As part of its celebration of International Museum Day, Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) organized a special symposium on “Social Harmony” at Sharjah Art Museum.
The symposium was aimed at strengthening the relationship between museums and society, highlighting that museums are not only showcases for objects and cultural heritage but are vital spaces for social interaction between different kinds of people and allow for learning and engagement with others.
The topics at the workshop included; ‘Museums for all’, ‘Sustainable consumption’, ‘Together we are complete’, ‘Social relevance of museums in the port cities of Eastern Arabia’, ‘The Relevance of art and culture to inter-faith relations’ and ‘Knowledge without borders’.
The speakers at the symposium included prominent professionals from the public and private sectors including Majid Abdulla Rashed, Secretary General, UAE Disabled Sports Federation Governing Board; Dr Samia Rab, College of Art, Architecture and Design at the American University of Sharjah; Jamal Al Falasi Environmental activist, Knowledge and Human Development Authority; Sohail Younus Nakhooda, Inter-Faith Research Fellow, and Research and Publication Manager at Kalam Research & Media; Mr. Rashid Al Kous, General Coordinator of "Knowledge without borders" project; and Fatima Musharbak, Education Specialist for Community and Accessibility Services at SMD.
Manal Ataya, Director General, SMD, said: “SMD is committed to strengthening the awareness of museums’ valuable contribution to social harmony and inclusion. Through these activities, we want to highlight the fundamental role museums can play in social development by providing a space for interaction and where members of our diverse society can enhance their confidence and creativity, and consequently lead more active, fulfilled and productive lives in their communities.”
“This year’s International Museum Day theme of ‘Museums for Social Harmony’ as selected by ICOM aligns itself with the goal of numerous cultural organisations all over the world to unlock museum’s potential to play a significant role in social development. The celebration highlights the spirit of museums as vehicles of cultural exchange, respect and appreciation of global cultures which advances, cooperation and peace among people,” added Manal Ataya.
The International Museum Day, marked on May 18th, is an initiative by the International Council of Museums, a non-governmental organisation with formal relations with UNESCO. Since the celebration of the International Museum Day for the first time in 1977, the Council has been selecting various relevant themes for each year’s celebration.
The Sharjah Museums Department, established in 2006 by His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, aims to promote the emirate’s rich legacy of arts, heritage and culture.
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