His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah and Jeff Topping photographer of “People of Ras Al Khaimah” book. COURTESY RAK Media Office Image Credit:

Ras Al Khaimah: His Highness Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah was presented on Sunday a copy of a book "People of Ras Al Khaimah".

The book was presented to Shaikh Saud by photographer Jeff Topping and representatives of Ras Al Khaimah Media Office and the Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research.

"People of Ras Al Khaimah", launched with the support of Ras Al Khaimah Media Office, offers an accessible and nuanced view of Gulf culture through engaging stories and stunning photographs.

Shaikh Saud said: “I am happy to see the launch of this book, which reflects history, life stories and remarkable portrait photography of Ras Al Khaimah.”

"People of Ras Al Khaimah" tells the story of the UAE’s northernmost emirate, in the words of its people. The coffee table book is a collection of stories and portrait photographs of more than 50 people who call Ras Al Khaimah home, with half hailing from urban areas and the rest from the numerous villages dotted around the emirate. Emiratis make up about half of those who took part in the long-form interviews, while the others represent 16 countries including Bangladesh, India, Iran, the Philippines, Palestine, Spain, New Zealand and Yemen.

The book, through facts and people’s life stories, also charts the social history of Ras Al Khaimah over the past 70 years right up to the present day, not neglecting the valuable contribution of women and migrant workers to the emirate’s success.

Author Anna Zacharias is a Canadian citizen raised in Ras Al Khaimah, where she met photographer Jeff Topping on assignment while working as journalists. They shared a passion for the emirate and so, with the support of RAK Media Office and the Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, they spent the winter of 2014-15 traversing Ras Al Khaimah interviewing and photographing people from a myriad number of backgrounds and places … drinking copious amounts of coffee and karak tea in the process.

Heba Fatani, Executive Director at Ras Al Khaimah Media Office, said: “More than 50 people offer their life stories and tales of a developing emirate in a book that aims to be a visual record of the social history of Ras Al Khaimah. The Media Office is proud to be a part this book project.”

Anna Zacharias said: “Ras Al Khaimah is renowned for the warmth and wit of its people. This book explores the shared experiences of those who call the emirate home, with a focus on women, migrant families and communities outside of the city.

“Jeff and I worked hard on "People of Ras Al Khaimah" in the hope it will allow others to experience our emirate as those who live here do, through the hospitality and stories of its people. For those from Ras Al Khaimah, we hope this book will be a keepsake of deep connections between neighbours during the transition to modernity.”