Artwork from the previous cycle of the Award.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, the Regional Office for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage in the Arab States (ICCROM - Sharjah) has announced the members of the jury committee for the second cycle of the Arab Cultural Heritage Award for the Young 2021-2022.
The award is the first regional competition of its kind that focuses on heritage and sustainable development and primarily targets the youths in the Arab region. It was launched earlier by the ICCROM-Sharjah, in cooperation with the National Commissions for UNESCO in the Arab Region, under the theme “Our heritage brings us together”.
The award-winning projects will be announced on June 2 and the jury includes four distinguished members from the Arab region, representing the main categories of the award: drawing, folkloric dance, film and photography. The jury met at the end of last April, and reviewed all projects submitted for the award and selected the winners.
This cycle, the Award witnessed wide participation by many individuals, schools, cultural and educational institutions from the Arab region, in particular from Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Libya, Egypt and Jordan. The list of Jury members of the current cycle is: Alya Burhaima is the manager of Museums Development and Design Department at Sharjah Museums Authority (SMA), where she works with a team of professional designers.
She completed her Master’s degree with distinction in Museum Studies in 2014 from Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, and holds a BA in Art and Design. Sharifa Nofa Bint Nasser has a BA in Archaeology from the University of Jordan, and MA in Public Archaeology from London University. She started her career as a field archaeologist and then joined the Jordan Tourism Board as in-house archaeologist for eight years.
For five consecutive board cycles, she has been the President of Jordan Friends of Archaeology and Heritage Society. She is also a consultant in the cultural tourism sector. Rima Keirouz Kreidi is a landscape architect, interior engineer and lecturer at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Architecture at the Lebanese University. She also holds the position of President of the Chloe Maria Kreidi Association, a non-profit association concerned with children.
Dr. Zaki Aslan is Director of the Regional Office for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage in the Arab States (ICCROM - Sharjah), since 2003. He previously worked as a consultant to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the European Union and ICCROM. Dr. Aslan received a PhD. in heritage management and preservation from the University College of London in the United Kingdom (2000), a Master’s degree in Applied Science specialising in the conservation of the built environment from the University of Montreal in Canada (1991), and a Bachelor’s degree in architecture in 1988.
“Following the great success achieved by the Arab Cultural Heritage Award for the Young in its first cycle organised two years ago, the second cycle witnessed a broad participation by individuals and cultural and educational institutions concerned with cultural heritage,” he said. “This is an important reference indicating the increased interest in the competition and the expansion of its spread to reach its target groups in the Arab world, thus achieving its main goal of raising awareness about the importance of preserving cultural heritage, in all its forms, at the level of young people at schools and the younger generations in the Arab region.”
The Regional Office for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage in the Arab States (ICCROM-Sharjah) launched the Arab Cultural Heritage Award for the Young for the first time in 2020, with the aim of spreading the culture of preserving heritage through art; urging students to conducting visits to archaeological sites; and translating their ideas about the concept of sustainable development and how to apply and enhance it through the arts.
It believes that cultural heritage can be understood as a resource inherited from the past in all its forms and aspects, whether tangible, such as buildings, monuments, books, archaeological sites, etc, or intangible such as practices, languages, oral traditions, digital art, animation and video, among other mediums. “Heritage ensures the continuity of a nation’s identity and balances the past, present and future. Hence, it is important to preserve heritage as a community responsibility and a priority for its role in building a generation connected to its roots and ethics.”
ICCROM-Sharjah is a regional conservation centre founded by ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property), and the Government of the Emirate of Sharjah.
ICCROM’s 27th General Assembly, convened in Rome in 2011, decided to establish a regional office of ICCROM in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates where it is based since its inception in 2012. ICCROM-Sharjah is a continuation of ICCROM’s ATHAR programme, which has dedicated its activities since it was launched in 2004, to the protection of cultural heritage in the Arab region and to broadening access, appreciation and understanding of its rich history.
It has become a force for cultural heritage advocacy, providing substantive logistical and operational support to ICCROM’S work in the region.
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