UAE resident takes ancestry test, plans to reconnect with long-lost relatives

Polina says she wants to explore more about her ancestors “who would be from Spain or Tunisia”


Sahim Salim

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Published: Mon 27 Jun 2022, 3:31 PM

One of the first UAE residents to take an ancestry test has said that she did it to get answers to the question she is asked often: Who are you?

“I have a very interesting family story, but didn’t know whom to ask. I got asked so many times who I was and what my nationality was,” Polina Melnikova, an expat from the Kyrgyz Republic, told Khaleej Times. “People thought I was from France or Georgia or Turkey because of the way I looked. With time, even I got curious to understand my roots.”

She took the next generation sequencing (NGS) ancestry test offered at RAK Hospital. According to the hospital, the saliva sample-based test provides an “in-depth analysis of a person’s ancestors by locating them not only by country or continent, but within a specific geographical location”.

Ancestry testing can go back from five to 100 generations and more.

Polina said she wants to explore more about her ancestors “who would be from Spain or Tunisia”.

She said the test helped her understand herself better. And now she plans to connect with people who are ancestrally related to her.

“I'm not sure where to start … but now that I have the results, I will definitely go to the countries charted out in the result. I want to see what’s available in those countries and how I relate to them. This journey may then guide me to the people I can connect with. I have even told my parents about the plan,” Polina added.

When asked what she learnt about her ancestry, Polina said it explained a lot about the small things in her life. “I couldn't previously find a logical explanation why I felt a certain way or why I wanted a certain thing. Now I do.”

Another European woman, who recently took the test, said she now understood why she liked Arab culture and Mediterranean food.


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