Posted by: travelrat | April 29, 2011

Fujairah Heritage Centre

Fujairah; 9th February 2011

 ‘They don’t mind being photographed’ said the guide, as we approached the Fujairah Heritage Centre ‘but they do appreciate being asked, first’.

It’s important wherever you are to ask permission before taking a ‘personal’ photograph of anyone, but doubly so in many Muslim countries, where some people believe it falls well within the ‘graven image’ department. Apart from which, it shows a crass lack of respect to just produce a camera or camcorder, and start shooting away.

On the way here, he’d also given a few facts about Arab dress. The long black robe, or abaya usually covered a bright dress and expensive jewellery, and the purpose of it was to protect them from the dust and sun, as well as hiding jewellery from the eyes of the covetous. The hijab, or scarf, was, similarly, to protect the hair.

‘In the West’ he said ‘you believe that the burqa is an all-enveloping veil’. What it is actually is a mask, which shielded the nose and lips from the sun. And, originally, none of these things had any religious significance whatsoever.

Within the walled compound, there were displays of dancing and crafts, from boat-building to basket weaving, and demonstrations of early farming methods … with, of course, all the Heritage Centre people in traditional costume. They also showed the kind of tent dwelling they lived in. They all looked enthusiastic, and keen to show off what they did. Apart from the cow. It just looked bored!


  1. Hi Keith,
    I agree it is always best to ask someone before you take a photo, this depends a lot on the Country your in at the time. I can’t get over the cow, it has such a beautiful face, I think it may be the eyes, not the usual round you normally see.

    A very unusual veil over the face on the Lady, I have never seen one like that before, was it the type of veil others in the area was wearing as well? A very interesting post, and the picture of the boat near the fort, the wood looks gorgeous, would make some nice furniture. 🙂

    • Yes; the mask is the original ‘burqa’; designed to shield the sensitive parts of the face from the sun. Looks a bit like a false moustache, doesn’t it?

      It’s quite commonly worn by older, more traditional Emirati ladies; younnger ones use Factor 30 and ChapStick!

  2. I am so glad you said that about the false moustache because that’s immediately what I thought. LOL. And the cow is adorable. Awwwww.

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