Al Jazeera Al Hamra, a former coastal village in southern Ras Al Khaimah, which was abandoned at the time of the formation of the United Arab Emirates in the late 1960s and early 1970s, is considered one of the last traditional towns in the country. Once an active fishing and pearl diving community, Al Jazeera Al Hamra consists of a fort (hisn), several mosques, a market (souq) and over 100 houses including a wind tower home—some of which are constructed of coral and gypsum. As the buildings continue to decay due to a dire lack of attention, not only does the architecture need to be documented and mapped, but also the stories and traditions of the people who once lived there needs to be recorded.
Creating a Web-based virtual museum, which documents both the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Al Jazeera Al Hamra can provide a cohesive physical and social record of a traditional fishing and pearling village for future generations after the buildings and the people who had inhabited the town are gone. This paper examines the notion of the virtual museum in relation to the preservation of Al Jazeera Al Hamra’s cultural heritage.
|Keywords:||Virtual Museum, Web 2.0, Cultural Heritage, Al Jazeera Al Hamra, United Arab Emirates|
Assistant Professor of Design, College of Architecture, Art and Design, American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
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