Photography workshops and site visits bring history to life
Sharjah, 7 November, 2017
Sharjah Girl Guides (SGG) has organised a unique programme for its guides (aged 12-15), to give them a deeper understanding of their heritage via an intensive photography programme, taking place in four-hour sessions over a series of five Saturdays throughout September and October.
With the title ‘A Journey through the Past’, the 15 participants in the programme visited Sharjah Equestrian Club, various heritage sites in the Heart of Sharjah, and the Women’s Museum in Dubai, which helped them to gain an understanding of their history and document the process through photography.
In an innovative approach to learn more about their history as Emiratis, the participants not only benefitted from new aspects of freestyle photography, the workshops and visits also helped them to develop life skills and capabilities for the professional world that awaits them.
The programme was launched for the first time by SGG to provide a more in-depth artistic and technical look into the world of photography, breaking from the traditional introduction through subjects found in nature.
On site at the Sharjah Equestrian Club, there were opportunities for the guides to compose photographs of moving objects through the Arabian horse, which embodies the history of the Emirates and played an important role in the lives of the country’s forefathers.
A visit to some of Sharjah’s historical sites, including Heart of Sharjah, looked into some of the principles of lifestyle shooting and photo editing skills. The Heart of Sharjah, the region’s largest heritage project, reflects what Sharjah was like over half a century ago, a perfect location to portray the city’s traditional areas with contemporary artistic touches, while retaining the feel of the 1950s.
The guides then paid a visit to the Women’s Museum in Dubai where they took photographs of the exhibits, detailing the objects which told the story of local women through the ages. The workshop was held with the museum’s founder, Dr Rafeea Gubash.
Shaikha Abdulaziz Al Shamsi, Manager of SGG, said: “We are aiming to reach higher levels of achievements and skills and we see a great passion and interest from the girls in advancing their new talents. This programme was an excellent way of reconnecting girls to their heritage and traditions while giving back to the community. The more these girls understand their roots, the greater sense of belonging and love they have for their country.”
She added: “SGG is more than a facilitator for learning new practical skills, it is a catalyst for development and a channel to enhance these young women as contributors to their community and as ambassadors for their nation.”
As well as all the advantages of gaining a greater understanding of the beauty of photography, the guides improved their capabilities in documenting experiences through recording, and note taking.
The pioneering and exciting ‘Journey through the Past’ Programme was an inspirational way for the girls to feel close to their ancestors, emphasising their heritage and recording their experiences while helping them earn their personal development and culture badge.
Established in Sharjah in 1973, the Guiding movement subsequently spread to all seven emirates, giving rise to the Girl Guides Association of the United Arab Emirates in 1979. Operating under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, SGG aims to inspire and nurture future generations to become progressive global citizens by providing a platform for girls to develop to their fullest potential.
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1-2. Images captures by Guide Aysha Abdelqader.
3-4. Images captured by Guide Henad Abdelqader
5-Image captured by Guides Sara and Maryam Humaid.