This is Abdullah. I’ll tell his story in full on another platform soon, but as a summary: it’s a curious one. He moved into a cave initially to escape the ‘city’ (referring to the nearby settlement of Qalansiya, which has a population of 4000.) It was too busy and stressful there, he said, but because his wife and kids were reluctant to join him for the troglodyte lifestyle, he got used to spending days in the cave and returning ‘home’ to his family at night. When tourists began arriving on the island, even in modest numbers (perhaps 3000 in 2013/14) his story became a draw, and he and his cave were a popular attraction for a while. Now, there is no longer a tourism industry to entertain, but he still visits the cave every day. Because: why not? It’s the lifestyle he enjoys, he told us. That, and not having to wear a shirt every day just to fit in with the norm. And so, here he is, digging up squid eggs from under rocks, hanging the fresh day’s catch in the shade of the cave, and hosting friends from Qalansiya and beyond who know that the best fish for miles around is to be found right here.
There’s much more to tell from Abdullah’s life, and I’m excited to share it with you- we’ll be uploading stories to a new platform soon, and I hope you’ll join us there as well as here.