In partnership with the Sharjah Architecture Triennial, the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development hosted an architecture and photography walk in Sharjah, that explored a number of the emirate's community spaces. This comes following the release of its publication In Search of Spaces of Coexistence: An Architect's Journey.
The walk, which took place on Saturday, January 24, took participants on a route that included the Russian Orthodox Church (featured in the publication), Al Emam Al Nawai Mosque and the Indian Orthodox Church (part of the UAE Architecture's Project). The walk was an opportunity for participants to learn about the architectural features of each site, as well as the methods of documentation through sketching and photography. Participants also learnt about each site’s connection to the surrounding communities that shaped these buildings.
Participants were welcomed by Associate Professor Adina Hempel, who led the project together with Dr. Alamira Reem Al Hashimi under the guidance of Sheikh Salem Al Qassimi, Assistant Undersecretary of Arts and Heritage at the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development. The walking tour was led by the research team architect and writer Azza Abou Alam and photographer and designer Hussain AlMoosawi.
“With over 200 nationalities in the UAE, coexistence is at the heart of our nation’s foundation, and this publication is a key project in the preservation and celebration of our nation’s unique architecture and the nuances behind each site’s communal history and meaning," said Sheikh Salem Al Qassimi. " Through public programming in conjunction with the book, we seek to share the stories and history of the architecture’s place in community with the residents and citizens of the UAE.”
"With religious spaces, cultural or recreational centres acting as places for dialogue, they simultaneously develop and enhance positive social relations all the while encouraging cohesion. With this book, we hope to shed light on the UAE’s history, and development, through a visual journey of its architecture and urban fabric," he added.
In Search of Spaces of Coexistence: An Architect's Journey was developed by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Department of Municipalities and Transport, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi Media Company, and Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation.