David Neild Unveils New Book
May 9, 2016,
As part of the ‘Year of Reading’ initiative commissioned by H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the School of Graduate Studies and Research invited David Neild to the University, in order to speak about his new book, ‘A Soldier in Arabia’.
The book is a personal account of David’s career as a soldier, and his many adventures on the Arabian Peninsula. David relates the history of Ras Al Khaimah by way of anecdotes about the Arabic culture, the politics of that time, his day to day dealings with the soldiers he led, and the local communities.
During the talk, David spoke of his experiences during his time in the region, having first arrived in the then Trucial States, as a 20 year-old in 1959. He commented on how much the area has changed, mentioning his surprise at seeing a co-educational institution of higher education in Ras Al Khaimah! To further emphasize the change he pointed out that when he first arrived, not a single expatriate family lived in the emirate.
The book also contains anecdotes about H.H. Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan and H.H. Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, both of whom David knew personally. In fact, David and H.H. Sheikh Saqr were close friends: the Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah tasked David with forming the emirate’s own army, the RAK Mobile Force.