Assilah, Morocco - Emirati traditional handicrafts are taking centre stage at the ongoing 2010 Assilah Festival in Morocco with visitors from around the world learning more about the UAE’s heritage.
In a traditional tent launched by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) at Sidi Bo Khobza Gardin in Assilah, 6 native Emirati women took their place practicing different types of colourful handicrafts.
The women with their traditional customs and unique face veil Burqa’ drew the attention of the visitors who got a chance to acknowledge more about ADACH’s endeavors to support the UAE’s intangible heritage and traditions with a colourful selection of Emirati handicrafts.
Safya Al Qubaisi, Handicraft Development Supervisor for ADACH believes festivals such as Assilah can help preserve the UAE’s culture.
“The UAE is doing a lot to preserve its heritage, to develop it and make it available to new generations. We are getting a great deal of official support to do this and to ensure these traditions stay alive.” she said.
“The Assilah Festival is a chance for the UAE and ADACH to share the traditions of our nation with a wider region and we hope to see lots of visitors throughout the Festival.” She added.
Archaeological evidence demonstrates that the population of the UAE mastered a number of craft skills as early as seven thousand years ago. The discovery of tools, decorated pottery, jewellery and alabaster objects at archaeological sites such as Umm an Nar and Hili, in Al Ain, confirm the region's level of artistry in antiquities.
Most of the UAE's handicraft products share great resemblance to those of other neighbouring Gulf countries. There are eight main crafts indigenous to the UAE. They include pottery, khoos (the weaving of palm fronds), sadoo (cotton or wool weaving), spinning, telli (or embroidery), jewellery, leather work and wood work.
The Emirati handicrafts on show include modernised items hand –made of traditional materials such as Telli , Sadoo , Khoos all of which have been crafted in to items that can be used today such as wallets, phone covers and key rings.
ADACH, along with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development and Masdar are representing UAE officially at Assilah Festival as a guest of honor this year.
An extensive series of events have been being organised by ADACH under the title of: "Renewable Energy - A Leap Towards Human Development" at the ongoing Assilah Festival in Morocco. More than forty-five countries from around the world are participating in this year's festival. It is one of the most important art festivals in the Middle East and North Africa and seeks to promote cultural exchange and create a culture of open dialogue between different countries. Its ethos is to celebrate the values of peace and tolerance.