Prior to the expedition, the youth are trained and taught diving procedures at the coastal center and the sports club. The sound of beating drums and traditional music of their ancestors plays on.
In August, the men set out on ships amid much fanfare surrounded by family cheering them on. It’s a proud moment for many of the older generations, who consider it a rite of passage for its young men.
The boys will tell you what they want to find; the big pearls often called Dana and Jawhara.
In it, he included the diving laws, types of dhows (a type of traditional sailing vessel), pearl diving traditions and merchant names, hoping to perpetuate the tradition among the youth.
The youth — ranging from 14 to 30 — seem excited and even tentative about the trip.
After all, the wooden ships they will set sail on are nothing like the opulent catamarans and yachts they’re used to.
With a long coastline, Kuwait is strategically placed for pearl diving.
In the early 1900’s the pearl business thrived and made the merchants — most of whom have now become prominent citizens of the desert nation — rich.