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Exploring the Legacy of Sheikh Zayed: Zayed National Museum Research Fund Recipients Revealed

The Department of Culture and Tourism—Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) and Zayed National Museum have selected Zayed National Museum Research Fund recipients.

Exploring the Legacy of Sheikh Zayed: Zayed National Museum Research Fund Recipients Revealed

Launched in 2023, the Zayed National Museum Research Fund supports research into the UAE's culture and history, preserving the legacy of the nation's late founder, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Ten researchers were selected from 77 applicants from 19 countries. The recipients include researchers from the UAE, Oman, Egypt, India, China, the US, the UK, Australia, and Poland.

A panel of experts, including representatives from the Department of Culture and Tourism—Abu Dhabi and Zayed National Museum—awarded grants from the AED1 million Fund. Projects were chosen based on research methodology, experience, outcomes, and relevance to the museum's mandate.

The Fund's recipients will cover research areas that span Sheikh Zayed's impact on the UAE's society and culture, links between India and the Arabian Peninsula across the 19th and 20th centuries, the untold stories of women and their role in trade in Arabia, oral histories of the UAE, and the deep archaeological history of the UAE.

His Excellency Mohammed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, said: “Honouring the timeless values of our nation’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, whose enduring example continues to guide us today, the selected projects will support the creation of an extensive body of scholarly works on the traditions of the UAE through an international lens with diverse perspectives. Contributing to our intangible culture and unlocking possibilities for upcoming generations, the Research Fund underscores Zayed National Museum’s objectives of advancing knowledge, inclusive public engagement and harnessing the power of research and science to deepen our understanding of the UAE’s layered history.”

The Recipients and Their Projects Are:

●        Dr Mohamed Almarri (UAE), Assistant Professor of Population Genomics College of Medicine at the Mohamed Bin Rashed University of Medicine and Health Sciences, with the project name: 'Reconstructing the population history and illuminating prehistorical contacts of the United Arab Emirates using ancient DNA'. 

●        Maryam Al Shehhi (UAE), UAE Permanent Mission to the UN, USA Security Council Research Intern, with project name: 'Book: Music / Sound of the Shihuh'.

●        Dr Suhaib Alam (India), Assistant Professor at the Department of Arabic Language at Jamia Millia Islamia, with the project name: 'The journey across India in search of links between India and the Arabian Peninsula - 1820-1971'.

●        Dr Ran Zhang (China), Assistant Professor at the Department of Archaeology at Durham University, with the project name: 'Chinese ceramic finds from the Hussein Collection'.

●        Dr Seth MN Priestman (UK), Honorary Research Fellow at Durham University and Ceramics and Archaeological Finds Specialist, with the project name: 'Exploring the interpretive value of 19th-20th century European factory-made ceramics in the UAE through collections-based research'.

●        Professor Lesley Gregoricka (USA), Professor of Anthropology at the University of South Alabama, with the project name: 'Mobility and shifting cultural landscape among the early Bronze Age inhabitants of the Al Ain Oasis'.

●        Professor Ali El Keblawy (Egypt), a professor at the Department of Applied Biology at the University of Sharjah, is working on a project titled 'Using native plants to revitalise UAE cultural heritage at Zayed National Museum'.

●        Dr Agnieszka Lic (Poland) is an assistant Professor at the Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures at the Polish Academy of Sciences, and her project is called the 'Jumeirah Research Project'.

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