The UAE story is older than 48 years - way older Filed on November 27, 2019 | Last updated on November 27, 2019 at 07.20 pm
UAE story, older, 48 years, five-part documentary, Emirates, Abu Dhabi, Archeologists

(Alamy Image)

Archeologists have been digging in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain for the past 50 years or so, and there have been many discoveries.

The five-part documentary on the history of the Emirates is challenging the long-held notion that the UAE is 'a young country with hardly 48 years of history behind it'.

The series 'History of the Emirates' that is currently being shown on national TV will change the way people see and understand the UAE, said Khalid Khouri, chief operations officer of Image Nation Abu Dhabi, the company behind the production.

"Archeologists have been digging in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain for the past 50 years or so, and there have been many discoveries. There are occasional Press releases that come out, but it was never documented visually," Khouri told Khaleej Times.

"When we talk about the history of UAE, we think 48 years back. Yes, as a country we are 48 years old but people lived here 125,000 years ago. We felt it is important for the people of the UAE and the expatriate community not only to know the history of the country but also to know who was here before us. Who walked this place before we came."

Khouri said the ambitious project took four years, bringing together archeologists, anthropologists, and historians, on top of cutting-edge technology, including 360-degree camera work.

"It wasn't easy. A great deal of the credit goes to the award-winning Atlantic Productions that put together all the data and information we had and cross-verified it before putting it together visually. We are glad we did it," said Khouri.

The documentary's first hour-long episode dealt with the early migration of humans from African to the region. Then the following ones covered early settlements, cultural development, trade patterns, and culminating in the formation of the UAE in 1971.

Beginnings of tolerance

Khouri says his personal favourite is the Faith episode that talks about how people of different beliefs had settled in the UAE from pre-historic times.

"The documentary shows proof of that a church that existed in the UAE some 1,000 years ago. People of different religious beliefs migrated and settled here. The concept of tolerance did not begin recently. Our land was always open to others."


Anjana Sankar

Anjana Sankar is a UAE-based journalist chasing global stories of conflict, migration and human rights. She has reported from the frontlines of the wars in Yemen and Syria and has extensively written on the refugee crisis in Bangladesh, Iraq and Europe. From interviewing Daesh militants to embedding with the UAE army in Yemen, and covering earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks and elections, she has come out scathe-free from the most dangerous conflict zones of the world. Riding on over 14 years of experience, Anjana currently is an Assistant Editor with Khaleej Times and leads the reporting team. She often speaks about women empowerment on her Facebook page that has 40,000 plus followers.

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