“Hamad! You’re stupid for ever trusting me.”
Once upon a time, the sun was smiling, the flowers were dancing and a symphony of birds was singing in celebration of Hamad and his gorgeous cousin Alia’s engagement. Um Al Duwais, the jinni of love looked at the couple with a smile on her face and laughter in her heart.
Um Al Duwais is an Emirati legend and a beautiful woman with the legs of a donkey and a tempting fragrance that lures cheating men to their downfalls. However, her most important role is that of a guardian, safeguarding the precious love of couples.
Four months after their engagement party, Hamad got a scholarship to study abroad in Ireland. Alia was sad to see him go, but accepting for the sake of their future. The sounds of goodbyes filled the air. Hamad drove away, leaving a tearful Alia behind.
During the first semester, Hamad became friends with his classmate Salma. He treated her like a favored sister. She used her soft skin and wild beauty to lure him into love, hiding her true intentions behind dark, silky hair, innocent eyes and a kind face.
Hamad eventually fell in love with Salma. A year later, he came home. By night, he dreamt that Salma was a wolf, eating his heart. By day, he felt someone was watching him. He didn’t know it was Um Al Duwais.
One night, Hamad started thinking about breaking off his engagement to Alia. Um Al Duwais was furious and appeared as Salma with evil, red eyes. Hamad started to run. Um Al Duwais cried, “Hamad! You’re stupid for ever trusting me.” He called a friend in Ireland and asked about Salma. He learned the truth that he had wished with all his heart was a lie. He felt devastated, betrayed and foolish, but deep down inside he knew that he deserved it.
Hamad remembered an old, Emirati proverb, ‘The sweetness of the dress is to patch it with itself.’ He learnt his lesson and realized that his first love was pure. That’s how Um Al Duwais reunited Hamad with Alia, his one true love.
Written by: Fatima NaserSaleh Mubarak Almansoori
Illustrated by: Mariam Fahad Yousif Obaid Al Zaabi & Aysha Saif Al Hamrani