As you walk down the stone-paved alleys of Souq Waqif, there is one shop you can’t resist stopping at. Located in a quiet area sits 77-year-old Saad Ismail Al Jassem, a multifaceted Qatari national, fluent in Arabic, English, Italian and Hindi, with a fascinating story to tell. A veteran pearl diver, Saad recalls the early days of Qatar and pearling. By all accounts, he is the only surviving pearl diver in Qatar – the last link to a tradition and trade which was once Qatar’s economic mainstay, before the discovery of oil.
Throughout the years, Saad worked in various industries in Qatar, including several utility departments, the Ministry of Education, Qafco and the police department. Some say the pearl shop was a gift to Saad from the Father Emir after he retired from the police department. At 77 years of age, Saad has witnessed the Qatar’s amazing transformation.
Join us on Monday, March 9th, as Saad regales us with stories about the early days of pearling in the gulf.