Full-on zest marks this impressive perfomance. Kamal Kassim/Gulf Today
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Salem Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, inaugurated, on Thursday evening, the 19th edition of Sharjah Heritage Days (SHD), under the slogan “Heritage and the Future”. In the Heart of Sharjah, the event will continue until March 28.
Upon his arrival, Sheikh Abdullah was received by Emirati folklore performers and folkloric performers from the Republic of Armenia, the guest of honour for the current edition of the SHD, in addition to performers from Arab and foreign teams. Sheikh Abdullah toured the festival where he was briefed on the nature of the events and the various participations.
The Republic of Armenia, the guest of honour, participated in a distinctive pavilion, where artistic performances will be presented, in addition to the sections of the pavilion that reflect Armenia’s rich and diverse cultural and heritage reserves.
He also visited the Romanian pavilion and was briefed by the pavilion’s official on what they are showcasing this year, which strengthens and consolidates the bridges of cultural communication between Romania and the UAE.
During this year, the Days present “Alkutubiyeen Market”, which is one of the distinctive additions to this course, which was inspired by the “Azbakeya Market” in Egypt, “Alkutubiyeen Avenue” in Tunisia, and “Alkutubiyeen Shops” in Morocco, where the market offers for sale a wide range of vintage books and modern books with old editions, in addition to the bookbinding and restoration service on the spot.
After that, Sheikh Abdullah visited the Emirati Handcrafts Centre, including 14 traditional professions, and 15 craft workshops, where a group of craftswomen presents UAE’s traditional crafts, which contributes to preserving the country’s folklore.
During his tour, Sheikh Abdullah visited several exhibitions which include four main exhibitions and 21 cultural programmes, starting with the exhibition “50 Years of Sultan’s Reign”.
Thirty-three countries are participating in this year’s Sharjah Heritage Days.
The performances and artistic competitions form a major part of the 19th edition, witnessing the participation of 20 local bands, including teams made of Arab and foreign communities living in the UAE.
Sharjah Heritage Days also dedicates part of its activities to the educational and cultural aspect. It includes 61 educational programmes, workshops, and lectures, on the importance of cultural heritage and cultural communication between nations and peoples.
The Sharjah Institute for Heritage was keen to present more than 20 titles of remarkable publications and issue a daily news bulletin. Eight local publishers are participating in the event.
The SHD also held “Children’s Village”, giving its young visitors daily workshops, and various programmes and competitions.
The events witness the active presence of several international organisations and local, Arab, and international leagues, represented by Unesco, the International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals, and Folk Arts, in addition to 12 organisations and cultural centres from several different countries.
In addition to the main events held in the Heart of Sharjah, the cities of the central and eastern regions of Sharjah will host some events, as Sharjah Heritage Days are held in Khorfakkan, Kalba, Dibba Al Hisn, Al Dhaid, and Al Hamriyah.
The opening was also attended by Sheikh Majid Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Director of the District and Villages Affairs Department, Sheikh Salem Bin Mohammed Bin Salem Al Qasimi, Director of the Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, along with several senior officials, diplomats of foreign countries, representatives of international organizations concerned with heritage and culture.
An earlier report said the Higher Committee of Sharjah Heritage Days has completed its preparations for the launch of its nineteenth edition taking place on 10th March.
Dr. Abdulaziz Al Musallam, Chairman of Sharjah Institute for Heritage and the Higher Committee for the nineteenth Sharjah Heritage Days, accompanied by chairpersons of the various committees, visited the site of the event in the “Heart of Sharjah”, to determine the level of readiness and preparations.
The Agriculture Environment pavilion presents a live showcase of the Emirati palm frond-weaving craft of “safeefah”.
Dr Abdulaziz Al Musallam, Chairman of Sharjah Institute for Heritage, and Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee of Sharjah Heritage Days, revealed that 102,000 eager visitors had participated in the events and activities of the first week of this year’s Sharjah Heritage Days (SHD) in heart of Sharjah and Central and Eastern Regions.
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