Experts Emphasize Heritage’s Role in Strengthening Generational Ties at Sharjah Heritage Days

Experts Emphasize Heritage’s Role in Strengthening Generational Ties at Sharjah Heritage Days

Academics and specialists underscored the significance of heritage in fostering intergenerational communication and instilling values of belonging and loyalty. The heritage revival witnessed in the Emirate of Sharjah has played a pivotal role in strengthening local heritage by connecting with new generations, paving the way for civilizational development. This achievement follows a comprehensive set of measures, including the revitalization of urban heritage, dedicated heritage programs and events, support for owners of popular heritage crafts, collaboration with researchers to document local heritage, and global outreach to establish a prestigious position on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The insights were shared during a session organized as part of the Cultural Café at the 21st edition of Sharjah Heritage Days, held at Heritage Square in the heart of Sharjah. The session featured His Excellency Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Musallam, President of the Sharjah Heritage Institute, Dr. Salem Al-Tunaiji, and Dr. Sultan Al-Amimi, Chairman of the Writers’ Union Council. The discussion addressed various challenges and opportunities in preserving and promoting heritage.

Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Musallam credited the unwavering support of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, for the successful heritage achievements in the emirate. He emphasized the ruler’s commitment to recognizing the vital role of heritage in fostering communication between generations and enhancing pride in identity. Addressing challenges, he noted that although there are numerous heritage content platforms on social media, their treatment often falls short of expectations.

Discussing the role of scientific and heritage institutions, Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Musallam highlighted the contributions of the Sharjah Heritage Institute over a quarter-century. The institute focuses on encouraging heritage crafts, reviving heritage areas, and promoting training and awareness. Dr. Al-Musallam also mentioned the establishment of the first diploma for heritage in collaboration with UAE University to enhance the literature related to Emirati heritage.

Dr. Salem Al-Tunaiji identified challenges such as cultural diversity, rapid societal transformations, generational value differences, and social communication challenges. He expressed optimism about the new generation’s ability to connect with heritage based on a questionnaire he conducted with 300 students. Suggested solutions include integrating heritage into school curricula, organizing creative workshops, and establishing interactive museums.

Dr. Sultan Al-Amimi emphasized the role of social networking sites in transmitting popular culture components, including Nabati poetry. While these sites have contributed, he highlighted challenges such as authenticity concerns and the need for oversight. He called on heritage institutions to play a role in addressing these challenges and preserving the accuracy of heritage content.

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