In conjunction with the participation of the United Arab Emirates as a guest of honour at the 10th edition of the Tan-Tan Moussem Cultural Festival in the Kingdom of Morocco, the Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee – Abu Dhabi has launched a set of interactive online platforms. Under the theme ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage and Its Role in the Development and Rapprochement of Peoples,’ the Festival, which runs from the 4th to the 9th of June, comes as part of the efforts made to reinforce dialogue, and cultural exchange while celebrating values of friendship and tolerance.
The online platforms include a website, and accounts of the Committee on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. They are designed to enable all those interested in heritage to follow the activities of the Tan-Tan Festival, and the cultural heritage programme provided by the UAE as a guest of honour at the 10th edition.
The Committee chose for its online platforms a name that best describes its mission and goals, that is ‘Turathuna’ (Our Heritage). The internet users can access the website via the address http://turathuna.ae. The accounts on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google + are available with the same username: turathuna.ae. On YouTube, internet users can watch videos about the different activities of the Committee by visiting the channel of the Committee’s media partner, Baynounah TV. On its YouTube channel, Baynounah TV will offer an intensive daily coverage of the various activities of the Tan-Tan Festival in Morocco.
Sayings of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may God bless his soul) top the homepage of the website. In making such a choice, the Committee reiterates its commitment to the approach of Sheikh Zayed in preserving heritage and transmitting its various forms and values to the future generations. In one of his sayings, Sheikh Zayed insists that “ancestors have left us a vast and rich traditional heritage that we should protect and be proud of. To this aim, we need to develop this heritage and preserve it as a valuable asset for this nation and future generations.”
In a message published on the website, HE Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Adviser for Culture and Heritage in the Court of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and Chairman of the Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee – Abu Dhabi notes that “the vision of the Committee consists in the sustainability of the Emirati national identity and heritage, and the encouragement of the whole community to practice and preserve the various forms of customs and traditions.”
“Our mission is to promote the activities and practices of cultural heritage and associated customs, traditions and folklore, in order to sustain identity and strengthen human and social bonds,” he adds.
Mazrouei also underscores the significance of making every possible effort to render these festivals and activities more inclusive and effective.
“All possible efforts should be made so that these activities and festivals acquire an obvious influence on our local society and regional environment. We are also looking for a larger international dimension as we believe in the comprehensive meaning of human culture, of which our local culture makes an integral part. Above all, these efforts should reflect our love for the nation and our loyalty to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates (May God protect him),” Al Mazrouei notes.
In a smooth and attractive style, the website presents the projects and programmes implemented by the Committee with a modern design that ensures easy navigation, use and interaction. The presentation covers the different heritage festivals and events, television programmes, academies and projects, as well as specialised publications. There is also a possibility to search for and access any required information about the activities of the Committee.
Mr. Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Director of Project Management at the Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee – Abu Dhabi, noted that “the launch of these platforms arises from a belief in the growing importance of digital communication. Online platforms have managed to occupy a leading position as means of direct communication and instant interaction with the public.”
Qubaisi noted that the website and other online platforms “are but a first move that is constantly under improvement with aim of implementing an integrated strategy of digital communication.”
“The Committee is working to prepare this strategy in line with its approach to reinforce the national identity, loyalty, and sense of belonging. Eventually, we hope to build an integrated website that serves as an online portal for interaction with the public. On account of this strategy, we will also develop all the websites about the programmes and projects of the Committee, at the level of form and content and in line with the recent trends in digital communication,” he added.
Qubaisi noted that the new account of the Committee on Twitter had enjoyed a considerable response since its launch, with more than 400 followers in less than two hours.
“The number of followers, which is on constant rise, is another evidence of the large public interest in the various activities of the Committee. Hence, we have a responsibility to meet the needs and expectations of our audience through providing premium and integrated content. This content should reflect the culture and heritage of the UAE, and strengthen the values of the Emirati legacy such as patriotism, pride in history and authentic ideals,” he said.