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Abu Dhabi’s First Manuscript Conference and Exhibition Concludes with a Discussion of Major Heritage Editing Projects

Organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT – Abu Dhabi), Abu Dhabi’s first-ever Manuscript Conference and Exhibition concluded today (Thursday). Held at Manarat Al Saadiyat, the conference and exhibition was organised under the theme ‘Arabic Manuscripts Reality and Issues’, and discussed topics aiming to enrich the field of heritage preservation and transfer for future generations.

 The two-day conference featured a wealth of expertise in the field, bringing together experts, scholars, and academics who participated in interactive panels to discussed the reality, issues, and solutions for preserving heritage and manuscripts.


Abdulla Majed Al Ali, Acting Executive Director, National Library Sector at DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “The success of the conference underlines the cooperation to preserve our heritage for future generations. I would like to extend my gratitude to all participants, whose input added value to our conference, and further allowed us to maintain, study, and document our nation’s heritage.”

 Al Ali also stressed the importance of the conference as a platform to unify the efforts and build on the history of the region; support academic research; and encourage international cooperation.


Exhibition to run until February 15th

Running until February 15th, the exhibition held on the sidelines of the conference showcased a rare collection of manuscripts and traditional writing tools. The jewel in the crown of the exhibition is a 12th Century (6th Hijri Century) manuscript, ‘Al-Dhariah ila makarim al-Shariah’, by Al Hussein bin Muhammad bin Mufaddal Al Raghib Al Isfahani, and a collection Al Mutannabi poems, that dates back to the 12th Hijri Century.

The exhibition also provides workshops to engage attendees of all age groups, including the ‘Horoufiat’ workshop presented by Professor Maryam Al Jasmi, to educate the audience on the aesthetics and creativity in Arabic calligraphy art. It will also include the ‘Arabic Calligraphy’ workshop by Professor Hussam Khorshid, to highlight the use of Arabic handwriting to decorate books and manuscripts; especially the Holy Quran.

The exhibition also includes a wall displaying works of amateur calligraphy artists, curated by artist Fatima Al Hammadi, whose mural combines Arabic letters, highlighting their beauty in an elegant representation of Arabic calligraphy.

Concluding Day in Detail

The concluding day of the conference included three keynote panels. The first panel, moderated by Dr. Ahmed Chouqui Binebine from Morocco, featured Dr. Bashar Awad Marouf from Jordan, Dr. Abdullah Al-Ghunaim from Kuwait, Dr. Lutf Allah Qari from Saudi Arabia, and Dr. Adel Sulaiman Jamal from the United States. The session discussed the challenges facing the editing of historical, geographical, scientific, and literature texts, as well as the means to establish an effective mechanism to ensure the preservation of valuable texts for future generations.

The second session, moderated by Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Hoor from Jordan, featured Professor Abdullah bin Yehia Al Suraihi from Yemen, Dr. Fayez bin Abdullah Alshamani from Saudi Arabia, Dr. Anwar Alyan Abu Suwailem from Jordan, and Shaker Luaibi from Switzerland. The session discussed entitled Major Projects for Editing Heritage Books, with four featured titles, including Mu’jam Al-Buldan by Yaqut Al Hamwi, Mu’jam Al Abab Al Zakher by Al Saghani, Ibn Al-Awwam’s Book of Andalusian Agriculture and Travel Literature edited by the ‘Exploration Prospects’ Project.

The third session, moderated by Dr. Abdullah bin Saleem Al Rasheed from Saudi Arabia, featured Professor Ibrahim Saad Al Huqail and Dr. Ali bin Nasser Al Jammah from Saudi Arabia, Professor Ahmed Mohammed Obaid from United Arab Emirates, and Dr. Hayat Qarah from Morocco, covered topics including the ‘Collection and Editing of the Lost Heritage Book’, ‘Editing Poetry Collected in Iraq: Nouri Al Qaisi and Hatem Al Dhamen As Models’, ‘The Role of Dr. Abdulaziz Al Faisal in Editing Anthologies of Tribes’ and Andalusian Poetry Collection Efforts.

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