SHARJAH, 21st January, 2019 (WAM) — Dr. Abdulaziz Al Musallam, Chairman of the Sharjah Institute for Heritage, inaugurated the International School of Storytelling and Oral Arts on Sunday, at the institute’s headquarters in University City.
This is the world’s first official school that belongs to a government entity as represented by the Sharjah Institute for Heritage. While one segment of the school is dedicated to storytelling, the other will focus on folk, literature, tradition and word-based expressionism.
The inauguration ceremony was graced by Dr. Nemer Salamun, Director of the International School of Storytelling and Oral Arts, and a number of heritage lovers.
“The school seeks to render storytelling both, as a principle and an end at such domains as social life, learning, education and art. It also aims to rehabilitate the first unwritten literature and unframed art by trying to reconcile them with today’s man, who has lost the power of live communication after being massively absorbed in what he believes is contemporary communication, paving the way for the emergence of a live address phobia,” Al Musallam said.
“This school has been set up to complement the efforts of the Sharjah Institute for Heritage in the world of heritage and enhance all forms of folk art and culture as elements of incorporeal cultural heritage with a view to promoting understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity among citizens of the country,” he added.
The school will feature a range of academic and artistic activities. Systematic and dedicated programmes will be implemented with the aim of preserving the story in all its traditional forms including folk, mythical and fairy tales, while opening prospects to new stories inspired by oral heritage and reviving the arts of storytelling including proverbs, famous sayings, maqamat and anecdotes without excluding the story-based poetry.
“Apart from documenting, studying, analysing and comparing folk tales all over the world, the school will document the most reputed storytellers in a paper guide that can be constantly updated and will introduce a network of Arab and international storytellers for easy search, both academic and professional use,” he noted.
The school aims to thoroughly study the oral traditions worldwide in terms of its origins and analyse them carefully, to find tales of different and common origins among nations and individuals and learn about the societies from tales narrated about them.
The school will also form teams for collecting oral tales and traditions that have not been fully searched and document the oral traditions worldwide by printing the work done so far in the Arab world as translated from other languages. It will translate storybooks that have not been translated into Arabic yet, as well as translate Arabic books on stories and storytelling into other languages to be studied by audiences worldwide.