When Patricia Holton welcomed the two sons of a Gulf Sheikh with whom her husband worked into her home, little did she know that she was building a bridge between two worlds. Over the following years Patricia travelled frequently to their homeland, enjoying their family's hospitality in the sophisticated townhouses and hotels brought by the oil rush to Abu Dhabi, as well as the traditional desert encampments. She became, to the Sheikha, Um Yusef (mother of Joseph) and, to the sons, Mrs. Tea Cup. She witnessed a world where ancient and modern were becoming entwined for the first time, where the waves are haunted by djinn spirits but camels have been replaced by Mercedes.