Inside the Sebastia Archaeological Museum, Palestine.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
Under the patronage of Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan attended the Arab Cultural Guide Program Awards Ceremony 2022.
UAE won the Excellence Award in Museum and Cultural Guidance (category of Institutes and Ministries) and Palestine won the first place in the award for museums and archaeological sites.
The event was held on September 9 at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi, in the presence of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Diplomatic Advisor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth and Chairman of the National Committee for Education, Culture and Science; and Dr. Mohamed Ould Amar, Director General of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO).
The programme was launched by the Ambassador for Culture for ALECSO, Sheikha Alyazia Bint Nahyan Al Nahyan, in partnership with ALECSO and the Arab Organization of Museums, under the theme â€œHistory is Our Gateway to the Futureâ€. Also present at the event were Yacoub Al Hosani, Assistant Minister for International Organizations Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Ech Cherki Dahmali, President of the Arab Organization of Museums and member of the Advisory Board of the International Council of Museums-ICOM; and Dean Phelus, Senior Director of Special Projects at American Alliance of Museums.
Noura Al Kaabi said: â€œAt the beginning of my speech, I would like to thank Sheikha Alyazia Bint Nahyan Al Nahyan, Ambassador for Culture, for launching the â€œArab Cultural Guide Programâ€. The preservation and transmission of the legacy of the past to future generations represents the pillar on which we work to make a bright tomorrow, with the past and the future generations and cultures joining to complement each other.â€
Dr. Mohamed Ould Amar said that â€œfirst of all, I am pleased to thank the United Arab Emirates represented by the Ministry of Culture and Youth and Sheikha Alyazia Bint Nahyan Al Nahyan, ALECSOâ€™s Ambassador for Culture â€¦ to celebrate the Cultural Guide Program competition.â€œJust as we succeeded in the Cultural Guide Program, we are determined to succeed also with the rest of the activities of the ALECSO Ambassadorship Program for Arab Culture.â€ Ech Cherki Dahmali said that â€œI am sure that this first round of the Arab Cultural Guide Program will constitute a solid foundation and a fundamental building block for the continuation of this project through the organisation of other courses.â€
Dean Phelus said that â€œwe know that museums and cultural heritage sites are many things: places of knowledge and inspiration, sources of national pride, vital partners in our societies, supervisors of the common heritage that presents humanityâ€™s greatest achievements and greatest treasures.â€
Winners and personalities honoured are as follows:
Award for Excellence in Museum and Cultural Guidance (for institutes and ministries):
First winner: the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth, Heritage and Arts Sector Cultural Heritage Department, received by Asma Al-Mannai, Head of the Department of Antiquities at the Ministry of Culture and Youth; Second winner: Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, Department of Museums and Antiquities, received by Fadwa Ibrahim, Head of Customer Services and Third winner: Qatar Museums Authority.
Award for Excellence in Museum and Cultural Guidance (for museums and archaeological sites):
First winner: Sebastia Archaeological Museum from Palestine, received by Feras Aqel, Director of the General Directorate of Museums at the Ministry of Tourism; Second winner: Djerba Traditional Heritage Museum from Tunisia, received by Sonia Alaoui Director of the Museum and Third winner: Museum of Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdallah in Essaouira, Morocco, received by Ghita Rabouli, Director of the Museum.
Acknowledgement for Excellence in Museum and Cultural Guidance (Acknowledging Unique Entries):
Mariam Al Raeisi, Director at the Natural History Museum of Oman; Chadia Khalafallah, from Setif National Public Museum, Algeria and Riyad Bakaroum, from Mukalla Museum, Yemen.
Cultural Guide Competition for Sustainable Ideas and Projects:
First Winner: Ezzedine Hajjaj from Sudan for the project of developing the interactive structure of Arab museums;
Second winner: Layla Salih from Iraq for the project of recovery of cultural heritage after conflict, an initiative in cooperation with the Museum of Bagdida for Syriac Heritage and Third winner: Sumaya Bejaoui from Tunisia for the project of the mobile cultural guide.
The best Arab restorer was awarded to the archaeological restorer specialised in architecture and movables, Eng. Faisal Farhan from Iraq. Pioneers of media and cultural guidance were also honoured by Hamad Al Kaabi, Editor-in-Chief of Al Ittihad newspaper. The award was accepted by Abdul Raheem Al Naqbi from Al Ittihad. Others honoured were Ali Al-Salloum, Cultural Advisor and Founder of Ask Ali and Host of the â€œDroobâ€ programme; Dr. Mustafa Al-Sharif, Sudanese archaeologist; Dr. Eid Al Yahya, Saudi researcher, writer and TV presenter of the series â€˜Retracing Arab footstepsâ€™; Maya Hatahet, Senior Producer at Al Arabiya news channel and producer of the TV series â€˜Retracing Arab footstepsâ€™; and Laila Al-Faddagh, Director of the Saudi National Museum, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
A visual feature on the Arab Cultural Guide Program was also screened. The ceremony concluded with music performance, Al Sira Al Hilalia, by the Egyptian Warsha Theater Troupe. It was followed by a tour of Qasr Al Watan and the Palace in Motion light and sound show. The Arab Cultural Guide Program activities will conclude in December 2022 with an interactive tour of the winning museums.