Sultan Al Qasimi opens Centre of International Organisations for Cultural Heritage
H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, inaugurated on Sunday the Centre of International Organisations for Cultural Heritage at University City, Sharjah.
The centre’s objectives are to safeguard the cultural heritage of the emirates, whilst attracting more people to gain insight into Sharjah’s vast and rich culture. It features six international organisations that will work together to enhance communication and cultural exchange, and support efforts that help promote the authenticity of their culture.
Commenting on the opening, Dr. Abdul Aziz Al Musallam, Chairman of Sharjah Institute for Heritage said, “We are extremely delighted to provide an avenue where different organisations can come together to reflect more on the diverse elements of their heritage.
“The centre,” the Chairman continued, “seeks to be an outlet were individuals can exchange ideas, reflect on new ideas and educate themselves on aspects that have formed a vital part of the nation’s heritage. One’s culture is deeply ingrained in the nation’s fabric, and this centre seeks to go into each layer of it.”
Among the organisations feature at the centre is the Architectural and Archaeological Tangible Heritage in the Arab Region, ICCROM-ATHAR, which aims to protect the Arab region’s cultural heritage and to broaden access, appreciation and understanding of its rich history.
Zhejiang Gongshang University, a public higher educational institution that focuses on the fields of social science, has also opened in the centre to pay attention to international exchanges and cooperation whilst also making an effort to promote the internationalisation of higher education.
The third entity is the International Organisation for Folk Art, IOV, with the mission to protect, preserve and promote all forms of folk art and folk culture as elements of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, ICH, to foster understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity among all peoples, and thereby enhance the prospects for world peace.
The International Council of Organisations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts, CIOFF, is an international nongovernmental organisation, in official partnership with UNESCO and is accredited to provide advisory service to the Committee of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. By coming under the umbrella of the centre, the organisation aims to preserve, promote and help in the dissemination of traditional art and folklore.
Born in Sardinia in 2003, ‘Olympias. Giochi Tradizionali Della Sardegna’ is a scientific project created to safeguard the intangible heritage of Sardinian and Mediterranean Traditional Games. The project enhances and promotes the practice of traditional game by involving children and youth through the means of specific educational programmes, and can also be found to work within the newly announced centre in Sharjah.
Lastly, the National Institute of Archaeology and Heritage is one of the institutions that has been opened as it performs basic training, continuous training and scientific research in the fields of archaeology and heritage and related fields.
By bringing together these six organisations the Sharjah Institute for Heritage aims to welcome people from across the world, making Sharjah the epicentre for people from different cultures to come together.