Sun 27-10-2019 14:53 PM
MANAMA, 27th October, 2019 (WAM) -- The UAE and Bahrain's Sheikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Centre for Culture and Research opened the newly restored 'Nuzul Al Salam' heritage house in Muharraq in Bahrain.
Reviving what was previously known as the Fathallah House, Nuzul Al Salam opens following the completion of extensive restoration and renovation works that have been announced earlier this year as part of the wider collaboration efforts between cultural authorities in both the UAE and Bahrain.
The inauguration was attended by Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development; Sheikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of the Sheikh Ebrahim Centre for Culture and Research; Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan; Sheikh Majid bin Saud bin Rashid Al Mualla, Head of the Department of Tourism and Antiquities in Umm Al Quwain; Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development; Zaki Nusseibeh, Minister of State; Hessa Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development; Reem Al Falasi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood; in addition to a host of diplomats and media professionals.
Previously known as Fathallah House, the property, courtyard and spaces have been renamed Nuzul Al Salam, celebrating the traits of peace, humanity and tolerance of Sheikh Zayed’s character, cementing the UAE’s bilateral support of restoration in Bahrain.
Nuzul Al Salam will now be open to visitors from the region and beyond, reflecting authentic Bahraini architecture, allowing visitors to experience key aspects of traditional Arab design combined with modern architectural style in an urban environment. A unique installation includes quotes by the late Sheikh Zayed adorning the walls of the rooms.
The house is based in the old town of Muharraq, which was chosen as the 2018 Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, ISESCO, Capital of Islamic Culture for the Arab region in recognition of its rich culture, heritage and historical importance to the Gulf region as a political, trading and economic centre. It is located on the Pearling Path in Muharraq, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that connects several key centres in the pearl industry.
Speaking at the opening, Sheikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa expressed her gratitude to the United Arab Emirates and Noura Al Kaabi for the support and belief in the importance of the Arab cultural movement and preserving culture.
"I am delighted to see Fathallah House breathe new life again, especially that it encapsulates the beauty of Bahraini culture and architecture. The house has been a cultural landmark in Muharraq since 1947 and a key tourist destination for visitors to the Pearling Path, an important UNESCO heritage site. The Kingdom of Bahrain would like to thank the UAE for its continued support and wish continuous prosperity to our brotherly nations and esteemed leadership," she continued.
Al Kaabi said, "It is the UAE’s honour to support the restoration of key cultural landmarks in the Arab world, especially in line with the Year of Tolerance in the UAE. As we open Nuzul Al Salam, we reiterate our collaboration and historic relations with the Bahrain. We share a common history and vision for the preservation of Arab culture and heritage, and Nuzul Al Salam represents our shared rich cultural heritage in the Gulf region and the Middle East."
"These houses were renamed to express the vision of UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and as such, aim to strengthen brotherly ties between the people of the UAE and Bahrain. Nuzul Al Salam will be the first hotel on the Pearling Path, and a platform for the promotion of Gulf and international culture and art through seminars and festivals that contribute to the preservation of Gulf culture for future generations. We hope that visitors enjoy their experiences here and get a glimpse into the past through Nuzul Al Salam’s architecture and public programming," she continued.
The restoration project is a result of a bilateral agreement that was signed on the sidelines of the joint Emirati-Bahraini Committee in Manama late last year in commemoration of UAE Founding Father’s deep respect and vision for the preservation of Arab culture. The agreements included a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Sheikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa Centre for Culture and Research and the UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development The town of Muharraq has a rich cultural heritage and was chosen as the capital of Islamic culture in 2018. The city also bears witness to the rich heritage of Bahrain throughout history as it became a centre for enlightenment and a beacon of ancient and contemporary Islamic art.
The architect behind the renovation project, Ammar Basheir, involved his young Bahraini team who have strived to keep true to authentic Bahraini craftsmanship and traditional architectural styles.
Nuzul Al Salam’s architecture is inspired by the legend of Gilgamesh, where the story has been narrated through contemporary and modern wall hangings and decorative floors designed by Bahraini craftsmen. The rooms in the property are inspired by the tale and the courtyard includes a garden filled with lemon and orange trees, symbolising the generosity of the late Sheikh Zayed.
Leveraging young talent from the UAE, the project involved 12 archaeology and architecture students from Zayed University, UAE University, Abu Dhabi University, Sharjah University, New York Abu Dhabi University, as part of a talent development initiative to develop their expertise and knowledge in the preservation and restoration of archaeological sites.
The Green Corner, the second house in the project, which will open at a later date, will be transformed into a library for the archiving of art in Bahrain, restoration of manuscripts, and preservation of books and paintings. The building will be constructed in close proximity to a vertical garden that is unique to the Middle East, that is built by the Sheikh Ebrahim Centre and designed by world-renowned French botanist Patrick Blanc.
It contains 200 species of plants, mostly from sub-tropical and desert regions around the world, such as the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East, Australia and South Africa.