Home » Sharjah Institute for Heritage opens 13th Sharjah International Traditional Crafts Forum

Sharjah Institute for Heritage opens 13th Sharjah International Traditional Crafts Forum

by Dubaiforum

SHARJAH, 18th January, 2023 (WAM) — Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Musallam, Chairperson of the Sharjah Institute for Heritage (SIH), today launched the 13th Sharjah International Traditional Crafts Forum under the slogan “Carpets and Textiles”.

Held at the Sharjah Research, Technology, and Innovation Park, the forum is expected to attract participation from 17 Arab and international parties in the rich scientific, cultural, and artistic programme of events.

The opening ceremony featured performances by the Egyptian troupe in the presence of Abdulkadar Memedi, Ambassador of the Republic of North Macedonia; Salem Ali Ahmed Al Muhairi, Chairman of the Sharjah Municipal Council; Rashid Khamis Al Naqbi, Chairman of the Municipal Council of Khor Fakkan; Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park; Kholoud Al Hajri, Director of Emirati Handcraft Centre affiliated to SIH, General Coordinator of the Sharjah International Traditional Crafts Forum, in addition to representatives of the participating entities, researchers, academics, craftspeople, employees and those interested in heritage affairs and the textile and carpet industry.

At the launch event, Dr. Al-Musallam said, “The SIH aims to raise awareness of heritage in all its forms and preserve identity as the basis for the well-established cultural and civilisational system of societies and peoples. The objectives of the Sharjah International Traditional Crafts Forum are consistent with the efforts of the Institute in celebrating the various industries and arts that have long been associated with man and his skills and were represented in the traditional crafts of our nations throughout history.”

The participants are from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Morocco, and Sudan, in addition to participation by Azerbaijan, Italy, Spain, Romania, San Marino and North Macedonia.

Kholoud Al Hajri said, “This year’s audience will experience a new topic related to the craft heritage and focus of the textile and carpet industry. They will enjoy an insight into how various textile products are made and developed with the splendour of their colours and aesthetics.”

Distinguished local, Arab and international craftspeople will deliver an academic, cultural and artistic programme full of many activities throughout the two days. Activities include seminars and lectures to discuss the world of textiles, carpets, and related industries and several workshops for training in these crafts. In addition to the accompanying exhibition, a collection of books will be available to learn more about the industry’s history.

The first session of the cultural programme was moderated by Dr. Mini Bounama, Director of the Content and Publishing Department at SIH, and dealt with the textile and carpet industry issue.

Dr. Al-Musallam spoke about traditional industries using carpets and textiles as models. The professor’s paper touched on the work of North Macedonian expert, Dr. Masoud Idris, who manufactures Balkan textiles, such as traditional costumes from Albania and Bosnia, and the impact these products have on improving family life in the region.

From Morocco, Muhammad Abu Faris, Head of Library Operations at the House of Wisdom in Sharjah, reviewed the subject of textiles and their impact on human heritage, citing the Lattenhausen Collection as a model. This session concluded with a paper by Dr. Abdulaziz Hamid Ali, Programme Specialist of the ISESCO Regional Office in Sharjah. He focussed on the history of the textile and carpet process in the Islamic world.

Finally, he discussed how the Islamic community absorbed the developments of this industry as it reached a milestone of becoming the centre of attention among Muslim artisans and the upper classes in society.

Forum art exhibitions included an exhibition of the Saudi artist, Abdullah Al-Faisal Al-Rasheed, which was inaugurated and included a showcase of “Origins.. Journey to Consciousness” by the Mexican textile and dyer, Porfirio Gutierrez.

The attendees also enjoyed live performances and workshops presented by the Turkish Carpet Pavilion and the Iranian Carpet Pavilion, reflecting the special character of each country’s industry and displaying the participating countries’ traditional costumes.

Training and interactive workshops were held for children in the Textile and Carpet Oasis. Workshops included “The Scarlet Insect” by Porfirio Gutierrez, “Caduting on Papers” by Ria Takao, and “Basket of Wool” presented by the Emirates Heritage Club. The Emirati Crafts Centre also held workshops for textile hats and textile walls. Workshops will continue over the two days of the forum.

The SIH’s International School of Story agenda also includes a series of purposeful workshops. First-day workshops included “Let’s build a journey in the world of stories … the magic carpet”, “Al-Sadu weaving … art, creativity and innovation”, implemented by student Alia Al Muhairi at the College of Arts Beauty and Design at the University of Sharjah. Naameh Obaid from the Sajaya Young Ladies of Sharjah also presented a workshop titled “Weaving… A heritage inherited by children from grandparents”.

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