Sharjah Art Foundation invites residents to contribute to research on historic areas

The organisation wants to collect oral histories of Al Mureijah, Al Shoyoukh and Al Shuwaiheen from people above the age of 60

An aerial view of Sharjah's Al Mureijah area pre-restoration in the 1990s. Photo: Directorate of Heritage

Sharjah Art Foundation has launched a project to collect the oral histories of three important areas in Sharjah, inviting people above the age of 60 to share their stories of Al Mureijah, Al Shoyoukh and Al Shuwaiheen areas.

The neighbourhoods are among the most historic in the emirate, but there is little written or recorded documentation on the transformation these areas have undergone in the past decades.

Al Shuwaiheen's markets and museums attract a mix of art lovers, history seekers and bargain hunters.

In an effort to compile and preserve the histories of the three areas, the foundation is calling on people who have lived or worked in these neighbourhoods to share their stories about life in the time around the successive phases of change and development.

The research team will collect oral histories from participants to document the social, urban and architectural evolution of the three areas.

“Since the foundation was formed in 2009, a deep engagement with the local community and the urban landscape has been central to our work,” said Noora Al Mualla, director of learning and research at Sharjah Art Foundation. “With this new project we hope to learn about the history of these neighbourhoods through the voices and memories of an older generation.

An aerial image of Al Mureijah Square taken in 2017. Photo: Sharjah Art Foundation

“The stories we collect will both contribute to our understanding of Sharjah’s past while helping us to preserve this knowledge of the future.”

Interviews will be conducted with a diverse range of people to broadly reflect the area’s inhabitants over time.

Participants will include people with tribal lineage distant to the Arabian Gulf as well as those with families from other regional and international backgrounds who settled in the emirate between the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Those who would like to contribute to the research by sharing stories or names of potential participants can contact the department directly at research@sharjahart.org

Updated: January 10th 2022, 2:14 PM