CHILDREN OF THE SEVEN SANDS

Children of the Seven Sands, the human history of the United Arab Emirates - by li'l ole me - will be published by Motivate Publishing on the 2nd February 2020.

The United Arab Emirates stands as the world’s thirtieth largest economy, home to over 9 million people of 195 nationalities living and working together in an environment of safety and stability unique in today’s troubled world. And yet beyond the glass skyscrapers and pleasure parks lies a remarkable story of a brilliant, fascinating, violent and colourful past, stretching back to the very dawn of humanity.

The UAE was founded under fifty years ago, by a handshake between two men meeting in a tent in the desert between Abu Dhabi and Dubai – and yet its human history stretches back to the emergence of anatomically modern humans from Africa to populate the earth, a story of 130,000 years of survival in one of the world’s harshest environments.

Today one of the world’s largest logistical and trading hubs, the land of the Emirates was a key centre of trade between ancient civilisations stretching back over 8,500 years, home to a unique admixture of human influences and cultures – and wracked by cruel wars and battles between tribes, nations and religions.

Thanks to modern archaeological and historical research, we can now trace the UAE’s story back to the very Garden of Eden, the mythical floods of the Old Testament and the foundation of the Sumerian civilisation. Known to the Sumerians as Magan, the source of the copper that sparked a metallurgical revolution which swept the ancient world, the land of the Emirates was home to a trading entrepĂ´t linking Mesopotamia, Persia and the Indus Valley Harappan civilisations. It was then, as it is now, a locus for global commerce, travel and exploration.

Emerging from the pre-Islamic age as a centre for global interaction and a dominant force in the rich trade between Asia and Europe, the people of the Emirates would straddle the seven seas until the arrival of the European empires sparked a clash which would eventually impose the Pax Britannica on the Trucial States, the coastal city states which eventually came together to found the United Arab Emirates when the British protectorate ceased on the 2nd December 1971.

This, then, is their story...

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