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Sharjah Heritage Days asserts importance of renewal while preserving heritage

by Dubaiforum

SHARJAH, 8th March, 2023 (WAM) — Dr. Abdul Aziz Al Musallam, Chairman of the Sharjah Institute for Heritage (SIH) and Chairman of the Supreme Organising Committee for Sharjah Heritage Days (SHD), discussed the organisation of Sharjah Heritage Days along with Dr. Majid Abdullah Bushlaibi, Secretary-General of the Sharjah Islamic Forum and Dr. Ahmed Bahey El-Din, Chairman of the General Egyptian Book Organisation.

Within the series of cultural sessions at SHD, which is currently being held in Sharjah from 1st-22nd March, a discussion was held under the title, “Heritage and Creativity – Concept and Context”.

Moderated by Dr. Mini Bounama, Director of the Content and Publishing Department at SIH, the session included different approaches to the relationship between heritage and creativity in context and topic.

Dr. Al Musallam said, “The slogan of the current session of the Sharjah Heritage Days, ‘Heritage and Creativity’, obliges us to raise and discuss important and in-depth questions and how to explore the depths of the relationship between heritage and creativity.”

He pointed out that parents and grandparents relied on traditional means and old holdings in homes, farms, and coasts, but they did not close the door to new tools and raw materials that helped to develop and benefit their lives. The same applies to the reuse of old traditional costumes and clothing and inherited social customs and traditions, pointing to the possibility of accepting the use of new raw materials for functional purposes without cancelling the original, which applies comparatively in the development of traditional crafts and popular literature, as well as the plastic arts that transitioned through many phases, leading to the postmodern stage.

He further explained that sustainable heritage accommodates development, renewal and creativity as long as it maintains the basic rules and templates and the realistic image of it and does not deviate from its original concept, as it is not possible to accept postmodern ideas that undermine all the value foundations and axioms of knowledge, heritage and previous human creations, and even seek to return to the first primitiveness, by getting rid of the old human legacy.

Dr. Al Musallam stressed that the development of the activities and pavilions of the Sharjah Heritage Days is an excellent example of the possibility of adopting the concepts of creativity in the heritage aspects.

In his intervention, Dr. Majid Bushlaibi presented a qualitative comparison of creative cities and the experience of the Emirate of Sharjah in preserving Islamic and Arab heritage, explaining that discussing creative action in urban development is linked to heritage, creativity, inspiration and employment.

He noted that many countries have begun searching for distinctive destinations in their cities and suburbs to develop and invest in urban planning to build a brand industry regionally and internationally. “Developing and transforming the old Sharjah area into an integrated site managed by private sector institutions with technical, marketing and commercial goals that are in the interest of the UAE,” Dr. Bushlaibi added.

Dr. Ahmed Bahey El-Din raised several important questions about the extent to which our future needs heritage for both the short and long term, highlighting the readiness of future generations to manage heritage, indicating a difference in visions regarding the feasibility of using old traditional words and their acceptance and rejection.

Dr. Bahey El-Din also spoke about the Convention on the Intangible Cultural Heritage declared by UNESCO in 2003 and its impact on the return of interest to governments in the elements of this heritage and their efforts to develop and register them in the lists of UNESCO.

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