A few years ago in Oman, I planned and held a writing contest.
For this contest I asked the advanced level students to research or prepare a topic about one of their ancestors. Here is what one female student shared. (I have revised it mostly only for grammarnot content here. I have chosen to change the authors name as well.)Kevin Stoda
Our family is our life. Everyone loves their family, they mean so much to us. We can't really live without family.
The persons who once guided our family are our ancestors. For me, the ancestor that is or was the most important in my family was the oldest person in the family that I was raised in. He was the one who saw life before the others of us. This was my grandfather, who meant so much to me. He both taught me and let me learn the rules of life, and he taught us all how to trust in ourselves and to never give up.
My grandfather was of African origin. He was from Africa and was born in 1945that's really a long time ago [for me]. His education was very poor. He couldn't read nor write. He was illiterate.
He came to Oman through other Africans who had sold him in Oman to a rich man. That was a long time ago, and life was like that then.
By the way, by the time he was 15 year-old, grandfather was able to buy his freedom from his owner and start a new life in the country. He had been very very eager to do that since he had arrived in Oman.
However, the Omani owner had also bought his brothers sisters, so eventually my grandfather also had to be able to buy his brothers' and sisters' freedom. Because he could not live without his family, my grandfather became creative and a good at earning money. My grandfather refused to leave the area of the owner's family until all his relatives were free. After all, he was the oldest [and that is the role of the eldest in the familyto take care of the others].
When my grandfather was 20 years-old, he found work as a slaughterer of cattle. He was strong and able to do that hard work, and this hard life only made him stronger. After working as a cattle slaughterer, my grandfather decided to open up his own business. He started taking business trips to different countries, especially from Oman to India.
This travel and work made him even stronger and hardened him, but he never forgot how to fall in love. When he was in a country more than three months, he married but when he left that country, he would divorce. Eventually, he had married about 20 womenbut he ever had any children from these marriages.
He only married these women for their beauty and the love he observed in their hearts. However, as he got older he could do this no more. He remained married only to two womenone in Oman and the other in India. Altogether, he had 23 children. Only six of these were girls.
In his business, grandfather traded dokban, frankincense, perfumes and a lot of other things. His first lasting marriage was when he was 20-years-old. The last marriage was when he was 56-years-old.
Grandfather couldn't marry any longer because of his smoking. He was a ferocious smoker and totally addicted. Until he got cancer in his lungs and brain, he always smoked at least one pack a day. After this, he could not doing anythingonly sitting around, however, he was fighting his diseases till the very endhis last second of breath.