(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Joelyn Baluyut |
Doha, Qatar: Long before Qatar's immense oil wealth was discovered in 1939, the heart of the Gulf's economy beat with the luminous rhythm of pearls.
Divers used to commence their voyages, lasting for months, often setting sail on crowded ships alongside numerous fellow divers and their assistants. And today, one Qatari diver is on a mission to rekindle this age-old tradition, adamant that it's vital to preserve it for future generations.“It's very important to maintain this tradition, and I will teach my kids to do it.”
Mohammed Abdullah Al Sada, a modern-day pearl diver, is a testament to the rich maritime heritage of Qatar. His story is now featured on the“Voices of Qatar,” an initiative launched by Qatar Tourism.
The said initiative showcases the journeys of cultural changemakers like Al Sada, whose tales of perseverance, triumph, and transformation are bound to inspire travellers to explore Qatar and witness the echoes of their influence.
Al Sada's diving adventure began with a different aim, searching for fish beneath the waves. However, he soon received guidance from his father, who encouraged him to take up the mantle of a pearl diver, much like his grandfather. Now, Al Sada embarks on a quest to rediscover the ancient diving spots in Qatar's seas.
In the days of yore, pearl divers commenced their undersea odyssey at the break of dawn, tirelessly diving until sunset. It's a realm where the divers, as Al Sada describes, could plunge 30 metres beneath the surface on a single breath, experiencing the sensation of flight under the water, a feeling of being in the sky rather than the sea.
As Al Sada recounts, pearl diving in the past was an exceedingly perilous endeavor. However, today, technological advancements have ushered in an era of greater safety and efficiency. He no longer relies on a person at the surface to hoist him back up; instead, he makes use of modern fins for propulsion.
His connection to this tradition runs deep, and he passionately advocates for its preservation. He asserts:“The salt is in my blood, it's very important to maintain this tradition, and I will teach my kids to do it. All of the divers in the old days and now, they are looking for the Dana. The Dana is a very unique pearl and the size is over ten millimeters, it's not easy to find it but I'll keep going.” Dana means the most valuable pearl.
Alongside Mohammed Abdullah Al Sada, this platform features a diverse array of talents, including Tania Al Majid, Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs at the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ); Chef Noof Al Marri, Master of the Desert Rose Café at NMoQ; and Amal Al Shammari, Director of Embrace Doha, among others.
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