Buildings and museums provide unique heritage insights
Sharjah, 26 August , 2017: Heart of Sharjah, the largest heritage project in the region, is calling on visitors and residents to learn more about the emirate’s fascinating history through its stunning array of museums. Not only do they provide a window into the lives of previous generations, many of them are also fully interactive, where tourists can experience certain aspects of the past.
From the Heritage Museum to the Games House, the buildings offer an opportunity to see inside the ‘real’ Sharjah and learn about the values, events and landmarks which not only affected the population’s daily lives, but also changed the course of the emirate’s history.
As well as areas of interest, Sharjah regards its museums as centres for learning, where visitors are engaged in an education into the past and are able to dig deeper into history.
Yousif Al Mutawa, Manager of Heart of Sharjah, believes that preserving a society’s heritage is as important as steering its future.
“Museums are no longer seen as just a box to tick on a school outing, these are very much seats of learning and inspirational community centres. They provide an insight into what our homes and our communities once were, so that we can appreciate our current standing in the world and accordingly, have an idea of where we are heading in the future,” Al Mutawa pointed.
He continued: “When Shurooq first began developing ‘Heart of Sharjah’, we wanted to make use of the significant landmarks that existed in and around the project, such as museums and other historical sites, and use it as a foundation for us to develop a destination that delivers residents and tourists premium experience on Sharjah’s history and culture.”
He added: “For residents, museums help us to relate to each other and for visitors, they are a tool to understand the people of Sharjah, the UAE and the greater Arab World.”
As a former UNESCO Cultural Capital of the Arab World and Islamic Culture Capital, Sharjah continues on its road to creating new milestones, with the Heart of Sharjah at the forefront of preserving the emirate’s proud and precious history.
The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), aims to restore and revamp the city's historic areas with vibrant contemporary and artistic touches while maintaining the full integrity and authenticity of its historic culture.
“Museums that are located in and around ‘Heart of Sharjah’ are a tremendous reminder of how the political and social landscape has changed. Today, Sharjah is home to 9 museums reflecting the area’s level of historical significance, with museum names that include Bait Al Naboodah, Sharjah Fort (Al Hisn), Al Eslah School Museum, Sharjah Heritage Museum and many more,” highlighted Al Mutawa
He continued: “The Sharjah Al Hisn Museum for example, helps us to take a step back in time to experience the most important building in Sharjah from the early nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. Built in 1823, the historic fort still stands majestically in the Heart of Sharjah resembling the days it was used as the seat of Sharjah's Government, the residence of the Al Qasimi ruling family, and a jail.”
Al Mutawa continued: “The Al Eslah School Museum, which is hugely popular with the students of today. They can see for themselves what school life was like for pupils more than 80 years ago, when Al Eslah School was the first formal education institute in Sharjah, welcoming students from all over the region. The Traditional Games House brings popular games back to life and even conducts workshops for children on traditional sports and games.”
Among the many other institutions, it is the Sharjah Heritage Museum which is the jewel in the crown of the emirate’s legacy.
Al Mutawa explained: “Heart of Sharjah is a destination that has all the qualities of a magical story told through the ages,” said Al Mutawa. “It is dedicated to Sharjah’s distinct and unique customs and is understandably a source of immense pride and inspiration to the people of the UAE and a true eye opener to the traditions of the region to tourists, residents and citizens alike.”
As the Heart of Sharjah project continues to gather pace, museums play a great role in supporting the destination experience offerings which combines a sense of reverence with a sense of vitality, summing up the pride, charm and vibrancy across all periods of the emirate’s heritage.