The United Arab Emirates and Kingdom of Bahrain have announced the launch of a project to restore and rehabilitate two archaeological houses in the town of Muharraq in Bahrain.
The announcement was made during a ceremony held in Manama by Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, and Sheikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of the Sheikh Ebrahim Centre for Culture and Research.
The project is a result of a bilateral agreement that was signed on the sidelines of the joint Emirati-Bahraini Committee in Manama late last year.
Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Sultan bin Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Ambassador to Bahrain, emphasised the depth and strength of the distinguished brotherly relations between the two countries which are based on common history and vision.
He pointed out that the restoration of the two archaeological houses in Muharraq deepen the historical and cultural dimension between the peoples of both countries.
"This project reflects the progress achieved by the cultural relations between our two countries through the close coordination between our respective cultural institutions as we strive to become a model of successful partnership in the cultural and creative fields, especially in light of the ties of brotherhood and common destiny that join our two peoples," he said.
He went on to express his aspirations for continued interaction between the intellectuals of both countries in various fields, especially with the official opening of the two historic houses and with cultural, artistic and literary events that express the depth of relations between the two peoples.
In turn, Al Kaabi said that these houses represent a rich cultural heritage in the Gulf region and the Middle East. "They are an expression of the vision of the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan aimed to strengthen brotherly ties between the peoples of the UAE and Bahrain."
Al Kaabi announced that the houses will be named 'Nuzul Al Salam' and 'Green House'. The names were selected carefully to reflect traits of Sheikh Zayed's character. "Sheikh Zayed was a man of peace, humanity and tolerance. He paid special attention to the environment and agriculture and sought to expand green landscapes in the UAE, therefore, both houses will bear his name."
"These houses will become platforms for the promotion of Gulf and international culture and art through seminars and festivals that contribute to the preservation of Gulf culture and preserve it for future generations," she noted.
The town of Muharraq, she said, has a rich cultural heritage, especially after being chosen as the capital of Islamic culture in 2018. The city also bears witness to the rich heritage of Bahrain throughout history as it became a centre for enlightenment and a beacon of ancient and contemporary Islamic art.
For her part, Al Khalifa, who is also the President of the Bahrain Culture and Antiquities Authority, said, "It is our great pleasure to officially announce from the Shaikh Ebrahim Centre for Culture and Research the start of a fruitful cooperation that marks a geographical and cultural expansion of the march initiated by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in his second homeland, and specifically in the town of Muharraq, which, since the majlis of Sheikh Ibrahim, has welcomed those who believed in the significance of culture as a cornerstone for our societies."
She also thanked the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development and in particular Minister Al Kaabi for her support.
12 university students from the UAE with interests in archeology and architecture will be involved in the project as a way to develop their expertise and knowledge in the best practices in the maintenance of archaeological sites. The universities are: Zayed University, UAE University, Abu Dhabi University, Sharjah University, New York Abu Dhabi University.
Nuzul Al Salam will be a destination for visitors of the Pearling Trail and the historic town. It will be restored to reflect authentic Bahraini architecture which will allow visitors to experience the Bahraini way of life and the kingdom's urban environment.
The Green House will be transformed into a library for the archiving of art in Bahrain in general and the restoration of manuscripts as well as the preservation of books and paintings. The building hosts a vertical garden that is unique to the Middle East and contains 200 species of plants, mostly from sub-tropical and desert regions around the world, such as the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East, Australia and South Africa.
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs