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New book on Cultural Heritage in the Arabian Peninsula published by UCL Qatar academics

15 May 2014

Cultural Heritage in the Arabian Peninsula: Debates, Discourses and Practices

Dr Karen Exell, Lecturer in Museum Studies and Dr Trinidad Rico, Lecturer in Heritage Studies, have co-edited a new volume exploring the issues and debates surrounding the construction of heritage in the Arabian Peninsula: Cultural Heritage in the Arabian Peninsula: Debates, Discourses and Practices (Ashgate 2014).

Heritage projects in the Arabian Peninsula are developing rapidly. Museums and heritage sites are symbols of shifting national identities, and a way of placing the Arabian Peninsula states on the international map. Global, i.e. Western, heritage standards and practices have been utilised for the rapid injection of heritage expertise in museum development and site management and for international recognition.

The use of Western heritage models in the Arabian Peninsula inspires two key areas for research which this book examines: the obscuring of indigenous concepts and practices of heritage and expressions of cultural identity; and the tensions between local/community concepts of heritage and identity and the new national identities being constructed through museums and heritage sites at a state level.

Cultural Heritage in the Arabian Peninsula:Debates, Discourses and Practices has already received a number of positive reviews from leading academics working in the field.

‘The contributors capture precisely that which is different about heritage in the UAE. It is not about the past; it is about the present and the future. Emirati heritage is being created now and those of us working in the UAE appreciate just how dynamic and often politically charged the process of creation can be.'

Jane Bristol-Rhys, Zayed University, UAE

‘The book is a fresh and timely contribution to the understanding of the cultural and political dynamics connecting the Gulf States with Western museums and cultural heritage. It allows the reader to discover the variegated Arabian heritage landscapes where Islamic references, cosmopolitanism, Euro-American models and local history intermingle producing unexpected formations.’

Irene Maffi, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Cultural Heritage in the Arabian Peninsula: Debates, Discourses and Practices can be purchased through the publisher Ashgate.