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Travel : Sharja City - Museums & architecture, Emirates, March 10/2022

This is the 5th post, continuation of the trip to the Emirates, which started on March 6/2022 (here)

Half a day viist to Sharja City

20 minutes bus ride, South East of Dubai landed us in the Emirate's third-most populous city (800K+ in population) overlooking the Persian Gulf .

Sharjah City- the capital of the emirate Sharjah. shares legal political, military and economic functions with the other emirates of the UAE within a federal framework

Historically it was an important strategic and commercial center in the gulf, and is one of the wealthiest towns in this region, with a settlement in existence for over 5000 years. Since the 18th c it has been ruled by the Al Qasimi dynasty. The sultan's palace is located in Ras Al Khaimah. Prior to modernization, marine Pirate-ism was the main occupation. The British navy arrived in 1820. to safe-guard the way to India and for 150 years fended against the ottomans.

This port city is regarded as the Islamic cultural capital of the UAE, and an administrative as well as industrial center, which alone contributes 7.4% of the GDP of the UAE

The city attracts more immigrants from the ME and its housing is cheaper then that of Dubai, The city is considered an affordable "sleeping suburb" for many who commute for work in Dubai,

Modernization in Sharjah has been largely confined to the capital- Sharjah city.

New buildings were constructed, a deep-water port (including modern container terminals and cold-storage facilities) was built, and industries were expanded

Industrial area

Shams Media City Free Zone (Shams) was launched in 2017 with a vision to be a world-class hub for media and creativity in the region

Also a first women for the Ministry of State for Happiness was appointed.

Being also most conservative, it forbids sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages without possession of an alcohol license. No alcohol is served in Sharjah hotels, restaurants, or other outlets due to the Muslim majority in the area, which also has helped to increase the number of Islamic tourists who visit it.

Notable for its numerous elegant mosques, it also offers array of cultural and traditional venues, including several museums such as archaeology, natural history, science, arts, heritage, Islamic art and culture.

The 2 museums that we were taken to, the Islam one and Arab art, were fabulous.

But prior to visiting the museums, circling the famous Quran roundabout is a must.

The roundabout Quran culture Square

9C4H+85W - Halwan Suburb - Al Abar - Sharjah - United Arab Emirates

A popular highlight of the many tourists, this Cultural Square features a 14-metre high pedestal with a sculpture of the Holy Quran which is the centerpiece of a large traffic roundabout in the square, representing the spiritual heart of the city.

Designed by Spanish sculptor Marinas Rubias, the Quran sculpture, is encircled by a

number of Stately Buildings. These British Western influence of big impressive symmetrical structures ( inspired by Edwin Lutyens the great British architect) are infused with - Mogul/Indian Islamic architecture, and orientalist decorations .

Mosque Al Emam Ahmad Bin Hanbal

The Buildings at the square are:

Ruler’s Office, the Ahmad Bin Hanbal Mosque. the main library, and the Cultural Palace- a theater, place for concerts and events.

Cultural Palace

Cultural Palace Mosque Rules /Academy

Ruler's Office- Holly Quran Academy (since 2020)

The biggest complex dedicated to Islam and its teachings in the world, home to seven scientific and historical museums which offer detailed insights into the history of writing and the codification of the verses of the Holy Quran.

Main Library

Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization - (al Mojarra)

Located in the historical center on Corniche Street in the Al Majarrah waterfront, on the opposite side of the street from Sharjah Creek. (museum)

The stunning reddish brick structure - Mamluki style influenced architecture, was originally constructed as a souq (indoor oriental bazaar) and is covered by a large size characteristic golden dome on top,

It was opened opened in 2008.

The museum covers Islamic culture, housing more than 5,000 artifacts from the Islamic world. collected globally and displayed in seven thematic galleries ,

5 Pilar’s of Islam

The museum exhibits starts with dedicated display to the 5 pillars.

The Five Pillars are the core beliefs and practices of Islam:

  • Profession of Faith (shahada). The belief that "There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God" is central to Islam. ...

  • Prayer (salat). ... 5 times a day

  • Alms (zakat). ... charity

  • Fasting (sawm). ... on Ramadan

  • Pilgrimage (hajj). to Mecca

Marketing Narrative...

The Islam religion has advanced faster then the development of the Political State.which explains the discrepancy and anomaly between modern technological advancements and traditional non-democratic state regimes.

Tribute to a glorious past -

Objects on display are scientific, navigational, medicinal agricultural architectural instruments, and calligraphy, carvings, ceramic art, and coins, glass, manuscripts, metalwork,

The interior Corridors and Reception (sitting) Room of the building are stunning.

Prof. Uzi Rabi addressing the group at the Majlis - Reception Room

Museum of Modern and Contemporary Arab Art

This Arab art museum established in 1997 with galleries over two floors, is housed in Bait Al Serkal in Al Shuwaihean Area.

It is one of the leading art institutions in the Persian Gulf region. Modern and contemporary Paintings and sculptures produced by renowned artists of the Arab Middle East world

for the past 50 years, are on display

Geographic regions as : Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt , Morocco,,

the Arab Gulf, Sudan, and Yemen are all represented

Egyptian Al Azhar Madrasa painting

The selected work reflects the multiplicity of styles , technique , subjects and ways of expressions by the Arab artists, and serves as a testimony to the evolution of visual arts in the region and their contributions to the global world,

Bashir Sinawr-Sabra&Shatila

Among these artists are renown names such as Abdulqader Al Rais, Louay Kayali, Bashir Sinwar, Faiq Hassan, Mohammed Yusuf and Ismail Fatah Al-Turk and more.

Suleiman Mansour -Palestine

No Shia artists are on display , but

criticism of their leaders is represented in the art on display

.No art representation of criticism against the Emirate local leaders

At the end of the Art Tour visit and before the bus headed toward Abu-Dhabi, it swung

via these 2 beautiful Shajra squares

Ittihad Square Park

Large green area across the road from the Central Souq

This 2.5km stretch square Park is designated for a recreational leisure walk or run.

It is dotted with fountains, ponds, and children play area,

Iconic locations of he Blue Souk and The King Faisal Mosque

The Blue Souq al Ittihad Square (Central Market)

Majlis al Midfa Square

Majlis Al Midfa is a historic square, in the heart of Sharjah, with the UAE’s only round wind tower. The square holds an important place in UAE history, since it was used for gatherings of the region’s intellectuals and merchants.

The majlis - Arabic for sitting area - is named after the man who started the country’s first ever newspaper in 1927. Ibrahim Bin Mohammed Al Midfa family regularly convened a majlis here to discuss poetry, literature and politics.

The rounded barjeel, or wind tower , is unlike other structures of its kind that are usually square.

Wind towers are a symbol of ancient UAE culture, when these constructs were crucial for natural ventilation in hot summer months.

Majlis Al Midfa has been incorporated into Sharjah's unique boutique hotel, .

The wind tower houses antiques, including a carved pearl chest and an ornate silver dagger donated by

the Al Midfa family to the Gov of Sharjah.

Departing beautiful Shajrah

Al Khalidiah Al Layyeh

Al Khan Erea

A visit to "Bait Al Naboodah" (traditional life style museum) and at local school, mentioned on the day's itinerary, were missed,

# More fantastic Photos taken by Yuval Zaliouk can be found here


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