Traditional Arab Majlis

Arab Majlis

Arab majlis. The term majlis describes a regular gathering of like-minded individuals. The sitting place is regularly used on the Arabian Peninsula as a forum for friends and colleagues to meet and discuss political and social developments, to engage in debate, to share views and research, and to network.  The majlis at the ‘Mangroves from the Water’ project exhibition provides a spot for participants to meet and share local storytelling about the mangroves and wetlands and also thoughts on environmental art, with a connection to heritage and culture for the benefit of the environment.  

The Sharjah Institute of Heritage of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) supports our exhibition with an Arab majlis from books, Arab coffee and dates, a special issue of Al Mawruth magazine about the mangroves and an Arab majlis (sitting place).  The connection is ongoing as the Institute is to donate these exhibits to the School of Humanities and Social Studies at Deakin University.

Our supporter, Abdul Aziz Al Musallam, Chairman of the Sharjah Institute of Heritage, writes in his introduction to Mangroves Festival 2017:

The mangrove tree has a lot of encompassed forms of expression in the community’s memory and it has produced values, customs, traditions, experiences and popular ethics, artistic creations, and experiences of traditions, which add to the totality, the depth, and richness of heritage.   

The human connection is an important starting point for engaging with the range of artworks presented in Mangroves from the Water.

Words by Zahidah Zeytoun Millie – Curator