Hello and welcome to the details of Rare documents on display for the first time at ADIBF and now with the details
Nevin Al Sukari - Abu Dhabi - The rare picture shows (Right to Left) Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid.
Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter
A large number of visitors from locals to foreigners have shown keen interest in the exhibits at the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) stand at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2021 (ADIBF), in Abu Dhabi where the centre is showcasing scores of original old documents.
These original ‘old documents’ are being exhibited first time in the International Book Fair in Abu Dhabi by HHC, under its Wathiqati initiative. The documents had been collected from the individuals seeking to preserve UAE’s heritage.
The book fair is being held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center till May 29 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. It is being organized by the Abu Dhabi Center for the Arabic Language at the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi.
The project was launched back in 2014. ‘Wathiqati’ calls for collecting old documents from establishments, institutions and individuals, for restoring, persevering and archiving them professionally, assisting in the provision of heritage material to researches, students and to display in exhibitions, locally and internationally.
The HHC’s Wathiqati documents showing debut at ADIBF include a plot of land request for building a house in Dubai’s Al Rifaa area, dating back to 1934. Another set of documents includes a family book and health card of Sheikh Mohammed Zaman whose date of birth is 1910. Zaman’s granddaughter donated these documents to help preserve UAE’s heritage in alignment with Wathiqati’s vision.
Interesting stories are told and historic facts are discovered at HHC’s Wathiqati exhibits on display at its ADBIF’s stand located in Hall 10, F02, in ADNEC, Abu Dhabi.
It is also mentioned that the HHC during the 30th edition of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2021 had unveiled a number of publications representing the local heritage and cultural values.
As part of the HHC efforts to promote local heritage and culture through a series of activities like book signing, unveiling new titles and exhibiting old documents reflecting different aspects of local society were highly appreciated by the visitors as well as other exhibitors from different part of the world to showcase their books and other published materials.
An earlier report said the growth of UAE’s annual book fairs and literary programmes as globally known events reflects full compliance with the wise counsel given by the Founding Father of the UAE four decades ago, at the very first edition of Abu Dhabi’s book fair.
During his visit to the kids’ corner at the Islamic Book Fair at Abu Dhabi’s Cultural Foundation on 3rd May 1981, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first President of the UAE, had called upon the nation to inculcate the reading habit in children because “if they start to love books, it will last forever and help them expand their knowledge and culture.”
He also reminded that “a nation is defined by its cultural wealth, not by material wealth.”
The then president also ordered to organise the book fair annually, promising his full financial support, and it became the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) later.
Sheikh Zayed’s announcements and wise words were widely reported by Arabic newspapers the next day. The UAE’s National Archives has displayed those days’ newspapers in its pavilion at the current edition of ADIBF, which is going on at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).
The Founding Father had announced some other concrete steps to promote books in the Islamic Book Fair in 1981. Sheikh Zayed said that he would buy all remaining books at the end of the event and distribute them to ministries, cultural institutions and libraries, according to a report in Al Ittihad newspaper dated 4th May 1981.
The ADIBF, which started in 1981; Sharjah International Book Fair, launched in 1982; and the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature since 2009, have found their place in global calendars of publishing and literary events. The international reputation of these events is a testimony that the UAE’s institutions and people have wholeheartedly followed Sheikh Zayed’s advice during the past four decades.
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