SHARJAH, Pupils in government schools in the central and eastern region will be given access to some of Sharjah Museums' collections through the "Museum Express" initiative launched by Sharjah Museums Authority (SMA).

SMA's latest initiative, a 47-passenger bus fitted with items that provoke creative thinking, made its debut at Wadi Al Hilo school for boys near Kalba on Tuesday morning and brought the museum experience to students.

As many as 85 school children from grades 2 to 12 had the opportunity to see and learn about selected objects from the diverse collections of the emirate's 16 museums.

In partnership with Bee'ah, UAE's leading environmental recycling and waste management company, SMA launched its latest initiative with the aim of providing new incentives to promote out-of-the-box thinking amongst pupils in line with the country's innovation national scheme.

The first phase of "Museum Express" targets 14 schools located in the eastern central region of the Emirate, such as the Wadi Al Hilo near Kalba.

The specially curated exhibition of replica objects includes an Astrolabe, an instrument that was historically used by astronomers and navigators to measure the altitude above the horizon of a celestial body.

"Museums collections should be accessible to all members of the community, as such, Museum Express provides accessibility for those who reside in areas far from the center of the city," said Manal Ataya, Director General of SMA.

She said that the mobile exhibit experience would help spark enthusiasm to create amongst youngsters as it showcases collections that inspire students through interactive settings including workshops designed to encourage the students to further engage with the collections and the themes they represent.

Fawzia Gharib, Assistant Undersecretary for the School Operations Sector, has affirmed that the museum project that Sharjah Museums Authority is set to implement in co-operation with the Ministry of Education has a key role in promoting the heritage and culture of the UAE society among students by familiarising them with the deep-rooted history of the UAE, which has unique humanitarian experiences throughout the ages.

Gharib praised the ongoing efforts of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to familiarise the members of the society with the importance of museums and their humanitarian and historical value due to the fact that they contain such treasures, precious materials and collectibles that cut short a long history of human effort and constitute the historical and heritage identity of the UAE people.

Dr Najat Makki, one of the pioneers in the Emirati contemporary art scene, took part in the initiative's inaugural trip and joined students in a hands-on activity as part of the 'Abstract Art' workshop.

The first phase of Museum Express which was launched in co-operation with the UAE Ministry of Education, focuses on public schools, while the second phase will include other schools in different parts of the country, said Ataya.

Group CEO of Bee'ah, Khaled Al Huraimel, said that as a Sharjah-based entity seeking to raise quality of life, Bee'ah believes that it is important to raise awareness about the country's origins, evolution, and thriving culture; and how the legacy of the past influences what Sharjah has become today.

"We are proud to support the Sharjah Museums Authority in disseminating the emirate's rich history and culture and we believe this project will consolidate Sharjah's position as the Cultural Capital of the Arab World, while providing a comprehensive understanding of our sociological landscape to present and future generations," said Al Huraimel.

Source: Emirates News Agency