Meet 12-year-old Emirati who would rather spend time with camels, falcons in desert than play video games

One of the ways Mubarak actively shares his Bedouin heritage is by educating his non-Emirati friends at school


Ahmed Waqqas Alawlaqi

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Supplied photos
Supplied photos

Published: Tue 18 Jul 2023, 12:15 PM

Last updated: Thu 23 Nov 2023, 1:02 PM

In the heart of modern-day Abu Dhabi, Mubarak Albreiki, a passionate young Emirati student, carries the torch of his nation's rich heritage. Unlike the average 12-year-old, Mubarak's weekends are not spent at the mall or playing video games; instead, he immerses himself in the vibrant world of Emirati culture, with falconry and camel racing ranking among his favourite pastimes.

"I have a deep love for everything related to camels, falconry, and Bedouin life," Mubarak enthusiastically shared with Khaleej Times.

Cherishing the traditional practices passed down through generations in his family, Mubarak finds great excitement in attending camel races. "Attending camel races brings me excitement...and I can’t wait to participate in next year's race," Mubarak said.

During his leisure time, you will often find the preteen at a local desert camp, engaging in falconry alongside his father and brother, or caring for animals at the nearby wildlife reserve. Through these activities, Mubarak nurtures a profound connection with nature and develops a deep respect for the environment.

Preserving Emirati culture and traditions has always been paramount to Mubarak's family, and this value has been instilled in all their children. Mubarak himself understands the significance of embracing his cultural heritage. "Every Emirati citizen has a duty to preserve and showcase our Emirati identity," he emphasised.

One of the ways Mubarak actively shares his culture is by educating his non-Emirati friends at school. He takes great joy and pride in talking to them about local culture and traditions, recounting stories and explaining the importance of various aspects such as clothing, food, and celebrations.

Mubarak firmly believes that fostering cultural awareness among his friends helps build bridges of understanding and appreciation, promoting a more inclusive and harmonious environment.

"At school, I take pleasure in sharing information about our culture and heritage with my friends," the boy said. "Seeing their interest and the pride they feel in learning about our traditions brings me immense joy."

Mubarak's love for his heritage extends to his fascination with camels, which he sees as a living embodiment of Emirati traditions and a symbol of Arab roots.

He fondly recalls a heartwarming encounter with a tourist who approached him to take pictures with a camel. This experience filled Mubarak with a profound sense of pride, knowing that someone from a different culture expressed genuine interest in his Arab roots and wanted to capture the moment. It reinforced his belief that Emirati culture holds universal appeal beyond its significance to UAE citizens.

"I vividly remember the time when I was riding my camel and a tourist kindly asked for a picture. It brought a smile to my face, knowing that foreigners are interested in our traditions," Mubarak said.

Mubarak's unwavering passion for Emirati culture, his dedicated efforts to educate others, and his profound pride in his heritage exemplify the essence of a young Emirati committed to preserving his cultural identity. He serves as an inspiration to his peers, demonstrating that cultural heritage can be shared and celebrated by people from all walks of life and at any age.


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