History club in Dubai

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History club in Dubai


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Old 14th February 2016, 11:34 AM
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Default History club in Dubai

Hi

Need a little help.

My son is very interested in history. He reads a lot and his sphere of knowledge surprises me and he wants to be a historian when he grows up
So I was looking for some club where he could get a chance to meet and interact with people of similar interest. And learn. Basically to do what he likes..to know about history.

Is anyone of you aware of any history club in dubai? I googled and there is one in Abu Dhabi. But didn't come across anything similar here in dubai.
If someone has any information , please do share.

Much appreciate the cooperation .
Thanks.

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Old 14th February 2016, 06:14 PM
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Absolutely wonderful that your son is into History and wants to be a historian when he grows up!

How old is he-and what kind of history does he like to read about? Global history? Military? Or of a particular country-India, for example?

I am not aware of any History clubs in Dubai. One way to keep him going though would be to sign up at libraries, if you have not already done so. The Old Library in DUCTAC (Mall of the Emirates) has an interesting collection. Never actually been to the public Dubai libraries, both worth checking out.

I can tell you that having several languages is a huge asset to a would-be historian. English and at least one other European language (French or German). If it's convenient to pick up Arabic as well, go for it. Having 4-5 languages on his CV would help land him a place at a good university, as well as increase his travel/research/work opportunities in the future.
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Old 14th February 2016, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by omar92 View Post
Absolutely wonderful that your son is into History and wants to be a historian when he grows up!

How old is he-and what kind of history does he like to read about? Global history? Military? Or of a particular country-India, for example?

I am not aware of any History clubs in Dubai. One way to keep him going though would be to sign up at libraries, if you have not already done so. The Old Library in DUCTAC (Mall of the Emirates) has an interesting collection. Never actually been to the public Dubai libraries, both worth checking out.

I can tell you that having several languages is a huge asset to a would-be historian. English and at least one other European language (French or German). If it's convenient to pick up Arabic as well, go for it. Having 4-5 languages on his CV would help land him a place at a good university, as well as increase his travel/research/work opportunities in the future.
Thanks for your reply mr.omar

He is 11years. And he likes political, military and cultural histories. No specific country. He knows about ancient, medieval and modern histories. European, american, nazis etc etc. Greek, roman anything anyone can talk with him. He would know.

We have membership of dubai library but the one near our home is not well equipped with books in english language. Will try DUCTAC though. Didn't know and never been that side actually.

Will consider german language suggestion as well. Though he knows a lot of german words and few sentences but not as a language. He greets me good night in german every day! And a lot of words which i took normal for a pre-teen boy since he reads and knows a lot on nazis and Hitler as well. So i thought it comes naturally with this. But reading your post has set me thinking that might be thats a good idea to encourage this hobby instead of pushing him to appear for his music exams. Any suggestions please where we can start on that? I shall check on my end as well.

Its really encouraging to have your feedback. Some good suggestions which i will definitely work on. Better to start a language than forcing him for guitar lessons.

Please share more inputs if you can.
Thanks a lot.
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Old 15th February 2016, 08:20 AM
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DUCTAC The Old Library is small, but he should find things to tempt him there. Under 14s need a parent with them in the library though. You can Google them and find out how much membership is (I think in the range of 100-200 Dirhams). DUCTAC also has a number of courses and activities that might be interesting. Aside from drama, painting/drawing, music, they had something on travel writing, and creative writing recently, for children your son's age. I think not only would your son like that, but being in an environment that nurtures his creative skills, and possibly meeting children with similar interests, would be great. Historians naturally love reading, but also writing, and traveling/learning about different places. It should be a natural fit. You can find the DUCTAC website easily, not sure if I can post the link here though.

Regarding German lessons-the best place is Goethe Institute. You'll find Goethe Institutes in many countries around the world, and are usually affiliated with embassies/consulates. Similar to the British Council. Through them you can possibly find a cultural exchange program or something in Germany.
Alliance Francaise (for French) has a branch in DUCTAC as well, which is another option.
If your son's school offers languages as an after-school activity, for example, then that's also a good idea (and very convenient). I think 11 is the last age when a person's language acquisition ability is more like an infant than an adult, so now is the right time.

Also-what part of India are you from? I know most Indians have Hindi as their mother tongue, but many people have Bengali/Malayalam etc. as well. If your son can have 2 Indian languages, then that's also great.
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Old 16th February 2016, 03:34 PM
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Sorry for the late reply. Had been gathering information on the leads you suggested.

As you mentioned about writing, his English teacher is always full of praise for his writing skills. The manner he puts his thoughts, sometimes even I do not understand the meaning hidden in those. Now reading your posts, I am putting 2 and 2 together and it seems that he has all the "qualities/ skills/ interest area" (sorry...couldn't come up with the exact word) that a historian requires. Perhaps we were not able to understand his qualities earlier.

Shall definitely go for DUCTAC.
Checked with Goethe. Though they are pretty expensive, but we shall enrol and start with beginners course. If it turns out to be good, worth the money then.
And yes, we are from hindi speaking part of India. Do not speak malayalam/ tamil/bangla.

Mr.Omar, it seems that you are someone who has great interest in history and knows a good deal about the requirements and the requisites/right qualities of a historian. (Pardon my terminology please). Am I wrong to assume that yourself might be a historian?

Somewhere I feel that he needs proper guidance. And a right environment to nurture his passion. Is there any gathering/ regular meetings of the like-minded people where he can also join. He is mentally and educationally (in field of history specifically) too mature. Is there someone whom I can contact who can meet him once/twice perhaps, gauge his knowledge and may be mentor him even if remotely (if possible). Knowing him, I doubt he shall be happy in company of children of his age. He would rather sit back and read.

Can you point me to someone/ some place where he can meet like-minded people. He knows so much that sometimes I wonder how he knows so much at such a young age. Shintoism, cantonism, north and south korean religious beliefs,their histories, south americans, incas, aztec...any part of the world, any part of the history, he seems to know a good deal for his age. (touchwood!). May being his mother, I am going overboard praising him.

I don't want us to fail as parents just because our son is interested in a field for which we do not have much knowledge. We both are engineers so had it been in science related field it would have been much easier for us. But this is something we are not much aware of. So do not want to make any mistakes for lack of our knowledge.


Last edited by kavita74; 16th February 2016 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 17th February 2016, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by omar92 View Post
DUCTAC The Old Library is small, but he should find things to tempt him there. Under 14s need a parent with them in the library though. You can Google them and find out how much membership is (I think in the range of 100-200 Dirhams). DUCTAC also has a number of courses and activities that might be interesting. Aside from drama, painting/drawing, music, they had something on travel writing, and creative writing recently, for children your son's age. I think not only would your son like that, but being in an environment that nurtures his creative skills, and possibly meeting children with similar interests, would be great. Historians naturally love reading, but also writing, and traveling/learning about different places. It should be a natural fit. You can find the DUCTAC website easily, not sure if I can post the link here though.

Regarding German lessons-the best place is Goethe Institute. You'll find Goethe Institutes in many countries around the world, and are usually affiliated with embassies/consulates. Similar to the British Council. Through them you can possibly find a cultural exchange program or something in Germany.
Alliance Francaise (for French) has a branch in DUCTAC as well, which is another option.
If your son's school offers languages as an after-school activity, for example, then that's also a good idea (and very convenient). I think 11 is the last age when a person's language acquisition ability is more like an infant than an adult, so now is the right time.

Also-what part of India are you from? I know most Indians have Hindi as their mother tongue, but many people have Bengali/Malayalam etc. as well. If your son can have 2 Indian languages, then that's also great.
Hello Mr.Omar

Can you advise please.

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Old 17th February 2016, 06:02 PM
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Hello again,
Your son sounds like a wonderful and very talented young man. It’s great to hear that you are encouraging your son’s pursuits instead of pushing him towards mathematics/science to become a doctor/engineer etc.
Yes, I am a historian-or try to be =) I did a BA in History, but for post-graduate studies am now doing Anthropology. When I was your son’s age, I also had a passion for reading history, but in my country, people (especially men) are not really encouraged to consider History as a subject worth pursuing beyond a hobby. There is a strong prejudice against History, Literature, the performing arts (music, drama, acting) as no one thinks they are suitable for the ‘job market.’ While my family indulged my interest in reading, and history, certainly no one ever told me I could be a historian. A lawyer, maybe (my father is one). I know that in India the emphasis is on pushing kids into medicine/engineering/science, which is a shame, as India continuously produces some excellent historians, writers, and intellectuals.
At university, I studied Business Administration for a few years (at a top university)-and I was just average. I had taken a few courses in History, and decided to switch to that department. I interacted with some great faculty members, who showed me that History is a very dynamic field that is not just about content, but about the skills as well. A good History student will always have very good reading, writing, research skills, planning, and time management. These are skills that can be used in many jobs, such as journalism or marketing.
At college, all of my professors had very wide interests, and usually spoke 3-4 languages. I had an Indian professor who specialized in Goa and Jesuit history, so in addition to native Hindi, Bengali, and English, also had Portuguese, Konkani and Marathi, to do research in that field. That professor’s work took them from the US (where her PhD program was) to Brazil, Portugal, and India. Fun!
I think that what you are doing is more than enough, for now. Always remind your son that he can be anything, and hopefully he will continue to do you proud =)

Very glad to hear he is enrolling in Goethe. The good thing about Goethe is that it is divided into levels. So if you ever move from Dubai, or he stops for a while, then it’ll be easy to pick up where your son left off.
Sadly I am not aware of any gatherings/groups that can stimulate your son further. He may make friends through places like DUCTAC though. Locally, take him to museums/places of heritage. There aren’t many options in the UAE, but a good thing to do once a month. In the UAE, there isn’t a real interest in History (or in education, for that matter). There is no university with a department strong in the humanities, or a tradition of encouraging research. I think the lack of a single university that produces high-quality academic work in the UAE shows how serious they are about ‘education.’ Instead, they’re all degree factories.

Feel free to ask any questions, but it usually takes me 1-2 days to answer as I do not get any email notifications when there are replies to this thread.

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Old 19th February 2016, 05:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omar92 View Post
Hello again,
Your son sounds like a wonderful and very talented young man. It’s great to hear that you are encouraging your son’s pursuits instead of pushing him towards mathematics/science to become a doctor/engineer etc.
Yes, I am a historian-or try to be =) I did a BA in History, but for post-graduate studies am now doing Anthropology. When I was your son’s age, I also had a passion for reading history, but in my country, people (especially men) are not really encouraged to consider History as a subject worth pursuing beyond a hobby. There is a strong prejudice against History, Literature, the performing arts (music, drama, acting) as no one thinks they are suitable for the ‘job market.’ While my family indulged my interest in reading, and history, certainly no one ever told me I could be a historian. A lawyer, maybe (my father is one). I know that in India the emphasis is on pushing kids into medicine/engineering/science, which is a shame, as India continuously produces some excellent historians, writers, and intellectuals.
At university, I studied Business Administration for a few years (at a top university)-and I was just average. I had taken a few courses in History, and decided to switch to that department. I interacted with some great faculty members, who showed me that History is a very dynamic field that is not just about content, but about the skills as well. A good History student will always have very good reading, writing, research skills, planning, and time management. These are skills that can be used in many jobs, such as journalism or marketing.
At college, all of my professors had very wide interests, and usually spoke 3-4 languages. I had an Indian professor who specialized in Goa and Jesuit history, so in addition to native Hindi, Bengali, and English, also had Portuguese, Konkani and Marathi, to do research in that field. That professor’s work took them from the US (where her PhD program was) to Brazil, Portugal, and India. Fun!
I think that what you are doing is more than enough, for now. Always remind your son that he can be anything, and hopefully he will continue to do you proud =)

Very glad to hear he is enrolling in Goethe. The good thing about Goethe is that it is divided into levels. So if you ever move from Dubai, or he stops for a while, then it’ll be easy to pick up where your son left off.
Sadly I am not aware of any gatherings/groups that can stimulate your son further. He may make friends through places like DUCTAC though. Locally, take him to museums/places of heritage. There aren’t many options in the UAE, but a good thing to do once a month. In the UAE, there isn’t a real interest in History (or in education, for that matter). There is no university with a department strong in the humanities, or a tradition of encouraging research. I think the lack of a single university that produces high-quality academic work in the UAE shows how serious they are about ‘education.’ Instead, they’re all degree factories.

Feel free to ask any questions, but it usually takes me 1-2 days to answer as I do not get any email notifications when there are replies to this thread.
Its him only who said that he wants to be a historian. He has been clear in his mind and thoughts about this for quite sometime. But we never took it seriously. As other indian parents, we would have loved him to be either a doctor or an engineer. We discuss pros and cons of a good education in established field of earning with our kids but after a point we do not force our ambitions. So when we realised that he has a good knowledge base and it would be better to let him pursue his passion, then we faced a problem. How to move ahead and how to guide him. And so i came here to this forum and you have been very kind to guide us.

I realise it is asking for too much (and have been thinking a lot whether i should or not) but would you be kind to talk to him or meet my son once please. I know here in dubai life is hectic and the fact we are strangers for you. But yourself being a history student and been in company of established historians, may be if you can talk to him once. May be meet him, see how he is. Is he really good for his age and should we encourage him. Or is it just an average knowledge base for his age.

If you think you would like to talk to him or meet him, we shall be very thankful. In case this idea seems too demanding, we completely understand and respect your decision, and would continue seeking your guidance through this forum.

Thanks a lot for the help.

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Old 20th February 2016, 05:38 PM
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I really think that your son is doing very well at the moment. It's great to be proactive, but also your son needs to enjoy his childhood =) I think investing in a good education, plus a few things on the side (language training etc.) is great for the time being.
History is not just about knowledge-although it starts that way. Most people I know did not enter university to study History but only switched later on. Most of my professors actually began doing History at the Master's or PhD level, in their 20s. There is plenty of time for your son to grow, dabble in different interests, and at the age of 16/17 begin thinking what he wants to do at university. I certainly think that's too young for someone to know what they want-which is why it isn't uncommon for people in their 20s or even 30s have a career shift.
In US universities, students can double major-it's technically possible to study Engineering or Pre-Med alongside History.
Also-travel is very useful. I understand that travel can be expensive, but if an affordable opportunity does along the way, then go for it. In a few years maybe you can send your son to do an exchange for a term or a year in another country (with a host family).
I would love to meet your son but am now outside the UAE working+ doing Master's. I will be in the UAE around Easter (late March/April) then summer. In the meantime you can always PM me and we can exchange emails etc.

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