Recently Abandoned Community Near Ray



Recently Abandoned Community Near Ray

Just a few kilometers off the gravel road between Mahdah and Hatta is a small community on top of the gravel plain. Residents of the community abandoned these bait khaimah just a few years ago to move to more modern housing. One of the families that moved has shared their stories with members of the group and we have met young men who were born in these now-abandoned houses.

Phil Iddison of the group wanted to document the community and so we made a special trip to the site on one of Phil's return visits to the UAE. The community was mapped using GPS coordinates and photographs taken of the houses, mosque and oasis.

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Within sight of the main road to Hatta is this modern version of the classic bait khaimah (tent house)
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The foundation of a house
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Close up of the barasti and framing
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The view at the bottom of the wadi just below the abandoned village
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View down onto the narrow terraces below the abandoned community
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General view of the community with empty foundations (left and right) and last standing house (center)
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Closeup of entrance to remaining bait khaimah; note combined use of barasti and areesh
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Hearth at the foot of a wall
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Note the open pattern of the areesh beneath the "blanket" of barasti
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The "tent" of this house has collapsed
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Likewise the roof of this house is now rotting in the foundation
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Phil (left) and Mike Gillett inspecting the construction
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Phil and Brigitte inspecting the site
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Jerry completing the photographic record
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Jerry, Tom Weeks and Brien at the "sheikh's house"
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The "sheikh's house" is a complex of three or four separate buildings
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Broken pottery (left foreground) litter the site, along with tin cans
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Members exploring the many fascinating features of the site
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Phil and Brien speculating on life in the community
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Helene taking a moment to reflect
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The graveyard near the community is small suggesting a brief period of occupation
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The "sheikh's house" includes two buildings that had flat roofs and locked doors
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Phil and Brien checking the "sheikh's house"
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There are more than a dozen individual houses, one mosque and a few animal shelters
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One of the larger buildings on the site, perhaps an animal pen
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Mike, Jerry and Brien in the well-constructed mosque
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The prayer niche
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View of the roof beam construction of the last standing house
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View from the rear of the last house
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It is especially interesting having met one of the families that once lived in this community


 


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