Exhibition On Ancient Egypt To Showcase Cross-cultural Influences, Children’s Stories In Abu Dhabi


Exhibition on ancient Egypt to showcase cross-cultural influences, children’s stories in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News / WAM - 03rd Apr, 2021) An exhibition dedicated to the rich cultural heritage of narrative traditions from ancient Egypt, the Arab world and Germany will be held as part of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair programme for 2021, where Germany will be the Guest of Honour.

Titled "From Cinderella to Sindbad: German and Arab Timeless Tales", the exhibition will run from 4th April to 20th September 2021, at the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation.

It is a collaborative effort between the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), the German Embassy in Abu Dhabi, the Goethe-Institute, and Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation.

This is the result of research collaboration between the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection Berlin (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin) and the Arab-German Young academy for Sciences and Humanities (AGYA). The exhibition comes as both Germany and the UAE move to strengthen their cultural ties, and as ALC further solidifies its status as a custodian of cultural exchange and dialogue.

The scope of the exhibition, which will be presented in both English and Arabic, ranges from ancient Egyptian papyri to the tales of the Brothers Grimm, from the Arab poet al Mutanabbi to the German playwright and novelist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and from the Arabian Nights ("Alf Leila w Leila") to contemporary pop-up books and comics.

Approximately 100 objects, including facsimiles, archival material, books and games from the collections of the "Staatliche Museen zu" Berlin and other lenders such as the Goethe-Institut Gulf Region and Kalima Translation Project, which will showcase German titles translated to Arabic during the exhibition, provide fascinating insights into 4,000 years of cultural history.

The exhibition will explore the aspects these stories and folktales have in common, addressing the shared themes of good and evil, heroism and satire.

A special section in the exhibition area is to be dedicated to children’s books by Emirati authors based on Emirati folktales and stories that have been passed down through the generations.

Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, said, "Cross-cultural dialogue creates a platform for the sharing of stories, experiences, concerns, hopes and ambitions, resulting in powerful outcomes.

In this exhibition, we celebrate the Federal Republic of Germany, a country with a long literary history that has made rich contributions to world and Arab culture. We eagerly look forward to further cultural cooperation with Germany on future projects."

In turn, Peter Fischer, German Ambassador to the UAE, said that the idea for the exhibition arose shortly after Germany was announced as the Guest of Honour for the 2021 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

Fischer added, "This exhibition emphasises the commitment of both countries to further deepen bilateral ties in the fields of culture, education and research. This is a fun and interactive cultural exchange and visitors will be surprised by some of the connections between our cultures. I thank our partners and all those involved for their endeavours in bringing it to life."

The event will feature several programmes aimed at children and adults alike, including "Fairytales and Folktales We Share", which includes a weekly feature of an Arab story, or a German Brothers Grimm tale, as well as a marionette show.

The event programming will also include children’s writing workshops, introduced to cultivate writing and storytelling skills, as well as handcrafting of marionette dolls and a theatre.

The exhibition’s agenda will include a monthly interactive workshop titled "Hakawati" (The Storyteller), during which children will listen to folktales about Sindbad, Cinderella, Sinuhe and other characters. Children can also solve puzzles based on the challenges faced by the stories’ protagonists.

The exhibition also involves the "Common Stories" campaign, which will run all of April and May, to promote reading among children and encouraging families to read and discuss books.

Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation is open Saturday to Thursday from 10:00 to 19:00, and Fridays from 14:00. Strict safety measures and precautions have been implemented.