Sharjah Museums Department launches new initiative 'Sharjah Museums are Accessible for All'

Middle East, September 13 2011

Sharjah: As part of the Sharjah Museums Department’s ,the Community and Accessibility Services of the Department of Interpretation and Education has launched a new initiative, titled ‘Sharjah Museums are Available to All’ which aims to acquaint social care and special needs centers with its new educational programs for 2011-2012.

The department organized a series of lectures to familiarize the centers with the new programs. The lectures were delivered by educational specialists, Fatima Musharbak and Moza Al Yassi of the Community Services Section who gave detailed information to the attendants representing the social care and special needs centres.

The new package includes five programs at five different museums to be presented for each participating centre according to their appropriate time schedule and needs.

Commenting on the programs, Alya Burhaima, Head of the Department of Interpretation and Education at the Sharjah Museums Department, said: “We are extremely proud of the five new programs which were launched to achieve the goal of our new initiative “Sharjah Museums are Available to everyone”.

She said the programs were designed by the department’s education specialists following in-depth studies on the appropriateness of the programs with the needs of participating people with disabilities from various social centres.

Highlighting the year-long educational programs, Burhaima said the programs were specifically designed for this category in a manner that helps them get themselves acquainted with Sharjah Museums’ collections and exhibitions.

The programs, which are in both Arabic and English, involve gallery discussions, workshops and other activities with a focus on the museums’ collections.

With regard to the educational workshops, the first workshop on the art of mosque architecture will be organized by the education specialist of the Community and Accessibility Services at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization which will help participants explore the key elements of Islamic architecture and differences in the architecture of mosques. The second workshop, titled “Three Components of the Airplane” which aims to familiarize participants with the key parts of aircraft and the functions of each part as they will be given the chance to make their own planes.

The third workshop, titled” Turn Art into Drama” where participants will get to know the art of orientalists and then play parts of a play based on artworks by these orientalists. Glass drawing will be the forth workshop to be organized at the Sharjah Archaeology Museum where participants will get the chance to know the evolution of drawings throughout various ages before the Islamic Era in the Arabian Peninsula and will also get the chance to draw their own glass bottles.

The fifth workshop called “Jellyfish” will be held at the Sharjah Aquarium where participants will have the chance to explore the undersea world, know jelly fish and enjoy their time in making their own jellyfish patterns.

The orientation workshop was attended by a number of teachers from the Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services, Al Theqa Club for Handicapped, Ajman Centre for Special Needs Rehabilitation, Social Education Centre, and Emirates Association for the Blind, Children’s City, and Almashaer Centre, the Department of Rehabilitation and Care Center for People with Special Needs at the Ministry of Social Affairs, Dubai Centre for Special Needs, Dubai Autism Centre, Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre, and Al Noor Centre for Children with Special Needs.

The programs are free to interested participants, and will be available throughout the year.

Noteworthy, the Department of Interpretation and Education was established in 2007 when the Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) was established.

It provides a wide range of educational programs across SMD’s museums that include tours, gallery discussions and workshops, which offer an excellent opportunity to learn about and discover new insights into SMD’s extensive collections and to discuss ideas and concerns with museum professionals. The section completes the SMD’s key role that reflects its vision for enhancing understanding, appreciation and respect to Sharjah’s distinguished cultural identity at both local and international levels.

At the end of the orientation workshop, Manal Ataya, Director General of Sharjah Museums Department, extended her appreciation to the staff of the Department of Interpretation and Education with special thanks to the Community and Accessibility Services. For their outstanding efforts in organizing such distinguished programs and commended the work team for upgrading cooperation with care centres across the country.

She expressed her extreme satisfaction with the interest of these centres in cooperating with the SMD, which must extend to include various occasions and events, because constructive cooperation will contribute significantly to the education of values and customs in coming generations.


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