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Wednesday 30 March ,2022

The National Library and Archives (NLA) organizes "Cultural Industries from Theory to Application" seminar in its Cultural Season 2022

World-leading experiences that can be emulated, and recommendations that contribute to the advancement of industries

The National Library and Archives (NLA) organizes "Cultural Industries from Theory to Application" seminar in its Cultural Season 2022

The National Library and Archives (NLA) organized its second seminar in its Cultural Season 2022 entitled "Cultural Industries from theory to application" as they are important in preserving national identity, a significant part of peoples' culture and economy, a source of national income, and a promoter of creativity. Their principles must be instilled in young people and passed over generations as they have great material and moral value.  The world's developed countries have now incorporated their returns within their national income indicators.

The seminar, moderated by Mr. Hamad Al-Mutairi, Director of the Archives Department of the National Library and Archives, confirmed that the UAE attaches great importance to cultural industries, and that the wise leadership supports these industries and takes care of those who have interest in them.

A group of experts and specialists in the field of cultural industries participated in the seminar, discussed the topic in many respects, presented projects that proved successful, such as the Chinese and the Italian experiences, and highlighted the success achieved by the UAE in this field.

Ms. Safia Darwish Al Qubaisi, the UAE’s traditional heritage and crafts expert, praised the continued encouragement and great attention given by the UAE's wise leadership to cultural industries and artisans, noting that this interest is not new in the UAE, as the founder and builder, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan al-Nahyan, was interested in them, and he supported women pioneers in traditional industries and encouraged them at all events.

The traditional heritage and crafts expert focused on the important role of cultural industries and their positive impact on the economic and social agenda, as they are considered one of the quickest growing economic sectors relying on unique and renewable resources in all areas of heritage and handicrafts. She pointed out the task of keeping up with modern technology and catching up with the digital revolution, employing its tools for innovation and preservation and development of cultural industries.  She also indicated that cultural and creative industries had had a positive impact on weaving together a stronger social fabric and promoting cognitive and cultural exchange between components of society, and in preserving cultural and creative heritage.

Dr. Ahmed Al Saeed, founder and general manager of The House of Wisdom Group for Cultural Industries, reviewed the Chinese experience in developing cultural industries that have become an important source of national income for China, and explained how to benefit from them in the Arab world.

Dr. Al-Saeed shed light on cultural industries in China, and their development stages. He analyzed the current development size of the Chinese culture market and the related industries, pointing to the main approach which led to advancing the cultural industries there, and the factors influencing their development. He also addressed ways to manage our Arab cultural industries and the possibility of transforming them to a source of income and pride at the same time.

Dr. Mohamed Al-Tadawi, an Egyptian historian and museum expert residing in Italy, gave a presentation on the Italian project known as (Invisible Cities), which was launched five years ago by the Italian company (Arsenal 23). It involves taking the users in a virtual tour of the old street in the city of Rome by bus; thus, they experience what the street was like twenty centuries ago in full details, as if roaming the vast ancient Roman Empire. Al-Tadawi pointed out that this experience is a reproduction of the Sound and Light Show, which is about the ancient Egyptian monuments, and which reached its peak of success in the 1960s, when it was played on the surface of the pyramids, attracting people's attention at the time.

Al-Tadawi believes that this project can be successfully implemented in Arab countries. In Medina, for example, this experience can entertain visitors by showing aspects of the migration of Prophet Muhammed ﷺ and his life in Medina. It can also be implemented in the United Arab Emirates by making a presentation about life in past eras, to consolidate the UAE’s history, and confirm the glories which its people had achieved in the past.

The participants concluded the seminar with recommendations that could advance this field. They involved focusing on the importance of employing scientific research and intellectual property and brushing aside bureaucracy in this vital cultural and economic field. They also emphasized the role of the state in realizing the significance of these industries in preserving national identity, and the importance of developing plans and visions for cultural industries, and spreading them in poor neighborhoods, in addition to assigning places and markets to enlighten about their particulars and details, encouraging generations to preserve them, and allocating outlets to market their products.

Emphasizing the importance of scientific research in this field, the Director of the Archives Department concluded the seminar with the memorable words of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan: “Science and culture are the basis of the nation’s progress, the foundation of civilization, and the cornerstone of nation-building, and without scientific progress, there would be no civilizations, advanced industry or agriculture to meet the needs of the citizens.

It is noteworthy that the National Library and Archives has launched it’s the agenda of its cultural season 2022, featuring various topics with a historical dimension for the UAE, to introduce this authentic culture  to the public in order to promote belonging to the nation and loyalty to its good leadership as this lies at the heart of the NLA’s mission.