Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah during the opening of Sharjah Heritage Museum
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, accompanied by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Salem bin Sultan Al Qassimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, opened the Sharjah Heritage Museum on 22nd of May.
The opening ceremony, which received remarkable media interest and coverage, was attended by a number of senior officials and directors of government departments and authorities, dignitaries, and international media representatives, and guests were received by Manal Ataya, Director General of Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) and Muna Mukhashab, the Curator of the Sharjah Heritage Museum.
Upon his arrival, Sheikh Sultan cut the ribbon, marking the opening of the Sharjah Heritage Museum. Sheikh Sultan and the guests then toured the museum’s various galleries and viewed the new collections, which depict the Sharjah’s rich heritage and history.
Sheikh Sultan toured the Museum's six galleries, starting with the “Landscape” gallery, which features the natural environments found in the Emirate ranging from coasts, islands, deserts and oases, to mountains and valleys. He then inspected the ‘Lifestyle’ gallery, which portrays the variety of social aspects and religious values of the UAE.
The tour continued with the “Celebration” gallery, which highlights the UAE's rich heritage and traditions as practiced on special occasions, such as the 15th of Shaban, known as "Hag Al Laila", the holy month of Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha. It also showcases the clothing worn on Hajj, wedding traditions, bride’s clothing, popular dishes, and a display of musical instruments.
The museum's fourth gallery is “Livelihood” where the Sheikh Sultan and guests viewed exhibitions portraying textile sellers, ways of selling herbs, herbal medicines and currencies, international trade, import and export, goldsmithery, women in trade, domestic trade between local markets, exchange of goods, and means of travelling, amongst others.
Sheikh Sultan also toured the fifth gallery ‘Traditional Knowledge’ with collections depicting folk medicine and traditional methods of treatment such as, cupping and wounds treatment. Use of astrological knowledge in way finding and the knowledge of "tracking" in the desert used for hunting.
In the final gallery “Oral Traditions”, Sheikh Sultan viewed this interactive gallery that displays the UAE's heritage in proverbs and popular riddles and children’s stories.
At the end of this visit, Sheikh Sultan listened to a presentation on services provided by the Sharjah Museums Department at the Sharjah Heritage Museum which will include educational programs, workshops and family-designed workshops, in addition to temporary exhibitions and cinematic shows.
On this occasion, Manal Ataya, SMD Director General, said,” We are extremely proud today to open the Sharjah Heritage Museum under the guidance and continued support of His Highness Sheikh Sultan in serving cultural heritage and arts initiatives not only in Sharjah but in the entire Arab region."
“With the newly renovated historic house, the Sharjah Heritage Museum is a new landmark in the Heart of Sharjah that embodies the stories of our forefathers and the rich history of the UAE as a whole. With new collections, new extensive research and specially designed displays and galleries we hope this museum will provide. A unique experience and engage our diverse audiences in all aspects of UAE heritage. I wish to thank the collaborative effort of our in house team of conservators, curators, documentation officers, researchers, technicians, designers and project managers for the success of this museum," she added.
Muna Mukhashab, Curator of Sharjah Heritage Museum, said, “The process of obtaining and increasing the museum’s collections was based on many historical and research studies which required considerable effort and time to ensure accuracy of objects. In some instance, it required extensive travel across the seven Emirates and abroad to Qatar, India and Saudi Arabia .We also cooperated with a number of individuals from the community who gifted parts of their personal collections to the museum."