None of us can even skateboard to save our lives, but Jet Lang and his gang are pros that make hurdling down the mountains on a long board look fearlessly easy. Jet’s fellow long boarder, Sparks Remot, has five years of long boarding experience under his belt, and has competed internationally. He explains that long boarding isn’t something you can observe and imitate, but rather something you need to continually practice. Based off of what we see in this video, we’d have to completely agree.
Following the extreme sport of long boarding, the two travelers visit a sword maker in RAK. Mohammad Al Shehhi, an employee of the Public Works and Services Department in RAK, explains that the swords shown are the swords of their ancestors. Once used for military purposes, the swords are now considered national treasures and are used for sword dancing. This tradition, as Al Shehhi explains, allows them to remember where their culture comes from. They deeply believe in the words of Sheikh Zayed, “Whoever doesn’t acknowledge their past, cannot make the best of the future.”
After the brief introduction, Ali shows Mohammad and Majed how the swords are forged. A very interesting process, to say the least.
The next visit is Red Island, where Mohammad and Majed compare the traditional houses of the island to the contemporary houses of today. Here they meet Abeed Bin Hamad Qaboos Al Azzabi, who tells them that the island was once considered to be one of the most well-known trading routes. It was during this time that those who lived on the island, mostly fishermen, divers, and ship-owners, came to be called the “Kings of the Sea.” In 1968, Azzabi says that the inhabitants migrated to Abu Dabi in search for a better standard of living.
During the final stop, Mohammad and Majed dabble in the danger of sword dancing themselves as they attempt to throw and catch the swords. Again, this isn’t something we would try ourselves, but we can appreciate the skill of the art and the traditions behind it.
The GM Authority Take
This is probably one of the more interesting episodes of the mini-series thus far, as it showcases facets of UAE that we would have otherwise not thought of. I’ve been enjoying the eye-opening experience in regards to aspects of the culture that I otherwise wouldn’t have seen or known of.
For your convenience, we’ve provided links to the previous episodes below;