UAE: A nation at ease with the past
Visitors are given the opportunity to learn about the different tools used by the nation’s forefathers during fishing trips and pearl diving.
The UAE is a country rich in heritage and culture. What we see today with all its modern economy and amazing infrastructure have been strongly influenced by its unique past.
To uphold this cultural heritage is the main objective of the annual Sharjah Heritage Days which is taking place in the Heart of Sharjah until today. Now on its 14th year, this annual event, organised by the Sharjah Institute for Heritage, is not only celebrating the rich Arab tradition that brings a sense of nostalgia to those who have lived in the country before its founding but also provides the younger generation and the expat community a first-hand experience on how it is to live in “the good old days.”
The festival also allows visitors to take a closer look at the UAE’s varied natural environment, including its mountains, sea, and desert, as well as it agriculture.
“People of all ages and backgrounds are curious about the UAE’s natural environment, its culture and its traditions, and they always find something they’re interested in at Sharjah Heritage Days,” Abdulaziz Abdulrahman Almusallam, chairman of the Sharjah Institute for Heritage, tells Khaleej Times.
“This event is a way to bring a sense of nostalgia to those who have lived here all their lives, and familiarise younger generations with the past in a vibrant and cheerful atmosphere,” he adds.
Visitors are given the opportunity to learn about the different tools used by the nation’s forefathers during fishing trips and pearl diving, and the machines used to farm, cultivate grain, harvest, and transport materials.
The cultural experience is also made complete with the colourful folk performances and exciting storytelling sessions presented by members of the Emirati community.
This year’s focus has also taken an environmental advocacy. With the theme,”By Heritage We Preserve Nature,” emphasis is given on respecting nature while moving forward with economic development. “We promote recycling, energy conservation, and love for nature,” he says. “Bridging the past to the present and future is also promoted, adds Almusallam. “We have teams who are making apps to promote traditional games.”
“Our message is: ‘If we look to the future, we should take wisdom from the past.’ The new generation are keen with new technology but they can also see something beautiful from the past,” explains Almusallam.