I learned everything from my mother. She taught me how to cook all kinds of food – stews, bread, fish… She taught me how to clean and wash, how to embroider clothes, how to make things. Every day we had to do work before we could play. We helped our mothers cooking, we had to go to the well to fetch water and carry it back on our heads. After we finished all that, we would sit and weave baskets and mats from palm leaves and we would sell them. We also embroidered clothes, such as the decorative cuffs of salwar (undertrousers) and kandoras. We made our own and we sold them too.
We did everything together as a community. We cleaned together, we fished together, we cooked the fish together, we made things together. We shared our food. After I had a child, I would leave it with a neighbour while I went to do some work. The children were not just the parents’ child, they were the neighbourhood’s child. After we finished our work we would sing songs together. We hardly did anything alone.
Life was much harder than now, but it was nice. It was a beautiful life. It was simple and everyone stuck together. Now everyone is scattered around and looking to his own affairs only. People don’t do things together like before.
Umm Ahmed, Khor Fakkan