For years now, South Asians have been moving to the Gulf in search of better opportunities. And yes, that includes both Pakistanis and Indians. In a foreign land, where discrimination is the last thing on people's minds, Indians and Pakistanis live in harmony upholding the spirit of brotherhood.
But that's not really the point of this Instagram account. The account is owned by a woman named Ayesha, an Arabic translator and writer, who hails from India but has been brought up in the UK. Several of her relatives have been residing in the Gulf, and that is what instigated her to start the page in the first place.
The profile consists of pictures of various South Asians who have been living in the Gulf, and focuses mostly on their memories and their experiences there.
Take for instance, this photo:
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Repost @alqenaei_1 [translation] ・・・ Hussain bin ‘Isa al-Qina’i (1881-1957) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ From time to time, TV channels in Kuwait show interviews discussing the experiences of Kuwaiti merchants. These merchants’ fathers worked, as did they during their younger years, in various trading enterprises across India during the last century. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ There is almost no interview, whether on television or in newspaper articles or even in books documenting that era, that does not mention one of the most important and long-standing business offices in Bombay - that of Hussain bin ‘Isa and his brothers. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Hussain bin ‘Isa al-Qina’i left Kuwait for India in 1914 on the advice of his brother Shaikh Yusuf bin ‘Isa al-Qina’i, following a political dispute Hussain bin ‘Isa had with Shaikh Mubarak al-Sabah. When Hussain went to Bombay, Shaikh Yusuf informed his friends from the Bin Ibrahim family living there. At first Hussain worked with them as an accountant, until in 1922 he was able to collaborate with his brothers Shaikh Yusuf, Sulaiman, and Ahmad bin ‘Isa in opening a joint commercial office at 27, Sutar Chawl, called Hussain bin ‘Isa & Bros. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Not only was this office one of the main centres dealing with two-way trade between India and the Gulf, but it welcomed Arab merchants and provided them assistance until they had got established in India. Many commercial enterprises, and even political ones, were started from it. The offices of Hussain bin ‘Isa and other Arab traders served as commercial consulates that connected governments and their merchants. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Hussain bin ‘Isa stayed in India for many years until he returned to Kuwait in 1955. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ***** If you have a photo/story you would like to share, please DM or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
"There is almost no interview, whether on television or in newspaper articles or even in books documenting that era, that does not mention one of the most important and long-standing business offices in Bombay - that of Hussain bin ‘Isa and his brothers."
These old pictures are bound to make anyone nostalgic:
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Domnic Fernandes on staging "tiatr" (a form of musical theatre popular in Goa) in Bahrain in the 1970s: "The entrance fee for a tiatr in Bahrain in the 1970s was Fils 800 and 500 respectively. The fee of Fils 800 was later raised to BD1.000. It was quite difficult in those days to stage tiatros in Bahrain. We mostly suffered losses but we didn’t give up; we continued to stage tiatros for the love of Konkani speakers and Goans there. Every time we staged a drama, we had to pay BD5.000 as hire charges for “pod’de” (drops). We came across an artist - Domnic Viegas from Tivim - who painted four drops for us free of charge. The painting job was carried out on the terrace of late Seby D’Souza’s residence in Manama. Seby hailed from Navelim. He also was a tiatrist, writer and director. I acted in one of his dramas. All tiatros that we staged in Bahrain in the 1970s were a one-time event. As such, one had to give his/her best and prove his/her ability in one attempt!" ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Source: tiatracademy.blogspot.com ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ***** If you have a photo/story you would like to share, please DM or email: email@example.com
In a way, this account provides a platform for people living in the Gulf to express their stories; stories, which may have been lost in the folds of time.