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95-Year-Old Emirati Man Crafting Palm Frond Ropes Since Age 5

The 95-Year-Old Craftsman Keeping Tradition Alive

In a world where technology is rapidly changing centuries-old traditions, Sulaiman Abdullah Mohammed Al Dwari, a 95-year-old Emirati man in the UAE, stands as a living testament to the endurance of traditional craftsmanship. Since the tender age of 5, he has proudly carried on the tradition of crafting ropes from palm trees.

Dwari, with a radiant smile, captivates audiences at the Al Maleh and Fishing Festival on Dibba Al Hisn Island, organized by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. With practiced hands, he rubs palm fronds' strands, skillfully engaging spectators with his artistry.

Born in Dibba, Fujairah, Dwari has dedicated his life to mastering the crafts of rope making, netting, fishing, and fish salting. His experience spans 95 years, despite being just five years old at heart.

Reflecting on the past, Dwari reminisces, "Back in the day, all we had was fishing and pearl-diving communities. But today, we have communities in the country mastered in every field. People around the world want to settle here. All thanks to the leaders, they have made the nation what it is today."

The process of crafting palm tree ropes, as demonstrated by Dwari, is intricate and labor-intensive. It begins with selecting the right palm fronds, ensuring their pliability for weaving. The fronds are meticulously trimmed, split into narrow strands, soaked in water, and partially dried. Then comes the magic.

With decades of expertise, Dwari employs a technique passed down through generations. He rubs the palm frond strips against his hands and knees, exerting pressure while gently intertwining the fibers. This laborious process results in robust and enduring ropes.

While the process may seem simple, Dwari's hands and knees have become artisans in transforming palm fronds into dependable ropes. Different patterns and weaving techniques are employed depending on the strands, allowing him to create thick and durable ropes.

"Our ancestors relied on these ropes for their daily lives," Dwari recalls with a nostalgic smile. "From fishing to constructing shelters, these ropes were essential tools that held our communities together," he adds, proud of preserving this heritage.

Dwari's expertise extends beyond practical applications. He crafts intricate patterns and designs within the ropes, transforming them into objects of art that reflect the UAE's rich heritage.

In a world of constant change, Sulaiman Abdullah Mohammed Al Dwari reminds us of the value of traditions and heritage. With each rope he creates, he bridges the past and present, underscoring the enduring significance of preserving age-old customs.

By: Vibha Kapoor  /  Source: SyndiGate Media Inc