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The landscape of Fujairah is stunning with its sea and mountain views. Image Credit: Supplied Picture/Gulf News archives

Dubai: If you love the outdoors, and Fujairah is on your list, as it should be, make sure you read a just-released book, The Natural History of Fujairah, before you head there.

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Launched by the Fujairah Environment Authority, under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Fujairah Environment Authority, the book is a rivetting and credible take on the rich history and nuances of community life in Fujairah over the ages.

As a public forum organised in the picturesque emirate on Wednesday (January 24) discussed what we could do to protect and promote the environment in a sustainable manner, Aseela Moalla, Director of Fujairah Environment Authority, said the book is part of a seven-part series on the natural history of Fujairah, with upcoming titles covering archaeology and history, whales and dolphins, birds, plants, reptiles and geology.

Dr. Michele C. Ziolkowski, archeologist, co-author and editor of the book Image Credit: Supplied

Talking to Gulf News, Dr. Michele C. Ziolkowski, archeologist,editor and co-author of the book, said: “Often, when people think of the UAE, their initial thoughts are only of the desert landscape. But this is such a diverse land, and Fujairah is a fine example with its beautiful coast, majestic mountains and pristine desert.”

Dr Ziolkowski, who has edited the book with wildlife expert Balazs Buzas and the late historian Peter Hellyer, said, “Since the pandemic, more and more people have been drawn to the natural world. And this is a timely publication because the more we learn about nature, the better equipped we are to understand and respect the natural environment.”

She said the book, which has 16 contributors in all, is a compilation covering marine and terrestrial life in Fujairah, the environment, and most important, the impact of human presence on the natural world, both past and present.

The Natural History of Fujairah is a 400-page book with 19 chapters by 16 contributors. The book has hundreds of photographs. Image Credit: Supplied

“To me, Fujairah is inspiring at many levels. There’s an inner peace, a healing, that you find here with no sensory overload. Like the traveller Wilfred Thesiger said after his time spent in the desert, ‘It was very still, with the silence which we have driven from our world.’ I think this applies to the mountains too,” said Dr Ziolkowski, who first came to the UAE from Sydney as student taking part in an excavation project in 1993.

The 16 contributors
• Gary Feulner
• Ali Hasan Al Hmoudi
• Rob Baldwin
• Balazs Buzas
• Andrew Childs
• Balazs Farkas
• Rima Jabado
• David John
• Jacky Judas
• Elayne Looker
• Binish Roobas
• Zoltan Takacs
• Oli Taylor
• Simon Wilson
• Peter Hellyer
• Michele Ziolkowski

Specialising in the study of rock art and historical sites, she spoke of how one of the 19 chapters in the 400-page book dwells on the earliest evidence of humans interacting with the environment in Fujairah, which dates back to the Palaeolithic period. “It’s fascinating to see how humans cleverly used the environment, whether it was the stone tools and vessels, the plants they used to cover their roofs or the Falaj underground system of water supply.”

The series of books cover Fujairah transformation over the ages and its resilience amid the vagaries of time. It is considered the first environmental, flora and fauna and archaeological database for the emirate of Fujairah, as it was a result of specialised studies and research, some of which have been published for the first time.

The book retails at Dh280 is available both online (Books Arabia) and at all leading bookstores.