Abdullah bin Sultan bin Sulayem Al Falasi

COURTESY Mariam Omran Al Hallami

When my maternal great-grandfather, Abdullah bin Sultan bin Sulayem Al Falasi, passed away in 1985, his son, Saeed bin Abdullah bin Sultan bin Sulayem Al Falasi, went through his father’s belongings and found these two photographs of close friends: the late Sheikh Shakhbout bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Abdullah bin Sultan bin Sulayem Al Falasi. The photograph of Sheikh Shakhbout dates back to when he was a young man; that of my great grandfather was taken when he was ninety years old. Saeed (my maternal grandfather), who worked as a bookkeeper at Qasr Al Hosn Fort, attached both of these photos to a separate file. After Saeed passed away in 2000, his children discovered these photos still kept together in the old file — a lasting record of their lifelong friendship. It is interesting to note that the late Sheikh Shakhbout bin Sultan Al Nahyan posed for this portrait wearing sunglasses. The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was also frequently photographed wearing sunglasses. They set a new trend in the UAE.

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