Meet the remarkable "golden girls" of Sharjah Institute for Heritage, twelve spirited Emirati women who travel extensively, representing the UAE at cultural events worldwide, showcasing Emirati arts and crafts.
At the Seoul Book Fair, the "golden girls" of Sharjah thrive. Adorned in traditional attire, they warmly welcome South Korean visitors from the Sharjah pavilion.
Operating like a well-oiled machine, each member of the team plays a crucial role. Each one is on hand to give henna demonstrations, explain needlework stitching methods, display wedding jewelry, and in charge of the oud and scent station.
However, this represents merely a small portion of their vast range of skills and abilities.
Their performances vary depending on the destination. In Arab countries, they delve deeper into fragrances, clothing, and even prepare traditional dishes like luqaimat. However, when venturing outside the region, they aim to present fundamental aspects that define Emirati culture.
Seoul marks the beginning of their international trips this year, following a busy calendar the previous year, which included book fairs in Bologna, London, and Guadalajara. The group members fondly recall their time in Mexico, where they were treated like family and shared heartwarming moments, such as celebrating UAE National Day together.
Their widespread admiration stems from their relaxed demeanor, devoid of rigid agendas or self-promotion. Instead, they embody Emirati culture's authenticity, openness, and generosity, leaving a lasting impression on people's minds.
Cultural exchange is reciprocal. Between engagements, the women explore cities, immersing themselves in parks and museums. The Arabic language fosters deeper connections in the Middle East and North Africa region.
The women also cherish the opportunity to savor local cuisine, although sometimes they bring along their own bread and cheese to cater to their tastes. Their extensive travels have taught them valuable lessons, such as keeping packing simple and maintaining an open mind.
These extraordinary journeys across Australia, Thailand, Japan, Brazil, and numerous other destinations are made possible by the unwavering support of their families. Although loved ones’ express concerns about potential exhaustion, they understand and embrace the golden girls' passion for representing their country on the global stage.
The "golden girls" of the Sharjah Institute for Heritage continue to captivate audiences worldwide, embodying the essence of Emirati culture with their warm hospitality, diverse skills, and unwavering dedication. Their travels serve as a testament to the power of cultural exchange and the enduring impact of showcasing the rich heritage of the United Arab Emirates.