“Coffee” .. a deep presence in Emirati culture

Ibrahim Al Mulla

She is the master of mood, the giver of people and the creator of passions, and for people to prepare and prepare it: methods, drinks and doctrines, as for its dark color, there is a brilliance that only dreamers see, and in its fragrance, it is the most precious and the most precious and the most precious. Poets and vocalists sang with its magic, and Mawla Ahmed bin Shaheen al-Shami said:
“And coffee is like abyssal amber.”
Black as the apple of a lover’s eye
You come as a fragrant, juicy musk
I likened it to bait like nectar
To reduce a friend from a friend’s love
And connect the friendly with the companion
Don’t mix it with my sparkle.”
One of the philosophers says of her: “Glory is to those who prepare their coffee in silence at night,” and another says: “A tender heart is coffee when she offers us her spirit to raise our spirits.” they describe her as “the icon of staying up late and the slow-sipping sister of time.”
Every October, the world celebrates the amazing historical path that created the magic of “coffee” and made it throughout the ages an obvious example of mixing two opposites. It is the companion of solitude when it comes to contemplation, contemplation, insight and inspiration. The emergence of popular councils in the old days, and the emergence of cafes that are busy with dialogue, discussion and controversy recently, and they are also present at weddings as well as at funerals, and they have a division of joy and a part of sadness.

“Drink of the Righteous”
Coffee was a milestone in the upward movement of human evolution, starting from the strange moment when, centuries ago, an Ethiopian shepherd discovered the stimulating effect of coffee beans, which resemble cherry fruits, passed through the celebration of the Yemeni Sufis and called it “drink of the righteous”, and later it spread around the world, Up to the great cultural revolution in Europe in the middle of the eighteenth century until the beginning of the twentieth century, when modern cities became a springboard for the birth of new philosophical , literary and artistic trends, and various psychological analyzes asserted themselves, and advanced scientific theories swept through, where cafes in the midst of these cities were the beacon of modernity par excellence. Coffee contributed with its unique ingredients and wonderful properties to stimulate an active human mind, is open to ideological and cognitive developments and leaps, which is why coffee has become an icon fo r human progress and has become the drink most closely associated with the morning. work institutions and cultural and intellectual elite evenings at the same time.

As we mentioned, coffee was used in the rites and rituals of the Sufi councils, so they called it: “the drink of the righteous.” The origin of the word coffee is due to its effect. Man feels hungry, and this connection between wine and coffee came in a famous poem by the poet Abi Nawas, who says at the beginning:
“Oh wooer of coffee, the red color pays… for pounds he takes out of it full of gold.”
until he says:
So she was distraught and wept blood and said
Oh mother, I fear fire and flame!
Therefore, after its spread, coffee caused great polemics and polemics among Muslim jurists and clerics, and even among priests and monks in the old European cities. Its name: “Café” became a title for intimacy and harmony, companionship and integration, to be transient in time, captivating the senses and present in the mind, and cafes of all kinds, modest and luxurious, became the meeting place of intellectuals, the abode of creators and the meeting place of thinkers.

The history and traditions of coffee
The cultural impact of coffee has been shaped in the narratives and products of Emirati literature through successive temporal accumulations, beginning with the history and traditions of the place of coffee, which are represented in folklore, local folklore and social fabric, up to modern times, when it became a theme : “coffee” with various and deep expressive and aesthetic connotations, which found resonance and translation in the poem, the novel, the theater, the composition and the cinema. It also had a clear cultural impact and a brilliant social presence in modern cafes spread across the country’s emirates, especially with the rise in awareness related to coffee classifications, types, origins, different nomenclature and preparation methods.
In an important book entitled: “The Voice of Rashad: The History and Manufacture of Coffee in the UAE”, Emirati researcher Ghaya Khalfan Al Dhaheri presents a comprehensive, extensive, objective and visually rich study on the beginning of the emergence of coffee in folklore , and she says at the beginning of the book: The Arab culture, whose roots stretch through antiquity, goes on to the future, with nectar and fragrance, for generosity is a title, and there is nothing more proud of the Emirati hospitality than a cup of coffee mixed with cardamom and saffron.”
Al-Dhahiri adds that coffee is of Abyssinian origin, an Arab passion, and that Sufis in Yemen found in coffee drink a relief to the brain and a banishment of drowsiness, so that it helped them to spend worship and remembrance during their extended and long nights .
Al Dhaheri points out that the researcher searching for the secret of coffee and its literature in UAE society should first look for “snacks” or methods of preparing and serving coffee. The rituals of Emirati coffee preparation reveal the cultural vocabulary of “sana” to activate its roles in daily life by spreading the values ​​of generosity, generosity and altruism. She refers to the days fragrant with the smell of coffee roasted over a wood stove: “Al-Yaribi”, when she heard the voice of “Al-Rashad” ringing in “Al-Minhaz”, because in the depth of her memory to register the image of the stove: “Al-Kwar”, in the middle of which she saw: “Mahala” of coal. The red one, surrounded by a copper dalal, was perfected by the “yeast” that he lavished on the creativity of the decoration, inscriptions with symbols and connotations that express the originality of the Emirati man.

Literary manifestations of coffee
Ghaya Al-Dhahiri sees that with the companions of the cup and the guide of the old Emirati councils, Al-Qaraih began to flourish with what was in its stores of Anas Al-Jalis and Al-Anee’s Tarab, so that tongues sang with the magic of words , telling the stories of life and include different kinds of stories, poems, stories about the seasons and human steadfastness, enriched by time. He was happy, accompanied by people who were loyal to their customs and traditions stemming from their authentic Emirati heritage.

Al Dhaheri mentioned that the UAE community knew coffee hundreds of years ago, based on what Najm Al-Din Al-Ghazi mentioned in his book: “The Walking Planets”, that around the year 1540 AD, coffee was known on the eastern shores. Arabian Peninsula, a geographical description that includes the United Arab Emirates, where pilgrims coming from Mecca were brought to the region after it became popular in Mecca in 1450 AD, and thus coffee continued to spread in the entire Islamic world. There is a poem by the Sufi poet Muhammad bin Saleh Al-Muntafiqi, known as the poet “Al-Seer” – the old name of Ras Al Khaimah – who died in 1732 AD, that is, three hundred years ago. His poem is one of the first blogs and manuscripts where coffee was mentioned in the region.
(Of coffee, bartender, never give me a drink
The sleeper from whom his Lord is a servant
It exhibits anxiety and obsession, brings
Ours is joy, and on our behalf the stains disappear, and the chest is opened to tightness, and it calms the heart, but rather covers it with the light of guidance.
It clears the brain and makes the heart healthy
For the ascetics there is a dinner that is tomorrow.

presence in texts
Among the manifestations of coffee in modern Emirati literature, we find many narrative, prose and poetic passages identical to the urban sense, and to the transformations after the boom, where the openness of knowledge represented in contemporary readings and trips to the cultural capitals of Arab and foreign countries, led to the emergence of expressive signs incorporated in texts Authors and in the figurative and sculptural works of plastic artists, as well as in the performing arts and dramatic works of theatrical and cinematographers in the Emirates, whose vocabulary such as as: “coffee” and “café” had a tangible presence in the structure of these texts and in their artistic architecture, and we mention from these texts a poem by the late poet Ahmed Rashid Thani, in which:
My coffee rises once, every time, so that memory explodes in the contours of despair, and the imagination of the valley runs through the veins.
Once my coffee rises to strip the night of its illusions and to heal the wounds of the day…”
In a long epic text by the Emirati poet Abdulaziz Jassim, we see in this passage what we can call: “The Legend of Reality”, or the violent clash with the fantasies of the past, in the present, where Jassim says:
“I am resting in a cafe, a sailor from (Panama) comes up to me with a short mustache and a hat like a cloud, asks me to show him to a train station, pays for coffee and then guides him to the desert, and here I meet my neighbor, whining like a windmill, lighting his house with a great funnel towards the moon in Yues. The light from the hole is like honey!

The interweaving of myth and history
Amidst a delicate crowd where mythology intersects with reality and where myth is intertwined with historical observation, the pure truth about the discovery of coffee always remains confused, but it is also alluring to the human imagination to trace the tributaries and harbingers of this very important anthropological discovery, especially when researchers, archaeologists and social scientists were aware of the importance of Ethiopia’s geographical location in the ancient world and human history. At the same time, the heights of Abyssinia and its fertile lands were also the cradle of the emergence of coffee, based on a legendary story that circulated in the Ethiopian tales of the shepherd “Kaldi” belonging to the “Oromo” people and the first discoverer of it, especially after he noticed the effect of coffee beans on his sheep in the pasture and how they became more lively and active after eating these grains, which look like berries or cherries. When Kaldy took fresh coffee beans to a monk, he roasted them and then boiled them in water, inaugurating history’s first coffee drink. Stories follow of the transfer of these magical grains from Ethiopia to Yemen in the fourteenth century AD. by the famous Sufi mystic Abu al-Hasan Ali bin Omar al-Shazly, who mastered the making and preparation of coffee and invested it in rituals of worship, revelation, asceticism and transfiguration within his Shadhili Sufi method. It was a strong contributor to the cultivation of coffee trees in Yemen and its subsequent transformation into a very important economic resource, especially after the flourishing of navigation in the port of “Mocha” in Yemen and the export of Yemeni coffee through it to reach the world’s cities, especially European cities and ports, where the Europeans called it: “coffee.” Mokka is named after the harbor in Mokka. The mystic Al-Shazly also contributed, through his numerous travels, to the transfer of coffee culture to the Arabian Peninsula and to the great capitals outside it, such as Cairo, Damascus, Baghdad and other cities and metropolises, until it flourished and became popular in the time of the Ottoman Empire and gained a global reputation that is present and achieved today.

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