The Arab world
● Topics trade and transport : from ships to trains; the art of henna; weddings ; Al Janadriyah Festival; Arabic homes: the Majlis ; the mosque
● Use of English would/used to; complex pre-modified noun phrases
Lesson 1–2 Trade and transport: from ships to trains
● What sort of trade did the people of the UAE do in the past? How did the dhows help with trade?
● Which countries do you think the UAE does most of its trade with nowadays?
● What types of transportation are used by businesses in the UAE?
● Choose three forms of transport. What types of goods are transported using these?
1 - Listen to a radio presenter interviewing a professor about trade in the UAE. Then, work with a partner and discuss what title you would give this interview.
When listening for missing information, look at the words that come before and after the gaps. You can often guess what type of word it will be.
2 - Listen again to part of the interview. Read the sentences and choose True (T), False (F) or Not Given (NG).
1 In the 1950s, dhows were able to anchor in the port to unload their cargoes. ……………….
2 The transport infrastructure before the 1970s was excellent, with roads connecting traders with trade routes across the emirates. ………………..
3 Traders used to use sand tracks along the beach to transport goods from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. ……………….
4 Today, the UAE’s network of communication highways is the most developed in the world. ………………
3 - Copy the graphic organiser into your notebook. Listen to the interview again and make notes.
4 - Compare your notes with a partner. What main ideas and details did you both note down? Did you and your partner organise your notes in the same way or differently?
When you are listening for key information, it is helpful to make notes. Include details such as dates and facts; or key ideas such as opinions. Don’t try to write everything you hear.
Create graphic organisers to help you take notes. Try using a table, a spider diagram, a list or even pictures to record key information. It is good to try different methods and see what works best for you.
Lessons 3–4 The art of henna
● On what occasions do women use henna? Why is henna part of the Arabic tradition? Can men use henna?
1 Skim the article.
The henna plant has been used to decorate the body for thousands of years. The earliest evidence of this comes from Egyptian mummies whose hair and nails were stained with henna. Henna was used widely, for example, in the Roman Empire, Ancient Egypt, other parts of North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and Asia. It was a popular adornment for the rich and was also used by the poor to decorate their bodies because they could not afford jewellery.
Henna is part of the Arab world’s culture and heritage. People in the desert have used henna for centuries. The henna leaves were collected, ground into a paste, then mixed with other ingredients, such as warm water, lemon juice, tea, sugar and essential oils. The dark paste can be used to decorate hands and feet, as well as to dye leather, silk, wool or hair. Henna paste was originally left on the palms and soles of the feet for its cooling effect, but as the paste comes away it leaves a stain on the skin – this probably sparked the idea of using henna for beautifcation.
Henna is used for special occasions such as weddings, engagements and Eid. The most popular of the traditions is the Henna Night where the bride, her family, relatives and friends get together to celebrate the wedding to come. The bride covers her hands and feet with designs ranging from simple shapes to intricate geometric patterns. The bridal patterns can take hours and are often done by multiple henna artists.
Tradition suggests that for as long as the henna stain appears on the bride, she doesn’t have to do any housework! Also, the darker the stain, the better the marriage! So you can imagine why the bride would want the stain to come out dark and last as long as possible.