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10 Researchers Honored with the AED 1 Million Zayed National Museum Fund

The recipients of the Zayed National Museum Research Fund worth AED 1 million have been announced.

zayed national museum

Zayed National Museum. Photo: Courtesy of Foster + Partners

Ten remarkable researchers from the UAE and beyond have been selected as the recipients of the Zayed National Museum fund valued at AED 1 million. The researchers were selected from a pool of 77 applicants from 19 countries, including the UAE, Oman, Egypt, India, China, the US, the UK, Australia, and Poland. The AED 1 million grant was awarded by an expert panel presided by representatives from both, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi and the Zayed National Museum. Criteria for the selection of projects ranged from research methodology, experience, and outcomes, to the relevance to the museum’s mandate.

Launched in 2023, the grant aims to support “research into the culture and history of the UAE, preserving the legacy of the nation’s late founder Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.” Some of the research areas that will be covered by the fund’s recipients include 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.

“Honoring 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,” stated HE Mohammed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi. “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.”

Below, find out more about the recipients and their projects.

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

Maryam Al Shehhi, UAE Permanent Mission to the UN, USA Security Council Research Intern
Project name: Book: Music / Sound of the Shihuh.

Dr Reynold James, Associate Professor at Zayed University
Project name: Sheikh Zayed’s legacy, and its role and impact on the UAE’s society and culture

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

Dr Ran Zhang, Assistant Professor at the Department of Archaeology at Durham University
Project name: Chinese ceramic finds from the Hussein Collection

Dr Seth M.N. Priestman, Honorary Research Fellow at Durham University and Ceramics and Archaeological Finds Specialist
Project name: Exploring the interpretive value of 19th-20th century European factory-made ceramics in the UAE through collections-based research.

Professor Lesley Gregoricka, Professor of Anthropology at the University of South Alabama
Project name: Mobility and shifting cultural landscape among the early Bronze Age inhabitants of the Al Ain Oasis.

Professor Ali El Keblawy, Professor at the Department of Applied Biology at the University of Sharjah
Project name: Using native plants to revitalise UAE cultural heritage at Zayed National Museum.

Sumaya Al-Weheibi, International Relations Specialist at the Oman National Commission for Education, Culture and Science
Project name: Threads of empowerment – untold stories of women in Arabian Peninsula during the Silk Road trade.

Dr Agnieszka Lic, Assistant Professor at the Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures at the Polish Academy of Sciences
Project name: Jumeirah Research Project.

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