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Late Ruler’s Emirati coffee maker dies at 100; had 9 wives, 42 children


He loved traditional Emirati food, particularly dates and honey that were his staples in the morning.

A well-loved Emirati – famous for the coffee he had made and served to the late founder of Ras Al Khaimah for 30 years – died recently. He was 100.

Salem Juma Al Ghaferi was the trusted mugahwi (Arabic word for ‘coffee maker’) of the late Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, the founder of modern RAK.

Nobody could make – or even serve – Arabic coffee like he could, said Ali Al Ghaferi, Salem’s 16th son.

For one, he could “perfectly hold 12 cups of coffee with just one hand”.

He married nine times and had 42 sons and daughters, said Ali, who was also working as a muezzin (caller for prayer) at the Royal Court mosque in Al Maamura area.

Though he was born in Dibba, Salem spent almost his entire life in Ras Al Khaimah, except for some periods when he had worked as a fisherman in Fujairah and as a builder in Saudi Arabia.

“This is apart from his work as a merchant,” Ali said.

Asked about how his father got to live a long, healthy life, Ali said Salem never ate any junk or canned food.

“He loved traditional Emirati food, particularly dates and honey that were his staples in the morning,” he said.

He was also a model athlete, Ali said.

“He used to swim and walk every day, and on top of that, he was passionate about diving, which dated back even before the declaration of the UAE’s foundation.”

The senior citizen was recently buried in a local cemetery of the family in Ras Al Khaimah.

ahmedshaaban@khaleejtimes.com

author

Ahmed Shaaban

Originally from Egypt, I have been in Dubai since December 2005. Before coming here, I worked as an English language instructor, chief En/Ar translator, proofreader, reporter in Egypt and Qatar. I have also worked as a reporter, correspondent and simultaneous translator with two satellite channels in Dubai. I have a masters degree in media, Cairo University, 2014, a bachelor degree in English language and translation, Ain Shams University, Cairo, 1996, and three post-graduate diplomas in English language and Instruction. With over 19 years of experience in translation, interpretation, EFL instruction, and reporting. I am interested in technology, aviation, politics, as well as community, parliament and defence issues. I enjoy reading, writing, exercising, and surfing the web.


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