Dubai Culture Celebrates Arab Manuscript Day at Dubai Public Library
Event in collaboration with Juma Al Majid Centre for Culture and Heritage, which showcased precious manuscripts and hosted seminars and lectures
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 06 April, 2017: Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated entity for culture, arts and heritage, hosted an event to celebrate Arab Manuscript Day at the Dubai Public Library Al Twar branch on 5th April 2017, in collaboration with Juma Al Majid Centre for Culture and Heritage.
Visitors attended an ‘Arabic Manuscript in Risk’ lecture, which saw the participation of many specialists who educated the audience about the historical and cultural significance of manuscripts. During the seminar, Dr. Bassam Daghestani – Head of Manuscripts Maintenance Department at Juma Al Majid Centre for Culture and Heritage – delivered a lecture about manuscripts in Africa and the efforts made by Juma Al Majid Center to save them. Dr. Izzedine bin Zgyibh, Head of Studies and Publishing and External Affairs Department at Juma Al Majid Centre for Culture and Heritage, shed light on manuscripts in India and the centre’s role in saving them, while Mr. Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Head of Architectural Heritage & Antiquities Department in Dubai Municipality, gave a lecture on ‘Libraries in the Islamic World.’
Fahad Al Mamari, Director of Dubai Public Library at Dubai Culture, commented: "We at Dubai Culture are delighted to collaborate with one of the most important culture and heritage centres in UAE and the region, to work hand in hand to shed the light on preserving historical Arab manuscripts. Visitors learned about the various new techniques that can be used to save manuscripts from damage, and restore and preserve them for future generations to enjoy."
Dr. Mohammed Kamel Jad, General Director of Juma Al Majid Centre for Culture and Heritage, added: "Arab Manuscript Day is an important occasion for people to learn about the importance of manuscripts, which carry the history of our fathers, and the risks they face in different parts of the world. People also gained insights into the efforts made by the Juma Al Majid Centre for Culture and Heritage to restore and digitalize manuscripts. As an Emirati association, especially in West Africa and southern Asia, we have established 40 permanent labs in 23 counties to restore Arab manuscripts and save them from damage and loss. We have also built well-equipped digital labs that digitalize 30 thousand manuscripts daily, and as a result have been recognised this year by the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States for our efforts in preserving manuscript history."
The Manuscript Fair at the event also gave visitors the opportunity to view a unique collection of manuscripts. The event also featured two workshops, which offered insights into the Ebru technique and explored manual restoration, including techniques used to assess the condition of manuscripts before and after treatment, and the methods used by experts to save and protect manuscripts from damage.
The Dubai Public Library network includes eight libraries for adults and another seven for children. Some branches feature multi-purpose halls, classrooms and exhibition spaces, and all branches of the Dubai Public Library are connected via computer systems. This has established close links with other modern libraries, providing access to vast sources of information on a diversity of topics in both Arabic and English.
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