“I am in my 90s. Maybe I’m 93 or 94. I’m not sure. When I was a young man, I had a variety store in Manama souq where I stocked a big selection of wool. The shop was there for about fifty years, until I closed it several years ago. It was a very successful shop. I had an Indian employee who was bright. He would order the best wool from India, Pakistan, England and Holland. People would come from Bahrain and all around the Middle East to buy our wool. When I first had the shop, there was no electricity. Even without such comforts, it was nice to be in the souq each day. There were all sorts of people. All religions. All nationalities. Life is more convenient now. We have air conditioners and computers.

Now I sell the wool from home. I have a variety of wools and I have regular customers who buy from me. I don’t think about the past much. I think that every moment is nice. One must enjoy all experiences. It was nice then and it is nice now. I am fond of reading and if I find a quote, saying, poem or verse that I like, I write it down in my journal. Also, if someone says something nice and I don’t want to forget it, I write it down. I have big diaries with all sorts of interesting historical and geographical facts in them. A few years ago, I travelled to Saudi Arabia and with me I took a journal in which I had noted geographical and historical information as I was researching my family roots there. It was all for my own interest. When we went through immigration, initially they thought I was a spy, but they soon realised I was not!

I have five daughters and a son. My son is a writer. My son helps me type and print out all the notes I write in my journal. I then display these pages in files. I have twenty files full of interesting information. My favourite thing to read in my file is a prayer from Surat Al Kahf (Chapter titled “the Cave”) in the Quran. I read it over and over again. It is about God’s mercy and guidance. Reading it gives me comfort.”

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