ADACH bids to register Al-Iyalah, Al-Taghruda at UNESCO

Safeguarding UAE heritage

ABU DHABI - The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development is organising a workshop aimed at academics, specialists, experts and researchers who are interested in the heritage of Al-Iyalah and Al-Taghruda. The event, which will enjoy the participation of government and society organisations and institutions, will be held between 22 and 24 March at the Armed Forces Officers Club in Abu Dhabi.
Al-Iyalah is a traditional dance that performed in deferent occasions such as weddings and welcoming guests. Al-Taghruda is an ancient form of Nabaty poetry chanted by Bedouins while crossing the desert on camels.
The workshop is part of ADACH's strategy to preserve and safeguard intangible heritage, and deepen its role in the development of our national identity. The event will also promote the achievements of the UAE, and their ongoing cooperation with UNESCO which are aimed at highlighting the genuine national heritage of the region.
Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Advisor for Culture and Heritage in the Court of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Director General of ADACH, said “the UAE has achieved remarkable levels of success in the work of safeguard the intangible heritage. The UAE has also succeeded in raising awareness about the importance of the strategic preservation of both our modern day and our ancient cultural heritage. This represents a unique model of coexistence and an integration of cultures and civilizations among the people of the world”.
"Urgent efforts are currently underway, with the cooperation of UNESCO, to support plans and programmes designed to preserve both our cultural heritage and the shared common heritage of mankind," Al Mazrouei said.
Regarding the preparation of the two dossiers of Al-Iyalah and Al-Taghruda, Dr. Nasser Ali Al Hemairi, Director of the Intangible Heritage Department at ADACH, has said that this workshop falls within the partnership that now links the UAE - represented by ADACH - to UNESCO.
"The workshop also forms part of ADACH's systematic plan for the consolidation of the pillars of this partnership. This is particularly the case due to the status enjoyed by the UAE at UNESCO. The international commission for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage contains a team of expert members who represent the state and who have assumed key leading positions within UNESCO," Hemairi said.
"We all know that UNESCO acts as a window for civilizations to examine one another, and display their own culture, heritage and originality. Above all, UNESCO acts as a bridge for communication and understanding between nations and people. For some time we at the Intangible Heritage Department have been keen to produce an inventory of the components that make up the heritage of the UAE. This will be produced in accordance with the standards and requirements of UNESCO and will enable us to successfully nominate aspects of our heritage to this international organization," he added.
"We have successfully registered falconry on the representative list for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage of mankind. We also nominated two other dossiers in February of this year - these involved the heritage pursuits of sewing and popular games. We have almost prepared our nominations for the dossiers of Al-Iyalah and Al-Taghruda, which will be completed in the forthcoming workshop. The workshop will coincide with ADACH's celebrations for World Heritage Day," he emphasized.
Regarding the objectives of the workshop, Dr. Hemairi said that it aims to highlight the efforts undertaken by ADACH to preserve our heritage. It will also stress the importance of the registration of aspects of our heritage with UNESCO. The workshop will assess the current and future efforts that are being undertaken by the government and by other society organisations and institutions. These will include current measures that are already in place, and the future aspirations that we have for the safeguarding of our heritage, such as the registration of the heritage of Al-Iyalah and Al-Taghruda.