In the news: UAE’s participation at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Washington D.C.

Khaleej Times features the UAE’s participation in the 2022 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

The article includes a YouTube video message by Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the US, who said “since the first Folklife Festival in 1967, the event has honoured global cultural traditions and celebrates those who practice and sustain them”.

“The 2022 festival theme is UAE – Living Landscape l Living Memory. These two primary pillars will introduce festival attendees to arts, poetry, cuisine and other cultural traditions that have made the UAE an inclusive, modern and pioneer nation in just 50 years,” added Al Otaiba (Khaleej Times).

Please read the full article by Waheed Abbas for Khaleej Times here:

The iconic obelisk The Washington Monument where the festival will take place.

Launched in 1967, the Festival is an international exhibition of living cultural heritage presented annually in the summer in Washington, DC. This year’s edition, Living Landscape | Living Memory, will be held from June 22 to 27 and June 30 to July 4 at the National Mall, Washington DC, and will feature the UAE.

Mangroves from the Water will be there!!

Photos: student kayak workshop with Zahidah

Zahidah ran a successful workshop with school students on Thursday 18 November 2021. 

Zahidah instructing students from the kayak

The nine Year 11 students from Thomas Carr College, along with three teachers, joined Zahidah on kayaks through the mangrove forests in Victoria.

The workshop is about a two hour trip: 20 minutes to kayak around the mangroves, then stop in a sheltered spot within the mangroves, then to sketch the scene using watercolour technique.  The aim of the workshop is to create a bond between the kayaker (student) and the mangrove trees by sketching them and to build greater understanding of the mangrove forests in Victoria, Australia.

For more details about workshops, please open this link:

The UAE’s commitment to Climate Change

The National newspaper ( 1 November, Thursday) headline’s the UAE’s commitment to Climate Change:

As a strong advocate of environmental protection, the UAE has marked the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement with renewed resolve and enhanced ambition to address climate change. The country took a new step on the path to a climate-safe future with the submission of its second nationally determined contribution (NDC) last month to the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Its new commitments involve climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Image courtesy of : Mangrove Walk at Al Jubail Island. The UAE is doing everything from limit greenhouse gas emissions to planting more mangroves to tackle climate change. Antonie Robertson / The National

Please see the full article here

Video: Mangroves – Vanguards of the sea

This video is an introduction to the Mangroves from the Water project, narrated by Zahidah Zeytoun Millie. 

We would like to thank the producer Sarah Treacy and Phil Hines for the filming and editing. 

Our sincere gratitude to Jacqui Bennett, the founder of Humans in Geelong for the continued support. 

Humans in Geelong Expo will debut online on 10 October 2021 to align with the mental health month in Australia. The in-person event for Humans in Geelong Expo will open on 5 December 2021. 

The beautiful paintings of Helen Martin

The beautiful paintings of Helen Martin conveys a touching fondness for her husband by translating his deep-rooted connection to the mangroves, Her skill as a painter is evident in the atmospheric depictions of mangrove trees as seen in the images below, manifesting the vibrancy and liveliness through brush strokes and play of light.

Helen’s artist statement:

For the Mangroves from the Water Exhibition, Helen is collaborating with her husband Peter Martin, who has a deep affinity with mangroves having grown up playing and exploring them on the shore in front of his family home at Peek’s Point, East Gosford in New South Wales – on Darkinjung Country. 

Her works for the exhibition draw on recent images of a small stand of white mangroves planted in the early 1960s by the five Martin boys at shoreline of Broken Bay. These young boys were motivated to plant mangrove seedlings they had found nearby in response to the degradation and destruction of the local mangroves, their playground, caused by unabashed urban development. The mangroves were seeded in the rocky foreshore among the clusters of native oysters, and over the past 50 years thrived, creating a new habitat.

Helen Martin’s paintings: ‘Mangroves at Peek’s Point, Darkinjung Country: a Martin Legacy I-V’, 2021.

“The girl who fell in love with the mangroves” : sneak preview!

We are so proud of the variety of multi-media on offer at the next Mangroves from the Water exhibition.

Here is a preview to entice you to visit the Gordon Gallery.

Geraldine Chansard collaborated with director Pauline Dupin to create this heartwarming tale in a short video.

You can follow the news thread on Geraldine’s crowdfunding page to see the development of this project, as well as contribute to realize her dream:

Happy International Mangrove Day !!!

Mangroves: Australia – thanks to Jacqui Dreessens for the video

Today is the International Day of the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem , 26th July.

Declared by UNESCO, this day is to “to raise awareness of the importance of mangrove ecosystems as a unique, special and vulnerable ecosystem and to promote solutions for their sustainable management, conservation and uses”.

Mangroves: United Arab Emirates – thanks to Geraldine Chansard for the video

We hoped to open our multi-media exhibition, with amazing events and workshops, honouring today. Due to Covid we had to postpone the opening until 7th August. Still, we will celebrate and commemorate this important day!

Zahidah Zeytoun Millie donated her artwork to Wasit Wetland Center, Sharjah

Zahidah donated her work Mangroves from the Water 3D (2015) to the Wasit Wetland Center in Sharjah.

Zahidah created a 3D sculpture of her experience in the mangrove after finding this piece of a mangrove tree destroyed by the local farmers and fisherman. Mixed with found objects from the Umm Al Quwain mangroves, they are set in a pool of clear resin to simulate the water and draped with natural wools reminiscent of the mossy grass/seaweeds found on site.

Marawed Magazine focuses on the mangroves as part of Emirati Heritage

We are grateful to be part of this important magazine called Marawed and fortunate to be working with Dr. Abdulaziz Al Musallam, Chairman of the Sharjah Institute of Heritage and Editor-in-Chief.

Plants and trees – nature in general- is extremely important to the Emirati culture and prominent in Islamic traditions and teachings from the Holy Qu’ran.

Marawed focuses on the mangroves as part of the the UAE’s natural landscapes and elevate its importance to that of the better-known Date Palms and Ghaf trees spread across the lands.

Please do read the magazine (download the link above) for the interesting information on the local mangroves- from its medicinal uses since 4th Century BC, the botanical and biological science behind it, and the valuable contribution these mangrove trees make to the environment.

The Sharjah Institute of Heritage is a great supporter of Mangroves from the Water, and we thank them for their continued assistance and participation.

Listen to our podcast! Masainakum Masoonah

Mangroves from the Water curator, team leader and artist Zahidah Zeytoun Millie runs a podcast called Masainakum Masoonah – an Arabic saying meaning “Good evening to you, Good evening to us”

Zahidah in her radio studio at Pulse FM, Geelong Australia

In this week’s episode, Zahidah chats to Jacqui Dreessens from their kayaks in Barwon Heads!

Jacqui is a dancer/choreographer participating with a much anticipated performance at the Mangroves from the Water exhibition, 26th July in Geelong.

Listen to the podcast here: