for these women to participate in big events such as DSS. "The women in Dibba Al Fujairah, especially, still maintain the traditional aspects of the Emirati lifestyle, as they still weave, sew and cook traditional dishes as part of their daily lives at their homes. This is why we are requested to participate and we think this is our national duty," she told Gulf News. Traditional handicrafts She said the women started participating since the DSS started on June 22 and will continue until July 31. Mariam said usually four to six women come daily to Dubai, four of them work on various traditional handicrafts, while two of them cook Emirati food. "We leave Dibba Al Fujairah around 1pm and arrive in Dubai around 3:30pm at the most since Modhesh Fun City opens at 4pm. On weekdays, the women work from 4pm to 10pm and arrive back at their homes at around 12 midnight. On weekends, they work until 12 midnight and arrive back at their homes around 2am," Mariam explained. She said since she supervises these women. Mariam also runs up and down from Modhesh Fun City in Deira to Mall of the Emirates on Shaikh Zayed Road to check on the women on both locations. Mouza Ahmad, one of the women who commutes to Dubai daily, said showcasing her experience at festivals, regardless of their location, gives her a motive in life. "Earlier, before being part of the committee, I used to feel depressed often because I would be at home and just doing the daily routine. But now I feel I am doing something valuable by educating visitors about our culture and also supporting my family with the income I get," she said.

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