ABU DHABI - Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) has staged a special award ceremony to honour 20 students who won a cultural competition through engagement with the ‘Water: H2O=Life’ exhibition that took place earlier this year. Each winner received a trophy and prize money.
The main objectives of the competition were to highlight the efforts of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in securing water resources for the United Arab Emirates (UAE); to encourage research into the falaj water distribution system and its economic and social significance for the country’s heritage; and to emphasise the importance of the Arabian Gulf as a commercial hub, a fish reservoir or a hotspot for pearl divers.
Dr Nasser Ali Al Hamiri, Director, Intangible Heritage Department TCA Abu Dhabi stated:
“We are very encouraged by the enthusiastic response this competition received. Some 166 youngsters entered the competition and all of their contributions were delightful. We are keen to ensure that TCA Abu Dhabi is connecting and nurturing its youth and we are very happy to have worked very closely with Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC).
“This competition was aimed at informing the public about our national cultural heritage by using water as a symbol to strengthen a sense of belonging to that heritage as a cornerstone of national identity. These are common objectives that TCA Abu Dhabi shares with ADEC and institutions of higher education across Abu Dhabi emirate.”
The competition had three categories: (a) research, (b) reportage (both for high school and university students); and (c) drawing/colouring for elementary students (which was split in to two: age groups 1 -5; and ages 6-9).
Education experts from TCA Abu Dhabi’s Intangible Heritage Department, in addition to specialists from the Strategic Planning Department and the Arts & Culture Department made up the competition jury.
The exhibition was organised in conjunction with the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) between September 19, 2011 and January 5, 2012 in Qasr Al Hosn, Cultural Quarter Hall, Abu Dhabi. The exhibition was visited by over 60 schools based in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region (Al Gharbia), as well as a number of college and university students.
The ‘Water: H2O=Life’ exhibition informed students about the many cultural manifestations of water, its role in art and civilisation and its unique ability to enrich the human experience and the UAE’s cultural heritage. An anthology of illustrated folktales about water for UAE heritage was also published for students.